Monday, March 29, 2010

Maryland: Day 1


It is so refreshing.

Vanessa's in her 3-hour journalism class and I'm just-showered in a cramped yet cozy dorm room with the window cracked open. The weather is a bit wet and therefore wildly exhilarating. From the window I can see a brick building and a bare tree, dampened and dark from the morning rain. It's already five o' clock and I've spent the whole day adjusting to East Coast time.

My flight got in at around 6:30am. It was a peaceful flight; everyone seemed to fall asleep - except for me that is. I didn't get to have any interesting conversations, but the older couple next to me were very kind people. I'm definitely bringing food on my way home because all they seemed to show was Man v. Food. Not cool United Airlines. Not cool. The journey was a bumpy one filled with turbulence - which was just grand. Even though I thought I was somewhat traumatized from the five-foot drop on my last flight, I wasn't scared in the slightest, it was actually quite fun, though we did have a harsh landing. It was foggy when we came in, so the landing came out of nowhere. I felt like a lone swimmer in the ocean, waiting for the worst. Which touches on something of interest. I feel I'm somewhat of a morbid person. For some reason, if I'm doing something remotely dangerous, I think of the worst case scenario. Take the plane for instance, I kept thinking "What if Man v. Food is the last thing I watch before I die? That would be kind of funny." I mean, how morbid is that? I guess it's not too bad though. At least I'm not Harry Burns.

Anyway, I LOVE TRAVELING! Especially via airplane. I LOVE IT. From the hustle and bustle of the airport, to people-watching in the terminal, to finding your seat and settling in for a ride unlike any other. It's honestly the GREATEST. I guess traveling could be considered a hobby/interest, and as one, it would be my favorite. Once I landed, I grabbed my luggage (which was giving me a scare, mine was the second to last piece!) After that, I called Vanessa and reported my confusion as to where I was, then found the B30 bus stop (#2 to be specific) and waited about five minutes. I boarded the bus like a pro (thanks public trans in Santa Barbara!) and took a half hour drive to the metro station (Greenbelt for those of you who ever want to visit UMD.) Along the was breathtaking. There were so many trees! Even though they were bare, they were beautiful! Thin and lanky and thick and tall and all different colors; maroon, beige, brown, black. Those with leaves stood proud and when we passed by an open field filled with floating mist, I held my breath. The East Coast is truly something else. It's such a breath of fresh air - literally. The air is crisp and fresh, with forewarning of humidity if stuck indoors.

Public transportation is a breeze. I met Vanessa at Greenbelt and we took a short metro trip - on which we passed a massive lake where two gentlemen were fishing - then boarded another bus to her school (which was PACKED with college kids and whose driver SUCKED - he hit the breaks so fast everyone was thrown around.)

After that ordeal, we finally reached our main destination: the University of Maryland, College Park. It is INCREDIBLY different from West Coast universities. It is quintessential East Coast. Nearly all the buildings are brick with huge white columns and direct print labeling their purpose. It's really great. Vanessa's dorm is brick as well and I feel like I've been thrown back in time to the days of the colonies. She swipes her card and opens the ONE door to her hall. It's a maze inside and I make sure to memorize the way to get to her dorm - her hall is COMPLETELY different than mine was in Santa Barbara. They don't have elevators, and there's different passageways and stairs to get to her room. The building is older than mine was and her dorm is much smaller than mine with only one closet to share and the desks pushed to the wall nearest the door. But like I said, it's cozy. There's a heater under the one window that can be opened by pushing up - like the ones you always see in old movies. Vanessa's desk is covered in papers and important things and a lot of post-its. She even has a piece of yellow notebook paper taped to the top of her desk for self-motivation for those hard times we're all familiar with: "I love you, me!" and "Vaness=AMAZIN'." She's adorable. There's a bunk bed across from the desks. Vanessa has top bunk. Her roommate is either not very sociable or upset about my being here - I haven't figured that out quite yet, but I guess we all have our bad days. She likes Keane and Regina Spektor so she's cool with me irregardless.

And, just in time, Vanessa's back! Update lates.

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