Here’s the second post card from my postcard collection.
Now this one has seen some better days. I’ve had this massively oversized postcard since the year 2000. But I chose this one as the second post card featured because it was my first international trip “by myself”. Other than a brief foray into Canada with my parents in 1993 (I was 7, and we did it just so we could say we’d been to Canada), this was my first time outside of the US.
The Olympic Stadium: Montreal, Canada
I was in a program called TAG when I was in elementary school (stands for ‘talented and gifted’), and as part of the program we got to go on the most awesome class trips at the end of the year. We had to pay for them, at $200-300 per person, but they were what we looked forward to all year.
When I was in 8th grade, the class trip was to Montreal, Canada. So my (unbelievably gutsy) teachers packed up two dozen kids into a coach bus and we drove up to Montreal for three or four days. We got to see the Olympic Stadium (pictured), walk around on the field where the Expos used to play, go to the Montreal Science Center, and wander around in the MASSIVE underground mall. As 13 year olds, the mall was by far the best part, but as a future engineer, I did appreciate the tour explaining the construction of the Olympic complex. The Science Center was fun too, as we got to go in one of those big gyroscope things that astronauts use to train.
While the trip did have chaperones, including 2-3 teachers and a few parents, my parents were not among them. I thought this was so exciting – travelling out of the country at age 13 without my parents!
This was before 9/11, though, so we could still travel with just our birth certificates and we didn’t need passports to cross the border. Our teacher took care of all of things of that utmost importance, but I still felt the need to be responsible even at such a young age. I’m surprised we were allowed to wander unsupervised through the “underground city” shopping mall, which has over 20 miles of tunnels!
All in all, I am beginning to see where my wanderlust began. My parents took us all over the US on vacation, even my school took us to far away places on field trips. What a wonderful experience!