It began at 5:15am as birdsong welcomed a state of the art Ulsterbus to the sleepy Ballymore Road. Soon a group of 38 excited travellers took their seats, waved farewell to some teary eyed parents before tucking into whatever sugary treats they'd managed to squirrel into their backpacks.
By 7:30am an increasingly noisy team found their way onto the Stenaline ferry bound for Scotland. Having settled into the entertainment lounge some took front row seats in the cinema to watch Jumanji, a few badgered their way to the shop and the rest gradually emerged from the bottom of their sweetie bags to find they were halfway across the Irish sea.
It was a fairly uneventful crossing. Most of the group wanted to get out on the deck and take in the views, sun and sea breeze. It really was very pleasant and we received more than one compliment from other passengers about our pupils' manners, conduct and general behaviour.
Once we arrived in Scotland we made our way to Glasgow passing Ibrox Stadium on the way. We ate lunch outside the Science Museum before taking our seats in the Imax cinema for a terrifically entertaining show entitled "Under the Sea - 3D". The shrieks and sea of hands reaching out to grasp 3D fish, crabs and snakes was confirmation of a very successful first activity.
We fought our way through the crowds in the gift shop making the most of our pocket money then headed for the Science exhibits. There are three floors of interactive displays and we were particularly impressed with how intent this group of pupils were on trying out each activity.
When we left at 4:30pm we faced a rather torturous journey out of Glasgow in the middle of rush hour traffic. The children entertained us with songs and chants and the usual journey specific questions, how much further? how long is it? are we nearly there yet? when will you tell us our rooms?
Five minutes before we arrived at the hotel Mr H finally released the exciting news and armed with room keys the children raced to change out of their uniform and into something a little trendier.
A delicious tea of burgers, chips, curry and rice (not all at once) was followed by ice-cream or caramel squares. Then we headed for the park to burn off a few calories and the last dregs of energy.
Unfortunately the dinner appeared to have reinvigorated the travelling hordes and despite time in the play park, a competitive game of rounders and football and several goes on a zip line the children seemed more energetic than ever as we headed back to the hotel for bed.
Perhaps it was the long day, heat and sugar overload, but a few went to bed rubbing their tummies. Cue the fizzy drink ban tomorrow! Anyway all asleep now so rest easy folks we will update you again tomorrow.