The Paris trip ended yesterday and I had a bit of time to think back on it on my plane ride home. Even though there was so much we couldn’t do in three days in Paris, the trip was so fast-paced that I think we did more in a few days than many people do in a week.
The most important thing, however, is that the memories of this trip will truly last me a lifetime. I was able to try so many new things and witness so many new sights. One thing that surprised me is how much closer I became to everyone I traveled with. I think that this was true for all the members of Team 7141 and the chaperones.
While I can’t pick one thing that was my favorite expereince, the Air Show is up there with the favorite things we did. Raytheon treated us like royalty, and I am truly grateful for that. The show really did open my eyes to what the aerospace industry has to offer and did get me more interested in aerospace engineering.
That’s pretty much all for this blog. I hope you enjoyed following it. I will probably post some photos on my flickr page. Once I do, I will add a link to the blog. Thanks again.
On Saturday we were able to squeeze a lot into a short amount of time. We began our day with a trip to Versailles. After a quick jaunt through the palace we made our way into the gardens which were simply incredible. There sheer size was quite amazing.
After the Versailles trip we traveled back into the city and enjoyed a light lunch with the UK team. All the team members tried at least one piece of escargot.
The UK team had to leave right after lunch to catch the Eurostar train back to London. We said our final goodbye to them.
After they left we were still hungry, so we made our way to the famous Angelina’s for hot chocolate and deserts. The hot chocolate was unlike anything I had had before. It was incredibly rich and very thick. Everyone filled up very fast. We decided to get some fresh air, and went souvenir shopping.
Once we had gotten a little something for everyone on our lists we took the Metro to the Eiffel tower. There was an hour wait to get tickets, but luckily we had purchased them ahead of time at the hotel. The Eiffel tower was incredible. This year is its 120th anniversary which is amazing to think about. It’s an engineering feat to this day.
We had to make haste, though, because we had a scheduled boat tour. We made the boat just in time and were able to get outside seats. The boat took us along the Seine River to see some of Paris’s buildings and bridges.
After the boat ride we decided to grab dinner even though it was really late at night. We figured we’d get some crepes, per my suggestion. Unfortunately the people working there noticed that I didn’t really know what to order and just set us up with the sweetest thing on the menu: a crepe with Nutella, chocolate and bananas. After a serious desert at Angelina’s, this isn’t really what we wanted but they were still pretty good.
We took the Metro back to the hotel. Everyone was pretty wiped and ready to get some sleep.
Today was another densely-packed outing which served to be an incredible experience. At 6:45 both our TARC team and the UKAYRoC team boarded the vans and were whisked to the Paris Air Show. The first stop was the Raytheon Chalet where we had a wonderful breakfast. We then visited the Raytheon booth and saw firsthand several of their cutting-edge products used by armed forces.
Another highlight was the CNES booth were we saw a lecture on the planets in our solar system presented on a spherical screen which could serve as a model for any of the planets.
After lunch at the Raytheon chalet we were able to tour all of the aircraft and tactical systems brought to the show by the US DOD and saw several incredible aircraft flight demonstrations including the Dasult Rafael, the Eurofighter Typhoon , the Airbus A380 and the Lockheed F16.
After the Air Show we traveled back to the city and the two teams enjoyed dinner together. We then had some free time to walk around Paris at night, which is simply gorgeous.
First of all, I would like to apologize for not posting anything for a few days. Yesterday, the day we arrived in Paris, was quite a long one for us. We arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport at around 9:00AM Paris time and were immediately rushed to our hotel by a driver. One of the first things we noticed was the unique driving style of the Parisians; there appears to be little order, but somehow everyone gets to where they need to be. Nobody gets angry at being cut off.
After a fairly long car ride through heavy traffic we arrived at our hotel and were assigned rooms. The Hotel Regina, where we are staying, has a long history and is fairly well known as being uniquely Parisian. Everything is decorated very ornately and rooms either feature a view of the city or a view of the hotel’s courtyard. At the hotel we met up with the English team that won the UKAYRoC competition, TARC’s British equivalent.
Both teams got a quick tour of the city via car. We were able to see some of the most famous sights including the Arc de Triumph, Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower. Afterward we were taken to a banquet for all the American military units at the Paris Air Show. We enjoyed an incredible seafood buffet and got to meet several soldiers serving in the American armed forces.
After a day packed with so much excitement and little sleep from the night before on the plane, everyone was ready to turn in when we got to the hotel.
We leave for Paris tomorrow, and everyone has been really busy preparing. We have been searching through guidebooks, deciding on what sights interest us the most. We have been straightening out the airline reservations, ensuring that we get there at the right time. We have been deciding what to pack and budgeting space on our limited baggage allotment. We have been practicing French pronunciation in our traveler’s phrase books.
At this point, my anticipation and excitement are at an all-time high. This will be my first oversees trip, and everything I’ve been told about it makes me more and more eager to go.
I can’t wait to take some pictures and share what we encounter in Paris. Until then, thanks for visiting!
Welcome to Team 7141’s blog!
First allow me to introduce the team and the purpose of this publication. Team 7141 is branch of Madison West High School’s Rocket Club. We were one of the three teams from our school this year to participate in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the nation’s largest rocketry competition. The goal of the contest was to send a rocket that reached an apogee of 750 feet and had a flight duration of 45 seconds while carrying a raw egg payload. Any deviation from the set altitude and time is counted against the team’s score, and the team is disqualified if the egg is broken during flight. This year, all of West Rocetry’s teams qualified to compete in TARC Nationals Competition, held in The Plains, Virginia. West Rocetry’s Team 7141 placed first in the competition.
Because TARC is sponsored by several aerospace corporations to help promote interest in aerospace engineering, various companies sponsored prizes for highly-placing teams. The grand prize, sponsored by Raytheon, is a trip to the 2009 Paris Air Show. As the National Champions, the members of Team 7141 as well as our advisor, Chris Hager, and her husband, Kirk Hager, are being flown out to Paris on the 17th of July to visit the Paris Air Show.
This blog is to document our experiences and hopefully generate some interest in West Rocketry as well as rocketry in general.
Now allow me to introduce myself. My name is John and I am a member of Team 7141 as well as a third-year member of West Rocketry. I hope that this blog will accurately describe the team’s experiences in Paris, and that you enjoy reading them.
Thank you very much for visiting, and I hope you return soon.