Sunday, July 15, 2012

Halfway Point

Yesterday was amazingly fun, but it was also really exhausting. It was great to have a change of pace today and relax a little more than usual. I woke up around 9 AM, meaning I got over 8 hours of sleep, the second time this has happened this trip! Clara, David and I went to brunch at King’s Court right when it opened, and then split up for our separate activities. David went with Cameron, Ivette, and Alysa to the King of Prussia Mall, while Clara and I went ice-skating.

We drove to ice-skating in a yellow school bus, which was definitely a step down from the coach buses that we had taken for the weekend day trips and physics field trips. There wasn’t any air-conditioning, but we more than compensated by opening every single window so that wind rushed throughout the bus. It was actually kind of exhilarating…but I’ve already talked about how much I like bus rides.

As we approached the onramp for the freeway, I was startled to see that the sign said “To New Jersey.” Coming from California, which is huge, it’s still surprises me how close everything is on the East Coast. If I drove 30 minutes to get to a skating rink back home, there is no doubt that I would still be in California. However, 30 minutes on the East Coast can put you in a different state. I wonder if that means that kids on the East Coast are better at U.S. geography.

We ate in an enclosed space called a pod (go figure). We were allowed to control the color of our lighting, so we spent most of dinner looking like purple or green aliens.
Ivette uses chopsticks for the first time!

Ice-skating was really fun, even if it wasn’t something you’d expect to do in the middle of the summer. I’m not that good at ice-skating, but it’s one of the things that I allow myself to do even if I know there’s a strong possibility I’ll end up looking really stupid. I love the feel of the blades cutting into the ice, the rush of cool air, and the sense of speed. I love the grace with which true skaters move even I know I’ll never come close to it.

Later in the afternoon, I went to the park with Kaley and Gabby to practice shooting (soccer, not with guns or something). After a quick shower, I headed down to the office to meet with the rest of the Penn Team. Mr. Lawrence picked us up for dinner a little before 8 PM, and we signed out without difficulties.

We dined at an Asian-fusion place called Pod. I was deliriously happy to have Asian food (especially good rice!!!), so I would have been happy with almost any quality of cuisine, but I’m pleased to report that the food was great quality. University City is going through a two-week period called Dining Days, throughout which participating restaurants offer special discounts on certain meal options. I ordered miso soup, teriyaki salmon, and cheesecake as my combo option. We also shared orders of eggplant, fried rice, shrimp and broccoli, and duck.

Everything was delicious and I ate way too much, but it was great to relax with everybody and talk about our week. It's crazy to think that I'm halfway through physics, but I guess time is just weird like that. During the first few days of college touring I felt like we were packing so much into such a small amount of time, but now the days just whiz by. Before I know it, we'll be heading back to the Bay Area. I'll be sad to leave, but after learning so much in only two weeks I know I'll have learned even more by the end of the program.

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