I hate a love hate relationship with Field Trips. I hate them because I am pretty much responsible for thirty kids for an entire day, off campus, at a remote location...and oh yeah, I can't lose them or let them get injured in the process. I always assume their parents want them back in the exact shape they left them when they got dropped off that morning, rightfully so.
OK...but I love field trips. Because the kids need to get out once and a while and go places where they might not ever have the chance to go. I love watching their faces, love seeing the toys they buy at the ridiculously over priced gift shop, and I love them telling me how much fun they had at the end of the trip. Makes it all worth the stress and no sleep for me the night before.
So, today I took my kids to Alcatraz. I have been there before, but not with a class and I was almost as excited to go as they were. The plan was to take the boat out to the island, walk around for a few hours, then finish off the day at Pier 39. And that is pretty much how the day went, after this....
We were ten minutes from the Bay Bridge. The kids could see the city in the distance and were getting excited by the minute. All of a sudden I look up and a car that was in the lane next to us, ran into another car causing it to fly in the air, land on it's side and skid down the freeway. As it is skidding, it is heading into our lane and our fabulous bus driver hit the breaks. We came to a stop at the exact time this car then corrected itself back down on all four tires and stopped within three feet of the front of our bus. HELLO!!!!!!! Needless to say, I could not breath. I immediately turned around to check on my class and the kids in the front of the bus are now standing up to see this car that almost cut our day incredibly short! I calmly...in a loud voice...simply yell "SIT DOWN!"
Here we are in the far lane of the freeway, right next to the cement wall, and the guy starts freaking out. Let me tell you that his car is completely sideways facing IKEA as we are facing the Bay Bridge. The bus driver and I clearly recognize that he is in shock and most likely stoned out of his mind because he backs up...in on-coming traffic...then puts it back into drive and drives head on into the cement wall. WHAT??! After he bounces of the wall, he backs up again...yes in on-coming traffic, puts it in drive, turns the wheel just slightly and rams into the wall AGAIN!! In the mean time, a car has pulled over about thirty feet in front of us to see if everything is okay...that turned out to be bad, because this guy finally turns the wheels enough that he doesn't hit the cement wall and hits the gas and plows right into the back of this poor girls car who just pulled over to see how everyone was.
We called the police and got the answering machine four times in a row. NICE! So, with a boat to catch, other on-lookers still there, sirens on the way...we took off!
It turned out to be a fabulous day. The weather was gorgeous. The kids had a fantastic time. The city simply looked romantic. I think somewhere in my heart I was meant to live in a big city. They are certainly not ideal for families with young kids, but the allure is always there. I felt the same thing when we went to DC. I remember thinking what an amazing place for people to live with all of the history and museums and the White House. Maybe in another life...