Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Go With the Flow

Wow, I sure did sleep well last night.  After such an adventurous and fun-filled day yesterday, I was was able to fall asleep super fast on my comfortable spring cot.  This morning I had planned on getting up with everyone to go to the gym so that I could work off all of that amazing food I ate yesterday, but instead I decided I should try to catch as much sleep as I can before my schedule gets too busy.  So instead of joining my early-rising peers, I slept like a baby for another precious hour. 

By 7:45 AM, I was out of bed and dressed for our first hotel breakfast.  From the nice dining area, we proceeded to Holme's Hall for the guided tour check-in.  Initially we walked to the wrong building, but the office attendees kindly pointed us in the right direction.  From then on, I realized that everyone on campus really was incredibly nice and hospitable.  At the dinner last night I noticed that each of our Wash U guests repeated how friendly the students and faculty of their school are, and how welcoming they are to incoming members of the school.  Today, I was able to experience this as the admission officer, Elise Miller, a rising Wash U senior, Jacob, and our tour guide, Elizabeth Chen, helped me understand the full university experience in an enthusiastic and open manner.  They were patient with our many questions and gave me a bunch of new reasons to apply to the Washington University at St. Louis.  

UPENN Cohort at Washington University, St. Louis
Once the tour and information center was over, we had our first chance to eat the campus food.  Since everyone we had met had raved about how great the meals were at this school, I was very excited to check out the cafeteria for lunch.  Well it turns out the food is...awesome!  I myself bought a delicious burrito and enjoyed it thoroughly.  The great thing about the cafe though is that there are so many different selections of food that I feel that I could never get tired of eating there.  I think that this is an important factor to consider in a school and Wash U definitely gets bonus points for this aspect of campus life.  Even so, I know I can deal with pretty much whatever food situation other schools offer so, don't worry, I'm not writing off universities for their food variety.

One of Four Hungry Hippos
After our stomachs were full and our hunger completely satisfied, we headed off to the St. Louis Zoo!  Personally, this was my number one choice when it came down to picking today's destination.  One of the students from the dinner last night told us that the zoo is free and that there was even a super cute baby elephant!  Hearing this news got me pumped up and ready to head off to this wonderful place, and apparently the rest of my cohort felt the same so we ended up spending the next 2-3 hours walking through the beautiful landmark.  I have not been to a zoo for such a long time, but I can say that this one was the most vegetated and scenic one I've ever been to.  I can say that this time was well spent observing numerous species of animals and connecting with the rest of my cohort.  I only wish we could stay in this city for another day to site see and check out the rest of the recommended hotspots.

Beautiful Elephant Fountain
Ending our day off with dinner at Tony's was absolutely wonderful.  We ordered a shrimp dish as our appetizer and I am not lying when I say it was spectacular.  An appetizer, spectacular?  Yes, by far the best plate I have ever had before an entree.  Oh and how delicious the entree was!  I ordered veal for the first time and did in fact enjoy this dish, along with the truffle sauce that came with it.  Not only were the first two plates extremely satisfying, but for dessert I ordered the incredible Zabaglione with raspberries.  The waiter was convinced that I would like to have the sweet creme brulee more, but I stuck to my strong desire for Zabaglione, and it sure was the best choice I made tonight.  Every bit of every dish eaten, every area of my body satisfied from this restaurant.  In addition to the food, I loved having a night out at a fancy dinner with just the cohort.  I really feel that it gave us the time to relax outside of our hotel rooms, and we have already grown closer, which I am so happy about.
Mariko, Me, Ivette
After our time in St. Louis, I am more than excited to continue on this trip with these people, because I feel that we will help each other grow everyday this summer.  Even when we split up into our two different classes, I know that we will feel comfortable enough to reach out and come together as a group.  Saying that, I am sad to leave St. Louis but I am thrilled to fly to Chicago tomorrow and gain more precious memories with this year's UPenn cohort.

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