It doesn't matter how you couch it, 3:00 AM is too early to be anywhere other than enjoying the comfort of your own bed.
But, knowing this all too well, the nine young ladies of the Brown-II cohort, their chaperone (Jenny Gilbert) and a healthy crowd of parents and family members, all gathered in front of El Cerrito HS to observe the ritual known as Departure Day.
This is where they get to listen to Sleepy Don give them last minute advice about what to do, what to expect, and what's expected of them as they head to Brown University to take the Women & Leadership course.
The biggest concern of this first day is the lack of time to ensure that everyone is properly fed. Arriving at San Francisco Airport well before 6 AM there was no certainty that they would find someplace open where they could grab a bite to eat. We knew that when they change planes in Chicago, it would be unlikely they would find a place to grab a bite before they had to board their connecting flight and then, after landing in Providence they would need to rush to Brown to check in.
Jenny generously brought snacks for cohort and Don brought an assortment of energy bars and the like (along with a tub of red vines and grape vines).
Their luggage was weighed, luggage tags were affixed, snacks were packed and the group photos were taken--what more was needed?
What more was needed was an airport shuttle large enough to accommodate the group WITH their luggage. There were ten passengers and the shuttle was a nine passenger van. Plus, they never got the message that the cohort would be heading to the airport with luggage.
Refusing to allow the cohort to leave unless things were deemed safe (at least by Don's standards), Jenny and some of the luggage was moved into Don's van for a multi vehicle trek to SFO.
Just moments ago I received an email from Jenny confirming that the cohort had been well fed and they were preparing for takoff. All is well with the world.