Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sail to Prevail

Inspirational motto of the day (sailing lessons)
I don’t remember when I woke up, or how my bed sheets and all my pillows ended up on the floor. All I did remember from the morning was a distant sound that sounded like a fire alarm. In fact, it was a fire alarm. However, this fire alarm sound came from my iPod to make sure I woke up. I must say that it was pretty effective in lifting my whole body upright in less than 0.1 seconds. I took a quick 10 minute shower after Nick and tossed on a set of clothes that I picked out last night. We woke up Ying-An from his Sleeping Beauty state of being, and called for the elevator to come up to the fifth floor of Hotel Providence.

We got down to the lobby, reassembled our group, and started walking down to the café down the street to get our most important meal of the day. I ordered a simple raspberry turnover with a vanilla cappuccino to start off my day. One of the interesting things about Smallpoint Café is that there was a wall dedicated in letting people draw on it with chalk. The wall was filled with decorative drawings of faces and memorable shout outs. I tried so hard trying to draw King-Kong on top of one of the buildings on the wall, but it didn’t work out. Instead, I replaced it with an awkward purple elephant. After breakfast, we walked to CVS pharmacy to buy some supplies (which was basically buying detergent). We dropped off our items back off in our hotel rooms, sprinted back down to the lobby, and departed for the mall.

We had some trouble looking for the parking garage to Providence Place (the mall), but with the help of the GPS, we were able to locate it with some time to still actually shop. The mall was filled with four stories of stores from Abercrombie & Fitch to Nordstrom. Obviously, we weren’t really able to finish touring the whole mall as we would’ve wanted to. The girls, however, did find what they were looking for; the guys, not so much. We headed back down to the parking garage a bit earlier than 12:00 PM and began departing for our next destination: Newport.

Newport was like the Walnut Creek of California. It was filled with beautiful and clean streets where people all dressed with a million bucks spelled all over them. We parked in the parking lot beside Bannister Wharf and desperately tried looking for our boat booth that we’d have to buy tickets from. After 15 minutes, we were able to finally locate the Rumrunner II (our motorboat) and successfully bought our tickets.

The girls got ice cream, and where's Ying-An at?

Pirates of the Caribbean ship
The sun was ripe, the water was calm, and the wind took its toll to cool us off from the afternoon heat. It was the perfect day to get out into the water. We took a whole tour around the bay and came to a lot of ships. Some of them were typical boats, while others were extremely famous to pop culture. For example, one of the ships was actually used in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. There were also billions of beautiful mansions perched on island hilltops that surrounded the bay. Each of them had their own unique difference that set them apart, such as size, or the architectural theme of the mansion. It made a lot of us yearn to be multi-billionaires and buy it off those people who are just wasting it as their summer homes. It was sad having to leave our tour boat and the complimentary drinks that they provided for us. On the contrary, we were about to visit one of the largest mansions in Newport: Breakers Mansion. 

Only picture of Breakers Mansion
The whole thing was just unbelievable. The gate alone had to have been the size of two of my houses. Once inside, we were told that photography wasn’t allowed, which was kind of saddening. However, the audio tour really made it our money’s worth. Walking into the Grand Hall, I already had a feeling that this would be my favorite part of the day. The architecture of the house was beyond my imagination. All the walls were filled with attractive colors, the doors were rimmed with carvings of cherubs, and the ceilings were intricately decorated with paintings of the gods. The chandeliers in the house had to have been at least a million tons. According my audio tour guide, 40 servants had to work together to carry the chandelier and place it on the ceiling. The bedrooms were relatively small, but furnished from top to bottom with every possible need. One of the amazing things about the mansion is that it was one of the first households to have central heating and air conditioning in its time. It was just such a wonderful experience for me and I was definitely satisfied at the end. Well, I still really wished I was able to take some pictures, but life isn’t perfect.

Team Brown at the beach

As we drove to dinner, we also passed by a fantastic beach. We decided to take a “10 second pit stop” which actually turned into a 20 minute amount of time to spend in the water. I didn’t hold back at all when it came to getting my clothes wet. Of course, it later came back to bite me in the back. It was great being able to bond with my cohorts at the beach.

We ate seafood at Anthony’s which was a few blocks down from the beach. Parking was nearly packed, but we were lucky enough to find an empty space for our extra-large Suburban. I raced into the bathroom and traded my wet, sandy clothes for my clean and dry ones. The food there was delicious and much more casual than the other dinner that we’ve had this week. During this dinner, you actually had to get your own menu and walk up to the counter to order your own food, not that it really matters to me. I got a filling dish which was nice and all, but my favorite part of the meal was the dessert. I ordered a mango sorbet. The interesting thing about the sorbet was that it was put back in a cut open mango, making the mango kind of like the bowl to hold the sorbet. I think that it was an extremely eye-catching and appetizing look for the dessert.

I am pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed today. I really enjoyed being able to visit all of those colleges. I can’t imagine how I would be seeing M.I.T. now if I hadn’t taken an actual tour on the campus and being able to feel the M.I.T. But today was more of a day for us to just sit and relax versus us in an administration office taking notes of the informational session. From shopping to hitting the beach, I was able to bond with my cohorts in a less tense atmosphere and in general, just being able to not worry about what’s next. Tomorrow is going to be our Brown orientation and it’s safe to say that my mind is switched back to reality rather than Fantasy-land at the beach. I’m set to be able to meet the surprises that I’m going to get accustomed to for the next three weeks, and I’m ever more excited to hit yet another checkpoint in my Ivy League journey.

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