ETS was delightful. Ready for the run-down?

Tuesday night, seven Hebrew students and one Hebrew professor got into two rental vans.  There were two drivers for each van, on two driving teams (so that two people could sleep while one would keep the driver awake).  I was one of the drivers for my van and on the way there, my professor was my driving partner.  We had the second shift and started driving around 1am, with a dire lack of sleep (although we tried).

Around 2am, we hit the border patrol at California.  I had only been to Cali once before but remembered what this was about.  I also remembered that my professor’s husband had sent a bag of oranges with her.  I looked over, and with only the thought process 2am could afford, said, “Don’t say anything about the oranges.”  When the fellow stopped us, I rolled down the window and he looked right at her and asked, “Do you have any fruit or plants?”  There was a good 10 second period of silence, in which I looked back and forth (trying to decide if I was really going to lie about this, as I normally do not lie) and my professor looked guilty and awkwardly ate a bugle chip.  Then I said, “I have raisins in my trail mix; does that count?”  And he waved us on. As soon as the window was up, my professor asks, “Isn’t this America?!?” with all the indignation you can imagine.  Which set the boys in the back off; we all laughed a fit to kill.  But she also felt guilty and wanted to go back and give up the oranges, which I was adamantly against.  So we went on, and it has become quite the joke for us now.  (We filled in the other van at the next stop and they appreciated it, also.)

We got there around 7am or so on Wednesday.  I took two naps on Wednesday.  Thursday I actually went to some presentations and got to meet Dr. Block (from Wheaton) as he was our professor’s PhD adviser.  We all had dinner with him that night.

Friday afternoon we went sightseeing.  So much fun!  We walked all the way from where the hotels were to the Wharf.  So first we went to China town and had lunch.  Our professor had us go through and say our lows and our highs.  The lows probably felt the most vulnerable to all of us, but we did a pretty good job at being honest.  Then we went to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.  The view was phenomenal.  Finally we moseyed to the Wharf where we saw Alcatraz and the Sea Lions.  We ended up having dinner at a sourdough bread bakery, and went to Ghiradelli’s to admire the chocolate selections.  And then to home.

The drive home felt exponentially longer.  I drove the first two hours, slept (as you sleep in a car) for the next five hours, drove for two again and had to stop…  When my professor saw my eyes (crazy sleep deprived eyes?), she advised me to switch drivers again, which I did, and slept most the rest of the way.  I felt like I punked out, but as it turned out, the other van’s driver, who was on my same schedule, ended up pulling over about 30 minutes after we had stopped and switched out, also.  So I felt better about that.

I’m glad I went, even if I did spend the entire day yesterday doing nothing.