Gator-Raid Day 1 – Driving North; Flying South

Today marks the start of my spring break that will be spent with two of my closest friends who study at University of Florida in Gainesville. I will be reunited with them for the first time in seven months, after spending an entire summer with them in Seattle. I’m so excited for this journey of spending break on a different college campus. There is a twist to this spring break compared to other ones.

University of Florida had their Spring Break two weeks ago, so classes are now in session. Working around that schedule won’t be a problem, and I get to see what it’s like to be on an SEC campus as a B1G student.

My flight is out of Chicago, so I have to drive three hours north in order to fly south. I can’t complain too much though, since my airfare wasn’t too bad. I hit the road at midnight to catch a flight in Chicago at 6:00am. After staring at white headlights and red brake lights for hours, I finally arrived at O’Hare. Perhaps a little too early… Turns out that security doesn’t open their checkpoints until 4:30am. I would be waiting at the gate for a few hours anyway, so it didn’t make a huge difference.

At the same time, I was experiencing nostalgia. I haven’t flown out of O’Hare in over ten years. When I was younger, my mother and I travelled to China every few years, and we always had to connect at O’Hare. I kind of felt like a kid again. With the spare time I had available, I roamed around the terminal. I recall going through a light tunnel years ago (known as the “Sky’s the Limit” light sculpture), and I had to find that tunnel again.

Fun fact: As a kid, I was actually scared of the light pattern for some unknown reason. I recall not wanting to go back home from China in order to avoid that tunnel.

Because I only got 4 hours of sleep prior to driving, I passed out easily on the plane. I woke up right as the plane was approaching Tampa. Now that’s left is a two hour drive from Tampa to Gainesville, and the adventure can begin.

I will be posting about these adventures in a new category called Gator-Raid, will post a photo each day as part of my Project 180 collection.

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