Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making Records

With an extra early wake-up call of 6:45 and Eric Wang with the responsibility to wake everyone up, our alarm went off at 6:20 PM. Once again, we walked to the Amtrak station and headed out to New Jersey. With record highs in the upper 90s in Philadelphia, I thought NJ would be slightly cooler, but I was quickly proven wrong as it hit a high of 101 degrees. The ride towards Princeton was fairly smooth. Instead of taking a train though, we decided that taking a cab straight to Princeton would be cheaper. However, once we got there, Eric Wilson realized that he left his camera in the cab about 10 minutes later. In a stroke of luck, the taxi driver decided to give his own personal phone number to us thereby allowing Eric to call back the taxi and retrieve his taxi.

Princeton's campus is made up of almost all Gothic buildings which were absolutely beautiful, but they all looked the same so if I was to attend Princeton, I would probably get lost very easily. During the info session, we were greeted by a very enthusiastic spokesman. Throughout the session, the spokesman was very engaging which really made me want to go to Princeton (along with the fact that they have an aerospace engineering major unlike the other two universities we visited). The spokesman was really informative in the application and admittance process.

Hello Princeton!
One of the many Gothic-style buildings in Princeton 
I didn't think Princeton's campus tour could one up Columbia's tour in terms of weather, but the Princeton tour was like walking around an oven. Throughout the tour, there was a theme of the buildings burning in the past which then had to be rebuilt from the ground up. This struck me and Eric Wilson odd as to how a stone building can go up in flames.

The whole Princeton visit ended at around 12:30 PM and we went into the surrounding area for lunch at this Italian Restaurant. We got back to our hotel in Philadelphia fairly early at around 4:00 PM and took a cab to experience our first (well most of our first) Philly Cheesesteak. We only ordered one in order to leave room for our fancy dinner later tonight. 

Philly Cheesesteak!
I was a little disappointed again since Princeton couldn't find anyone to have dinner with us, so it was dinner with ourselves once again. We had dinner at a French Restaurant called La Croix in the Rittenhouse Hotel. I would like to start off in saying that the service was phenomenal; the waiters and waitresses treated us like VIPs (well we were in a private booth). There was even a doorman who opened the door every time one of us had to use the restroom. Well, enough about that, time to talk about the food! Eric Wang, Mr. Chan-Law, and I started off with the Foie Gras since it will be banned in California starting July 1. It was my first time trying it and at first sight, it looked a little like SPAM Ham. When I ate it, it melted in my mouth; the only word I can use to describe it is "interesting." For my main entree, I chose the lamb with lamb meatballs. Overall, it was cooked perfectly and was simply delicious. As for dessert, I had the cheesecake with blueberry, lychee, and meringue. The presentation was not at all what I expected because the actual cake was shaped like ice cream scoops, but it was delicious nevertheless. Even thought we didn't have dinner with Princeton, the dinner was extremely fun as we held multiple hilarious conversations.

The soon-to-be illegal Foie Gras (only in California though)
Succulent lamb
Ice cream scoops of cheesecake
Group photo taken by our lovely waitress
After dinner, Mr. Chan-Law told us about tomorrow's agenda and that we need to pack tonight. He stressed the issue of not leaving any electronics behind and I'm pretty sure that jinxed me. As we pulled out of the hotel, I noticed that I didn't have my camera with me. Eric Wang and I ended up running back to the restaurant to get it back. Two forgotten cameras in one day? I'd have to say that is probably a new ILC record.

Tomorrow, we will be leaving Philadelphia and heading out to Ithaca to prepare for the Cornell University Summer College Orientation. Now it's time to finish packing. Goodbye Philadelphia! This week has been one of the most entertaining and informing week in my life!



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