Tuesday, June 21, 2011

El Cerrito to Minneapolis to Chicago....in 24 hours

Have you ever wondered how much can you could possibly fit into a single day? …Neither had I until today, haha. The Cornellians’ day started at 3:15am, when we met at El Cerrito High. I felt like I was going to pass out right then and there, but somehow I managed to make it from there to sfo airport without a wink of sleep.

Me without a wink of sleep...

Everybody was so excited during the shuttle ride, and of course a little nervous, but the day that unfolded was absolutely amazing.

At the airport we picked up some smoothies and goodies to keep ourselves satisfied during the four-hour flight to Minneapolis and right off the bat I knew that we were going to have a great trip because I received the most amazing cookie imaginable.

A little unconventional looking, I know, but it was absolutely amazing nonetheless.

We then embarked on our plane ride to Minneapolis. Admittedly, I was unconscious for most of it, but that was exactly what I wanted, so I would say that my flight was pretty great.

Minneapolis Airport

Minneapolis: Skyview

We were in Minneapolis for about twenty minutes before hopping back on the plane and heading out towards Chicago. On that ride, all of us El Cerrito High students sat in a row and passed the hour long flight playing a card game called “Consternation” (which we didn’t keep score in, but I must say that I did pretty darn well).

As we were finding our seats, however, we noticed that most of the people passing us by were speaking foreign languages. Normally that would not be big deal, but it was literally just about every person who passed us by. Then, Taylor noticed that one of the men sitting a few rows ahead of us was wearing a Cirque Du’Soleil jacket, and she made a wild guess that all of these people were part of the circus. To further investigate the situation, we struck up a conversation with the two young women sitting in front of us, and found out that they were in fact acrobats, and that nearly everyone that was sitting around us was a part of Cirque Du’Soleil! Terilyn and Kelly were able to speak Chinese to these two women and asked if we could get a picture with them.

Unfortunately this picture will not upload. My apologies.

From the airport we hopped on the CTA, the local train system, and rode all the way out to Chicago. Overall, the train ride was a good experience, but it definitely made me appreciate my public transportation back home. There were a few smells that I could only describe as curious and the floor was wet in a lot of places due to the humidity. A little gross, but I am happy to have had the experience.

CTA Trainway

Finally, we arrived in Chicago and walked a few blocks to the Drake Hotel, which is incredible. We then met up with a few WCCUSD graduates who now live in the city, and they brought us to some classic Chicago venues, including Giordano’s Pizzaria, and Garrett’s Popcorn. It did rain a little bit during this tour, which I have to say was a little discomforting for a guy in shorts and a t-shirt like myself, but seeing this new city and developing a feel for this grand new area was well worth a little bit of rain.

And now day one comes to a close. If the rest of our trip is anything like this then we will undoubtedly be in for one fantastic ride. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow has in store and am extremely anxious to continue this amazing journey.

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