Since I'm writing this days after I've come back, things have become a bit jumbled up regarding what happened on what day, but I shall try my utmost best.
The first thing I have to get out of the way is my misconception of Vanessa's roommate. She is neither non-sociable nor was she displeased that I was there, but both those things and then some. I dislike her entirely. Fan of Regina Spektor or not, I'm glad I won't be seeing her again.
Other than that, my trip was amazing! I got to explore the East Coast and get accustomed to their way of living - which, don't be surprised now, is very much like ours. I did pick up some East Coast lingo however. For instance, "siced" is a word they use to say they're very excited about something. "I'm siced about the Jack Johnson concert!" could be one example. I'm assuming this is directly East Coast lingo because I've never come across it here - ever. There's other ways to use it too, but they escape me. Still, I've already incorporated it into my everyday speech.
The second day I was there I met Vanessa's friends, who are all very, very cool and nice. I went to a CKI meeting the first night I was there (CKI is like the college-version of Key Club, before you join Kiwanis) and met her fellow members who were also cool. So, the second day Vanessa, Ashley, Felicia, and I went to dinner at...a place I can't even remember the name of because it was so horrible. All I know is that it was UMD's campus restaurant, and that I'm strongly recommending you not go there. It's expensive, and the service is lacking - although there was this waiter that looked a cross between Pau and Sasha, and he was nice. It was a really good time though, I was honestly cracking up the whole dinner. Oh, before I go any further, one place I will recommend for food is Noodles, Inc. It's a great franchise that sells...well, noodles. But of every variety. Italian, Asian, American (as in Mac 'n Cheese.) It's very good and not very expensive.
Also, I got to meet (more like glance at) Vanessa's crush that day. She's so cute about her crushes; she freaks out. But I guess I would do the same. I can't really say much about him since I BARELY saw him, but he's British. Need I say more?
Now the days start mushing together, so I'm going to guess from here on out. The next thing I remember doing (and this probably happened on the second day now that I think about it) was going to a cool indie movie house called AFI in Silver Spring, MD. Vanessa and I took the metro...where I cheated and didn't put my farecard through at the terminal (more on this later) to go see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which was really, really good. But really, REALLY intense. It was funny - in odd, subtle ways, even though the lead actor was pretty funny period. But it is NOT a comedy. It's a thriller AND it's a foreign film (Swedish.) If you're a movie buff, you have to love foreign films because they're just better than American films in general (okay, my opinion), but you also have to know that foreign films don't edit a damn thing. So, prepare yourself if you're going to see this movie. Still, it's a really great movie. AND it's a book, a trilogy. I'm definitely reading it.
After the movie, we went back to the metro terminal and I reattempted to cheat my way through by not using my farecard and hurrying after Vanessa so I wouldn't get closed out. I thought I was home free, but then...while getting on the escalator...a voice stopped me. That of the popo! I was freaking out, I knew he'd seen me, why else would he stop me mid-escalator?! Well, he did see me, and he threatened me with a $50 ticket where, once I heard that, I pleaded with him and told him I was just a silly Californian who didn't know how the system worked, etc. So he let me go long story short, but that was stupid. NEVER DO THAT. Granted, I'm stupid so I don't think anyone would, but still. DON'T.
Vanessa's the President of CKI so she's a busybody and she had to be gone the entire day once. I'm pretty sure this was the third or fourth day. Anyway, I got to explore College Park by myself. I walked around (by now it was getting hot, in the 80s), ate (I am now convinced that no matter what college you go to, the food is disgusting - except UCLA) and decided I wanted to go back to Silver Spring, which I did (this time using my farecard thank you very much.) I walked around, took some photos, then went back to AFI to watch Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller. It was...okay. It had its moments, but it was a Noah Baumbach film...I hated The Squid and the Whale. Greenberg was definitely better, but not a movie I'd recommend necessarily. When I got back it was almost eleven at night (public trans can be annoying), which meant it was time for bed. Although Vanessa and I shared her top bunk, it was strangely comfortable and not as frightening as I thought.
The next thing I remember doing is going to Chinatown in Washington, D.C. which was really fun. We just walked around, took a HILARIOUS picture of a guy smoking a pipe who looked like some kind of spy, and went to museums, or a portrait museum to be exact. It was really cool - literally, the air conditioning was a savior. The museum itself was really interesting. I love museums. I could stay in one all day long. I took some illegal photos in there apparently - oops.
After that day, Vanessa took me to a CKI event - Total K Day! Which was in Virginia. Maryland, Washington, Virginia. I killed three birds with one stone (this saying makes me really sad, but it applies nonetheless.) So, some of CKI's cohorts, me, and Vanessa went on a three hour car ride to Total K Day. I've never heard so much Lady Gaga in my life. Cal, the former president, is outrageously gay and so...I heard about thirteen remixes of "Telephone" but it was fun. The actual event was great. I got to meet Vanessa's stalker and make cards for sick kids in the hospital and DANCE. Fun, fun, fun. The ride back made it an adventure though. So, we're about an hour away from UMD and we see police lights flashing. Now I've never been pulled over in my life. EVER. To make things worse, we were illegally crammed into the van. Two people were sitting in one seat. It was nerve-wracking, even for me. Cal was freaking, but stayed pretty calm. When he pulled out his registration papers, there were a few dollars jammed into them, which we later joked was to suggest to the cop we'd pay him off - not. It felt like the cop was taking forever to check Cal's history and we were thinking of ways to have him let us go (show him our matching CKI service event shirts to provoke sympathy?) Amazingly, even though the cop KNEW we were illegally crammed in the van, he just let Cal off with a warning to fix his taillight. Damn taillight. It was fun though. Before that, on the way back, we also sang Vanessa happy birthday in the car. Way to start off being twenty, don't you think?
On Vanessa's actual birthday we spent it with her cousins and aunt, which was cool. One of her cousins is crazy, but in a really good way. Now I know why Vanessa is so weird! There was a point where everybody started singing songs from Fiddler On the Roof. It was one of those rare moments where I truly felt I belonged right here, right now, in this moment.
And with that, I was off to BWI airport at FIVE IN THE MORNING. Ugh. And now I'm back in California, which I actually missed quite a bit. I love the East Coast, but there's just nothing like California. Truly. I miss Vanessa, she needs to come home. However, I'm glad I finally got to visit her. I feel very accomplished.