The time has finally come for the Vanderbilt group to travel Washington DC and I couldn't be more excited. Packing for this trip helps me appreciate my mom more for when she had to pack for me. Of course my luggage was over Don's expectation (in a bad way) and I had to take out some stuff. But after that issue was resolved for me, the group got together and Don gave a little speech reminding us of what the ILC expects from us. Before the shuttle arrived we had the traditional ILC event group photo and Don literally brighten our morning (with his flash).
The shuttle finally arrived and we all said our final goodbyes to our parent, loaded onto the shuttle and soon enough we were on our way. I have never been to the San Francisco Airport without my parents before and it was a strange feeling. Usually I would be watching the roads and giving directions to my dad on how to get to SFO even though we have a GPS. The peace gave me time to take in the situation and think about what was going on. I was going to DC! I was going to Vanderbilt! I was going to get to shadow a doctor! Those thought had my heart racing and I couldn't wait to get to the airport. Thankfully, the drive there was pretty quick and we arrived in no time.
Checking in and finding our flight area was pretty easy since our flight number was 1. I'm serious, it's just 1. After going through airport security, we walked to our designated area. Because we arrived early, we got the chance to walk around a bit. I have never gotten the chance to walk around the inside of the airport before and it was interesting. I even stopped at a candy shop to buy some snacks for the plane ride. Kim and I got to sit directly across from each other while the others were all scattered around. Unfortunately Kim, Thomas, and Keli'i didn't have any seat mate so no interesting people were met that day. I had a seat mate but she was an older lady who was working on her laptop through most of the plane ride. She made herself an office with her seat and the seat between me and her, she had all her papers and laptop laid out and all. I could tell that she was friendly though because she would throw a benevolent smile at me every now and then.
Before we boarded the plane I drank a large green tea frappe so I was pretty wide awake. I was glad too because I really enjoyed watching the plane take off. I got a window seat so it made the experience all the better. I loved the way the plane charged its ways into the air and just slowly steady itself and fly. I watched as the ground below me get smaller and smaller and soon it was covered by sheets of cloud. The plane ride was wonderful and before I knew it the descending process has begun. The plane descending was just as exciting as the take off if not more. We dropped through two layers of clouds before I finally got to see the land below me. Everything outside seems to be going by so slowly but I knew that we were traveling at a speed of at least 450 miles per hours. I loved watching the moments when the plane turn, it was all just so cool. The plane steadily lost altitude as we got closer to DC. The view was just fascinating. As we closed in on DC, I saw the Pentagon and words could not describe how it felt. Seeing pictures of it was one thing but being so close and seeing with your own eyes really gives you this indescribable feeling. It really empowers you.
After getting off the plane we all took a moment to contact our parents and inform them of our safe arrival. Luckily when we got to the baggage claim the baggage was already coming out and we all got our things in no time. We went outside and waited for a bit before a car came to take us to the hotel. The moment we walked out of the airport we were blasted with a breeze of warm air. Seeing as it recently rained the air was warm and humid. As we drove to the hotel we caught a glimpse of Georgetown University. We even drove by Georgetown Cupcakes and surely there was a long line outside of it.
When we got to the hotel Mr. Mannix gave us about an hour and a half to settle in before going to dinner. He suggested an Asian restaurant near by that could accommodate us all. The restaurant was really unique since it was underground and had a mixed Asian theme. Throughout dinner we talked about the trip and things related to it. Most of us tried new food and was surprised by how good it tasted. My favorite has to be the crispy shiitake mushroom. It smelled like teriyaki chicken but the taste was light and crunchy. After the dinner we walked back to the hotel, which took about 15 minutes and loads of sweats.
This is just the first day and I have had so much fun already I cannot wait for what's to come.
Tomorrow we will be going to UPenn and Mr. Ramsey will be accompanying us.