Discovery and the Tour…The Final Day

Well,  the trip has been completed and due to some airline difficulties (of which no fault was Discovery’s) Laura and I did not get back to home until around 11 PM Monday evening and with all of the partying on Sunday night I was unable to post until today and I apologize for that.

  Pict0149The final day began with Laura and I getting up early to visit the Marmottan Museum, which houses a select collection from Monet including the painting Impression: soleil levant and helped to give the movement it’s name.  We left the Marmottan and headed toward the Champs Elysees for the Tour events for the day.  We managed to catch a Metro (subway) by ourselves and found our way to the tour site.  However, we came out on the wrong side of the road.  After some help from a friendly family we managed to get ourselves to the correct side of the road.  As Hall mentioned in his post the sights and sounds of the fans were unbelievable.  It was everything I expected plus a lot more, but without the less appealing antagonistic portrayal that our media shows of the European sport spectators.  It all seemed to be fun revelry enjoyed by all with each team supporter having fun making their existence known.

  Since Hall described our lunch I will refrain from covering that meal suffice to say it was delicious.  We made our way over to the seating area after carefully and somewhat forcefully getting through the pack of crowd that wanted to gain access to same area where I had a chance to speak with Manuel Beltran, a rider from Pict0172Discovery Channel who had to drop out of the race due to an injury suffered in a crash.  He was very gracious and willing talk with us about the tour and some about his education. 

Pict0393_edited We had short wait before the race arrived to Pict0402_editedthe Champs Elysees, which we passed by watching celebrities in the presidential booth to our right.

Pict0248As we saw on the big screen that the peloton was closePict0170_2 to arriving we moved toward the front of the stands for a better viewing opportunity  and watched down the Champs Elysees for first sighting.

Peloton_arrives_1I was amazed at the speed they were traveling and the ease they seemed have maintaining their speed throughout the 8 laps.  It was fun to watch as small breakaways took place and then to see the peloton swallow them up during the next lap.  The racing was fast an furious and it took me a couple of laps to get determine an effective method of taking pictures of what I wanted, but once I found a system a was able to take some great shots of:


Alexander Vinokurov

Ramussen  Michael Rasmussen

Lance_and_discoveryThe Discovery Team

Lance_racing Lance Racing

The_endAnd of course the Lance during the team post race lap.

I cannot believe the whirlwind the past 4 days have been.  It has been an amazing experience for Laura and me from all standpoints.  I have a number of hours ahead of me to put together my documentary from hours of video footage and over 900 photos that we took during our trip.  I cannot thank everyone at Discovery enough for this incredible opportunity and would like to especially thank Lori Conner for her help with the details, Hall Davidson for his guidance, excitement, knowledge and incredible energy level that was infectious to all of of us, and to Jose Mercado for his willingness to answer my never ending questions about all aspects of France and it’s people and culture as well as his willingness to guide through an amazing city.  It will be an adventure that we will never forget.


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  1. Betsy Whalen said:

    Brad: Those pictures are fantastic – I can’t wait to see the rest!

    I’m so glad that this trip lived up to your expectations. Anyone who works, or has worked, in education knows that the perks of the profession are sometimes far and few between -we’re so glad to have been able to send you on the Trip of a Lifetime!

    From all of us at Discovery, thanks for everything you do – and for making a difference in childrens’ lives every day.

    Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to provide more opportunities like this for educators everywhere and we’ll look on this as the first of many great adventures (although, I have to admit – this trip might be hard to beat!)

  2. lani said:

    Welcome home, Brad and Laura. I loved following your adventure. I’ll look forward to hearing more whenever we next get together (with photos, of course!)

  3. Tina Brooks said:

    Brad and Laura,
    Welcome home. It looks like it was such an amazing trip. I have passed this site onto everyone I could in Jacksonville. Please make sure to give Jim and Connie a disk with your pics so they can share. Thank you for providing updates, allowing us to be part of the adventure. Maybe we can get you guys to come and visit and provide a presentation to the Marine here at Camp Lejeune.

    Tina Brooks

  4. Hall Davidson said:

    This was a really nice blog. I know how much time it took to find, indentify, and post those photographs. And, boy, do you have the best lens! And a good eye, too. I can’t wait to trade discs with you. I may have the better food shots, but I suspect you take the yellow jersey in every other category.
    It was absolutely great working with you. Being able to collaborate with informed, talented, energetic people like you who are always interested in learning and personal growth are why it has been such a joy to be in education for 30 years. And Laura shares your best traits. I hope we do something together again.

    I’ll look forward to working with you as your video becomes a reality.

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