I couldn't sleep last night because I was so excited and nervous about leaving. Tonight I won't have any trouble sleeping at all.
I woke up at 3 o'clock and met up with with everyone at 4:30 AM at El Cerrito High School. Don Gosney had a small boutique set up for us, so he could give us items that we would need like laundry bags and security cables. I felt like I was in a James Bond movie, the part where he's being equipped for his next mission.
"Would you like the 25 foot cable, or the 14?"
"I'll take the 14."
We boarded our first plane without incident. I looked over across the aisle and my jaw dropped. Jason Sudeikis, or one of his twin brothers, was sitting in coach with us. For those of you who don't know him, Jason Sudeikis is a player in Saturday Night Live and guest star on the TV show 30 Rock, which I watch religiously.
I didn't have the nerve to ask if it was really him or not, but when we disembarked the plane at Chicago (where he happened to study improv at one time in his life) I made eye contact.
I looked at him, he looked at me, and I gave him a knowing nod.
From Chicago to Philadelphia we shared a flight with an anonymous pageant contestant. She was having trouble loading her garment bag into the overhead compartment so a flight attendant came over to help her.
"What's the occasion? Wedding?"
"No, I'm in a pageant. I'm Miss California."
I did a Google search to see if I could find her. I couldn't. Maybe she was lying.
I sat between Brandon and Marisol, which was a great idea. We laughed all the way to Philadelphia which made the time go faster.
I love Philadelphia. I love the way it looks and the way it feels. Everyone likes to complain about the humidity but I don't really mind. My favorite rap artists, Asher Roth, Black Thought, and Brother Question all come from Philadelphia, so I asked Mr. Ramsey if there was much of a rap scene in Philly.
"I don't know."
We checked into our hotel, rested a bit, then went to have dinner at Butcher & Singer. Since I placed the reservation, it was under my name. Mr. Ramsey joked throughout dinner, "Wow, Connor. You have excellent taste in restaurants."
Yes I did. I had a crab cake as an appetizer and salmon as my entree. They were both delicious, but what topped the whole experience was the Baked Alaska. Mrs. Kronenberg saw it on the menu and said that we had to get it.
They brought it to the table, and I realized it was the most beautiful piece of dessert I had ever seen. I wanted to take a picture, but by the time my camera was out we had already eaten most of it. It was delicious, and I now know that if I ever need anything from anyone, all I have to do is make them a Baked Alaska and they will forever be in my debt.
Today was a Baked Alaska in many ways. It was beautiful, filling, and over too fast. Most importantly, though, it was provided by the Ivy League Connection. They made this first step of my three week journey possible, and already I feel like I'm indebted to them. I plan to work my tail off once we start our class at Yale so I can show them that their work is worthwhile.
That is the magic of a Baked Alaska.