Monday, June 30, 2014

Here We Are New York!!!

I woke up early at 2:10 AM and got ready, although it wasn't much, I left my house with a grey hoodie, a shirt, and a pair of sweatpants. As I was getting ready to leave, I said my last good-byes to my parents. They wished me well, a safe travel, and told me specifically to call them everyday. My sister and I left the house around 2:30 AM to drop me off at El Cerrito High School.

All the Ivy League Connection cohorts were suppose to meet at El Cerrito High School at around 3:50 AM, but I arrived around forty minutes earlier. Since I was the first to arrive, Don had a few tasks that I could do for the duration of the time. I completed my tasks to the best of my ability. After a while I started to see more cohorts arrive and we started to weigh all the luggage. After all the luggages were approved by Don, we went over some details about the trip and what is expected of us. Lastly we took our departure pictures. As we were taking to departure photos, the bus to pick up all the Ivy League cohorts. 

I planned to sleep during the bus ride to the air port because I was still a bit tired, but I was too excited to even blink. The bus ride was really nice because the Vanderbilt cohorts were able to talk to each other not only as Ivy League cohorts but as friends. I got to know everyone better as an individual and I really appreciated it. We talked the whole bus ride. What was suppose to be a long trip felt like about twenty minutes of bonding; soon enough we got to the airport. Passing through the airport check-in wasn't as bad as I thought it would have been. After the TSA check-in, we went into the GATE 55 lounge area and decided to get some breakfast in the lounge area called Burger Joint. I ordered some breakfast, which was perfect before going onto the plane. 
The "Burger Joint"
I ordered the breakfast sandwich with the side of fresh fruit.

As we walked in the tunnel to get on the airplane, I felt myself get a rush of adrenaline and enthusiasm after every step I took toward the airplane. All the cohorts were surprised that we sat next to each other in the same row but it was fine because I was fortunate enough to get the window seat. I sat next to Jasmine and we were able to talk about different things like the airlines, and what we were most excited about. As the plane began to move, I was thrilled. 

The airline that we traveled with was Virgin Mobile. I was very impressed by the airlines. One thing that  admired was their creative way of showing the basic guide and information being on an airplane. It was really entertaining because it was a music video. I haven't been on an air plane since I was 8 and my travels from then was very different from how I experienced it now. One thing that was memorable for me about the air ride was the moment when we start to fly. Flying in the air was breath taking. I was in absolute awe and amazement. I loved seeing the city in a different perspective it was just so wonderful. I was thankful for the window seat and being able to experience the view up front.

When the plane was close to landing, I couldn't believe that I was actually in New York. Seeing New York was just as breathtaking that I imagined, maybe even more. When the plane landed all I wanted to do was get out there and experience New York! Unfortunately our bus didn't arrive to pick us up because of some issues but Mr.Mannix managed to get us another way of transportation which was great. 

As we arrived to the Hotel Beacon, we were greeted by this enthusiastic doorman. We got our luggage and went into our rooms to settle. After, we all met downstairs and went out to eat for dinner. We went to this Italian place called Senafina. It was an exquisite dinner. I ordered the Tagliolini Di "Cortina" Al Pollo. The meal was fulling and amazing.

Our Grand Hotel
This is what our room looked like.

This a menu from Senafina.

Tagliolini Di "Cortina" Al Pollo

After dinner, we strolled down to Central Park. Central Park was something I was looking forward to. When I thought New York was done surprising me, I was amazed by Central Park's simplicity and beauty. The park was big but there was so much to see. We decided to look at the lake. The lake was so peaceful and had its own authentic beauty to it; for instance, there was wooden bridge that was placed across the other side of the lake. Above the lake were trees that ascended up to the sky and even higher than the trees were the magnificent buildings. In addition, there was a fountain that was absolutely spectacular. Central Park was an amazing experience and seeing New York at it's finest gave me a lasting impression of the East Coast so far.
The view of the lake with the buildings.

The wooden bridge on the other side of the lake.

To end our night we walked toward the city lights and buildings. We traveled through the traffic and the busy streets and arrived to our hotel safely.


  1. Im so glad you guys are having fun! I can't wait to read the rest of your blogs as your journey goes on! I hope you, chiamaka, and the rest of your cohort have a wonderful time over in the east coast and Vanderbilt!

  2. Thank you Damian! I really appreciate you taking the time to read this blog! I'm having the greatest time here and its really changing my perspective on the East Coast. I cant wait to tell you every single detail. I miss all of you guys so much!

  3. SHANTI!!!I miss you already. I'm literally crying tears of joy. ;) Have an awesome time and I can't wait to see th "new" you this school year. You took good pictures. Have FUN!!