Long before the crack of dawn I was roused from my sleep. It had taken me quite a while just to fall asleep but when I did, it felt like an eternity. Waking up, I realized, “This is it!” Despite the early hour, I became wide-awake and was more than ready for departure as my parents drove me to the rendezvous at El Cerrito High School.
Everyone arrived at seemingly the same time. As Don weighed my luggage, I was confident that it would be much less than the restriction of 50 pounds. Much to my dismay, it tipped the scales at 47.2 pounds, the heaviest out of the whole cohort! The thought that I would have trouble packing when we returned crossed my mind, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
Then the time came to say our final goodbyes. My family isn't one for emotional displays, but I know I will miss them. A million thoughts were racing through my head as I boarded the airport shuttle. Did I leave anything behind? I must have run through my expectations, worst-case scenarios, parents’ instructions, and the trip itinerary in my mind close to a thousand times by the time we pulled out of El Cerrito.
Disaster struck when we arrived at the airport. Turns out, I had tempted fate a little too much: my luggage was actually two pounds over the limit! Frantically, I opened it and grabbed the first thing I saw that would fit in my carry-on: my toiletries kit. Without thinking, I shoved it into the extra carry-on and moved on. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until we got to security, whereupon I was informed that I was carrying containers of liquid all above the 3-ounce limit. Truly dumbfounded, I rushed back to luggage check-in, where I checked the bag with its offending contents, waited through security again, and managed to meet the rest of my cohort at the gate just minutes before the boarding process began.
|SFO at dawn|
|Providence at a first glance|
|Ultimate Packing Challenge Complete!|
Getting to the hotel was a huge relief. I think Nick and David agree when I say that we got the best room, a suite with two huge beds, a couch and two TVs, and more than enough space. After settling down quickly, we met up in the lobby to go to dinner. Since this trip is all about getting exposed to new experiences, we dined at the Cuban Revolution. All I can say is that the food there was…different.
So much has happened today. I still find it hard to believe that I'm already fending for myself. Tomorrow it’s another early wakeup call, and then we’re off to discover Wesleyan and Yale! Finally here in Providence, Rhode Island, I can hardly wait for more to come. Stay tuned!