A Week Around Europe

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A Week Around Europe

Parklands has had a great week flying off around Europe which all the residents really enjoyed and came back happy and full of life!

We made a replica private plane, well the doorway section, so that residents could board and alight at each country and we flew with Signature Airlines, of course!! Each resident had a Signature Passport and plane tickets for each leg of their journey.

Monday start off in the UK where Residents were entertained in the Departures Lounge with Jim Allgrove playing the accordion and singing. They joined in with him singing a mixture of old time favourites and songs from countries we were going to visit and passers-by even joined in. This all gave everyone a taste of what was to come, getting us all in the swing.

Afterwards Residents collected their passports and tickets for the first leg of their journey – France. They came through check-in, got their passports stamped, tickets checked and not too many needed to be frisked before boarding. Residents enjoyed turning to wave goodbye at the doorway, some having polished up on their French to say ‘Au revoir’.

Tuesday was spent in France and that morning residents enjoyed racking their brains for a communal answering of general knowledge questions on France. We did pretty well, considering some of the obscure questions, getting 22 out of 30. This was followed by a sociable Coffee & Croissants in the French Café which had a great ambiance with white tablecloths and French music playing that they felt transported to a café by the river Seine. Peter W so enjoyed being in France that he decided to become a real Frenchman by wearing a moustache and black beret… he looked so much the part and people kept asking him for directions!

In the afternoon Residents were entertained by the Lady in Red playing the piano, wearing a cancan outfit. At the end she got staff doing the cancan, which was very funny and got a loud round of applause. Residents then relaxed with more coffee & Croissants whilst taking a tour around Paris. Some enjoyed visiting the Eiffel Tower themselves where they had their photos taken. That evening Residents dinned on French Onion Soup, Confit of Duck and Chinon Apple Tart, amongst other dishes.

The next morning Vince T (who is registered blind) decided he would like to be the pilot and had great fun crash landing us in Italy! The morning was taken up with playing Italian themed games; ‘Venetian Snakes & Ladders’ where players had mini gondolas to travel around Venice’s canals to get to the Bridge of Sighs to win and ‘Pizza Frisbee’ which entailed tossing cardboard pizzas into a miniature pizza delivery boxes to get the highest points… this meant we had pizzas flying off in unexpected directions, with one landing on someone’s lap!

The Italian lunch was enjoyed by all, especially the Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake served with Italian ice-cream. It was really hot weather which added to the ambiance. That afternoon we had a Masquerade Party with Claire & Nev serenading us as we drank Italian coffee and ate cannoli. Residents enjoyed having their photos taken by the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the day was finished off by watching the 1969 version of The Italian Job, which many hadn’t seen in years.

Off we flew again… Thursday was spent in Spain. Residents looked at Picasso paintings and stood in Park Guell admiring the view over Barcelona. They also had their photo taken outside Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and admired all the work that went into creating it.

After a delicious Spanish lunch with all sorts of choices, including Paella, Residents enjoyed a Spanish Fiesta with Simon, our ballroom dancer, who arrived in full matador costume! He and Ana danced a Spanish Flamenco which impressed everyone and got the party off to a good start with many joining in. Afterwards, by popular demand, Residents had a virtual tour around Madrid enjoying the sights & sounds, exploring the city and chatting about Spanish holidays.

Friday meant it was time to fly back to the UK. Vince had been banned from flying the plane by this point. We had a fairly quite morning, after the weeks excitement, going through arrivals to be greeted with a delicious BBQ of pork, burgers, sausages and salmon followed by a strawberry pavlova which was eaten al fresco.

The finally of entertainment was Tim Arthur playing his electric guitar in the Arrivals Lounge… he got a fantastic atmosphere going with Residents up dancing or waving their arms to his music. Everyone would like him back again and it will remind them of their week away. Residents then made sure they were back in the UK by taking a visit to Buckingham Palace and having their photos in front of it, just to prove that they were home safe and sound. That night everyone slept very well in their own beds!

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