#549 School field trip day

It all starts with the permission slip.

Yes, when teachers send them home before the bell rings so parents can rubber stamp the bumpy yellow bus trip to the museum, then it’s on, my friends, it’s on.

Soon the days count down and the buzz builds up as the class gets ready for the day away from school. The middle-ages unit wraps up at Medieval Times, paintings are handed in before the art gallery, and everyone mails a friend a letter before the tour of the post office.

On the morning of the big day you wake up with some extra pep in your step because you know we’re all going far away. It’s time to skip the portables, soggy sandwiches, and long afternoons with the Spanish teacher.

It’s time to do something different.

It’s time … to go for a ride.

Yes, whether it’s the petting zoo, chocolate factory, or a long hike in the woods, it’s time to enjoy the school vacation with some of the following perks:

1. Subs in the house. Taking thirty screaming seven-year-olds to the planetarium is a bit much, so most teachers call in backups in the form of parent chaperones. These subs act like a sweet and sweatered army of substitutes and don’t know enough names or have enough power to mess up the fun. Of course, that’s assuming they’re not your mom or dad. If that happens, your day is done.

2. Wheels on the bus. They go round and round on the way there and back. Yeah, we all gang rush into the slippery seatbelt-free seats and enjoy a loud, laughing party on wheels. There are loud screechy songs, secret makeout sessions, and some friendly gestures at passing motorists. This is also when the classroom’s social structure is on display too — from the cool kids at the back to the nerds sitting with the teacher up front. I really did love sitting up front though. I mean, how about that view?

3. Sealing it in. A friend and I were strolling quickly through an art gallery a couple years back when we stumbled on a group of kindergartners holding a rope and looking at splotchy art paintings. I’ll never remember the jaw-dropping look of pure head-tilting amazement from the little boy at the end of the group — eyes twinkling, mittens hanging out his winter coat, and his whirring brain soaking and swallowing up something beautiful on the wall. And it’s true: field trips often help seal in the learning. Chalk one up for school.

So… let’s enjoy the memories, let’s enjoy the moments, and let’s enjoy the parking lot speed bumps. Yes, let’s all love those special days when dusty chalkboards fade away and buses wheel us down the freeway, far away, far away, far away.


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Photos from: here, here, here, and here

2,210 thoughts on “#549 School field trip day

  1. Using the corner of a building or the trunk of a tree to get that itch you can’t scratch on your back. A) no hands B) you can go side-side up-down criss-cross C) your whole back is instantly satisfied D) you look pretty cool doing it

    1. that drives me nuts, but generally only when I’m trying to sleep and it sounds like the birds are having marital disputes on the window ledge. I like listening to birds for sure though. :)

  2. getting mail while you are away at college.

    Seeing that wonderful envelope in your mailbox is sure to make you the envy of the whole dorm floor, and it makes you feel loved as well…what could be more AWESOME! :)

  3. Finding something you’ve been searching for, whether it’s been seconds or hours….

    You feel like, maybe your life isn’t as chaotic or scrwed as you think, and maybe you don’t have the luck of a roach today; the whole world out to get you. Maybe, just maybe, everything will work out.

  4. When you’re at the store staring at a cute guy, and as if by magic, he turns toward you and gazes right into your eyes and slowly smiles.

    You wonder if he is the one you’ve been waiting for your whole life, and even if he isn’t, you love the attention and the breathless feeling he gives you.

  5. It’s awesome when you’re able to get someone that perfect gift. Not one that they’d just enjoy or kind of like, but something that is PERFECT. It’s a rare occurrence, though one that ignites that giddy feeling of anticipation and child-like inability to keep the secret for very long before giving them the gift or spilling the beans.

    1. Many years ago I gave a couple of co-workers gifts at the departmental holiday party. One was a box of her favorite chocolates, the other was a heat-sensitive mug that changed patterns when filled with warm liquid. While the chocolates were appreciated, they both flipped over the mugs. They kept filling them with hot water, draining it and refilling with cold, to see the patterns change. They filled hot, cold, hot, cold for a half an hour, laughing and smiling the whole time. Most succesful gift I’ve ever given. Truly awesome!

    2. yes! I love this, because I spend hours picking out someone’s gift because it just has to be perfect! It is so great when they love it and all the time you spent getting it was well spent!

  6. When you get on Facebook hoping to chat with a specific person and you click on your chat list, holding your breath, hoping with every fiber they’re online. And they are! =)

    It’s awesome because you think “Maybe this is meant to be….maybe they’ll talk to me…and maybe this will be amazing….”

  7. When you finally get a piece of mail that you’ve been waiting for, and you get to run all the way back to your house, with a huge smile on your face, whether you opened it at the mailbox or are waiting until you get inside.

