Monday, December 18, 2006


One of my greatest experiences was eight years ago when my wife and I traveled to Spain to visit our daughter who was there on a study-abroad program. Jennifer was a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and during the spring semester she lived with a host family in Seville (pronounced Sa-vee-ah) while she attended classes at the university there with the same name.

We flew in first-class on US Airways to Madrid, took a taxi to the train station, bought a ticket to board the high speed train, and traveled 330 miles south to Seville on the Ave (pronounced Ah-vay). We traveled an average speed of 140 miles per hour and top speed of 160. There were no sounds, vibrations, swaying or any sensation of movement as the train sped across the landscape and through mountain tunnels. The ride generated exhilaration close to what I imagine on the Space Shuttle in orbit around the earth. I would not believe the description above if I had not been there.

The experience, however, that made this trip great was Jennifer meeting us at the destination station, leading us in taxi rides, dining in restaurants, touring museums, visits in her host family's home, a tour through the university, a guided tour of the historic cathedral, and other places like Christopher Columbus' home town.

It was as though Jennifer became the adult and we the children as she spoke Spanish, interpreted signage and spoken words for us. She found a hostel for us and planned our days' activities. She cared for us as a good parent.

I was the most proud father imaginable. Isn't it fun to reflect on fond memories?

Return here Wednesday, December 20 for another great life experience.

Have a good day!


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