Sunday, August 10, 2014

Just the Beginning

My ILC cohorts and I were on the Chicago Flight to San Francisco airport on Wednesday heading home. It was our last day in Providence, RI, so Jenny planned an afternoon at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. YeonSoo and I got ready in the morning at 8:00 AM; we had a few hours before meeting in the lobby of Hotel Providence at 11:00 AM. I walked four blocks from Hotel Providence to Small Point CafĂ©, where I ordered to- go Pizza strip and Sweet Sticky bun, before meeting with Jenny at 10:10 AM. Arriving in the lobby ten minutes earlier with enough time to eat my cold pizza and sweet cinnamon sticky bun felt great. Jenny and I walked to Rhode Island State House, located close by to Hotel Providence. I expected the morning weather to be warm and a bit cloudy, but instead the sun came out and it was hot. As we both walked up the white marble staircases to the double front doors, I became more curious to learn about the history and architecture. After reading a brochure, I found out The Rhode Island State House is the world’s fourth largest marble dome. Entering through the south wing doors, and we were met by a security guard who recommended us to visit the Chapel Room first. I read about John Williamson, who founded Rhode Island State with original documents proof. It was different navigating a dimly lit small square room, with original belongings of John Williamson, such as his real wallet and two compasses for navigation.  After about ten minutes of reading and sharing our thoughts, Jenny and I decided to explore more of the museum. Immediately, the Visitors Shop caught my attention because of the bright and welcoming open windows. When we walked out of the Visitors Shop, I had five postcards and a mini American flag. Then Jenny and I took some photos, before we walked back to meet with my cohorts in Hotel Providence lobby at 11:00.
 Rhode Island State House Visitors Shop Postcards
Checking out of my room will be so easy, since I just had to bring my luggage to the lobby downstairs from the second floor. I jogged up the stairs to the second floor to my room at the end of the hall, instead waiting to long for the elevator. Deciding to make two trips of bringing my one bag, carry on duffle bag and laptop backpack was less of a physical burden, which turned out to be a worse choice for me. On the second trip walking upstairs, I thought I had my room key card in my purse but I couldn’t find it at all. I had to walk back fast to the lobby, and ask the front desk for YeonSoo’s (my roommates) key card. I came down to the lobby last, and traced back my steps to remember my room key card should be in my backpack. We waited outside for a Dodge Caravan rental car and Jenny’s van, then loaded our luggage, and drove to Roger Williamson Park Zoo. Our chaperon Jenny let us explore the park in groups of two or more. The park was not too busy today and was small and easy to navigate. I learned about the amphibians, elephants.

At the Feinstein Junior Wetlands Trail
At 2:00 PM, we all met near the entrance of the zoo to leave and drive to Providence airport.  After going through check-in and pre-TSA, I had Johnny Rockets Burger and strawberry milkshake for lunch. Our flight to Chicago Midway was at 5:40 PM, and then we would transfer to B-21 for a direct flight to San Francisco Airport (SFO). On aboard to SFO, Jenny planned for us to eat Chicago Pizza, but we could not find it in the limited time frame. We ordered dinner to eat in the airplane.
Chicage Midway waiting to board Southwest to SFO

Throughout our last day together in Providence, I reflected on the new friendships I have made, the continuing lessons learnt from my Women and Leadership class, and most of all, this whole amazing opportunity the Ivy League Connection had granted us. By giving us a peek into all of the open doors we can enter, I am more comfortable and knowledgeable with applying to an out of state university, especially an Ivy League. Exploring the peaceful Roger Williamson Zoo, in the afternoon gave me time to think in the present and my future. Being at the zoo with Jenny and my cohorts felt like a close activity, but at the same time just the beginning each long successful journey ahead of us. 

When SouthWest airplane landed in San Francisco, I hurriedly grabbed my duffel bag from overhead storage then walked with Jenny and Nemow cohorts to pick up our luggage. As we were walking energetically to baggage claim, our families were awaiting with proud smiles and hugs and the wonderful Don taking photos to remember. It finally settled in that we are home with much more knowledge to share from our two and a half weeks, which had felt like a short time, yet long enough from such a diverse exposure.  
Left is me, Right is Jenny

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