Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane, if the plane ever gets there March 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:03 PM

“Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”

“No, no hablo alemán. Hablo español.”

Perhaps the Faribault High School Spanish students on a spring break trip to Spain wish they spoke Deutsch (German).

The group, which includes my 16-year-old son, arrived this morning in Frankfurt, Germany, instead of Madrid, Spain.

OK then, how did this happen?

Well, the American Airlines plane, which they were supposed to take from Chicago to Miami Friday afternoon, was grounded due to mechanical problems.

Better to be on the ground with mechanical issues than in the air, I say.

But this caused all sorts of scheduling difficulties because the next plane out of Chicago left too late to catch the connecting flight to Madrid.

All of this I learned during three phone calls from my son around noon on Friday. Would they ever leave Chicago, I wondered. During his last call, he told me they were flying to Germany. Kind of the scenic route to get to their destination, isn’t it? But… I suppose sometimes there aren’t many options.

Finally, at 8:50 p.m. Friday, 10-plus hours after arriving in the Windy City, they began the trip to Frankfurt.

More than 24 hours later, I had heard nothing. No news is good news, I figure.

And I was right. Shortly after 2 p.m. today, the senior Spanish teacher’s husband called. The group had arrived at their hotel in cloudy, sometimes rainy, Madrid.

Now, maybe, just maybe, they can begin their European adventure–in the right country.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


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