Monday, July 2, 2012

Day One

At ten after two, my mom poked her head in to my room and informed me that it was time to get going. I barely slept the night leading up to this incredibly early morning. Once out of bed, I had a few sips of tea, got dressed and said goodbye to a half asleep sister. My mom, dad and I left for El Cerrito High at 2:15 AM and arrived to find Don all set up and the other ILCers standing around grasping cups of coffee or hugging their warm pillows. 

Don weighed my bag and checked to make sure I had all the IDs and paperwork needed to board the flights. The final weight of my suit case was 32.8 pounds. Not too shabby. 

After some more instruction from Don on blogging and departure day musts we snapped a few group photos and piled in to the shuttle. 

I was surprised at how busy the airport was despite the time of day. But I was starting to understand why getting up so early was necessary. The lines for bag checking were quickly filling up and although we got a good spot in line we were still slowed down. I'm not sure what it was. It could have been the sticker printer was out of paper or the computer was malfunctioning but some how it took an hour to check our bags. And with an aggressive security lady badgering us to finish up, I was anxious to move on. Finally, the bags were checked and we moved on to another long line: security. For some reason, I've always liked airports. I like the sense of adventure they evoke and I love to people watch so while it sounds like I might have been miserable I was actually enjoying this unexpected experience. I'll just chalk it up to another life skill learned. 

Security moved a little more quickly and soon we found ourselves ready to board our first flight to Newark. Even though Don said we shouldn't sleep on the plane, I couldn't help it. I had done enough people watching through bag checking and security and my eyelids were having a hard time staying up. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep very well. So I was able to do some more observing after all. 

Classic out-of-the-plane-window shot.
When we arrived in Newark we had just enough to use the bathroom, in fact we may not have even had time for that because when we arrived at the gate, a man snapped, "they're getting ready to close the plane!" And we quickly filed on to the aircraft for our last leg of the trip. 

The flight from Newark to Providence was short and bumpy. It was only about thirty minutes in total but there was turbulence almost the whole way through. 

Safely on land once again, we rode the moving walkways across the airport to the car rental wing. 

We sat down in front of the desk expecting to have a quick rest and be on our way but that was not the case. I'm not a hundred percent sure what happened but we were there for a while. There must have been something wrong with the reservation because we were there for a long time. However, it ended up being okay because we dodged a major down-pour and when we finally left the parking lot, we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow. 

Our home for the next week.
I was relieved to arrive at the hotel and dump my stuff. The valet looked a little overwhelmed when we all stumbled out of the van and unloaded our mountain of luggage. We got to our rooms, freshened up, and headed to dinner. 

We had dinner at Viva Mexico where we enjoyed chips and salsa, and various Mexican dishes. All of which we scarfed down after a draining day of traveling. 

This beautiful view on our walk back from the restaurant.
Our chaperones walking home.
We couldn't have made it through today without them!
Now, my cohort and I are having a little a blogging party and reflecting on the day's events. Tomorrow, we are going to see the first school on our list: Wellesley. I'm looking forward to another  adventure. But first, sleep!

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