Welcome to the chronicle of my east coast adventures this Spring Break. It was mostly college visitations but there was a ton of other fun stuff too!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Day Three: Ithaca and NY City

We didn't really have to get up early in Ithaca but we got up at a decent hour and headed over to Cornell for an information session and a tour. We wandered around the Cornell bookstore before the info session and I discovered that I really like college bookstores. I took to taking pictures of things I wanted so that I could look into buying them later. For example:

We looked around the campus a little bit before we headed to the info session. The campus was very nice, one might describe it as beautiful, but it didn't really appeal to me. To me, it was a lot like a really upscale high school with the roof removed. Everything was paved, everything looked the same, everything was grey, and it all looked way too structured. I just wasn't impressed, it didn't seem like the right environment. We wandered into a building and were looking into the doors of various labs when we met a grad student who took us into his lab and talked to us about material science for a little bit. He was working with thin films and developing more efficient fuel cells. I took pictures:

We thanked the guy and then left the building. By this point I really wasn't impressed with the campus and was just not interested. We didn't even bother staying for the information session because I knew I wasn't going to apply, so we decided that we'd just leave and work our way to New York City. We'd be getting there earlier so that we could do some stuff in NYC before nightfall. We hopped in the car and started the 4 hour drive. I felt really bad about not liking Cornell because it's such a nice school, but that's why you do visitations like this, to find out if you like colleges or not. Imagine if I had been accepted and attended and THEN found out that I didn't like it? BAAAAAAD! So, on to New York City. Again, I was navigator, and we made it fairly well until we all of a sudden missed an exit and ended up on the wrong interstate. This poses a problem, because we were using MapQuest, which becomes useless if you deviate at all from it. I had to dig out a street map and find out where we were and guide my mom in so that we could rejoin the MapQuest instructions. I would like to say that I did a great job accomplishing this, getting us straight to the Lincoln Tunnel, possibly quicker than we would have had we followed MapQuest. My mom said "Michael! Take a picture of the Lincoln Tunnel as we go in!" "Mom, I don't want to." "Do it!" "Ok". First though, I took a picture of what was on my lap, because that's pretty much what my lap looked like for the whole trip: Cash for tolls, map, and MapQuest. See?

So, then I took a picture of the tunnel up ahead:

We get up to pay the toll and the guy in the toll booth says "I would put the camera away if I were you otherwise the police will take the camera" "Why?" "Terrorism, they'll think you're casing the joint" "oh" I put the camera away, and sure enough, there's a cop standing right there, checking cars. Oh thanks mom! Michael, take a picture! Michael, it'll be fun! Michael, we can go to prison! Anywho, we made it through the tunnel after being cut off a bunch and then we were thick into downtown Manhattan. That, my friends, is scary driving! My mom drove while I tried to get her to the right spot. We barely survived, but we survived long enough for my mom to say "Michael! Take pictures! This is so cool!" Of course I'm sitting in the passanger sheet with MapQuest and the map totally freaking out, and now I'm being forced to take pictures! Here are the pictures that I was forced to take. Enjoy them, for my sake!

Eventually we navigated to our hotel, which, by some amazing coincidence, was right off of Times Square. Traffic Nightmare! Eventually we get to breathe a sigh of relief when we find the parking garage. We have the guys park our car for us and walk all of our bags to the hotel. Our room was on the 9th floor, the top. We unpacked and got settled in and by this time it was getting dark, so we decided to hit the town. We wandered to Virgin Records first. THAT PLACE IS HUGE! I've never seen so many CD's in my life, it was so overwhelming. The entire ground floor was rock/pop and upstairs they had 4 aisles devoted entirely to soundtracks! SO MUCH MUSIC! After that we hit Toys 'R Us, which I'll talk about more later. Toys 'R Us was absolutely incredible. It was three stories tall, had a ferris wheel, Geoffery, huge lego sculptures, life-sized Candyland characters, dinosaurs, and everything else. I took pictures, again, different post. After Toys 'R Us we just wandered Manhattan. We stopped at gift shops and I bought a Statue of Liberty lighter for Chelsie. We ate dinner at a restaurant where the waiters/waitresses sang. They were aspiring broadway actors, and the food was good! After that we wandered a bit more and then we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest before a long day to follow. Little did we know that the next day was going to be LOOOOOONG! Sleep, it's a good thing!


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