Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vamos a Espana

"Jac, do you hear that?" Ashley yelled over to me.
"huhh?" I mumbled, the covers wrapped around my neck.
"Jackie, Ashley, are you guys awake?" her voice muffled through the door as her hands continued to pound.
"Oh my God!" I yelled. "I can't believe we overslept on our first day in Spain!"
This set the tone for the trip:  hurried and frantic, attempting to get as much as we could in during the four days, three nights we spent in the Costa Del Sol, Spain.
When I think back, I still cannot believe fourteen families agreed to send their wide eyed high school juniors and seniors half way around the world with one chaperone. Dr. U, our eternally upbeat and hyper Spanish teacher had discovered this extended weekend away and opened it to those in Spanish three and four. Lucky for us, we had a chaperone with a doctorate in Spanish. It appears the three or four years of high school Spanish did little to prepare us for the actual conversational skills needed, as I found myself asking often "Habla ingles?".
Our iteneria swelled with train rides, strolls brisk walks through Valencia, dinners out, sightseeing, and shopping. We went to Plaza de Toros de Mijas, and watched a bullfight. Looking back, the actions of a bullfight had dance like qualities, and I remember being equally appalled and intrigued as I watched.
We were given two hours of free time the last day and our group remained intact as we headed to the beach.
The tiny smooth pebbles shifted underneath my feet as I walked to the water. I was a competitive swimmer, so I usually preferred the chlorinated water of a swimming pool to that of the ocean, but today was different. It was the Mediterranean Sea, and the panic of never knowing if I would ever be in the position to see it again made any hesitations about wading escape my mind. The voices around me debated the merits the air temperature compared to the water, but it fell on deaf ears. I would make it into the Sea. My feet met the freezing water as a rush of adrenaline filled my body. I could have stopped, but I was determined and into the water I walked further.
"Take my picture Ash. I can't believe I'm in the Mediterranean Sea." I hollered, holding back any shivers. That photo remains in my scrapbook.
That last night, after we had dinner and returned to our room for the night, Ashley and I debated sneaking out with some others to the beach. Apparently someone had procured pear brandy, and the plan was to share the one bottle on the beach. As usual, we were over cautious and remained in our room, frightened of the consequences our one chaperone had threatened. It was in that evening that we made our promise.
"We have to come back here someday" I said, "just you and me".
"When we're older, like in twenty years" she laughed.
Twenty years seemed so distance, so far into the future, especially at 17.

We have five years Ashley, so start practicing your Spanish!

School trips. We all go on them. What trip do you remember the most? Where did you go? Who was with you? How did you get there? Have you ever been back?
Write a memoir post about a memorable school trip. Word limit is 600.


  1. Love this, lady! I love how memorable the trip was, how hurried {because isn't that just so how it feels?}, and how changing the experiences were.

    This line: "The tiny smooth pebbles shifted underneath my feet as I walked to the water." -is just lovely.

    But my favorite is that last line- your note to Ashley. I hope that you do, indeed, make that trip!

  2. We will get back...I am going to begin studying now! What a whirlwind but such an amazing experience. We will give ourselves more time next time :)

  3. Jackie,
    What a great memory of your school trip. I agree with Galit the image of the tiny pebbles shifting in the water; being in the Med. sounds divine! Wow and at 17.

  4. Slept in? LOL! We did that in Germany, and got so carried away with the place we almost missed the flight home ... aaahhhh, memories. This brings me back - thanks! (here from RDC)

  5. WOW! What an amazing experience. I'll admit to being a little jealous...and how fun that y'all made that promise to yourselves. Can't wait to hear about that trip back in five years :)

    "I would make it into the Sea. My feet met the freezing water as a rush of adrenaline filled my body. I could have stopped, but I was determined and into the water I walked further." I loved this part...felt like the sea was calling you in. Beautiful!

  6. What a wonderful memory. I love Spain. And I have to say, I miss traveling since the toddler was born.

    I thought the imagery in this post was powerful--it really transported me.

  7. This is wonderful and I REALLY hope you and Ashley make it back to Spain!

  8. Who exactly is going to watch at least the 4 kids we all have now if not more??? I was never told of this promise!


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