Kids, Life

He’s off! 8th grade class trip

Ethan is off on his Philadelphia/ Washington D.C. trip! Here he is, all packed and ready to go Saturday night:

My alarm went off at 3 a.m. and we were at school by 3:30 a.m. yesterday for him to catch the chartered bus to the airport.

I had a pretty great day with him on Saturday!! Ivan was gone at a soccer tournament with Asher all morning. I stayed home with Ethan, and we had a really nice day just getting him ready to go, running some errands, etc.

We stopped at the Dollar Store to pick up a couple of snacks for him to pack (and a little candy for the plane…). Then we made a Target run.

Made a detour to the Halloween aisle… still not too old to turn on the animated Halloween decorations 🙂

Also picked up some trick or treat candy!

I kept asking if he wanted different snacks to have along on the trip… “What about a bag of pretzels? No? Cheez-its? Are you sure you don’t want to pack some granola bars?”

After he had already selected a couple items (and I kept trying to add more), he was finally like, “MOM!!!! We are gonna have meals…. I just need a couple little things along, jeez!! I’m not heading off into the wild for a month.”

It kind of became a running joke as we passed other snack options. I kept saying, “Ooh, wait, but what about this??” He would roll his eyes at me and laugh. hahaha.

So as we were packing him up, I snuck a little note into his carry-on (inside a small box of fruit roll-ups that he did want to pack), that says, “Are you sure you have enough SNACKS?!?! 😜 Have a blast! Love, Mom”

Hopefully that will get a little laugh or smile out of him when he finds it. 😉

He set his own alarm for 2:55 a.m. because he wanted to take a quick shower before we left. Here he is loading his suitcase….

And waiting to get on the bus to the airport!

Luckily, all was smooth with their flights. They had a layover in Charlotte, then flew to Philadelphia. Yesterday they hit the ground running right from the airport and already fit in the National Constitution Center, Christ Church Cemetery and the Rocky Stairs yesterday. Then they all had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia. Sounds like an awesome first day!!

The school had us (parents + kids) all download an app from the tour agency, and it has a Gallery feature where the kids can upload pictures to a photo feed. It has been VERY entertaining so far! lol!! Lots of crazy 8th grader group selfies coming through. 🙂 I’m loving this feature. Ethan has also been texting me pictures.

Today they were at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and other Historic Philadelphia sites. I got a picture from him captioned, “Where the Declaration of Independence was signed!”, and also a picture of some really tasty looking tacos from a cool Food Hall they stopped at. 🙂

I’m so excited for him to have this opportunity. Kind of makes me excited for what’s to come for him in life. Little kids are great, but watching them start to spread their wings a bit more independently, doing cool stuff…. pretty awesome, too.

We had a fun Sunday with just Asher, involving a soccer game, lunch, a little shopping/ exchanging at Lululemon, and a short stop by Ivan’s cousin’s house. It was a super warm day, so we went to a local creamery (on a farm) for ice cream.

After the 3 a.m. wake up (I never went back to bed….), I was pretty much toast by 6 p.m. or so. Ivan and I ended up watching maybe five episodes of Younger back to back in bed with a bowl of popcorn. It was glorious. (Although, not good, because we are breezing through this show WAY too fast, and I love it, and I don’t want it to end, either.)

Okay, hope everyone is having a good Monday. I’d better get back to work!

I’ll leave you with a pic of Ethan at the Liberty Bell! He has now officially been somewhere I have not been. I’ve been to D.C., but not Philadelphia!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the technology allowing me to “follow along” with Ethan’s trip! It has been warming my heart to see all the pics coming in.

8 thoughts on “He’s off! 8th grade class trip”

  1. In ninth grade we did a class trip to Washington, DC and it was truly a highlight of my high school years. I hope he continues to have a wonderful time!


  2. it’s so cool that he gets to travel alone with the school. I’d be between excitement and worry, but you seem to be very chill. tell me your secret! i guess daughters are slightly different than boys… extra concerns.
    when sofia was at the sleepaway camp, I was miserable but I think she learned to be by herself with strangers with that camp, and got to appreciate the comfort of being with her family, so it was worth it.
    yoga pant too short? what did you change for? i’d have hard time to pick things in lulu as I love so many things from them.


  3. How fun! My older son went to Quebec on his trip in junior high, but my younger son’s was cancelled due to Covid. I’m so happy kids are able to do things like this again! I hope he has a great time.


  4. What a cool opportunity for him. I was not able to do anything like this since I grew up in such a tiny town. I was telling Paul yesterday that I did not fly until I was 19! I was 1 of 5 kids so we did not take big vacations. Paul has already been on 3 sets of flights at 4.5! But I made up for not traveling as a child by traveling a ton in my 20s/30s before getting married and having kids. Phil and I went to Philadelphia years ago when we had a wedding on the west side of NJ. We thought Phillie was a totally unrated gem. We actually liked it more than Boston! There is so much history there and the vibe of the city was great. I bet we went to the same food hall that Ethan went to. Phil got a Phillie Cheesesteak sandwich there. I can’t remember what I got. And get this – when we went to dinner in Phillie, Sylvester Stalone sat at the table behind us!! He was in town promoting one of the Rocky spin-offs. I so badly wanted to take a selfie so he’d be in the background but Phil would not let me and said to let the guy have a meal w/out someone snapping a photo of him.

    I bet it will be weird to have him away for 2 weeks – but wonderful that you can see what he is up to, and he’s clearly in good hands!


  5. What an exciting trip for Ethan. Please report back what his reaction was to your note 🙂

    Also, this post made me realize how “different” it must be to have kids at different ages that do different things at different times… as you know, I am a twin and my twin-sister and I were in the same class from first grade through highschool and basically did EVERYTHING together at the same time.


  6. Oh, what fun! I have lived in both cities, for a relatively long period of time (well, ok, caveat, I lived in the DC ‘burbs, but…). They are a GREAT choice for an 8th grade trip. Lots of history but also lots of fun. And… is anyone else shocked Hard Rock Cafes are still around??? 🙂 Hope he had a WONDERFUL time!
    (Also laughing at the app – when I spent 4 weeks in France in 11th grade… my parents heard from me once a week. A phone call. :>)


    1. He did have a wonderful time!! That’s so cool that you lived in both places!! wow. What an experience! I am really glad he got to go see all that stuff. I agree on the Hard Rock Cafes… although I do have fun memories of visiting various Hard Rocks in different places over the years. 🙂


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