A whole lot of my favourite school time memories have something to do with band. I guess that happens when you're in concert band, marching, band, and pep band. And all your friends are in band too. And you pretty much live in the band room.
Man, I was such a band geek!
Our trip to the Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlingburg, Tennessee was one of the most memorable events from my time in the band - and not just because of the big ass trophies we brought back for our school. It was a very emotional time for me and there were a lot of relationships changing during that trip. Not all for the better, unfortunately. I had my heart broken and developed a new crush, all in the space of a week.
Ah, the angst of being a teenager.
Thinking of this trip always makes me smile. Certain boys falling off their balconies, other boys falling on their asses, rock hunting... and then there was the horse issue.
You know, when you're deathly allergic to something, you should probably let your chaperones know before you're exposed to said thing. That's a lesson I learned during our trip to Gatlinburg. In my defence, though, I thought we'd be far enough away from the horses when we went to one of those medieval banquet things that they wouldn't bother me.
I was wrong.
But, before I get to that, let me share an amusing story with you:
When I got dressed that night, I didn't see any reason not to wear a white underwear and bra under my crushed velvet dress. (Hey, it was the Nineties.) Of course, I didn't realise that there would be black lights at the restaurant. I mean... really. WHY would there be black lights at a medieval restaurant?
Just to humiliate impressionable youngsters, I have to assume.
One of my male friends helped the situation immensely when he shouted, ''Hey, Wondra. Guess that's why they call them headlights!'' Luckily, my humiliation was short lived. Just a few minutes into dinner, I have to leave ASAP because apparently we weren't far enough away from the horses.
Which made the next part of our trip pretty interesting. On our way home, we were stopping at a horse farm in Kentucky.
Chaperones well aware - finally - of my allergy, I was confined to the front lobby and the gift shop. I probably shouldn't have even been there but, hey, I didn't die so it's all good. Two of my friends insisted on staying with me, meaning they totally missed out on the horsey goodness (is such a thing exists).
That's really why school trips matter. It's not the trophies - even when there are THREE of them - or the independence, or anything else. It's all about building relationships and making memories that will endure twenty years on. I'm glad to have been part of it.