Tales from the Trails: Principal McLaughlin’s Summer Travel Blog

Saint Benedict Academy Students,

MMcLaughlinBackpack13I invite you and your families to follow me along my journey to eight countries this summer: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech. Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria. Each day, I’ll share with you a fun adventure or interesting tidbit from my travels; so be sure to visit the school website each day for a new story. I look forward to seeing all of you and hearing about your summer activities when school starts this fall!

– Mr. McLaughlin

PS. The most recent post will be at the top of the page!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today I am  leaving Europe to fly home to New England. It has been a wonderful journey. I am so glad that you were able to share in it by reading my little story each day. I am excited about coming back to Saint Benedict Academy next week to start getting things ready for the start of our school year together in September. It has been very fun in Europe, but, as Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Friday, July 12, 2013

You would have loved the beautiful palace that I visited today. It was called the Schönbrunn Palace and it had over 1,000 rooms! This was where the royal family of Austria spent their summer vacations.  If you could live in a palace, what would your palace look like?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Today I arrived in the final country on my trip – Austria. One of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music, takes place in Austria in the town of Salzburg. I am staying in the city of Vienna. This reminds me of one of my favorite cookies – Vienna Fingers. What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The River Danube runs through the city of Budapest. Do you know the name of the river that flows through Manchester just a couple of blocks away from Saint Benedict Academy?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Today was a “three countries in one day” day. I woke up for breakfast in Poland, had lunch in Slovakia, and finished my day in the country of Hungary, where I was so hungry! All of these countries are right next to each other. Do you know what three states share their border with New Hampshire? Do you know what country shares a border with New Hampshire?

Monday, July 8, 2013

I explored the Polish city of Krakow today. This was the city where Blessed Pope John Paul II served the Church as a bishop and cardinal. Do you know the name of our bishop in Manchester?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Today, I woke up for breakfast in the Czech. Republic and by dinnertime I was in Poland. I visited the very stark landscape of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp today, a horrific piece of history that our sixth graders will learn about this year.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I got a little confused in Prague today because the money here is very different than the pennies and dollars that we use in America. In fact, the money has been different in every country that I have visited. In Britain, I used the pound. In Amsterdam and Germany, I used the euro. Today, I had to use money called a koruna. I will bring back some coins of the different money I used so that you can see them in the fall.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Today I traveled on a bus to another country – the Czech. Republic. One of the most famous sites in the city of Prague is the astronomical clock, which doesn’t just tell time, but also has information about the moon and the planets. Speaking of outer space, can you name two other planets besides planet Earth?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I hope that you enjoyed some fireworks today on the Fourth of July. We did not have any fireworks here in Germany because the Fourth of July is a holiday that is only celebrated in America. I hope that you ate a hamburger or a hot dog, too. Did you know that the hamburger and hot dog are named for cities here in Germany – Hamburg and Frankfurt!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Berlin is a very cool city. Today I walked past a famous site in the city – the remains of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was part of the Cold War, a social studies topic that we learn about in the sixth grade. It was very neat to see some of the things that we learn about at Saint Benedict Academy in person.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Today, I arrived in Berlin, the capital of the country of Germany. Do you know the name of the capital of our state? Do you know the name of the capital of our country?

Monday, July 1, 2013

I visited the city of Amsterdam today. This city has streets, but it is much easier to get from place to place by traveling on boats on the canals. Could you imagine living in a city where everyone got from place to place by boats instead of by cars?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I woke up in a different country this morning – the Netherlands. I arrived on a large boat that took me from England across a body of water called the English Channel. They speak a different language here. In France, people speak French. In England and America, people speak English. In Germany, people speak German. Do you know what language is spoken in the Netherlands? Dutch. Do you know any foreign language?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wow! There is so much to see and do in London. One of the famous places that I saw on the river was the Houses of Parliament – this is where the leaders of England come and talk about their country. There is a very famous tower here with a giant bell named “Big Ben.” Have you ever see the Disney movie Peter Pan? Before Peter, Wendy, Michael and John fly off to Never Never Land, they fly right by this famous tower.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Today, I explored the city of London. One of the most famous English people to have lived is the writer William Shakespeare. He wrote famous plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet. Tonight, I went to a theatre built like the one Shakespeare performed in hundreds of years ago and saw his play The Tempest. Have you ever seen a play or musical?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I left London today for the city of Salisbury. I went to the famous circle of stones called Stonehenge. Some people think that this circle of stones was used by ancient people to help tell time. Did you know that we have our own version of Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This morning I woke up in London and went to the Tower of London to see the crown jewels. You would not believe the size of the diamonds, rubies, and emeralds on the crowns! I also visited the Queen’s mews, or garage and stables. I saw the beautiful golden coaches that take the Queen and her family to important events and also saw some of her cool cars! The song “God Save the Queen” is the national anthem for England. In the United States we use that melody and change the words for one of our patriotic songs, America. Do you know the words?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Today, I went to Edinburgh Castle. The other castle in town is called the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It is closed today because they are getting ready for the Queen of England. She will travel to Scotland later this week and will be staying there. Do you know the name of the Queen of England?

Monday, June 24, 2013

I left the city of Edinburgh today to visit the northern part of Scotland. There are very large “lochs” or “lakes” in this area. The most famous one is called Loch Ness. Do you know the names of any large lakes in New Hampshire?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Today, I visited a café called The Elephant House. A very famous Scottish writer named J. K. Rowling used to eat at this same place and actually created a famous character in literature on a napkin here. Do you know what famous children’s series J. K. Rowling wrote?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Today, I left the Manchester Airport for Scotland. When I land in Scotland, it will be 7:30 in the morning there and 2:30 in the morning in New Hampshire. How many hours ahead in time is Scotland from New Hampshire?