Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Honk Twice For a Valet

Greetings from Providence, Rhode Island! Brown Cohort #1 met up at El Cerrito High School at 3:30 AM this morning in an extremely chipper mood. Although I only got two hours of sleep, I was energized by the excitement of starting my 4-week long adventure with the Ivy League Connection. The flight to Chicago (Midway) was Frank’s first time on an airplane so after its rough landing, we all applauded for him and his new experience. We speed walked to our next gate so we could pick up our new boarding passes to Providence. I was in agony pulling around my heavy carry-on, which had my laptop and notebooks inside, but I stayed strong and marched from one end of the Chicago airport to another.

After a light lunch of sandwiches and Panini, we boarded our flight to Providence. We were already exhausted from sitting from the previous plane ride but Kathleen, Andrew, Ms. Larson, and I continued to sleep for the next two hours. Frank spent most of his time in the air looking out the window and doing AP summer assignments, while Erinn read a million pages of Eon, an adventure fantasy novel.

Providence is flat and woodsy from the airplane window. Our much smoother landing welcomed us to an overcast and breezy city. So much for the humid and muggy weather warning, but I’m sure that is coming a bit later in the trip. After a bit of a wait for our rental car, we packed up all of our luggage into the huge Tahoe and we were off to our hotel. A friendly Rhode Islander instructed us to drive up to Hotel Providence and honk a few times for a valet. How fancy!

Dinner was located down the street at Local 121. The dim-lit café was classy and relaxing. We were seated on a circular couch with a table in the middle. I ordered the Ramp Pesto and New Potato Pizza. It was light and delicious, a perfect welcoming dinner to Rhode Island. Although I rarely eat out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself with the good food and great company.

Although we were told we would have individual rooms, we ended up grouping together as roommates (with the exception of Ms. Larson). Kathleen, Erinn, and I are located in Room 526 – the Melville Suite. We’re winding down the day with a small “blogging party” (Frank’s idea) which we intend to have every night for the next 27 days. Writing a blog on a hotel bed in Rhode Island is comfy and inspiring. This is a college town. Our hotel is right across from a small university and the various art stores and restaurants grace the streets with mellow excitement. Plenty of the buildings here are made of traditional brick, but more modern buildings light up the view from my hotel window.

I like it here. I can hear a murmur of a live concert happening somewhere downtown. It’s time to rest up for our big day tomorrow: tours of MIT and Boston University. This opportunity to explore the east coast would have not been possible without the Ivy League Connection. Thank you to Don Gosney, Madeline Kronenberg, and Charles Ramsey for seeing us off this morning. Thank you to everyone that supports the ILC. I’m building memories out here. The saga continues…


  1. I cannot help but feel excited and so very fortunate for not only my daughter and the Brown Cohort 1 group but for all of the students taking trips to Ivy League schools this summer. What an extraordinary gift these students have been given. ILC is providing these kids an incredible opportunity by embarking them on a journey that will expand their horizons far beyond the dreams they may have following high school.

    Enjoy the adventure; learn all you can; be grateful everyday!

  2. Erin,

    Please don't take offense to this but I think that the fact that you don't eat out much may make you a bit naive. I don't know what you thought you ordered but all they did was take a perfectly good loaf of flat bread and threw on some grass clippings and left over potatoes and convinced you this was gourmet dining.

    Here's a general rule of thumb for you—some good advice that I won't even charge you for: if it doesn't look fit for human consumption then don't put it in your mouth. Nuff said?

    I'm glad that the rest of the trip went well for you, though.

    I'm not sure where you got that you would each be given your own room. I just looked at the itinerary that you were all given on Orientation Night and it has Ms. Larson with her own room, the two guys in one room and the three ladies in one room.

    Someone's going to have to clarify one last thing for me, too. You wrote that you all were riding around in a rented Escalade (a Cadillac) while Sarah wrote that it was a Tahoe (a Chevy). While we want you all to ride around in the lap of luxury, we would sleep better knowing that we’re only paying for the more pedestrian vehicle. Maybe you can check it out and get back to us so we know who we can trust with the simple stuff. ☺


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