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Three weeks – Three cities May 24, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Travel.
Tags: , , , , ,

New York City

Part one of my travel escort marathon has ended—three cities, over 300 kids over 13 days. May is the big month for school trips and this month has us all over America. Seven different schools crammed into less than 30 days. New York, Washington and Chicago were on tap this year.

The Capital

I will admit that DC is becoming my least favorite city. With Obama’s big government agenda in full swing the city is exploding with the fruits of his insane deficit spending. Every politician and organization is there with their hand out wanting to get a piece of our pie. The city is physically grid locked and getting worse. Add the tens of thousands of school kids who visit each week during May and it quickly becomes tedious.

While standing in line to go through security (which is practically every building you go into now in DC) at the Reagan Center we were alerted to something big about to go on at the building.

Hillary arriving at Reagan Center

Big black SUV’s with strange antennas protruding from their roofs and a string of DC bicycle cops roared up to the side entrance where we were queued up waiting to enter for lunch. Out jump a small army of obvious secret service agents followed by K-9 police. They establish a perimeter from the cars to the adjoining entrance doors. About 2 minutes later a heavily blacked-out Escalade pulls up almost onto the curb. The door opens and out pops Hillary Clinton and an entourage. I was blocked by some of my students to get off a picture but Dave Matthews, Prime Tour president, managed to squeeze off proof the former first lady was just 20 feet from us.

Hillary ducking in the side door

I have to admit it was exciting to see someone so famous, so close. I was torn with wanting an autograph and slapping the crap out of the liberal witch.

Anyway it made for an exciting extra the kids will never forget.


Lady Liberty

New York and Chicago were much less stressful and a lot more fun. The groups were smaller so it was easier to manage. Plus I got to see Wicked at the Gershwin in New York.  Front row seats thank you very much! (I’ll blog more on this a bit later).

Some in our New York group were lucky enough to have a few star sightings. While waiting for our bus to pick us up at the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, Betty White emerged from the building after rehearsing for her hosting of Saturday Night Live last week.

Rockefeller Center

I missed her because I was searching for a missing kid but most of the group got to see her. Earlier in the day while we were waiting in line for the NBC studio tour, a producer for Oprah Winfry tapped one of our teachers on the shoulder and asked if she and three friends would like to attend a taping of an anniversary special in 20 minutes. I have never seen adults get so excited so fast. Those four teachers bailed on us before we could find out what time to pick them up across the street. Oprah usually tapes in Chicago but dumb luck put us in the right place at the right time. I of course took all the credit.

Chicago didn’t produce any stars but it was great to get back to the city I spent two wonderful years in back in the mid 80’s. The city is a vibrant as ever.  New buildings, parks and attractions make the city a really fun place to visit. The weather was perfect too. My group saw Billy Elliott at the Oriental Theater one night. It was a nicely produced musical with a fine cast of very talented children. A young lad by the name of Giuseppe Bausilio starred in the role as Billy on my night. The Playbill listed three other actors who play the role.


I can see why they would need backups. The role is very demanding both vocally and dance-wise. I can’t imagine one 12 year-old performing the role five or six times a week for the run of the show. One word of caution—lots of profanity including the f-bomb. Even though it’s said with a British accent it may not be suitable for younger ears.

All in all it’s good to be home, even if for just a week. I have another group back to Chicago next week. Pretty much the same itinerary; Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, Hancock Observatory, Lincoln Park Zoo. This next group will see The Blue Man Group and dine with their hands at Medieval Times.

If you have a group of students or adults who would like to tour one of our great cities, call Prime Tours today. We’ll put together an unforgettable trip at the lowest price possible.  Prime Tours  954-931-4358 . We also do Europe! We’re Italy and Ireland specialists.



1. Reed - May 31, 2010

Sounds like a grueling 3 weeks. Hope the kids learned something about this great nation of ours.

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