Monday, July 11, 2016

I - One Line, Two Line, Red Line, Blue Line

Dear Reader,

Just hopped on the Metra.
Sooo our house planned to have an optional breakfast gathering in the morning, but 7:30 AM was a bit too early for me on a Sunday morning after a full day of activities, so I ended up waking around 10 AM and headed to the common room about 11:30 for some group bonding after unpacking a little. Though the bonding activities were scheduled to end around 12, the group was in the middle of a game and I felt thoroughly awkward, so I stood around for an excruciating 2 minutes and picked up my stuff and left.

Lucia!! and Sandplanes!!

There were a TON of people. 2000lb of them.
On my way out, I passed by the kitchen and I thought, "Man, I'd like to bake some cinnamon rolls about now", and I promptly searched up the nearest grocery mart (Trader Joe's) on Google Maps and headed out with my backpack and phone in hand. My ID was shoved in my pocket with some earbuds, and I went to the nearest Metra station (on the edge of campus. oooh, edgy) to catch a bus/train thingy-ma-bobber to Grant Park, the stop closest to Trader Joe's and coincidentally (maybe not quite coincidentally) Taste of Chicago.


At the Metra stop, I met a recent graduate who told me (after telling him that I was "new student at UChicago" to try this Greek restaurant called Solaris on 57th and Blackhall. There was a lot of L train/Metra/bus changing but I didn't get lost, surprisingly. On the way back, a lady trying to buy a ticket was about a dollar short, so I just gave her a dollar and she looked and me in amazement and praised me unnecessarily. I have to admit, it felt nice though.

The stop at Grant Park led you straight to the opening of Taste of Chicago, with huge free admissions signs and mouth-watering smells in the air. I spent a couple hours at Taste of Chicago, enjoying a lunch that wasn't dorm pizza, until a man who looked familiar passed by. I kept on walking, but a few seconds later I am tapped on the shoulder.

Him: "Ernestina? Is that you? Do you remember me?"
Me: "Uhhhh, no, not quite."
Him: "I'm Lucia's dad, Lucia's sitting over there!"
Me: "Woah."

A couple asked me for a picture and returned the favor.
So I ended up chatting with Lucia's family for awhile, and we left the festival together. I had two extra food tickets, but everything was 3 and up, so I just gave the tickets to some young guys who ate like bottomless pits (every guy ever, how?). I told them I was going to pick up some groceries from Trader Joe's and head back down to the dorms because there was a mandatory transit meeting (turned out to be about the trains I just took and how to navigate them. Lol, two words: Google Maps) at 4 o'clock.

It was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon by that point, so I had plenty of time to get to the market. There was a Nordstrom that had a bunch of other little shops inside, so I went in dressed in basketball shorts and flip flops and ended up buying a watch (I left mine at home, thinking I wouldn't need it.) Trader Joe's was right across the street, where I was disappointed to find they didn't sell biscuit dough. Instead I picked up cornbread mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some butter, thinking I would make cinnamon cornbread muffins when I went back to the dorms.

Walkin' through the streets of Chicago.
I asked the RA about muffin tins, and he said he could get me one, just not today, so though I was sad about not being able to bake today, I was happy that I still get the chance to later. Since I had bought butter, I wanted to put the items in a refrigerator, but my key wouldn't unlock any of the ones I had found (still looking, btw) since the keys only open certain kitchen. Instead, thoroughly concerned that the butter might melt, I turned my room to 50 degrees F hoping that the temperature was cool enough to keep the butter solid. My room was now freezing, so I hung out with Doris and we decided to go practice in the music rooms that we had explored the previous night. I got my violin from my room, and she got her piano music, and we played in the same room for awhile before actually practicing, upon which we split into two rooms and practiced until 9 (which was maybe an hour or more), and then headed up to study break, found that it wasn't as lit as we thought it would be, and left to chill by ourselves.

A bit later I decided that it was probably time to take a shower, and bid Doris adieu, but in the middle of my shower it hit me: I DIDN'T SIGN IN FOR CURFEW. WHAT TIME IS IT??? WILL I GET A CURFEW VIOLATION???? I panicked for the rest of my shower and scrammed to my room as quickly as possible to check the time, and found that it was 9:40 PM, giving me plenty of time to sign in for curfew (which ends at 10:15 Sun-Thurs). However, when I went down to sign in, I noticed that Doris hadn't been down, which made me start to worry as it was already 10 PM.

I text her, but get no response, and promptly assume she's asleep and rush up to her room (which I pass by like, twice -- I get lost inside more easily than Waldo ;-;). She wasn't sleeping (or maybe she's just a light napper), but she's relieved that I came up, or else she would have missed curfew and gotten a violation. But hey, that's what friends do, right? :^ )


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