Salve (yes, it's the same in Italian as in Latin), Travelers and Parents!
I have attached an updated "Mandatory TO DO Checklist" for the travelers. Please look this over immediately.
Some new announcements:
I. We have moved the parent meeting to 7:15 PM on Tuesday, 28 May (right after the student presentations), MMLH;
II. The parents and students have two new forms to sign and complete (due at Tuesday's lunch meeting, 21 May):
a. Code of Conduct form (attached here);
b. Hold Harmless waiver (attached here).
IV. ALL TRAVELERS (INCLUDING ADULTS) must compete the new, final survey (even if he or she completed the old online surveys in the fall). It is different, and gathers very important information. The extended deadline for this is Monday, 20 May, at 8 PM. Grazie!
We are getting super stocked about this trip!
Grazie mille, Mr. Thomassen, Ms. Imai, Ms. Fu, Mr. Novonty
Buongiorno, Italy Travelers and Families,
It is that time to get both excited and pragmatic about our odyssey through the heart of Italy! Thus please carefully take note of all the general details, dates, deadlines and expectations on all of the documents sent via email and uploaded here. Please also complete this mandatory survey: ..
The documents sent via email and attached here:
1) The Final Roster of Travelers (students, adults, chaperones);
2) The Instructions and Expectations for Traveler Pre-Trip Presentations (Il Dottore di Italia);
3) The Draft #1 List of Presentation Terms (Il Dottore di Italia): Art & Architecture;
4) Trip Deadlines, Dates and Meetings;
5) The Big Document ("Italy Trip Suggested..."):
a. Highly suggested packing list;
b. Travel clothing/supply stores;
c. Suggestions on money, debit cards, credit cards, etc;
d. Our and Alitalia luggage requirements, etc.
6) Departure and Arrival Details.
i) The students travelers voted to pay around $25-30 per person to hire a bus to take us to and from LAX and Sage Hill;
ii) The optional, special outing choices will be officially offered within the next week;
iii) Travelers who attend meetings, follow through with presentation steps, and fulfill other expectations before the trip will receive priority for roommates, and will receive a VIP invitation to the trip's special event;
iv) Mr. N will offer "Italian" lessons at least three times before we depart.
a) roommate choices;
b) availability for proposed meeting times;
c) approved special travel situations (arriving late/leaving early);
d) special medical and allergies;
e) diet choices and restrictions;
f) emergency contact information.
Please contact me, if you have any questions or other concerns.
Let's get excited about Italy! Ciao, Mr. Novotny, Ms. Fu, Mr. Thomassen, Ms. Imai
949.306.3693 (I text) email@example.com
Buona sera, good friends,
Certo! We finally have pinned up all the details! Urra! We voted to go with the direct Alitalia flight.
The following is the DEPOSIT and A LA CARTE REGISTRATION process that all travelers must have completed by December 30th. Please note that there are three ways to complete the steps: online, via snail-mail, or a combo or online & snail-mail. For each means you will need the traveler's (or travelers') passport (passports). THOSE ON THE WAITING LIST SHOULD NOT COMPLETE THIS PROCESS.
1) Click on this link to A La Carte Travel (for the Sage Hill Trip page): http://www.alacartetravel.com/sagehill13.html
2) Click on the link titled "PAYMENT and CANCELLATION POLICY." A new tab-document will appear. Carefully read the document (ask questions if you have any);
3) Return to the A La Carte page for Sage Hill, and click on "SIGN UP ONLINE;" this online form completes BOTH of the physical documents attached to this email (cancellation and payment policy document, and the personal information form); when completed, click on the "SUBMIT" button and...
4) A button linking you to a Paypal secured payment process appears (either as a member or as a guest)--you can pay with a CREDIT CARD or a PAYPAL ACCOUNT (remember, the deposit amount is $450, but you are allowed to pay more or all of the $5855 trip total).
