Monday, June 16, 2014

Tons of Fun in Boston

I was so excited last night that I could not sleep at all. I finished adding some extra items to my bag before I left for El Cerrito High. With only a few minutes to spare, I was afraid that I'd be one of the last people there. To my surprise, only two or three ILCers were present. My bag was kind of heavy, but I passed with close to 39 pounds. Everyone was chattering away and adding tags to their bags. Before leaving, people were quizzed on their reading material and the two cohorts(Cornell and Columbia) took departure pictures.

At the airport, we stood in long lines to check-in. Several of us ran around trying to find shorter lines while others kept places in various lines. We went through all the standard airline procedures before grabbing breakfast. We all sat down and talked to each other for about an hour. Monica and I had a long conversation about El Cerrito and Pinole Valley High. Although we're "rivals", the two schools are actually really similar. We also talked about the activities we're involved in and the people we know from each other's school. 

The airplane ride felt like forever. It was only about five hours, but it seemed to never end. I sat in between Justin and Ms. Thrift. The first hour, I just listened to music. For the remainder of the ride, I talked to Ms. Thrift about all sorts of things. We started off with school and how there's been a lot of faculty changes recently. I told her about my classes and we discussed some changes that people have proposed. It seems that people are thinking about implementing "creativity classes" as well as mandating other skills to be taught. We didn't necessarily agree on every single thing, but I'm glad that we respect each other's opinions. We also talked about the Jonestown incident because I had no idea what it was about. It's scary to think events like that happened, and that led to us talking about gun control. Talking made the rest of the flight go by a lot faster. We were able to get all of our luggage quickly and head to the hotel. 
The hotel lobby
There was a huge mess-up when we got to the hotel. While we were busy taking pictures of the decor, Ms. Thrift was dealing with issues at the front desk. We're not too sure where things went wrong, but it seemed like the hotel overbooked and the girls started freaking out because according to district rules, minors weren't supposed to share rooms with adults and girls can't share room with boys. We were short one room which meant that all five of us had to share one room. After adding an extra bed to a room meant for two people and unloading our luggage, there was barely any space to walk. Thankfully, when we went down to meet for dinner, we were informed that things had been sorted out and the girls would have two rooms instead of one. 

We started to explore Boston after our delicious dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy. I had chicken parmesano and it seemed like everyone left the restaurant extremely full and content. We went to Boston Common, the oldest park in the United States. There were so many flowers and statues. There was even a pond where we saw a lot of birds. The scenery was so beautiful. Even though Boston has sky scrapers and luxurious hotels, the luscious trees and flowers created a perfect balance between nature and modern architecture. We ended by walking through some stores, but most of them were high-end brands like Valentino and Kate Spade. Today was so fun and I can't wait to see what else we'll do! Lisa, Monica, and I ended up sharing the room, so we're just sharing music and blogging. We're headed for MIT and Harvard tomorrow! 

Lisa and I at the Frog Pond
A statue of George Washington in the park

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