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Educational Travel | The Time It Snowed at Midnight in Paris

I have flown through many snowstorms from Logan Airport in my day. In fact, the last time I flew on the overnight flight to Paris I flew out of a snowstorm and into the welcoming blanket of a grey Euro-mist day.

Innocently and unaware, this time I took the overnight flight to Paris again. Something I rarely do nowadays since I prefer the day flight to London.  More to preserve the last remnants of my late youth! There was no snow in Boston this time, but a cold, overcast day welcomed me to Paris. That evening we had our teacher reception at a delightful venue in La Maison de la Recherche. These receptions are always such fun events for me and our entire educational travel team. We get to meet new people, get to reconnect with old friends, and we get to be in a foreign city that we love eating tasty hors d’oeuvres and sipping bubbly!

Halfway through the evening, the magic started. The snow began to fall, and unlike any North American city, the unpreparedness of Paris to deal with a light covering of snow made the city look instantly beautiful as if we were looking at an impressionist painting from nearly 100 years ago.

It snowed and it kept on snowing through dinner and beyond midnight. The inches started to look more menacing and the buildings more magical. At the end of dinner, we had the challenge of finding a cab. In Paris, that is a challenge in itself under the best of circumstances. Imagine now with the snow coming down on a Friday evening around midnight looking for a cab to drive by. The bottom line is that they didn’t. When I say they didn’t, some of them came by and eyed us up and down and then in true Parisian hospitality just kept on driving.

We walked, or rather trudged, our way along the river heading back to the hotel, but I have to say I have never seen a snowfall quite like this. We all made it home and when I went to sleep I wondered if the snow would ever stop.

Saturday the snow stopped.

The bad weather seemed to have transferred to London as flights were canceling at Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow. Meanwhile, my travel plans had changed and I am heading to the Opera to hear Julian Brown tell me about the lake, the Phantom of the Opera, and the belle époque. Paris is definitely worth a second night and I wonder how Sunday will treat me.

 

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Peter Jones is the founder and President of ACIS. Knowing the important difference between a trip that’s mediocre and one that’s extraordinary, he built ACIS from a deep belief and understanding that teachers and students deserve the best—from itinerary development to hotels to perhaps most importantly, the people hired to guide teachers and students throughout the journey.

 

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