Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stepping Foot On the East Coast

Arriving at El Cerrito High School this morning, I had two questions in my mind: How could I avoid getting sick on the plane and how is the trip going to go?  I had my check in bag and my two carry on items with me, ready for the flight.  After a brief meeting with Don and Ms. Kronenberg and some photos, my cohort and I left for the SFO airport after saying goodbyes to our parents.

View of the plane (Photo Credit: Jack)
Upon our arrival at the airport, we checked in our bags and went through regular TSA security procedures with little to no problem.  Soon after, we boarded our first plane of two in a transfer flight to Chicago.  After about a four hour flight to Chicago, we immediately embarked on our second flight that would take us to Providence, Rhode Island within two hours.  Unfortunately, I was struck with motion sickness on both flights and could not find the strength to interact with many people and was knocked out.

Fast forwarding to our arrival, the cohort picked up our check in luggage and left to find our shuttle.  On the shuttle bus, our driver, Jeremiah, gave us advice on what to do and where to go during our free time.  We then checked in at Providence Biltmore Hotel instead of the planned Hotel Providence, as Hotel Providence was fully booked.  After resting for about an hour, the cohort met up again to eat dinner at the hotel's restaurant, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood restaurant.

Inside the Hotel (Photo Credit: Jack)
We were greeted by a charming waiter by the name of Chris, who treated us fabulously with much hospitality.  At the restaurant, I ordered a cup of clam chowder and fish & chips as an entree. The cohort also shared oysters and crab cake for an appetizer as well. I had made it a goal to try New England clam chowder during my stay in Rhode Island as a promise to my friends since they call me by the nickname "Chowder."  I was lucky enough to try the chowder on my first day here, and sure enough, it was unlike anything I had tasted at home before.  The clams and potatoes were well cooked and the soup was creamy unlike any other chowder I have tasted.  The fish and chips were also delicious, with ziegenbock battered fish and Cajun style fries.  As we neared the end of our dinner, everyone began to share their leftovers, from my fish and chips to Jing's King Crab legs.  It was then that Chris came to us and asked us, "Do you guys know what kind of food you're eating?"  We replied with simple answers such as "New England food," "seafood," and etc.  However, he told us that we were eating soul food.  He explained that soul food isn't just fried chicken and such, but food that everyone shares and bonds around.

After our meal was finished, we left to our respective rooms to wrap up the day.  I'm still feeling a bit sick from the flight, but catching a glimpse of what Providence is like during the short time that I have spent here makes me excited for the things to come. Hopefully, we can meet more people during our stay like Chris, who can teach us about the culture and life lessons taught in the East.  We'll be sure to have more soul food moments like we did today and bond together as time goes on.  For now, I think I should probably get some rest as we're going to wake up early tomorrow and meet up at 6:10 AM for a train to visit Yale.  The homesickness is already starting to hit, as I realize that this is the first time that I am not with family in a foreign place.  Surely this will eventually go away as I spend more time here in Rhode Island and get used to not seeing my family.

1 comment:

  1. Brandon - glad you enjoyed the New England-style clam chowder and hope you are feeling better after that long plane ride.