Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hello, East Coast!

When my alarm went off at 3 AM this morning, I had no trouble getting out of bed. Even though I was running on no more than three hours of sleep, the adrenaline kicked in and made it easier to get out of bed. As I was slipping on my shoes and rolling my suitcase out to the car, feelings full of nervousness and excitement bombarded me, mixed with the overpowering feeling of confusion one gets when waking up too early. The next hour and a half went by in a blur: meeting Don and my cohort at El Cerrito High School, saying our final goodbyes to our parents, and piling into the airport shuttle.

Thankfully, getting through baggage check and security was easy and the wait to board our plane was not long at all. Before boarding, Ms. Neal insisted that we each sit next to an ILCer with whom we were not very well acquainted with yet. I’m so glad that Ms. Neal insisted on this because I had lots of bonding time with Michelle, a fellow ILCer from De Anza High School, on the four hour flight from Oakland to our layover in Chicago. I sat in between Michelle and Barbara, a friendly woman who made conversation with us throughout the flight. She was very interested to hear about the Ivy League Connection and expressed her gratitude towards organizations such as the ILC that give students a chance to broaden their horizons. On our next flight from Chicago to Rhode Island, Elia and I did not have much of a chance to make conversation with our seatmate because she was buried deep in a book.
The view from up above
When we’d finally arrived in Rhode Island and rented our van, we stepped out of the cool, air conditioned airport and into the sticky, humid parking garage. I can already tell that the climate with be harder to adjust to than the time difference. But although the temperature slowed me down a little, once we’d turned up the air conditioning in the car, I was able to admire the scenery. To me, the East Coast has always felt like a second home to me: this is where my mother grew up and I’ve spent many summers on the East Coast visiting family, so seeing the familiar scenery was comforting.
Providence architecture 
Art in the park
Not too soon after we’d left the airport, we pulled up to our hotel, Hotel Providence, which I was happy to discover was on a quiet street, so there wouldn’t be many loud cars passing by. The hotel has a very cozy and antique feeling to it that I enjoy very much. 

After quickly finding our rooms, the Brown II cohort went out for a dinner at Luxe, a burger restaurant within walking distance from Hotel Providence. After a long day of traveling and eating airplane snacks, a good dinner was just what I needed. And let me tell you, Luxe did not disappoint. I know this isn’t a food blog, but the juicy cheeseburger I ordered was so phenomenal that it earned itself a place in my blog post.
"Build Your Own Burger" option at Luxe
Elia feeling shameful because she couldn't finish her amazing burger
Although it’s getting very late and I’m only running on a few hours of sleep, my mind is wide awake. My excitement of what is to come has grown (if that’s even possible) since I’ve touched down in Rhode Island. Now that I’m in Providence, I feel so much more independent, and I know that these feelings of independence and maturity will only continue to grow from here on out.
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