Waking up at 2 AM was actually much easier than I thought it would be. Even though I was completely tired the adrenaline made it the smallest bit easier to actually get in the shower. I contemplated the trip for a long while while I was in the shower and by the time I got out the clock had already passed 2:30. I took one last longing look around my room and then we were through the door, in the car, and heading down the street towards the meeting point, El Cerrito High School.
My parents and I arrived at ECHS around 3:20 ready to go but we soon saw that we were only the I third family to arrive. I got ready to show Don my passport and med card because he said that those would be the first things he'd be checking but he never did. Of course this didn't bother me one bit as it gave me more time to fool around with my fellow cohorts. Before we set off however, we took another Brown-I picture in front of the school. After that we had to wait almost another 45 minutes before the shuttle arrived because for some reason we had to meet an hour before the shuttle was set to arrive. Despite the cold though we were all very excited to get going to when the shuttle finally arrived we said our final "goodbyes" to our parents and set out for the airport.
When arriving we got in line for Southwest Check-In and got everything ready with relative ease. Security was quick and we got to our gate with 25 minutes to spare. The other cohorts and I decided we were hungry, as none of us had really eaten anything substantial if at all, so we went on the hunt for food. We had walked past a breakfast place call Max's earlier and so we decided to return there. I got the Egg, Cheese, and Ham Croissant while Kevin got the same but with Bacon instead of Ham. We ate quickly once we got back to the gate and before we knew it we were speeding down the tarmac and soaring into the sky.
Don said that we should speak with people on the plane so that we can meet new people and make connections. Unfortunately, I was so tired on the first plane right that I never got to discuss anything with the people I sat next to and instead I fell asleep immediately after take-off. This sleep didn't happen to last long however, as I was surrounded by not one, not two, not even three, but four screaming babies. There desperate cries to be on firm ground again and move around were greeted with absolute silence, probably aggravating them more.
After landing we had to hustle to the next gate as our plane was scheduled to leave just 20 minutes after we arrived. We made a quick pit-stop at the bathroom and boarded the plane quickly and were finally on our last leg of the journey.
On this flight I took a center seat with Kevin on my right and the most wonderful woman named Shirley on my left. We literally talked the entire flight, which was about 2 hours and 20 minutes. It turns out that she actually lived in California for the longest time before she moved to Omaha, where she lives now. We talked about the ILC program, her childhood, her work, her family, our families, and so many more topics that it's becoming difficult to recall all of them. Either way she was probably one of the most friendly people I've ever met and if you're reading this now Shirley, thank you for such a delightful flight.
Landing in Providence one could easily tell that it was going to be HOT. The humidity was the most noticeable difference because my clothing started to actually stick to my body after around 5 minutes of being outside. We weren't outside for long though because the Knight's Limousine Service picked us up as soon as we got outside and in about 25 minutes we arrived at the Hotel Biltmore.
A very classic and almost antiquated hotel as you walk in you see glass chandeliers and a non-working glass elevator, which really makes you think if this place was designed by Willy Wonka. Despite it's old appearance once you actually step into the rooms you can see that it's been kept in a very nice condition. Rooming with Kevin there are two queen-sized beds and two TV's, not that we'd need two anyways.
We met down in the lobby of the hotel at 6:45 to go to dinner, and luckily the restaurant we decided to go to was inside the hotel so we didn't have to go far. Seafood and steak seemed to be the specialty so I got the Steak & Lobster, which Alana seemed to agree with as she got the same. Brandon got the Fish N' Chips, Arnold got the Mahi Mahi, Kevin got the Blackened Swordfish, and Jing got the Alaskan King Crab Legs with a Lobster Tail on the side. In addition to that we all got a single Oyster, split two Crab Cakes, and four of us got a cup of Clam Chowder, which Brandon had been eagerly awaiting for awhile.
Before I can even talk about the food I must say that our waiter was absolutely AMAZING! His name was Chris and he may have been one of, if not the best servers I have ever had. He really knew how to show us good ol' New England hospitality. It just enhanced the meal that much more as my Filet was perfectly cooked and my Lobster was even better than I thought it could ever be. Needless to say today has been a pretty perfect day but I've been up for 18 hours now and I have to get up at 5 tomorrow morning so I think it's time I go to bed. Jusqu'a la prochaine fois!