Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wait, WHAT Time Is It?

I was up long before the sun. This morning, my alarm blared at 3:03 AM. My first thought wasn't "It's finally here! We're going to Providence," as I had expected, but my thoughts most closely resembled something along the lines of "Uuuuuhhhhng..."

I showered, ate a tiny breakfast, brushed my teeth, and jumped in the car with my mom. The streets were empty, which inspired a sarcastic remark from me about traffic. For some reason, my mom and I thought the meeting time was 3:45, so when we made it to the front of El Cerrito High (my school) by 3:43, we were surprised when we were told that we were actually a few minutes late. 

Everyone showed up quickly, and I didn't have to suffer the wrath of Evil Don because, fortunately, my bag was underweight. I talked with Ms. Neal and her father for a few minutes, but had to leave the conversation to sit down; I had suddenly gotten dizzy.

This is the plane we took from
Chicago to Providence
The van arrived, and we hugged our parents goodbye. Our bags were crammed in the trunk and we took off. By then, my dizziness had faded. We had no trouble passing through security, (I had left my sword and crossbow at home) and we were waiting at the gate by six AM. 

We stopped to get Starbucks at the airport then boarded the plane. Ms. Neal told us to sit with members of the cohort who are from a different school, so I found a seat next to Alicia. We started talking with basic questions like "What's your favorite movie?" or "What kind of music do you like?" but we ended up spending the hours we had on the flight talking about the Action Plan, what we were and weren't looking forward to at Brown, and a collection of random unrelated topics. We landed in Chicago, boarded our flight to Providence, and took off. I sat with Michelle on the second flight, and after discussing the interview, went through even stranger topics, during which we both expressed our love of puns.

The woman sitting next to us on the plane assumed that Michelle and I were good friends because we had been laughing so much (we’ve actually only met recently), but she asked almost immediately if we were on a trip with a group. We talked with her for a while about the program, and I wasn't surprised to find that she was involved in acting and theater (she had been reading a script), something I'm interested in. After a short time, she turned back to her script and we turned back to our puns. It was fun to meet someone new and it was good practice talking to strangers, which I'm expecting to do a lot of these next few weeks.  
This is our hotel in Providence
We landed in Providence and found just enough room for our bags in the rental van, then took off for the hotel.

Sonya and Elia's beds
As soon as I stepped out of the air-conditioned van, I noticed that the humidity makes the air here thick. We spent a few minutes talking in the lobby, then our group dispersed to our different rooms. My room, which I’m sharing with Sonya and Elia, had two beds, and we still hadn't decided sleeping arrangements when a hotel employee knocked and brought in an extra fold-out bed. 

I happily claimed the less comfortable bed: I move a lot in my sleep and I didn't care where I slept as long as I didn't wake up next to someone I'd given a black eye while sleeping. My bed is clearly not meant to fit in this room, because it left about two inches of walking space between my bed and Sonya's.

My bed, which I can't wait
 to sleep in    
We had dinner at a burger place, and the food was delicious. I had been disappointed when the waitress told us that the restaurant's milkshake maker was broken, (the menu had some interesting flavors like Chocolate Marshmallow) but it was probably a good thing I couldn’t order one because I wouldn’t have been able to finish it after my delicious burger. 

We left the restaurant at around ten, stopped at a pharmacy, then headed back to the hotel. 

I'm getting to know the people in my group pretty quickly, and I'm sure we'll get along really well. I know the trip has barely started, but it's already exceeding my expectations. I would write more, but I've been awake for about seventeen hours (if my brain can still do math in this state) so I'll have to wrap this up so that I can get some much-needed rest. 
We had dinner here tonight
The barbecue burger from Luxe

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