When I came home from Australia this summer the intention was to spend a couple weeks with my family, visit a few doctors, change my visa, and head back to Australia a month or so later. What started as one month turned into three, and here I am 75 days into my stay-cation and heading back to Australia in less than two weeks.
Before I came back to America Ben told me one thing, and no, it wasn’t “I love you”, although that was said too. Cue the “awwww” sound here. He said make the most of it and spend time with all of your friends. My response was “but my friends are in Philly!”
It’s true, not all of my friends are there, but when I think about where my closest girlfriends are none of them are in Tampa near my family, thus making it challenging to see everyone.
My good girlfriends in Philadelphia, October 2012: Lauren (now in San Francisco), me, Korinne, and Cherisse.
My Spontaneous Moment
I do not have a spontaneous bone in my body, so when my good friend Korinne texted me as asked me to come visit her in Philly, and I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do! I found a flight, confirmed plans with her, and then shocked everyone when I booked the flight an hour later. A two week trip leaving the following week!
This would be my first time back in the city since I moved to Florida in January of 2013 and I was looking forward to seeing my friends in Philly and New York, family in Connecticut, and all my favorite spots in the big cities!
My first day in Philly was met with… rain. Bummer. So I spent time working on the blog and ordering some Mexican delivery from my favorite restaurant on Seamless, before joining Korinne, Cherisse, and a bunch of old coworkers at the Eagles facility. After some time there we went to a local bar for happy hour drinks and cheesesteaks… a happy hour that lasted much longer than an hour.FRIDAY:
Given what a night I had that first night with Korinne I spent the next day “recovering” from the festivities, writing, and eating at Fuel, one of my favorites for sandwiches in the city. Each item on Fuel’s menu of salads, sandwiches, and juices is under 500 calories and made with local organic ingredients, and my sandwich, the special of the day included a pressed Panini with figs. Yum! That night Korinne and Cherisse’s boss got us all VIP tickets for a charity concert hosted by Eagles player Connor Barwin. While I enjoyed the music, I loved being able to catch up with some of the Eagles players I got to know while I was working for the team. It just so happens that the players at the concert who were on the team in the 2011 and 2012 seasons are the guys who I have remained in touch with over the past two years – so it was really nice to catch up with them in person, as well as meet some of the new players.
Top: The girls with Philadelphia Eagles Alum, Harold Carmichael
Middle 1: Eagles LB, Demeco Ryans & Best Bud Korinne
Middle 2: Eagles T, Mike Bamiro & Eagles C, Julian Vandervelde
Bottom: The girls with Philadelphia Eagle LB, Demeco Ryans
After the concert and street cart hotdogs, Korinne, myself, and a few other friends headed down the street to finish dancing the night away!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
The rest of the weekend was so relaxed, just how I like it.
Korinne, Cherisse, and I cooked dinner together and ate on the patio in the gorgeous summer weather. I made turnips for the first time (I had never tried one before either) and they turned out wonderfully!!Following dinner I baked a Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake, while we gabbed and watched movies on Netflix. I love that when it comes to good friends no matter how far the distance might be between us hanging out together is like we never apart!
Sunday afternoon the girls and I went to the Ritz Theatre in Old City and watched the indie film Belle, based on a true story of a mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England. I hadn’t heard about this movie prior to my trip, but seeing it in the theatre was well worth it!
After the movie we headed to Iron Chef Jose Garce’s new Philadelphia restaurant Rosa Blanca. The restaurant is a beautiful mix of American diner meets Cuban comfort foods – and with a combination like that the three of us (only looking for a small snack) ended up ordering a bunch of plates to share!MONDAY:
As I mentioned in my Tampa Weekend post, history is one of my favorite things, so getting a job with the Eagles back in 2011 meant I was living in a city full of American history and I couldn’t be happier! I decided Monday would be my day to explore the city as a tourist would and visit my favorite historical spots in the city. I walked over six miles that day, took lots of pictures, and will post my can’t miss Philly places in Part 2 of my Summer Trip.
New York City
I said goodbye to Cherisse and headed north to New York City for a day of shopping (or lack thereof), food, and quality time with my good friend of ten years Connor.
Connor and I used to be in the same travel group and have traveled through Washington DC and The South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji) together in 2004 and 2005.
Following lunch and an afternoon of chatting in Union Square, Connor and I parted ways and I took the train up to Stamford, Connecticut to visit my cousins for the week.
WEDNESDAY – SUNDAY:
I was so excited to spend six days in Connecticut with my cousin and her kids baking cookies, shopping, practicing math homework, kayaking, playing in the park, attending outdoor concerts and eating all of the yummy seafood that New England has to offer! By the time I had to go back home I didn’t want to leave.
You could say that Monday and Tuesday were my travel days as I did my trip in reverse, Connecticut to NYC to Philly. I rejoined Korinne in Philadelphia and one last night with her helping to nurse her newly fixed ACL, eating cake, and catching up on missed episodes of Pretty Little Liars.
Although it may seem like there was a lot of relaxing and eating on this trip (and there was!), it was such a pleasure to spend time with my family in New England and the friends, who are like family, in Philadelphia.