A quick Spring Break trip back home to Iowa. It was great to see Tara, Zack, the dogs, the house, students at Simpson, etc... . The trip began and ended with perfect weather and conditions at Banner Pits (Summerset State Park) where I worked the Karate Monkey SS through 3 laps of singletrack goodness on Easter, and on the Saturday I departed (with a couple of laps on Tuesday thrown in for good measure).
At the end of the much welcomed week home stay and visit, I hopped back on the plane Saturday from Des Moines to fly to Detroit. I had enough time in Detroit to grab dinner, but when the Air France flight scheduled to depart at 9:35 pm (I chose this specifically so I could sleep through the flight and minimalize jet lag) had us board about an hour early only to find out there was a 'technical fuel error' - things went a bit awry. Okay, so we were not allowed to get off the plane and all had to sit there for 3 1/2 hours sweating profusely in economy (word has it that 1st Class had the AC on and were dining while we were all melting). We couldn't believe how hot it was on the plane. And I was sandwiched in one of the middle seats of the middle section with no where to go.
Many of us ended up stripping down to our undergarments (actually I was first to take off my shirt and jeans as I had Nike Combat t-shirt and shorts underneath - so no big deal) and fanned ourselves to get through the ordeal. Oy! Air France gave us one glass of water within those 3 1/2 hours and 90+ temps on the plane. After much begging and howling by all of us, we convinced the Air France staff to pour us some cold Champagne. What the heck, if one was going to be miserable - why not sip on some bubbly? Finally, after 3 1/2 hours the engines started up and we were on our way. At least I slept soundly for 5 hours on the plane!!!
Of course that put me in Paris way too late to catch my flight to Stuttgart, but Air France got me on the next city hopper to Stuttgart and I arrived back in Schorndorf around 7:30 pm instead of my scheduled 2:50 pm. This possibly helped I was able to go to bed around 9:30 pm and sleep through the night.
OK, back in Germany for the final 18 days. Spring is beautiful here (about 3-4 weeks ahead of Iowa) and it looks like we will have mid 70's to low 80's the next couple of days.
I got news upon landing that my father took a fall at an Arby's restaurant reaching for a coin on the floor (coins are not worth bending over for, Dad!!!!). Hopefully he is okay and bouncing back from bumping his head. I can't call the US with my SIM card plan here from Vodaphone, so I have to rely on messages from my sister that all is - or is not well.
Final thoughts being back here is a constant pinch to remind myself of the beauty, charm, history and experience we are having. My hostess is the best, the people I have met are friendly and helpful, and I have to say the experience has been nothing short of great.
Today, the students recounted what they did during their 10 day Spring Break. Sweden, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Germany - it was all memory and experience building for each of them.
Speaking of memories, here is a cool picture of part of our group on our Neuschwanstein tourist trip before the break...
After today, we have 15 more days of fun as a group here in Germany (and Austria/Poland) before we disperse. My goal is to make every day count! The once in a lifetime chance is about to expire...