Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Capitol Ghost Town

Finally, after many essays, e-mails, miscommunications, and waiting, I am here on the East Coast for the first time in my life. I never fell asleep the day before we left. If I hadn't stayed up all night, my father would have never gotten up because his alarm clock failed to go off. I woke him up, telling him that it was almost 3:00 AM. He threw off his blankets with some profanity and got dressed. I began to pack some last minute things and I threw my luggage into the van. I got to El Cerrito High School at about 3:45 AM and had my luggage weighed, some forms signed, and some pictures taken. It was absolutely freezing outside, but the shuttle finally came! In the van my cohorts and I spoke of our classes, teachers, and our seminars. I found out that I have a few seminars with Josh. 

When we got to the airport we had more waiting in the freezing cold weather to do. After about half an hour we finally got to the front of the line. The personnel threw our luggage onto the belt and we proceeded to enter SFO. We crossed the custom and security and bought ourselves a little snack. Our trip had one stop in between our starting point and destination. We were to stop in Chicago, Illinois, then board another flight to Providence, Rhode Island. Needless to say, I was exhausted. I sat in the corner window and took a photo of the view I had. I wanted to speak with the woman who sat next to me, but she seemed a bit distant and worried, and I thought it best to leave her to herself. Without any Internet, conversation, or entertainment I became pretty bored. I started thinking and staring out the window looking at the beautiful scenery.

Finally, after a while of thinking the pilot announced that we will be landing. This excited me quite a bit, because I had never been to Illinois at all. I stepped off the plane and followed my cohort and chaperone to our next gate. This time, I knew that I would not be able to fall asleep. During the flight, we flew over New York, then Rhode Island. I was shocked to see so many houses that have swimming pools in their backyard, and so many trees. It's not something that you see very often in suburban Northern California.

The entire time I was on this flight, I was speaking with Liam and an elderly Navy veteran name Boyd. I learned that Boyd was fairly liberal when it came to politics, he is from Kansas and moved during the Dust Bowl, and had a 99 year old sister along with some adopted grandchildren. Now, to be honest, I hadn't expected the ex-Navy man to be so liberal. I don't know why. He told me and Liam of the adventures he's had, like going to the North Pole, staying in China for a few years, and his time in a nuclear submarine. He was a fascinating man, with many fascinating stories. He's lived for a long time and had a lot to share. He kept me entertained for quite a while. Before I knew it, we had landed in Providence, Rhode Island.

We got off the plane and went to collect our luggage. Not surprisingly, my luggage was one of the last ones to come out. We waited outside the Providence airport for a while, but our shuttle was nowhere to be found. Ms. Tracey went into the airport and called us a cab. After a few minutes of discussing my 9th grade Geography teacher, our taxi came. He drove us to the hotel that we are staying in, Hotel Providence.

On our way to the hotel, I was shocked to see so many cars. For a small state, Rhode Island sure has some heavy traffic on its highways. I looked out and saw some nice houses and then some not so nice houses. Though even the highway was packed with greenery, I realized that there are many people who live in not so nice neighborhoods, the type of neighborhoods that plague the WCCUSD name. I've been to the scarier parts of some places and know that there are a whole bunch of dangerous neighborhoods, but seeing one from across the country made me wonder about how many people are actually forced to live like this. And I also wonder more about how we can fix this. But I'm sure the program will help me find an answer in a few days.

We finally got to our hotel. Hotel Providence was beautiful on the inside. There was artwork, a big clock, and a fancy restaurant that made everything looks beautiful. Josh and Liam decided to room together and Eric and I decided to room together, while Ms. Tracey gets her own room. Eric and I made our way up to the room and were confused as to why the door had two room numbers on it. We put in our key, opened the door, and found that there are two rooms behind the door we had just opened. Our room and a stranger's room. A door that led to more doors seemed a little strange to me, but I can't complain because this place was nice. We opened our door and found a medium sized room, with plenty of outlets, a great view, and one television. 
The room that Eric and I are sharing.
After exploring our room I layed down on the bed and looked up only to see some strange thing on the cieling.  I exclaimed "Is that a security camera?!" both Eric and I were surprised to see something like this attached to our ceiling. I couldn't help but argue in my head that this has to be an invasion of privacy. A few minutes later Josh called about what restaurant we wanted to go to. We were to meet at 7:00 PM in the lobby. Eric and I both agreed that we didn't really care for choosing. Preparing to leave was our next course of action. We finished preparing a bit early and surfed the hotel's cable and found nothing to our interest. Afterwards, we left.
The evil security camera fixated on the ceiling above my bed that Eric and I deemed to
be a normal random light.
When we arrived at the lobby we all decided to go a restaurant named Cav. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Our walk there was interesting. I noticed that the capitol city of Rhode Island, an urban area, had no one walking its streets. It was nothing like San Francisco where there are always people around. This place seemed like a ghost town compared to San Francisco. We also got a bit lost on our way there. We probably took a wrong turn, but I'm not sure since Josh was in charge of getting us there. After a few turns and some critical thinking we found Cav. It was hidden in a little open lobby area in between a few buildings.

What interested me about Cav was that under its canopy were the words "Restaurant" and "Antique." I thought that this would be quite the interesting dining experience, and it was. I walked in and saw a bunch of antiques from around the world, be it Asia, Africa, Europe, or the Middle East.

We sat down at the table and ordered two appetizers, the crab cake and the Maine lobster and noodle. Then I proceeded to order the duck, Josh ordered the shrimp and scallops, Liam had the chicken and pears, Eric had the filet mignon, and Ms. Tracey had the salmon. To say that this dinner was delicious isn't enough. I was in awe. The crab cake and it's sauce was very different. The crab cake tasted, well, like a crab cake, but the sauce was sweet, tangy, and spicy and very good. The Maine lobster was fresh and it's noodles and sauce were great as well. My duck was absolutely delicious. I don't know why they even gave me a knife! It was so soft that only a fork was needed. We finally finished our entrees and got to dessert. Liam and I ordered the creme brulee, Eric had the Concorde cake, Ms. Tracey had the Tiramisu, and Josh had the sorbet. The creme brulee was delicious. The burnt sugar at the top was nice and crunchy, and the bottom portion was soft, rich, and creamy. I was extremely pleased and I think my cohort was too.
The lobby of Hotel Providence.
The delicious duck that I ate.
We finished our dinner and walked back to our hotel. We said our good nights and decided to meet at 6:30 AM tomorrow to tour Harvard. I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. That duck sure looks good--damn good.

    As good as the duck looks, though, that device hanging from the ceiling has me perplexed. I sure hope that you all go to the front desk and ask in no uncertain terms what it is.