The day had finally arrived -- the day I had been eagerly waiting for. We reported at El Cerrito at 2:50 AM for this journey and took pictures to capture the moment. I was fine until I boarded the airport shuttle. The sight of my parents waving goodbye made me a bit sad to be leaving them behind, but soon I realized there's nothing to be sad about. In fact, I should be rather excited for the experiences I'm about to have and to share it with wonderful blog readers like you all.
|Our group photo before boarding the airport shuttle.|
|My pancakes while on the plane.|
Once we arrived at the airport, it was security check time and then breakfast time (I had some scrumptious pancakes with OJ as a side.) At the security, I was prepared for stuffing bins with my electronics or even taking apart my luggage. However much to my surprise, I had the ability to walk through the "FastTrack" lane for security checks. All I had to do was place my carry-on and backpack on the conveyor belt and walk through a security scanner. That's it. No questions asked.
On both planes, the one to Phoenix and the connecting plane to St. Louis, I at first considered myself the unlucky one. Why? Well, I had to sit next to strangers while the rest of my cohort was clumped together. While some where in rows 5 and 7, I sat in row 12. After some pondering I realized that I was actually the lucky one. Because of this "aloneness," I was able to enhance my experience on the plane. If I were to travel as an adult, I wouldn't be sitting next to friends. According to the adults around me, I was also an adult, not just a kid traveling on some field trip. (As some may think.) First step in becoming independent (well, on a plane of course): check.
Probably since I've had a heavy dose of Plato and St. Augustine off late, I had some philosophical thinking I had going on right before landing in Phoenix. I thought it would be nice to share it on this platform so that some of you can ponder upon this as well. As I peered into the airplane window, everything from a distance seemed so perfect. Perfect looking houses, perfect rectangle and square fields bisected with symmetrical streets. Yet, as soon as I landed in the airport, I realized that the world that we view from afar is actually not as perfect as it seems. So much entropy consumes this planet either in the form of a messy bedroom or people bustling through an airport. This may be a bit random but it was one of the links I was able to draw between my time traveling and the course I'm about to take, Freedom and Justice.
|I'm sure you haven't seen enough of this by now, right?|
As soon as we exited the airport and when I thought that this day possibly couldn't get any better, Mr. Chan-Law announced that we would each get our own room rather than sharing with our cohort. What an unexpected surprise! To top it all off we went on a sight-seeing tour through downtown St. Louis. After bombarding the infamous Arch with tons of pictures, we headed to the Museum of Westward Expansion which covered Native Americans and major pioneers like Lewis and Clark.
|The symbol of Missouri: The Arch|
|I'm quite proud of this picture.|
|I loved this bear!|
To finish off this day like finishing off ice cream with whipped cream embellished with a maraschino cherry, this day concluded with dinner surrounded by sports fever. First was the USA vs. Ghana soccer game for the World Cup and once the USA had won, the Cardinals baseball game was broadcasted with the Cardinals playing literally right behind us. This brought in a classic sportsy mood which enhanced our meal by 100 times. For my dinner, I had ordered tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and believe me, this is one the best combos out there. The sourness of the sourdough bread balanced perfectly with the slightly sweet taste of the tomato soup. A simple ecstasy.
|The Cardinal's Game View from Our Restaurant|
|Cardinal Nation: Our Restaurant in High Spirit|
|Must try it to believe it.|
Today was one of the most memorable days that I've had and it is only the very beginning, in fact, it's only day 1. Wow! From California to St. Louis, it has been wonderful. So many differences, yet that's what makes America so unique and great. I doubt if any other day will be as great as today, but I'll make sure I derive joy from whatever I do on any given day because as long as I'm with the Ivy League Connection, each experience will be worthwhile and you will be experiencing all of these with me, so stay tuned.