Oh no… I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, especially not today. I knew this would happen. I’m late! I quickly run to the bathroom, shower, and throw on a pair of sweats, a sweater, and my Vans. I gather my suitcase and pack any last minute items. I say goodbye to my grandma and my mom and hop into my Uber. I stop at Starbucks and pick up two Chocolate Croissants and a Hot Chocolate. I also stop at Raphaela’s house and pick her up. By the time we get to the MAD Academy the students are about to board the bus. We check in with one of the administrators, Pablo, and find relatively good seats on the bus. Makayla and Elizabeth are behind us and Claire and James sit in front of us. Luckily, we kind of cut in front of the others. Otherwise, we would have had the very front seatsRoughly two hours into the trip, we stop in some random hole-in-the-wall town. The town is called Visalia (I only know this because of Snapchat’s Geofilters). My friends and I go to McDonald’s order some food and sit to enjoy it. Once we finish, we rush to the supermarket and buy a platter of fruit, a Naked, and a “Family Sized” bag of chips for Elizabeth. We pay and rush back to the Airbus as we were given a time limit. The rest of the ride there was lots of twists and turns. After about another hour or two, we finally got to see some snow and sequoias! The noise levels rise and soon everyone is talking about it. We STILL continue to drive for about 45 minutes until finally, people begin noticing signals dropping. At last, we see signs of civilization (other than the roads, of course) and most of us are exhausted by now. We rejoice and a lot of us can’t wait to get off this jam-packed bus. We get off, collect our suitcases, and wait for instruction. Of course, someone throws a snowball and pretty soon everyone has a handful of snow and is ready to chuck it at the next person.
I wake up to the sound of my alarm blaring. It’s 8:30. I’m gonna be late! I throw on the first thing I find and rush to the bathroom and do my hair as quickly as possible. While I prepare my lunch, I order an Uber. I pack up my things and rush out the door.
After six and a half hours of sitting in classrooms, students begin crowding the door. The long-awaited bell finally rings. I meet up with Raphaela at the flagpole. We quickly begin walking down towards State Street to grab something to eat. We stop at Blenders in the Grass and I get a Tropical Kale smoothie, my new favorite drink. After that, we go to The Habit and wait in line. When it’s finally our turn, Raphaela orders a Chocolate Smoothie and a Kid’s Grilled Cheese while I get a Charburger Lettuce Wrap. Once we’ve collected our orders we stroll on over to Chase Palm Park to enjoy our meals.
Along the way, I throw a few fries to some birds. I quickly regret this as it calls its buddies and soon enough there’s a pool of sea gulls sitting at our feet. We leave the park and walk over to West Beach. We realize we forgot to bring a beach towel or something to sit on so I take off my jacket and she pulls a shirt out of her backpack and we sit on our make-shift towels. We had been talking for at least an hour when I decided it was a good time to take some pictures.
We’re taking pictures when all of a sudden, some random guy comes up to us and asks Raphaela if she’s a supermodel. We both laugh and she tells the guy she isn’t. Once he leaves she talks about how awkward that is. Her phone starts ringing, her mom is calling, and I can hear her talking about how she was supposed to be home almost an hour ago. I call my mom’s boyfriend to pick us up but know he’s probably gonna take a while to get here. While we’re waiting for him to pick us up, we take a few more pictures until he gets there. After around 15 minutes, he gets there and takes us both home.
Today is the day. The day we have been waiting for, for weeks. It’s 8:00 AM and I have all the time in the world. I immediately check my Snapchat and reply to those who have contacted me. I scroll through my Instagram feed and comment on a few posts. I do this for about an hour. I finally get up, walk over to my kitchen, and pop a bagel into the toaster. I wait for the familiar little “ding” notifying me that my bagel is perfectly toasted. I spread cream cheese on both slices and serve myself a glass of milk. Once I finish, I confirm my plans with Raphaela, Leslie, Kim, and Victoria. I gather my clothes and jump into the shower to start getting ready for tonight. After about ten minutes of washing up, I hop out, brush my teeth, and get dressed. I meet up with Kim and we go to State Street to kill time and just hang out. We pop into Zumiez and buy a few bags of stuff each. We quickly get bored and head to the bridge in between Montecito Street and Gutierrez Street. We get a text from Raphaela saying she’s almost done getting ready and we realize what time it is. We only have about an hour and a half to get home and get ready! We quickly take a few pictures and get an Uber immediately after that.
It drops off Kim at her house first then heads over to mine. I jump in the shower again and take the quickest shower of my life. I wash my face, do my hair, brush my teeth, and get dressed all within about forty-five minutes. I wait for Kim to show up to my house so we can share an Uber over to the courthouse to take a few more pics with the rest of our friends. Raphaela is the only one there when Kim and I get there. So we take a few pics of ourselves before everyone else arrives.
Shortly after, Vicky gets there with Leslie by her side and quickly jumps in to take pictures with the rest of us. By this time, the entire property was crawling with either tourists or other students trying to take pictures. We all agreed to take pictures somewhere a little less typical next time.
It’s nearing 6:00 PM so we rush over to Benchmark Eatery to make it in time for our reservations. We all ask for our drinks and decide to wait for our other friends to order. The waitress returns every five minutes or so, and we finally decide to order. I get a simple Benchmark Burger and let everyone else order. Right as our waitress wraps up our order, our friends rush in and apologize for being so late. They promptly sit down and order their meals. A short wait later, our meals arrive and we all dig in. All the while, were conversing and building up the anticipation leading to tonight. We finish our meals and hop into Isabel’s mom’s car. She drives us up to the flagpole and we get in line with the rest of our peers. We get through the awfully long line and stroll down to the dance. After about three hours of nonstop dancing, the DJ announced that he had to stop the dance because of noise complaints.