Aspen High School students off to Cuba (video) |

Aspen High School students off to Cuba (video)

Aspen High School students leave school and depart for Denver Thursday, where their trip to Cuba will begin.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

Think your Friday night plans are exciting?

Tonight, a group of Aspen High School students and one teacher hope to watch the Rolling Stones perform live in Havana.

Thursday afternoon, Aspen parents hugged their children goodbye in the high school parking lot as the group of 12 students took off to catch their midnight flight to Tampa, Florida, out of Denver International Airport.

The crew of 10 freshmen and two sophomores along with high school social studies teacher Gretchen Calhoun, who’s the lone chaperone on the trip, are scheduled to arrive in Tampa at 6 a.m. today and hope to make it to Havana by noon.

Despite the many unknowns of traveling to a communist country, the group’s pre-travel jitters were at a minimum Thursday.

“It’s definitely a little nerve-racking, but mostly exciting,” Calhoun said.

“I heard from a lot of people that the cars are really old and colorful,” freshman Taylor Reed said Thursday morning during a Cuba trip group meeting. “I think it’s just going to be a really happy place and I’m just excited to see the brightness of the culture. That’s why I painted my nails pastel.”

Like many parents of students on the trip, Reed’s mother, Lysa, said she envied her daughter’s opportunity.

“I trust that she’ll have an amazing experience,” Lysa said. “And she’ll be able to tell her grandkids one day that she was one of the first school groups to go to Cuba.”

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