1) Download, carefully read, and SIGN the document (attached here) titled "ITALY-Cancellation Policy & Payment Plan" (ask questions if you have any);
2) Download and fully complete the document (attached here) titled "ITALY-A La Carte Registration Form;"
3) Write a check for $450 (or any higher amount up to $5855) to "A La Carte Travel"
4) Mail all of the above to "A La Carte Travel, PO BOX 10027, McLean, VA 22102" (Attn: Sage Hill)
ONLINE & SNAIL MAIL:
A.1. - online portion) Complete the SIGN UP ONLINE form (replacing the paper form "ITALY-A La Carte Registration Form;" http://www.alacartetravel.com/sagehill13.html
A.2. - mail portion) Write a check and mail it in (See "SNAIL MAIL ABOVE");
Please note that the itinerary on the A La Carte website has some simple errors. See my email (or the website) for the simple breakdown of dates & locations. I am almost done with my own, zany interactive itinerary which I will email and post soon.
I am getting excited to take y'all on this awesome trip!
Ciao, Mr. N
SALVE! (Yes, it means the same in Italian)
DEPOSITS, A LA CARTE REGISTRATION, & FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS:
La Carte Travel (Mr. Rene Piard and his wife Mrs. Neela Zahedi) is allowing us to make payments by check, credit card or Paypal. On Monday--tomorrow the 17th of December--they will have the link by which you register with A La Carte (an online document), read the cancellation and refund policies, and then make a payment by credit card or Paypal. If you wish to pay by check, you can send in the A La Carte registration form with the check (I will send you the documents and address). Minus a portion of the deposit, usually there are three periods for cancellation: 100% refund, 50% refund, and no refund.
Once Mr. Gregory has reviewed the requests for scholarship, he will contact the applicants to let them know how much of the trip is covered, and how much is her/his responsibility.
SPECIAL TRAVELING SITUATIONS:
For those who wish their son or daughter to make special travel situations (or an adult traveler needs to arrange special travel situations), the following are imperative:
1) Students may join us in Italy, but a family member or personal friend that you trust must be the chauffeur that brings the student to the group.
2) Students may leave the group early, but a family member or personal friend that you trust must pick up the student...unless...
* Our group will already be at the airport or train station, the departure time is before the group's departure time, and someone will be receiving the student at the other end of a direct
flight or train ride...and it is approved by Mr. Gregory. Submit the plan to me, and I will pass it to Mr. Gregory.
3) Any situation in which the student would be traveling alone without a family member or personal friend must be submitted to me for consideration; I will submit the request to Mr. Gregory.
4) All special arrangements (once officially approved--for students) need to be discussed with Rene as soon as possible, so that you are not over-charged (he is also happy to arrange your personal travel situations, if you wish so).
FINAL DATES: 12-28 JUNE, 2013
12 June, Wed. Depart from LAX
13 June, Thurs. Arrive in Rome
14 June, Fri. Rome
15 June, Sat. Rome (visit Ositia Antica)
16 June, Sun. Rome
17 June, Mon Vatican, Saturnia, Siena
18 June, Tues. Siena
19 June, Wed. Assisi (visit Umbrian Farm)
20 June, Thurs. Assisi (visit Bevagna)
21 June, Fri. Florence
22 June, Sat. Florence
23 June, Sun. Lucca, Portovenere (just south of Cinque Terre)
24 June, Mon. Portovenere (visit Cinque Terre via boat)
25 June, Tues. Portovenere, Parma
26 June, Wed. Parma, Maranello, Venice
27 June, Thurs. Venice
28 June, Fri. Return to LAX
YOUR COSTS COVER::
--AIRLINES and AIRPORTS: tickets, visas, airport fees and taxes, etc.;
--HOTELS: room, breakfast and dinner (when we do not go out for dinner);
--MEALS: all breakfasts and dinners; all dinners include first dish, second dish and fruit or desert;
--GROUND and WATER TRANSPORTATION: bus, boats (Cinque terre, Venice), Vaporetto boat pass in Venice, Gondola ride and drivers;
--TRAVEL INSURANCE: see brochure on website;
--TOUR GUIDE: she--Riccarda--will be with us 24/7 for the duration of the trip;
--LUGGAGE: transportation to Venice;
--CITY/MUNICIPALITY TAXES: all cities;
--ENTRANCES: St. Clement's, Colosseum (general and underground), Ostia Antica, Borghese Villa, Capuchin Crypt, Catacombs, Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel, Duomo of Siena, Bevagna Medieval Workshops, Assisi's Basilica di San Francisco, Uffizi, Accademia, Parma cheese farm, Ferrari Museum & Track Tour, Gondola Ride
--SPECIAL OUTINGS: Umbrian farm excursion and picnic, medieval dinner at Bevagna, Roman dinner and ceremonies at the Mausoleum of Equinozi, Parma cheese farm.
