The Ultimate Travel Day
August 8-9, 2010: Spirits were high today, that is, until we reached the Chengdu airport. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 3:00 p.m. and we arrived at the airport at 1:15 p.m. If the service was anything like Beijing, we would be checked in and through security in no time at all. Unfortunately for us, it was not anything like Beijing. It took us until 2:40 p.m. to get checked in and get through security. The departure gate on our tickets said gate C11, but on the video screen containing all of the flight information, it said that our flight was at gate C16. The Yale Freshmen lightweight coach, Colin Farrell, and myself bounced back and forth between the two gates to try and find out which one was the correct gate. After another hour of running around, they finally gave us a straight answer that the flight would be departing from gate C16. At this point, it was 3:45 p.m. and the the plane had still not arrived. We finally boarded around 5:00 p.m. and had a quick flight back to Beijing. We did not arrive back at the hotel until 9:15 p.m. and the only meal that we had during the day was breakfast. Stress was at its highest at the trip, but once we all got some food in our systems, things went back to normal. We spent the night with our friends from University of London and Yale University and stayed up most of the night so that we will be tired for our flight. We are leaving the hotel for the airport in 20 minutes and I am fairly certain that everyone is ecstatic to be coming home. Now that we have reached the end of the trip, I believe that thanks are in order to many people who made this trip possible. First off, thank you to the Chinese Rowing Association and all of the affiliates that made this wonderful expedition possible for us. There was no detail that was missed. We always had water, food, activities, and almost anything that we asked for instantaneously. The Chinese could not have been better hosts and we are very gracious for their hospitality. We would also like to thank everyone at Princeton University that had a part in making this trip happen. I firmly believe that we have the very best administration and athletic department in the United States, and we owe you all a very great thanks. Finally, we would like to thank the man behind the scenes that keeps the boathouse moving and takes care of every little detail. Tom Heebink helped us with all of the apparel, gifts, flight plans, etc. for this trip in a very limited period of time. Without Tom, I am not sure that this trip could have taken place. From all of us here to you, thank you so very much Tom. All of the work that you do for us does not go unnoticed. Thank you to all who have followed us through this trip. We look forward to seeing you all again soon. Signing off from China, Tigers, out.