Just thinking back to yesterday night when I was packing, getting ready to head back to the West coast (best coast), I envisioned what it would be like to not have Joanne text us, "Breakfast at 8?" or "How shall we split the bill?" The moment I delved deeper into our memories as a cohort for the past three weeks, I started shedding tears while typing my blog. We've bonded in such a way that one cannot get by just seeing friends in school. We got to know each other 24/7, and who likes pickles and who hates mustard. I'm going to miss each and every one of them and unwilling to say goodbye at El Cerrito High School.
I didn't sleep until 2AM today and woke up at 6:30AM. This was by far the most energetic I've been despite the four and a half hours of rest. I knew we were going to be sad, but I felt as if at least one person from our cohort should be lively so it won't be six hours of gloom and dread. Luckily we all started with a fresh smile and I proceeded to walk over to Elexis' room for the last time, remembering all those times when I went the wrong way. She was wide awake when I entered her room and all that's left of her room is some gently used things for donation. We talked for a bit about how low the water pressure is for her sink and how awesome it'll be when we get back to California. We just saw next to the sink and stared at it for the next 15 minutes because it was still too early to go outside of the Quad. Everything was so surreal; we were going to leave this place in the next couple of hours.
|My RC Amber and I|
Elexis and I decided to go to Wawa for the last time because it sure will be one of the main things we'll miss; the ultimate convenience store. Seriously though, they should start franchising towards the West coast. Both of us ordered their Strawberry Banana Cream smoothie and boy it was especially sweet today. We felt the kick of it and started saying goodbyes and tearing up and holding them down, reluctant to let our friends go. When I tried to say goodbye to one of my friends who was taking a large bus to the airport, I went there a second late and all of them had already boarded the bus. It was a sad moment but life is about moving on. Maybe, just maybe there will be chances later on in our careers where we might meet again. When it was our turn to leave, my floormate Ria came to say goodbye to me with water drooping down her eyes. I couldn't help it but to do the same. She was one of the weirdest people I've met at this academy but it was also because of her weirdness that we bonded in such a way. We made sure to keep in contact using social media since it's buzzing nowadays.
Our cohort got to the airport shortly after 10:30 AM and lucky me, I got TSA Pre-Check! I was delighted to not have to line up in that horrendous trail of people. The security lady was shining brightly in the morning and that made me felt better. As I waited for the rest of the cohort, I went to a nearby sunglasses shop and bought a pair of stylish ones for my mom. She'll like them, I hope? Everyone was done at around 11:40 AM and we all headed to Chickie & Pete's. I ordered the crab cakes and man it was good. The sauce paired perfectly with the crab cakes and every bite I could feel the "moistyish" cake inside the fried exterior. The lemonade I ordered gave me the sweet & and sour aftertaste; sweet! This was going to be the last cohort lunch we'll have. When we keep in touch, I will delete the previous sentence.
Our flight to Phoenix, Arizona was four and a half hours so I slept alongside Elexis and Chiamaka. We were all tired because of the lack of sleep but also we didn't want to feel sad even before landing. It was hard when we landed in Phoenix to contain our emotions because we were only going to have a little less than two hours together before separating. Luckily, luck was with us and our flight got delayed until 6:15 PM. We get to have our last cohort dinner together!!! I was surprised and happy because that means we'll still get to laugh and chat as always because we just earned a few extra hours to spend together. I think mostly everyone was starving at that point because huge smiles spread across our faces when the generously portioned foods came our way. I ordered a pork sandwich with vinegar sauce. I'd say it's way better than the Mexican food we got at Philly's but I wasn't feeling the vinegar. Maybe it's just me. They also didn't have hot water, I mean like, c'mon! Anyways, those weren't of importance because being together with the cohort was what mattered. I was happy to see everyone giving Mr. Hillyer a headache when ordering because it'll be a while before experiencing this again.
|Pork Sandwich with a side of salad|
The flight from Phoenix to Oakland was rather short. Everyone dozed off and before knowing, we had landed so everyone looked half-asleep when walking out the plane. I, in particular, had red eyes from sleeping too long with my contacts on...oops! We collected our luggage and eventually made it into the shuttle which would drive us home to our amazing parents. When we arrived, I was the first to get off and there's Don, all smiling and happy. I couldn't help but smile back because I did miss Don. I missed his nags and funniness and for all his help that made this trip possible. Nevertheless, my dad greet me with an usual Asian remark, "Dang, you got so tan!" Yes dad, I did. I hugged my mom and said, "I'm home." This feels so much like a college going experience and I think it is, because it truly exemplifies the true reality of going to college and experiencing the set of emotions at play when you leave a place for another. This has been the best and worst day of the trip but boy, I'm glad to be back home in California. Home, sweet home!
|Elexis and I twinning for airport fashion!|
|Arrival Photo from left to right: Chiamaka, Joanne, me, Rudy, Justeen, Elexis, and Mr. Hillyer Credits: Don Gosney|