Every so often, we have life experiences that serve as benchmarks for our personal timelines. Something monumental will happen and, for the rest of our lives, we'll remember that day--everything that happened pre-event, and everything that happened post-event. Maybe someday someone asks you, "When did Jenny get hired at the salon?" And you'll respond, "Oh, well, Anne had just celebrated her 30th birthday and George fell off his bike that day... so, it was in October!"
For me, my trip with Pivot Point International will always serve as a benchmark in my life, a monumental life experience I will NEVER forget! We did it all--we had no wasted trip, no wasted hour, no wasted minute. Every thing we did was on purpose, direct and FANTASTIC. I feel so privileged to have been a part of this trip and so fortunate that I could document it here, on modernsalon.com, for you all. Parents were able to log on to modernsalon.com to check in on what their children were up to, and see what kinds of cool places they should expect souvenirs from. Back in the schools, students were able to visit the blog to see what kind of innovative hair cutting techniques and advance education we were learning and would be bringing back into the classroom upon our return to the states. My fellow travelers are able to look back on these blogs as a digital travel journal--always able to remember the fantastic things we did on this trip. And, around the world, stylists and salon owners were able to step into our shoes and come on a study abroad program with us as we discovered a new city, a new country, a new love... London.
On our first day, we took a motorcoach tour through London to get a taste of what to expect in the coming days. And, we took a trip to Camden, where Amy Winehouse and Kelly Osbourne live, for some shopping a taste of the funk town. Our second day took us to St. Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, the Tower of London, British Crown Jewels and London Bridge. Then, we moved onto two fabulous days of education with Yolly ten Koppel at the Sassoon Academy in London. Day five was Hampton Court Palace and the city of Windsor. Then, that same day, I got to cross Abbey Road! Then, we took a trip to see Warhol and Picasso and the Tate Modern museum and to the Globe Theatre AND saw Queen's We Will Rock You musical!
Our last day, we were given the entire day to do whatever we like. At this point, we were all very familiar with London's transportation system and some of us wanted to re-visit some of the places we fell in love with. For Mena and I, we decided to purchase tickets on the Chunnel to go to Paris for the day. Wow, it was so worth it. A two and a half hour train ride later, and we were in paradise! We took an open-tour bus tour through the city.
Jan Hillenmeyer, the News Editor for Modern, once told me something about Paris that I'll never forget. "Paris is one of those cities that just looks exactly as you pictured it would." And she was so right. Wow! I was so happy to be here! Beautiful, ancient, artistic, Paris--mi amore! Our first stop was at the Opera house--it was amazing! Colossal. In order to get a full-body shot, Mena had to keep backing up and up. I look so small!
After the Opera, we headed to the Louvre. Gasp! I never have seen anything more beautiful, it literally took my breath away. I'm such a big fan of the Dan Brown books, like DiVinci Code, that to see the pyramids of the museum in real life, and not just in my imagination, was breathtaking. How exciting! Then, we got to see the Mona Lisa! She was so tiny, but so beautiful and mysterious! While we were there, we also got to see works by Picasso, Michelangelo, DaVinci, you name it.
Then, we went to Notre Dame. How exciting! I wish I knew more about the history to fully appreciate it--but standing there, I felt so small. I couldn't believe we were actually here! On our whirlwind tour through the city, we also got to see the Pantheon and the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees and Moulin Rouge. AND, of course, the Eiffel Tower!! Here's my favorite shot!
A big, huge, enormous thank you to the following people who helped make my trip absolutely fabulous, without which I couldn't have had such a monumental life experience I'll never forget: Ken Angermeier, Sara Pirok, Jennifer Vaisnoras and Miss Marie, Melissa Severin, Robert Passage and the fine fabulous fantastic phenomenal people at Pivot Point, Jim Walter from Crossing Boundaries (you made the trip absolutely PERFECT, FLAWLESS, WONDERFUL!!!!!), Federico's California, Kohler Academy in Arizona, Yolly ten Koppel and her amazing team of educators, Sassoon Academy in London, Mena and Alex of course, and the fabulous team at Modern for helping me out during my computer problems and working with me to get everything together early so I could make this trip possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you for such an amazing experience! And to all of you current students considering a study abroad trip, consider me a resource! Email me any questions you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't wait for the next one! : ) Tokyo in November with Pivot Point?? Maybe!!