Sorry it's taken me so long to publish this. I wrote so many notes down and had so little time to blog that it kept piling up! But now I've got some time. I'll start from the very beginning...
I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm was set to go off at 4:30. While I waited quietly in the dark, I said silent good-byes to each of my old stuffed animals. (Yes, I still sleep with a couple toys. Got a problem with that?) A little later, when everyone else was up and ready, we had a quick breakfast of freshly squeezed OJ (thanks, Shira ^,^) and some oatmeal with raisins in it. Oatmeal is such a comforting food, don't you find? Well, it calmed me down a bit. At the table we reviewed everything important Annette and I needed to know before we left, making sure we didn't forget a thing. Now that it was time, I didn't feel so scared like I had been all week leading up to it. More excited. It was really happening. Annette and I were going to be independent!
We threw our four carry-on bags in the trunk (we weren't about to spend extra money on any checking luggage, no sir!) and drove over to airport, which took a while. Then we hugged and kissed our parents and Adam one last time, and entered into what could only be described as... the Great Unknown.
But it wasn't so bad as all that. Security was much easier than I thought it would be. All we had to do was show our boarding passes (the lady was nice and noticed our twin-ness), take our shoes off and pull our laptop computer out of it's case. We didn't set any alarm off. Yay! We weren't terrorists! Walking on, we immediately saw Tamara's kids waiting outside the gate of our plane. We had a nice time talking to them for a while, and then Tamara and her husband, Joe, showed up with donuts for their kids. We were okay with eating the apples we'd packed. We waited with them for more than an hour. We talked a little, told jokes, and watched as the sky outside grew lighter. Before it was time to board, Tamara was nice enough to take our picture, as well as one of us with our friends.
The plane was pretty small. Not like I expected. I guess they save the humongo airplanes for international flights. Oh well. Tamara and everyone sat at the front of the plane while we were assigned seats the back, so we couldn't hang out with them. But that was alright, as long as my twin and I sat next to each other. When the plane finally started to seriously move, it took off almost like it was a theme park ride or something. It was really fast! It was fun watching the land rapidly shrink before our eyes, even though neither of us got a window seat. There was a dude half blocking our view. Soon after the land disappeared, we saw the clouds up close. So puffy. ^_^
My ears popped almost half an hour after being in the air. I soon got bored of the novelty of flying. I snacked on trail mix, read stories from Thin Threads, and switched off listening to the iPod with Annette for 3 hours. Listening to the iPod was particularly engaging and passed the time quickly. I noticed a young girl next to me who looked air-sick, holding a barf bag. Her brother next to her seemed to like looking out the window. A mom a few seats ahead played with her smiley little baby. I can remember thinking about my family, and the last picture I had made of them in my memory, of them standing together and smiling and waving at me and my sister. I almost felt like they were still with me, like they were a couple seats in front of us or something, but we couldn't see them. Just a safe kind of presence was near us. Must have been our angels or something...
I had to go to the plane bathroom a total 3 times. The last time I went, we were probably an hour or so from arriving, so I looked myself in the mirror and gave myself a kind of pep talk, reminding myself to enjoy every single day of this trip, no matter what happens to me. I felt a little silly, but also felt good. It must have been all those Thin Thread stories getting to me.
I never got to finish my trail mix on the plane. I left only the raisins. We started our descent, and the backwards ear-popping was uncomfortable, particularly since I was listening to the iPod at the time and the earbuds were in my ears. We noticed how our empty water bottle got crushed from the pressure of going down. It was funny. I guess there's some sort of science to it involved, but I'm not sure what it was. The windows shone brightly, as if we were in Heaven. Then we went below the clouds and it got darkish. I hoped the weather would be alright down below. Then I saw the city. It looked amazing!
I wanted to take a movie of us leaving the plane with my camera, but I didn't get the chance. Maybe it was just as well that I didn't. Tamara and her family were kind enough to wait up for us, and even let us use their phone to call Benny and Shira and let them know we'd made it to the airport. They were so happy to hear us, and we told them we'd call them later on Skype when we got to the apartment. We left our friends and took the free shuttle bus to the "T" stop and then got a ticket for the train. While waiting for it, I felt the cool Boston air for the first time, and it was refreshing and cool. Quite unlike the muggy Florida weather. Though it did look kind of dark and gloomy. As soon as we got to the Government Center stop, just when we were wondering when the "B" train would arrive, immediately a family pointed to each other and said, "Look, is that the B? Yes, we can just catch it!" So it was like we were in the right place at the right time, or as I like to call it, divine timing. When the train got out of the tunnel and into the city, there weren't many passengers, so we could relax and we took a few pics and vids for the fun of it. At last, we arrived at our stop, right in front of our beloved building. The neighborhood looked just as I'd remembered it, as if we'd never left the place at all. But then we went inside...
