5pm Wednesday August 31, 2016: I received a text message from my roommate asking me if I wanted to go to Yellowstone. [Context: Week right before Labour Day weekend]
I said, “what.”
10pm Wednesday August 31, 2016: We have three plane tickets booked to Washington D.C. leaving that Saturday and coming back on the Labour Day Monday. Spontaneous is my middle name. Oh, but why three plane tickets you ask? Because I’m a doofus and booked a plane ticket for myself while my roommate, sitting next to me, booked a plane ticket for the two of us. Great communication Michelle! So that happened… it was proceeded by some mandatory freak out sessions, phone calls, and frantic prayers. I was told that the ticket had already been processed and wasn’t able to get a refund, only a return on credit, and that if when I wanted to use my credit for a different flight there would be a $200 change fee, therefore leaving me with only $27 of usable credit. *Insert unamused, defeated emoji: -.- * Thankfully, the frantic prayers had more impact than my freak out sessions and when I refused to accept the no-refund policy by calling again I came across a nice customer service representative who went to their manager and relayed to me that I would be getting my full refund back in 5-7 business days. So casually and simply delivered. I was shocked. God is good, God is great.
12pm Saturday September 3, 2016: Worst plane landing ever. My flight left at 8:30am from Chicago O’Hare, but I had to get from school to the airport which involved a 3:25am departure bus leaving from Champaign and arriving at the airport at 6am. Tl;dr – no sleep. The plane from Chicago to D.C. wasn’t even that small but the landing was so wobbly, shaky, and uncomfortable. I already had a throbbing headache from sleep deprivation but the bumps turned my stomach upside down and inside out. Despite feeling hazy, I put on my simple carry-on bag and left the airport with my roommate to the metro. We were on a mission to make the best worth out of this one and a half hour flight so we started with some classic Washington D.C. tourist places: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Air and Space Museum, Capitol Hill, Kennedy Center, and Washington Monument.
2pm Saturday September 3, 2016: We finally decide to head for lunch/linner? at Luke’s Lobster where we ordered a crab roll and a lobster salad to split. The lobster was so so so good. It was fresh and juicy and soft and tender. I’m not even an avid seafood fan but this lobster got me converted.
6pm Saturday September 3, 2016: I step out of the metro station and am greeted by a sign that says “George Washington University Hospital.” My eyes widen and my brain scrambles to put together all my thoughts and emotions at that moment. The finished puzzle picture goes something like this: I had a childhood best friend from Lake Zurich, Illinois but when I moved to Ottawa, Canada we lost touch. I really loved our friendship back then, but when I moved I had a weird teenage brain and decided to stop talking to everyone from ‘the past.’ Many of those friendships I had no problem cutting off because they didn’t mean anything back then, but I was most reluctant to cut off this friendship where together we claimed each other as BFFLTASAs (Best friends for life that are short and Asian).
Somehow our BFFLTASA telepathic link told me that he was at George Washington University. Okay … fine … credits to my stalking skills once upon a boring high school day. But anyways, one part of me was excited and wanted to contact him right away, yet another part of me was scared. Fear of rejection that he wouldn’t accept me after I had cut him off and become a stranger. But I mean I was already all the way across the country and who was the one that said spontaneous was my middle name?
10am Sunday September 4, 2016: The three of us sit down at Paul’s Bakery for brunch, happily eating our various egg dishes after a joyful reunion bursting with excited hugs, pure smiles, and cheesy hearts. There was so much catching up to do and I never felt more thankful for taking a risk not only by coming out to D.C. last minute but for reaching out and taking initiative to spark a flame in an old friendship again. See I had already been to D.C. before, last summer actually, but I never got the chance to really explore deeply all the places it had to offer so my friend tour guided us around the row of embassies, Dupont circle, and a farmer’s market. It was a nice way to really bring out the true beauty of D.C.
1pm Sunday September 4, 2016: I bought a train ticket to Baltimore. Yes, I did. My roommate didn’t want me to be bored since I had already been to D.C. before so she suggested we take a day trip to Baltimore and check it out over there. Train leaves at 1:25pm, so I went downstairs to go to the bathroom first and for some reason I just sit there and scroll through my phone. I don’t know what I was thinking, maybe I was tired. But I look at my phone and it was 1:21pm. Oh, so I have four minutes to get on the train. I casually buckle my belt and walk upstairs over to the gate just at 1:24 but lo and behold a guy stops me and says the gate is closed and I can’t get on. My roommate calls me and asks where I am because she already got on. I try to plead the man to let me on but he says the train is already moving.
2pm Sunday September 4, 2016: I am holding a train ticket scheduled for a 2:15pm departure as well as a full refund for my exchanged ticket. I am wearing a confused but unbothered expression. I scurry out of there to piece together this foreign unfiltered information. Miss the train, exchange for a later train free of charge, and receive my money back for the ticket price I previously already paid? I’ll take a free ticket any day! No clue what happened, but no complaints either.
6pm Sunday September 4, 2016: Raw oyster and broiled crab cake stuffed fully in my mouth right now-sorry I can’t talk. I mean, I am all the way on the East coast, and aside from the museum and park we went to, Baltimore is all about just the basics. It offers you good seafood and doesn’t glam up the rest. A simple water taxi tour and a walk on Federal Hill appeased a layer of our wanderlust but the seafood dinner took it all the way home.
9am Monday September 5, 2016: Speaking of home, my plane leaves back to Chicago at 11:30am so we squeeze time in the morning to go to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, like the responsible adults we are. Our whole trip this past weekend we’ve been getting around via the metro, Uber, or our own two feet. Public transport is fairly user-friendly, except for when you’re on a time crunch, so we chose to take an Uber from our hostel to the Monument. It wasn’t just any Uber though, it was UberxPool. And it wasn’t just any UberxPool, it was a continuous chain kind. The driver picked us up, picked someone else up, dropped them off, proceeded to pick someone else up but ended up receiving a no-show, and STILL went on his to way to PICK UP YET ANOTHER PERSON! It was only at this point did we really start to regret our responsible adult decision of not rushing to the airport first thing in the morning. We had actually already been to the Monument the night before but picky Michelle wanted a nice good quality picture in the daytime. I just wanted one pictureee---all I ask for. Sigh… when he dropped us off and I ran in to snap a picture and left. I promise, I normally do appreciate tourist attractions and nature for more than 2 seconds, but this time I just didn’t have that free time. It wasn’t the most ideal way to end our time in D.C. but I still had fun throughout the whole trip doing things I’ve never done and trying things I’d never think of.
5pm Monday September 5, 2016: I receive a text from a friend asking me if I want to go out to Maize for dinner. [Context: currently standing in front of my open fridge]
I said, “Sure.”
Not as adventurous of an invitation this time, but isn’t that what life is like when you come back home to the real world?
A little monotonous and safe, but comfortable.
Isn’t that our choice though? Some people can live that routine life perfectly fine every day. Others cannot. I’m sorry – I cannot be contained.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OFF TO MY NEXT ADVENTURE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(and by adventure I mean class... )
This is my story,
Michelle Yin | September 17, 2016 | 1:28pm
I have a story. You have a story. And while these stories need to be heard, in the end..we are all more than a story but still simple wayfarers of life.
A blog cannot contain the entire person I am, it is just a colorful collection of my stories.
P.S. Please ignore all preview blog posts due to it being written by my high school self for an English class project requiring the creation of this blog. I only keep it for amusement purposes.
Thanks for bearing