|Alex, Eric, and Mr. Chan-Law, enjoying their 5 o'clock breakfast.|
It has been a long day, especially with a three-hour difference to throw our natural cycle off. I tried to get some sleep the night before, but for a teenager, going to bed before midnight just seems impossible. So as I rolled out of my warm bed at 2 AM, California time, I had to remind myself that one sleepless night would be worth it. Although I felt tired during Don's mini-orientation and baggage weigh-in, I am proud to see that I look okay in our group picture. Finally, around 3:30 (I didn't check my watch), we were off to the San Francisco Airport. We actually got there before the employees did, but by 5:10, we were through security, and eating a delicious but expensive airport breakfast (I got a mushroom omelet).
The flight was quick and rather uneventful; it only took about four and a half hours. We arrived in Philadelphia around 2 PM, and collected our baggage without incident. The van that picked us up was too small, though, so Eric Wang, Frank, Calvin, and Alex were crammed together in a three-seat section, with Eric Wilson and I put in the back. As our van passed first a refinery, then several decrepit buildings, and finally at least two rusty overpasses that looked like they could crumble at any moment, my first impression of Philadelphia became "dirty." Due to its age and historical significance, I expected the buildings to be preserved and pristine. Instead I found a defiled graveyard of past glory, ruined by graffiti, dirt, and overall neglect. Of course, the downtown area looked cleaner, but only because of the fancy shopping areas and the surrounding university; it does little justice to the buildings that may have been around for 200 years.
|We waited about 20 minutes for our rooms.|
|The fancy light buttons.|
|I can watch the taxis pick up and drop off people.|
|Two beds - one for sleeping, one for jumping.|
|The entrance to the restaurant|
(for tall people).
|Calvin, just having a good time while we waited for our table.|
|My veal was awesome!|
Dinner finally ended and we returned to our hotel via taxi, which is where I am now. My computer says it is 9:20 PM, but I know it's really 12; so good night for now, until I can describe my new adventure on the University of Pennsylvania campus.