Tick, tick, the clock counts down. Spanish students throughout the school were tapping their pencils and bouncing their knees in anticipation of the long-awaited announcement excusing them for the rest of the school day. When the intercom finally beeped, we were practically out the door already, not even waiting for the go-ahead from our teacher.

We boarded the bus, sitting by our friends and holding in our excitement. If not just a fun and effective learning experience, the Spanish Field Trip was a way to get out of school for a couple of hours.

The short ride to St. George was filled with games, música, and the perfecting of many Spanish phrases. We were given a list of phrases to use when ordering food or asking for help at the grocery store, and no one wanted to go through the embarrassment of saying something wrong.

We pulled into the parking lot of the cute little Spanish grocery store, imaginations running wild as to what we would find inside. As we got off the bus, we were given our team assignments and scavenger hunt lists. It wasn’t a race, but we all rushed into the store anyway.

Once inside, we all marveled at the foreign food and groceries with wide eyes. To our left was a huge display case absolutely filled with mouth-watering pan dulces - cakes, pastries and other baked goods. We walked around to the back of the store to find fresh fruit and vegetables, some of which I had never even seen before.

Our team split up, looking to divide and conquer the scavenger hunt before really buying anything. Exploring the store, we found shelves full of dulces (sweets), brands we had never heard of before, and meats we would never have thought to eat, even though most of us wouldn’t consider cow stomach (tripe) and pig hooves (patas de puerco) as “meat.” There were so many things in the store that I was unfamiliar with, and it was an amazing experience to get a small look into such a cool culture.

Once done with the scavenger hunt, everyone gathered at the display cases filled with pastries and started pulling out bags and filling them with the unfamiliar sweets. My friend and I must have gotten at least five or six, plus a few sodas, and we were still able to pay with just a five-dollar bill.

It was well over an hour of being in the store when we finally returned to the bus and took our seats. Everyone was showing and sharing the goods that they bought, ultimately deciding that the pastries were amazing and the candies certainly nothing like anything we’d ever experienced.

After being talked back off the bus to take a picture, we were on our way to eat. By the time we got to the restaurant of choice we were starving, despite the huge amount of pan dulce we had eaten.

When we walked into Don Pedros, we were again hit by the culture with traditional paintings and decorations covering the walls. We all sat at one long table, preparing ourselves for the embarrassment of our poor Spanish skills. Our server went down the table taking orders, clearly amused at our attempts at speaking Spanish.

The platos came out and they were absolutely huge. I was sure I couldn’t eat a whole plate of comida by myself. Despite my doubts I got most of the way through it, thanks to how amazing it tasted. Twenty minutes later, the food was gone and there were 20 kids sitting around the table rubbing their full bellies.

In the end we paid our bills, boarded the bus, and headed home, making a day to remember, even if we only remembered un poquito bit of Spanish.