    Life feels beautiful and hopeful and optimistic in those minutes.

  8. My best friend is the most awesome thing to me.

    She’s been there for me through everything.

  9. When your best friend knows you’re feeling down just by the way you’re talking to them…. thru text. Its just a powerful connection right there, like they know whats hurting you.

  10. When you’re at the store and go to buy something you love soo soo much, and find out it’s on sale!

    You get all excited because it’s just so awesome to be able to get it at a cheaper price, or get to buy more of it.

  11. Cramming for a test last minute and then finding out your teacher reschedules the test to another day.

  12. It’s awesome when the cover band at the bar turns out to be really good.

    You’re expecting the worst, hoping for the best … and you get it! Like a five dollar flashback concert.

    1. This is the best! I recently went to a concert where the cover band was so awesome I bought their album before the artist I paid to see. Way too cool!

      1. or when you’re waiting for the opening band, wondering if they’re going to be any good, and you hear someone on stage start talking .. then find out there is no opening band and the main band plays for an extra 45 mins to make up for it

  13. When your iPod is on shuffle, and your favorite song comes on. You get all excited and flustered, as if it’s some amazing coincidence that, out of all 15,000 songs, your iPod picked that one out for you to listen to in that moment.

  14. When you get a text message and expect it to be someone not exciting, say for instance, whoever you’re texting at that moment. But then, it ends up being someone incredibly exciting!

    That’s just an awesome feeling.

  15. Going back to a place you took vacations as a kid.

    For a brief moment in time, you go back to the feeling of endless summer days where all your worries were being able to go to the pool, beach, eat cotton candy and saltwater taffy until your stomach hurt, the wind blowing in your hair, being barefoot in the grass and sand, and playing until the first stars were coming out.

    The feeling of peace and happiness combine and leave you feeling awesome!

  16. Punctuation.

    Just knowing that you aren’t as lazy as the friends you text is nice. Also, there is the time old example of punctuation saving lives– “Lets eat Grandma,” and “Let’s eat, Grandma!” are very, very different.

    1. Hilarious.

      I’m right on board with you here (although self-conscious of my grammar) (I also tend to overuse parentheses).

    2. Ahhhh, I love punctuation. And proper grammar. My friends always make fun of me for it (And I, too, am now self-conscious of this post).

    3. cant tell you how much i adore punctuation its like im automatically superior to everyone who doesnt give a crap or never learned oxford comma suckas!!

  17. Catching fireflies in your hand, and then letting them go.

    The beauty of the little bugs lighting up in the night, the thrill of the pursuit, the joy of finally catching one, and the freedom in letting it go.


    1. I love the way it instantly transforms you back to the care-free feeling of long summer evenings as a child.

    2. I have lived in the desert all my life, but the summer vacation before my high school senior year I went to Pennsylvania. I thought fireflies were the coolest thing when I saw them.

    3. when I was little, I looked forward to this day all year. The first day you see the fireflies come out. My daddy and I would go outside once it got dark and run around the front yard for hours catching and releasing them. :)

    4. Cousins visited from Arizona one year when I was twelve, and lightning bugs freaked them out once they flew too close. I was a pretty squeamish kid, but catching them was still second nature, being raised in a muggy northern state. I felt pretty awesome showing my cousins how harmless and beautiful lightning bugs really were.
      Lightning bugs FTW!!!

  18. It’s awesome when friends or family surprise you with an out-of-the-blue “This made me think of you!” gift, trinket, etc. They love you enough to know you inside and out, and recognize a goody that they know is just so *you*.

  19. The day you finally go out to get a new pet. The house has been prepared with a litter box, food dishes, well-placed fish bowl, or freshly prepared cage. You drive to the local pet store and experience the excitement of adopting a new animal friend into your home. Purebred, mixed, baby, rescue animal, color, size, personality, energy level, hypoallergenic or not… so many choices!

    Whether you’re shopping for a dog, cat, bird, fish, hamster, snake, ferret, bunny, or some exotic animal of your choosing, you still feel the same joy and energy on the day you pick your pal for years to come.

    The car ride back home may be a bit tricky, but once you get home, the real fun begins as you bond with your new animal pal. AWESOME!

    1. Oh man, that is TOTALLY awesome! We got a new cat from a rescue place two years ago, and they have to do a home visit to make sure your place is suitable for a new friend. The awesome feeling came when the woman said, “Looks good! Come get him in two hours!” We did, and he fell fast asleep on the kitchen floor, then sniffed everything very thoroughly. Then a round of string-chase. A good start.


  20. Man, that’s a lot of comments! To add my flavor, I’m going to go with the one I pitched before:

    Finding a second, “hidden” pepperoni on your slice of pizza.