--CHAPERONES & SCHOLARSHIPS.
Buongiorno, parents and travelers!
TRIP DATES: Depart 12 JUNE - Return 28 JUNE
After much haggling and tinkering, we finally have a completed trip and price for the Italy trip. I am personally sorry that the price is higher than what I emailed last time, but the airline prices, a new Italian "town tax" (charged per person, per night), etc., have played the trump hand. We did do the following to drive down the price: cut off two days, move into cheaper hotels, drop some activities, insist on no local tour guides, etc. I could have come very close to the cheaper cost, but we would have had to drop the mountain farm outing, the medieval dinner in Bevagna, and the Ferrari museum. I felt that these outings were integral and unique aspects of our trip.
Nonetheless, I still know that our trip is a bargain compared to other companies--especially with the special experiences, variety and scholarships built into the trip. For example, when compared to the Spring at Sage trips, our trip is still $ 60 cheaper per day.
Because the trip cost is now higher than planned, I have to ask you to vote again on the flight. So please email just me your vote by 8 PM on Sunday.
$ 5,755 for the trip if we fly on Lufthansa Air 4 hour layover in Frankfurt (on the way there)
$ 5,855 for the trip if we fly on Air Italia Direct flight to Rome
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I will update the website this afternoon, and the waiting list (Maddi B. is currently number #1 on the waiting list). I will also email the process for deposits (at least by mail and check) today.
A dopo, Mr. Novotny
DEPOSIT: Because the official cost has not yet been released, we are moving the deposit deadline to Saturday, 30 December. The amount for the deposit is $450. The instructions for how to make/send the payment to A La Carte Travel (Rene Piard and Neela Zahedi)--and the break down of how much of the deposit and subsequent payments can be refunded (along with dates)--will be emailed and posted next week.
N.B. Even those applying for (and later receiving) grant money will be expected to pay at least the $450 deposit amount (if not more) towards the trip.
Some of you received an email stating that...
Those of you who do not complete BOTH of the online QUESTIONNAIRES by 11:59 PM, Sunday, 25 November, will GIVING UP YOUR RESERVED SPOT on the summer Italy trip, and your spot will be given to the next person on the waiting list (a non-negotiable situation).
Take this warning seriously.
URRA! We are jazzed to get the ARGO on its ODYSSEY!
At the meeting--among other things--we will discuss insurance, itinerary decisions, cost decisions, elective choices, passports, grant opportunities, due date of the first deposit, etc. There will also be a chance to ask general questions.
If a traveler (or potential traveler) brings three copies of his or her passport and other picture ID (driver's license, school ID, CA ID, etc.), a PRIZE WILL BE AWARDED at the meeting!
ONE QUESTION (which you can answer on Sunday, via email, and/or on the POLL here):
Would your family and you prefer to spend $100 EXTRA (per seat) by purchasing the DIRECT/NON-STOP flight from LAX to ROME? The plane leaves LAX in the early afternoon, and arrives in Rome at around noon. The other option--which flies into Frankfurt from LAX, and then to Rome--has a 4 to 5 hour layover in Frankfurt. Mrs. Connolly and I prefer the direct flight.