Thanks to a $625 round-trip airfare Ash and I are headed to Germany for Spring Break. We’re joined by his classmate Dylan Howard.
Of course, to get a $625 round-trip fare to Germany the airplane doesn’t exactly pick us up at the Oxford International Airport. That would be too easy. A $625 round-trip ticket requires a sort of around-the-world trip all its own.
Our flight was out of Chicago. Memphis never has cheap flights. So we had to drive for 10 hours. With cheap gas and a cheap hotel room, that didn’t add too much to the cost of the trip. And we plan to visit Northwestern and the University of Chicago campus before we return. Instead of flying directly in and out of Germany, we’re flying into Vienna and out of Prague; that was the only way to get the cheapo fare. We’re only spending four to five hours of sightseeing on each of these cities, split between evening and morning. They aren’t what we came to see, although I confess I will savor the four-hour glimpse as I’ve never seen either.
The goal of this trip, besides just having fun, is to allow Ash and Dylan to actually hear and speak some real German. They are on their third year of high school German, and so ought to be able to speak a little. My understanding is that nobody in Germany actually speaks the formal German taught in the classroom during everyday life, so it will be interesting to see whether they will be able to communicate at all.
In keeping with the educational nature of the trip, I had high hopes that I would be able to browbeat the kids into listening to a number of lectures from a Great Courses series called “Turning Points of American History.” They listened to exactly one before Ash revolted. But if their AP U.S. History exam in May has a question about the Great Epidemic that wiped out the Indians, they will be well prepared. Hopefully I’ll get them to listen to a few more before our trip is over.
We’re at the airport as I write this, waiting for the boarding door to close. I’ll update after we hit Europe.
The Scramble for America
33 minutes ago