  21. When the person you like surprises you….

    I invited the guy I liked at the time to a concert I was going to. He declined, offering a very valid excuse. I was disappointed, but understood. About twenty minutes before the concert, I was sitting with my best friend, silently sulking about his absence. Then, I felt these warm, strong, electrifying hands on my shoulder. Immediately, I hoped it was him, held my breath, turned around and saw him standing there with the cutest grin in the entire world. In that moment, realizing he loved me enough to come to the concert and go to the trouble of tricking me to surprise me was the most awesome feeling in the world.

  22. The day after you get a cast off.

    After weeks and weeks of itchy, uncomfortable confinement and uni-arm or leg movement, suddenly you can walk without crutches, shower sans plastic bag, wear two shoes, two gloves, use both sleeves of your jacket – an awesome feeling.

  23. It’s awesome to trade celebrity trump cards with friends.

    “My cousin was in Las Vegas and totally was at the same casino as Lady Gaga.”

    “Yeah, well, my uncle used to live in L.A. and drove Michael Caine’s limo!”

    “Oh, that’s nothing. I work at the hotel where Ty Pennington stayed when he came to town for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

    “Pssh, I was 2nd row at a Styx concert and touched hands with all of them! Yesss!”

    It’s pointless and no one’s (usually) ever really had a meaningful interaction with a celebrity … but it’s pretty awesome to make each encounter seem a little more awesome than it might have been. ;)

  24. Picture this:

    You’re running late to work, so you jump into your car for a 20-minute commute that involves gnawing on a hastily-grabbed granola bar while daydreaming about the big delicious, hot breakfast you missed out on.

    You stumble into the office, disheveled and starving, and settle in the back of the room, resigned to a long, boring meeting.

    That’s when your co-worker turns to you and, unsolicited, offers half of his/her breakfast sandwich, fresh from the deli. AWESOME!

    I call it “free food at exactly the right moment” (or just “free food,” because, uh, awesome, in any situation, yea??)

  25. When you’re on Facebook and you want to talk to someone that is also on really badly but you don’t want to start the conversation, and your chat makes the little “pop!” noise and there they are =)

    1. i’m more of the traditional type so she would say yes – but i wanted to cover all the bases ^_^

  26. When you’re feeling really upset or depressed, and you don’t even feel like sharing with anyone, so you mope your way through the day….and then someone unexpectedly, for no apparent reason, gives you a hug. It’s especially amazing when they sense what you’re going through, and know how to comfort you without being too overbearing.
    That is awesome.

  27. Going out and giving up your parking space only to come back 30 minutes later and find its still free – Awesome!!

  28. Question: if you use any of the ideas listed above or below… will you credit the person who came up with the idea?

    1. Yup! The winner will definitely get credit for their idea on the website.

      If you win, and you’re interested, the author will even give you a call to say thanks, and you guys can discuss awesome things together!

          1. If I win, I want the author to come over to my house and make me a sandwich. Can you make that happen?

  29. When the person you likes texts you first….

    It makes you feel as though there is definitely a two-sided relationship going on, and you weren’t imagining their friendship just because you want it soo bad!

    1. Yes!! Or when you’re about to type to them, and they type first, it just brings the biggest smile =)

  30. That feeling of elation and freedom when you clock out at work.

    You know that you’ve made it through one more day on the job, and that you actually own yourself again…no more being a slave to the boss’ demands.

  31. When you find money in an old purse, or the pocket of a jacket you haven’t worn in a while.

    What isn’t to like about more money? =)

  32. Being prepared for future you.

    I like to think “what will I want a few hours from now?” and prepare that for myself…. I know I will want breakfast in bed in the morning, so I have a mini fridge with milk in it by my bed that has a bowl, a spoon and a box of cereal on top of it.

    Drink too much? No problem! Past you put a glass of water, ibuprofen and crackers next to your bed BEFORE you went out!

    It makes me a much happier person!

  33. When you finally get the popcorn kernal out of your teeth.

    Or any other very annoying food stuck between it.

  34. Finding a shortcut to work.

    Now I am can sleep 10 minutes longer, get home 10 minutes sooner and if I’m really lucky, avoid traffic.


  35. It’s awesome when you get a matching necklace, shirt, or other item with a friend or sibling that lives far away so you can feel close to them.

  36. When you figure it out.

    This can have couple meanings, when you have a song/phrase/quote/memory stuck in your head and you finally remember where or what it is. When you find an answer to a troublesome question.

    But mostly, to me, it means when you are going through a lot of troubles, your stressed out, and you don’t know what to do You stop and think, and that “ah-ha” moment when you figure it all out and decided on what you need to do.

  37. People watching in a mall, airport, or even from your car in the grocery store parking lot is pretty awesome.

    1. Actually being out anywhere is great people-watching, especially at bars. I could spend hours doing this!

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