Day 0: Housing Day! I woke up at 7:15 AM after staying up till 3 AM to finish my Expos essay, and found out that I would be living in Quincy House for the next three years at Harvard. Quite exciting. But this is where most of my sleep deprivation started. I went to bed at midnight, after a full day of House activities and HGC Lite rehearsal.
Day 1: Woke up at 5 AM to get to the airport. Breakfast consisted of orange juice, a Dunkin’ Donuts muffin, and cookies baked for the Glee Club by our “sweetheart” in the Radcliffe Choral Singers. Everyone was looking forward to getting on the road, though all of us without exception were tired. I saw a few people doing work on the plane, but the vast majority of us were sleeping, myself included. That’s why I don’t have much to write about in this section. I was sleeping.
When we landed in Savannah, GA, we sang our first impromptu piece at the baggage claim to thank troops returning from Afghanistan. Quickly piling into our bus, we drove for about 45 minutes to a CiCi’s Pizza, which we quickly stormed. After consuming copious amounts of pizza, cinnamon rolls and sweet tea, we got back on the bus to head to downtown Savanna.
Before I continue, I must say a word about sweet tea, because it’s already demonstrated itself to be scarily ubiquitous and sweet. I had heard about sweet tea and how it’s a staple of Southern food, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how sweet it was going to be. For context, I usually drink tea unsweetened, so I was totally unprepared for when I took my first sip. The noun in sweet tea is “sweet.” “Tea” is just a modifier which is used to clarify the subtler tastes one experiences while drinking it. It really is quite something.
We didn’t have any concerts on our first day in town, so we spent the time exploring the town. We saw the Ships of the Sea museum, which is dedicated to Savannah’s importance as a port city, a candy shop down on River Street, where I sampled some pecan pralines and a saltwater taffy, the square where Forrest Gump was filmed, and an art museum which had a Warhol exhibit up. St. Patrick’s Day was also coming up, and there were already plenty of people wearing green and taking advantage of Savannah’s open container laws. I could honestly write a whole entry on any one of these places, but suffice to say I had a lot of fun exploring Savannah.
Already stuffed from our enormous lunch, we ate dinner at the Harvard Club of Savannah and Coastal Georgia, which consisted of lasagna, salad, breadsticks, and you guessed it, sweet tea. There were also brownies and cookies for dessert. It was here that we first heard the story of how Edward Everett, a Harvard grad, and president, saved the city of Savannah by calling on Boston to fulfill its “debt of honor” which was created during the American Revolution. Unfortunately, Everett spoke in Faneuil Hall in the cold, caught cold, and promptly died of complications. However, the city of Boston did in fact send supplies to Savannah, whose poor were in unusually desperate straits.
Our host families stopped by the Harvard Club to pick us up, and I went with five of my choir mates to a nice house on the coast of Georgia with a view of the ocean. We exchanged pleasantries with our hosts, but quickly feel asleep after a long day of travels.