Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Up, Up & Away!

My luggage and name tag Don provided for ILCers.
I have gotten very little sleep. Despite my efforts to get on an east coast sleeping schedule these past few nights, last night I was just too excited to fall asleep. The excitement although, has definitely kept me energized all day. I don’t feel tired but I just know as soon as I post this blog, I will crash. The day started and ended off great. Surprisingly, at 2:00 this morning I was very energized, I had everything prepared for takeoff and all I needed to do was get my parents moving so I could make it to El Cerrito High on time. After forgetting my iPad, we had to go back and eventually made it to El Cerrito right at 2:50 AM.

It was much colder than anticipated this morning but I dressed warm enough to endure the cold and light enough to tolerate the warmth I faced when I got off of the plane in Boston. The first thing when I got to El Cerrito was the weigh in of my bag, I met the 42-pound requirement with my bag weighing 40, all my hard work to not go over 42 pounds paid off. After all the luggage was weighed, we got to mingle and then listen to Don give out some important information and instructions. Don also provided us with snacks and I grabbed a bunch for the plane ride as we waited to take our group picture. After the Cornell cohort, the Brownies took our group picture and soon enough it was 3:56 AM and our shuttle was arriving. We all loaded the shuttle with our luggage and had a very smooth and fun ride to the airport.

We quickly arrived at the airport and unloaded the shuttle. This is when everything began to feel so surreal. We checked in our luggage and luckily majority of the cohort got TSA pre-approved so we went through security very quickly. After waiting for Ms. Cruzat and Lynda who weren’t pre-approved we took a quick detour to Peet’s Coffee. My iced caramel macchiato was very delicious and the caffeine was much needed. After everybody received their drinks we then boarded our plane. Again, this was a very bizarre moment I still can’t believe how quickly this date has arrived.

The plane ride went very smoothly, I got a middle seat in between Komal and a teacher who was reading and sleeping the duration of the plane ride. During the flight, I read a book written by Variny Yim, a Wellesley Alumni, called, “The Immigrant Princess.” Thus far the book is great. Besides reading the book I also got to start writing my blog per Don’s advice. Besides turbulence and a rough landing at the end the of the flight, I'd say it was easy traveling today.

The stop and go traffic we faced today.
After getting off the plane we grabbed our bags from the baggage claim, which all came out very quickly, and headed over to the car rental area. This was the roughest part of today, the line for rental was very long and my cohort and I mainly sat down as we waited for Ms. Cruzat to get the car. After finally getting the car we struggled with fitting all of our luggage into the small trunk. We even asked to exchange the car, but no luck. Eventually we figured everything out and moved on to our next problem, navigating through Boston. Finding the hotel was very hard, I helped to Ms. Cruzat in finding the hotel and after a few wrong turns we finally made it. The ride was much longer than google maps anticipated.

After settling into our hotel we headed out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory which is actually just a couple blocks from our hotel. Dinner was delicious and I think everybody enjoyed their meal. We discussed our plans for tomorrow and some places we might want to see within the duration of our trip. We headed back to our rooms, I share mine with Camila, and started working on our blogs. I took a nice hot shower and am about to get some sleep to prepare for the long day I will be having tomorrow.

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