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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Macy’s Travel Log

Sunday, Nov. 18, 5:25 a.m:
Forty or so members of the marching band and Color Guard are in the San Francisco Airport (we took about seven or eight flights to get to New York) are waiting to check in their baggage. Band members are talking in groups to pass the time, much like what it is at school.
7:37 a.m.:
The waiting area that the band is occupying is literally a field of chaos. Some people are playing cards on the floor, and others are surfing the net. The lady on the speaker announced that we will board soon; time for a boring five-hour trip!  
5:35 p.m., EST:
Here I am, at the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Street in New York. This is my first time in the city, and the massive population here is overwhelming. 
The Sheraton Hotel is massive (it even has its own gym under the lobby!). It is like any top-star hotel, with its swiveling doors and multiple luxury floors. As soon we arrived at the hotel, we were introduced to the World Projects staff, which put together the entire trip, and given a brief description of the itinerary for tomorrow.
To my dismay, my room is small (literally a prison cell with a luxury bathroom, two soft beds, and a 40-inch TV). Two of my friends and I went out to dinner on New York’s jumbled metropolitan streets. We passed through stands of South Eastern food, a seafood restaurant, a two-story McDonalds packed with people. We decided on Italian food.
 
Monday, Nov. 19, 10:30 a.m.:
I am now writing at the bottom of a viewing tower in the Rockefeller Center, after a good look from one of the tallest areas of New York.
I woke up at 7 a.m., and half an hour later, I was walking uptown with my roommates for breakfast at the Europa Cafe, which served the best food I’ve had in a long time.
At 9 a.m., the band and guard got into groups decided the night before and walked a few blocks to Rockefeller Center. After I got into the viewing tower, I entered a crammed elevator and went up 67 stories in seconds. I arrived onto the base of the real viewing area and spent an hour looking at New York City from up high. 
1:50 p.m.:
After a quick lunch, our group got onto buses and had a directed tour of the city. Our guide was a kind man named Gideon, and he quickly became notorious among my friends and me for his bad jokes (he tried to persuade us that a robber dressed as a ninja once terrorized the the neighborhoods of Staten Island and Todt Hill).
At the 9/11 memorial site, we were instructed by Gideon to explore only for 15 minutes, but the memorial site was a memory I’ll never forget. New skyscrapers were popping up at the site, and where the Twin Towers once stood, there were two man-made waterfalls, according to Gideon, more than 100 feet deep and gushing more than 50,000 gallons of water a second. Seeing the memorial in person not only let me observe the beauty of its construction, but also reminded me what sacrifices the city and its citizens made to make the place even grander than before.
9:25 p.m.:
Afterwards, my group started on a quick tour of Grand Central Terminal, the train terminal crafted by the employees of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt to visualize his vision of heaven. Everything was either white or gold, whether it be marble pillars or tiles, and there was a painting of all the constellations on the ceiling.
The story downstairs was, according to Gideon, the home to the Whispering Columns,  a perfect arch which supposedly contained the soul of the dead Cornelius Vanderbilt, whispering out of the columns. A voice from one side of the arch could reach the other side, because the arch’s perfect geometry allowed sound to travel to the other side instantaneously. I did not have time to test the Whispering Columns myself, but I was told by friends it was true.
Afterwards, the entire music department on the trip had a party in a bowling alley and restaurant called Bowlmor Lanes. Nine of my friends and I bowled for a straight two hours. We took a seemingly complicated group photo afterwards, reviewed the itinerary for tomorrow, and split our ways.
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