Monday, June 16, 2014

Exhaustive Fun and Ready for More

The Cornell Cohort before Leaving El Cerrito
The Cornell and Columbia cohorts came to El Cerrito High School at around 2:50 AM where Don checked us all in, considering check-in luggage weight, identification and even gave a small reading quiz to each program corresponding with their texts, that they should've read by now. Luckily, he only drilled the Hotel Management people hard and didn't really try to test the Freedom and Justice people--except for what pages were missing from the original Plato texts he gave us. Don also, of course, took the traditional cohort picture for both sets of ILCer's. As the parents said their gloom goodbyes to their children one last time, it was evident that they still expected of their child no matter what, hard work, commitment and determination in order to excel in their respective program.

Breakfast in the form of a Greek Sandwich
Then we all boarded the shuttle (bus in the picture), that took us to SFO. When we made it to SFO, we went to the US Airways terminus where we went through TSA checking without a problem. Mr. Chan-Law soon figured out that we still had a significant amount of time before we boarded our plane and took us to a Greek restaurant in the airport. I for one believed the food was going to be good but it just tasted to me as a step up from a McDonald's breakfast due to the texturing of the sausages and egg in the croissant sandwich--and by the way, I hate croissants. We boarded the 6:00 AM airplane to Phoenix, Arizona that took us over some amazing views. As mentioned in my last post I had no sleep last night or this morning. One thing to note is, that I have been through all-nighters various times throughout the school year and through my experience, I learned that the more I do them--the more manageable they become. Either way, it still feels horrible (consciously) knowing that you are cheating your body of the rest it requires to thrive. Fatigue would later hit me in the flight from Phoenix to St. Louis, Missouri.
If you look closely in the middle, you will see the SouthWest plane I spotted over Arizona.
When we got to St. Louis I couldn't believe the humidity there in the terminal. It felt like I was in some tropical forest or sauna. Eventually the humidity became something rather relaxing later into the evening hours. After an extremely long wait on our shuttle service to the hotel, we finally checked into the hotel "The Charles F. Knight Executive Education and Conference Center" on the campus of Washington University, despite its rather at first odd name, it is actually a pretty darn good hotel. The rooms are spacious, have dressers, their own closet, a queen sized bed and guess what. Mr. Chan-Law somehow managed to get 7 rooms for the same cost, one for each one of us (although it didn't affect me, the girls in my cohort on the other hand each received their own room instead of having to share with another) but in reality I feel as if one of the Big 3-- Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenburg and/or Don had something to do with this.
The hotel

My room with a curtain blocking the view

We all got settled into our rooms and decided to explore the historical city of St. Louis where we first went to a nearby Metro station where we admired the old architecture of a train station underneath the streets. Our plan was to see the famous Gateway Arch and we stopped at the Arch-Laclede's Station which was Metro's closest stop to the Gateway Arch. There we snapped pictures for a while and then went to a public museum called "Museum of Westward Expansion", which basically summed up everything about the Louisiana Purchase through moving life-sized figurines, over-sized replicas of animals, and much more. We enjoyed our time there, examining all the artifacts that the museum had to offer but we wanted to see more of St. Louis.

In order: Me and the Arch, the only accurately proportioned animal in the zoo, a talking frontier tradesman, this bison was definitely over-sized
Trust me, this picture doesn't capture it all
Thus we walked into downtown, and as planned, we walked into a giant Cardinals gathering. The Cardinals were playing the Mets and we decided to walk around the entropy of fanatics from all corners of the Bush Stadium's area. We decided to see what the commotion was like in the middle of it all so we entered a giant dome-shaped building that had a VERY thick congestion of people wearing red, all watching the World Cup. We decided to leave that place and then just headed out for more sight seeing, and then like normal humans, became hungry. We scoured for a place to consume delicious food, but every place seemed to be packed no matter what--until we found a family friendly sports restaurant literally right in front of the Bush Stadium ballpark. We were saved. I ordered the "Black and Blue Burger" which was basically a half pound, medium-rare cheeseburger that instead of having American cheese--bleu cheese was utilized. It came with fries and it was delicious, it was a nice thick juicy burger that you know took time to prepare, the bleu cheese fell in great compliment with the caramelized onions cradling the burger patty from beneath, with the lettuce helping contain the structure of the cheese. All the while we were watching the World Cup with the U.S. playing Ghana, and I mean it when I say, I was caught by surprise while eating my food at the large upheaval of roar when the U.S. scored goal number two. On another note, unfortunately, Katelyn's chicken turned out to be half raw and she immediately stopped consuming it upon realization and Chan-Law had to express his complaint to a staff member of the restaurant in order to express safety as one of the most important concerns as a chaperone for the ILC. For now it appears that Katelyn is alright considering that there were no repercussions.

After, we all went home and decided to call it a day, in order to prepare for tomorrow. Which will include our tour of Washington University, and information session and a dinner with alumni and current students to top it all off. Can't wait for tomorrow, and I gotta sleep now, since I've been awake for around 48 hours.

1 comment:

  1. what a great way to start our Day 1 adventures! Rest up because we have more ahead of us.