Tuesday, June 16, 2015

And it Begins...

July 16th will be marked down in the book as the day our journey starts. It’s just “Day One” of the remarkable adventure that we will experience. 

Today I rushed my sister and I to get to El Cerrito High School at 3:50 AM. I quickly threw my luggage in the trunk and drove our way toward El Cerrito. When I arrived my cohort was circled around the table Don set up. After some time, we checked the weight of the luggage and proceeded toward our next activity: taking pictures.

The Very Classy, Willow Creek Grill
The shuttle bus came around 4:40 AM. We put the luggage in the van and said our goodbyes to our parents. Then we made our way to the San Francisco Airport. At the airport, we went through the regular check-in and rushed to our gate, which was Gate 25. Since we had a little time before our departure time, we got some breakfast to go. We went to Willow Creek Grill, which was located right across our gate. Although there wasn't much variety in the menu, we found satisfaction in each and everything that we chose to eat. I, for one, enjoyed my breakfast burrito that had all my necessities varying from protein to carbs.

When our gate finally opened, we grabbed our things and hurried on. Mr. Chan-Law warned us that the airlines overbooked the airplane. Since I don't fly much I didn't know what that exactly meant. Finally when we boarded the plane and found our seats, we were able to relax just a bit.

The plane ride was around 4 hours. I sat next to Justice, one of my cohort members, and this women who for most of the duration of the ride was sleeping. I didn't want to rudely wake her up to greet her so I just waited. Since I had time on the plane, I decided to start blogging. After jotting down a few words, I began to get a bit tired, leading me to fall asleep. Fortunately sleeping on airplanes is quite uncomfortable, so I didn't get much sleep. After dozing off and getting up a couple of times I finally gave up on resting. Soon enough we only had 30 minutes of the flight left, to my surprise my neighbor was awake. I was determined to make conversation with her. I started the conversation talking about the weather, then we began to discuss other issues. My neighbor's name is Valerie I asked her why she was visiting Atlanta and she said that she lived there and she was just visiting family in Santa Rosa. Then she asked me why I was visiting Atlanta and I said I was part of this AMAZING program that allowed students to experience college life in the East Coast as well as go on various college tours. Surprising enough she is a nurse who specializes in the radiology department who works in a hospital the is right across from Emory University. Valerie gave me great insight on Atlanta and Emory College. I was so delighted to have had her as my neighbor. When it was time to leave she wished my luck and hoped I had fun for the rest of my journey. 

We finally got out of the plane and made our way to the baggage claim. Since the Atlanta Airport is extremely big, it took us a long time before we could reach the baggage claim. After getting our luggage we started making our way outside. Right when I stepped outside, I felt this overwhelming heat wave. My skin was burning. After some time of being in the sun, I got used to the sun and let my body adjust to the heat. We didn't have to stay in the sun for too long since we had our shuttle. 

The Lobby of the Holiday Inn
When we rolled up to the the Holiday Inn, I had one thing on my mind. What can I observe from this particular hotel to take back to Cornell to my Hotel Management class? As I walked in I used all the knowledge I learned from Isadore Sharp's autobiography called Four Seasons:A Story of a Business Philosophy, to spot different things that I read about in the book. The Four Seasons Hotel was known to be the trend setter of the hotel industry. For example having shampoo and conditioner bottles in the bathroom and having a front concierge desk. I began to pick apart certain aspects in the hotel that was familiar to me from reading the book like the homey classy ambiance of the lobby and the placement of certain furniture in the rooms. I began to note down these things to compare with the other hotels we will visit soon.

Since we had a reasonable amount of time to "chill" in Atlanta, we decided to go out and see what Atlanta had to offer. We drove to the Centennial Olympic Park and walk around to see what restaurants were good to eat at. Mr. Chan-Law yelped this one restaurant called Ted's Montana Grill, which received amazing reviews. As we walked there we saw that Atlanta was such a beautiful city. It was so peaceful and fun. There was so much to do, for example, there was an aquarium, a ferris wheel, a museum for Coca-Cola called The World of Coca-Cola, and the CNN offices right there in reach of the Centennial Olympic Park. Unfortunately all the tours for these attraction were all closed. Instead of sitting in the park looking at the trees the cohort and I decided to play some Ultimate Frisbee in the park.
Modeling at its best
Centennial Olympic Park
"Squading with my crew"

Around 8 PM we got picked up from the park and went back to the hotel. Since half the cohort are die hard Warrior fans, we decided to meet up and Justice and Stephen's room at 9 PM to watch the game. 

Today was an amazing day. It was the perfect day to start off this journey. I cant wait to see what tomorrow has to offer. 

1 comment:

  1. I heard somewhere about how important and valuable it is to connect with strangers you’re traveling with. Sounds like this worked for you so maybe there’s something to this advice. This is where you often find that the world is a lot smaller than you might have thought.