Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our First Taste for Providence

I woke up this morning at 1:30 AM from multiple alarms. I was so paranoid and I knew the only way to ease myself to sleep was to set all the alarms I could possibly find in my room (my phone, my iPod, and my digital clock). Being that early in the morning, I really didn’t know what to expect. I rushed to my luggage and quadruple checked to make sure I had everything I needed. I had a quick breakfast consisting of milk and bread. After, we loaded my entire luggage into the car and departed for El Cerrito High.

The whole family (my mom, dad, and sister) came along to drop me off and say their final goodbyes to me. We were the third ones to arrive (with Don being the first and Mr. Crosby being the second). I blindly unloaded my luggage in the dark, early morning weather and walked over to Don’s loaner item booth. He gave me his Ethernet cable, laptop security cable, and gorilla pod. Just as he finished explaining how to use the laptop security cable, Ms. Kaplan arrived. Before I knew it, everyone else arrived and circled around the little light that was provided from the high school. Don requested for each us to go to him and get our luggage weighed. After all was done, we decided to get into the van and depart for SFO (San Francisco International Airport). However, as we were approaching the van, Don gestured for us and reminded us about our group photo. We stood next to the front doors of ECHS and were positioned to his liking. After, he took some quick photos and we went back towards the white van.

We all tried to keep each other awake as we were getting to the airport. As a result, we had multiple conversations. We talked about movies, food, our extracurriculars, and future classes we’d be taking. In contribution to keeping us awake, the rumble strips on the Bay Bridge were a great help as well. As it turns out, drivers at that time in the morning are more law abiding, compared to those during “rush hour” where a 55 mph speed limit means you get to go 65 mph.  I wonder why so many police officers chose to work during the hours where they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the “thrill” of their job. But I must say, it is much more peaceful than traffic.

When we finally got to the airport, we unloaded our luggage and thanked our driver. We went on into the airport and stuck the nametags on our suitcases and waited in line. Surprisingly, a lot of people decided to also choose the morning flights, making the line much longer than I expected. We got our luggage weighed (again). The interesting part about the luggage weighing was that the weight that Don took at El Cerrito High was about 5 pounds less than what popped up at the airport. Some of my cohorts had to do some exchanging between their contents to make sure they passed the weigh-in. After, we approached the scanning checkpoint. This line was even longer than the one we were in to get our luggage weighed. We separated our laptop from our carry-on and put them in two separate bins, along with our shoes and hoodies. I also had to go through a tough body scan.  Apparently, you’re not supposed to have money in your pockets, but I guess I learned the hard way.

Inside Denver Airport
We waited for a half hour or so to get some food and began drafting our blogs. Then, we boarded the plane to Denver. The flight didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Most of the trip was free drinks and snacks, and taking 10 minute naps before the plane started screaming and woke you up. Getting out wasn’t a problem either. Most of us were too tired to walk, so we decided to just stay stationary on the moving walkways all the way to C29 to Providence. We were half an hour early, so we decided to crack open our laptops again and continue drafting. Some of the cohorts and chaperones decided to get food from the stores around us. The amusing part took place as we were getting on the plane. Taylor and I were in a separate line from the others. She was B01, and I was B02, but we were lined up in the back of the line. Not thinking, we decided to cut through the line past all the people, rather than entering from under the ropes on the side of the line. As we were cutting through, a man in a cowboy hat got in our way, stared at us for a minute, and said “Excuse me”. Taylor replied back with an “Excuse me” also. The man then asked us what number we were and we told him, “B01 and B02”. He apologized, and let us go on our way to the front of the line. After passing about ten more people, another man stood in front of us, looked at us as well, and stood there. Amusingly, his wife yelled at him and shouted “Richard, get out of the way. They’re trying to pass”. I smirked a little and walked on and finally got to the front of line behind Taylor.
The Suitcase Challenge
The plane trip to Providence was exceedingly tiring, because there was nothing to do. I was extremely exhausted and slept mostly, but woke up just in time for the beverages and snacks to be passed out. For the rest of the flight, we stared at our laptop screens and continued blog drafting. Towards the last hour, Ying-An suggested we played cards. Taylor was a fast learner as she “dominated” us in Deuces. We arrived to Providence 15 minutes ahead of schedule and got our car rented. Rather than two cars, we decided to take a single Suburban instead. We had a hard time fixing in our thousand pound luggage, but we made it.

Inside the Cuban Revolution Restaurant
We got to the hotel around 6 PM and quickly settled into our rooms. Nick, Ying-An, and I were shocked as we entered our suite. We have two closets, two televisions, a large sofa, two beds, and an incredible bathroom. We were the first to get back down to the lobby at 6:30 to walk to dinner. Not knowing where we were going to eat, all of us decided to just stay close and follow our chaperones, Ms. Kaplan and Mr. Crosby. We stopped in front of the Cuban Revolution Restaurant. Long story short, we had to wait an hour and thirty for our food to come to us, but entertained with Mr. Crosby’s travel stories. By the time the food finally came, I was already full from my guava shake, but still ate as much as I could.
Havana Chicken Order
The first day of this trip has been amazing and a great start to kick off my summer vacation. All of the intimidating security checks and rude people waiting in line were amazingly entertaining in retrospect. The one thing I regret, is forgetting to download some games on my iPod before going on that plane. Otherwise, the food was good, our room is comfortable, and the Wi-Fi in the hotel is exceptional. I can’t wait to tour Yale and Wesleyan tomorrow! 

1 comment:

  1. David,

    It's a shame you had to experience the lack of civility we often find in airports. There are a lot of good people out there but you don't always see them because it's the rude jerks that make themselves known.

    I'm curious about that quadruple luggage checking you did ON YOUR WAY to ECHS. Had you found that you were missing something, what could you have done at that point? Return home?