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College alumni group trips
Old 10-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
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College alumni group trips

I just got back from an 8 day trip to Provence that was sponsored by my college alumni association. The company through which the college booked the trip was AHI which seems to specialize in college/university alumni tours.

FWIW, I must say this was one of the best trips my wife and I have ever been on. There are several reasons for my saying this:

- AHI did a great job in all respects.
- They provide a "Campus Director" to accompany the group. In our case it was a French-speaking American woman who did everything from facilitating hotel check-in to offering dining recommendations to going along with us on all the tours.
- There was an distinct educational component to the trip. Several days we had morning lectures (about an hour) covering what we would be seeing later that day. For example, before going to Avignon we had a lecture on the Avignon Popes, how that situation developed and how it ended. The day we did the Cezanne-oriented tour, we had a lecture on his art and that of his contemporaries.
- We already knew several couples who went on the trip but it was instant bonding with everyone else since we all had so much in common by having attended the same (relatively small) college. There was a welcome dinner the first night and a farewell dinner the last. Everyone seemed to hit it off very well.
- There was a good mix of included meals and those you did on your own.
- There was a good mix of organized tours and free time to explore on your own.
- There were a couple of reps from the college who were there partly in an official capacity and partly to go along for the tour.

My wife and I have never been big fans of organized tours, but this experience has turned us around. (And it may be that as we get older, we're not so interested in doing everything on our own.) I'm not sure if we would have enjoyed it quite as much starting out with a bunch of "strangers" but this sure was a great experience.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great experience, friar. How many people were in your group? And what was the age range?

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Old 10-18-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Sounds like a great experience, friar. How many people were in your group? And what was the age range?

omni
There were 24 people. Ages from 70's at the old end to the late 40's at the young end. (Although a few years shy of 70, my wife and I were about in the middle age-wise.)
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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8 day trip to Provence
Where is that? Sounds like a great trip that was well worth it.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Where is that? Sounds like a great trip that was well worth it.
Provence is in the South of France. Marseille is probably the best-known and largest city in Provence but Avignon and Aix-en-Provence are other well known locations there.

Noting that you are from Texas, you may get a kick out of the fact that two of our lecturers mentioned having spent time living/working in the States and encountering difficulty understanding Texans' English. Of course, I'm from New England and I run into that problem, too.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
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That's awesome Friar. Back in my Air Force days I spent 45 days in Provence at Istres AB. What a beautiful part of the world. I was struck by how laid back the people of the region were. It was like the US at half speed. Hope to get back there someday with DW.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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I went to a very large state university and the trips I see advertised with them are huge and expensive. So I have not gone on one.

Sounds like your small college trip is more my speed.
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