There didn't seem to be anybody home at first, but when we got to our room, the first thing I noticed was a small, chihuahua-sized dog, sitting on our bed. It growled at us. Spooky! It was weird because we'd been told that one of the room-mates had a dog, only they'd mentioned a big, Weimaraner dog, not this tiny thing. In fact, it was really weird, because the room looked like someone was already living in it. There was a video game station nearby and a mess of clothes on the floor. In the kitchen we saw a sink full of dirty dishes. Those typical boys! The fridge seemed like a crowded mess of food as well, and it didn't look like we'd have much room for the food we might get. We decided to get the Internet running in the kitchen (didn't want to bother the dog) and call our parents with Skype to give them the lowdown of it. What a relief it was to hear from their voices again, and for them to hear us, too! We told them everything and chatted idly a bit, like 10 minutes, and then we heard someone knocking, so we hung up. There was Brad, a tall guy who looked nice enough, and this other guy Jake. Jake was in the room next to us, and the small dog, named Chico, belonged to a friend of his. Another guy came in who must have been his friend. I'm sorry to say that he immediately gave me the impression he was gay. Like, really gay. But Jake cleaned out our room quickly and made it look as if the mess had never been there. After that, we were left quite alone.
We unpacked and put most all of our stuff in this big drawer. We made up the bed and got the computer back online. Now we were all set! But Jake and his friends in the next room (as well as the gay guy I think there was a girl) were loud and talked an awful lot. They probably had no idea we could hear them and were annoyed by them. As you could see, we wanted to get out of the place as soon as possible, so we made a plan for our first outing: First we'd buy our week-long Charlie Passes at the local 7-11, then get toilet paper (our bathroom was out of it) and a pair of scissors (couldn't take them on the plane, and I need a pair for my scrapbook.) at the CVS, and then shop a bit at the Star (super market). It was really nice walking to the Star. It rained lightly on the way, but we barely even minded it. The raindrops were very small and misty, almost like it was snowing. Though it was still quite gloomy, this was my kind of weather.
Unfortunately, we couldn't buy anything from the store because we'd forgotton our Shaw's rewards card, which allows one to make huge savings on groceries, so all we got was a bag of apples. It would be enough to stave off our hunger, and it would be good for the next morning. We like eating fruit for breakfast. We caught the train back towards home and on the way we went to check the Circle Cinema theater, where we hoped to see the movie UP later on, but, alas, the theater was closed. Not just for the day, but permanently! It was all empty, and looked like it had been that way for a long time. I was quite sad. ~,~ When we got home, we relaxed for a while and I started writing the rough draft for this blog. Then I read my book Thin Threads while Annette wrote in her blog.
Some time later, we made a plan to walk to this beautiful foresty area, I think it's called Chestnut Hill Park, and check out this special tree that we'd carved our initials into last year, to see if they were still there. We did, but it rained some more. I think slightly harder, but it still felt like a cool, pleasant mist. The tree was quite wet when we climbed it, and our hands got real dirty. We could just see our carvings. On the way back, we decided to go out for a pizza pie at one of our favorite places, Presto's. We shared a small mushroom pie that yielded 3 slices each. Soooo tasty!
As you could probably guess, my twin and I were really tired by the time we got back to our little room. By a stroke of luck, Jake's weird friends left a bit after we came back, so that was nice. I read some more, and then Benny, Shira and Adam called us again. It was nice to talk to them. ^_^ It was late then, so we changed out of our clothes and into p.j.s and took out our toothbrushes. An interesting thing is that I'm used to an electric toothbrush, and for this trip we packed regular manual toothbrushes. So now I've got to get used to that! Anyway, Annette and I shared the one double-bed there was in the room, with me closest to the window. We were warm with two layers of blanket covering us. And finally, we went to sleep.
And that was just our first day!