I didn’t have any plans for Memorial Day Weekend except to bum around in my apartment, hide from the heat, and binge read, so when Jennifer invited me to spend the weekend at her apartment in the city, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity for a staycation. Now I could bum around in her apartment, hide from the heat, and binge read! Haha just kidding. The sad truth was that my shower still wasn’t cleaned, the gym would be closed for Memorial Day Weekend, and Julia wasn’t going to be around to swipe me into the campus dorms for their showers ಥ_ಥ The happy truth is that now I’d be spending all weekend with the fantastic human being that is Jennifer ⁽(◍˃̵͈̑ᴗ˂̵͈̑)⁽ and also use her shower !(•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑
After Skyping Anny, Courtney, and Jolie from Friday 11:00PM to Saturday 2:00AM, I slept in until 10:30AM, after which I did my laundry, packed everything I needed for the weekend in my hardy Tumi backpack (similar), then headed off to brave the heat and public transportation to Jennifer’s apartment. I looked up her address with Google Maps, but just in case I read the map wrong, I waited for her to pick me up from the train stop and then we walked to the apartment together. Good thing too, because it turned out I read the map wrong.
Jennifer’s apartment is gorgeous. Well, it’s a summer sublet, but for the sake of the narrative, I’m just gonna call it her apartment. You know I’m a sucker for exposed brick and white walls. That plus an elegantly framed wall mirror and a beautiful collection of wicker furniture sent me to aesthetic heaven. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to document my Memorial Day Weekend on the blog, but now I knew I had to. Unfortunately I didn’t pack my camera because I wanted to travel light in the summer heat, but fortunately Jennifer is a wonderful photographer with a wonderful camera and lent it to me with her wonderful heart. We made a game plan for the next few days then headed out.
Since I already had an Independence Pass (day pass) from my trip over to the apartment, we decided to make use of it and go out for dinner, but we also wanted to conserve money, so we chose Chinatown for delicious and affordable food. Beef brisket shaved noodle soup from Nanzhou Hand Drawn Noodle House and bubble milk tea from Kungfu Tea, every time.
With our stomachs full, it was finally safe for us to ravage the grocery store. Read on to see what we cooked up!
Before prepping for the next day’s dinner, we put in a DVD of something we’d already watched that’d be good background noise while we busied ourselves in the kitchen. Obviously the best choice for this kind of thing is a musical, so in went Mamma Mia! Then I sat through the whole musical instead of cooking.
Tomato/Mozzarella/Basil Angel Hair Pasta
1 lb of angel hair pasta
4 pints of cherry tomatoes
[Extra virgin] olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1 cup mozzarella
18 large basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Combine cherry tomato halves, cubed mozzarella, 1/2 cup olive oil, minced garlic, roughly chopped basil, crushed red pepper flakes (or other spice of preference, i.e. cayenne, paprika, etc.), 1-2 teaspoons salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Set aside mixture to let the taste soak up. (recommend doing the night before)
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
Drain the pasta well & then add olive oil/cherry tomato/mozzarella cheese mixture.
Add parmesan cheese to taste when serving.
A crowd pleaser that I’ve been making for the past 6-7 years. Unfortunately over time, forgot the recipe/lost it so improvised! –Jennifer
On Sunday I needed to be up early to catch the 7:15AM train to make it to Swarthmore for their Commencement ceremony, so Jennifer blended me a smoothie the night before and stuck it in the fridge for a simple grab-and-go breakfast, complete in a super hipster mason jar. It was just what I needed to brave the chaotic public transportation of Memorial Day Weekend. From the train I needed to transfer to a bus. Buses confuse me, so I never take them if I don’t have to, but this time I had to because my normal route to Swarthmore wasn’t running for the holiday. I missed my stop, got let off, readjusted my route, took a trolley (-$2.25 T_T), then walked the rest of the way for twenty minutes. I think at one point I was walking in the middle of a highway, but I’m pretty sure that’s what Google Maps told me to do, although… I don’t have a very good track record with Google Maps… Ah well, I made it in one piece; that’s all that matters.
I was at Swarthmore’s Commencement for the Swarthmore seniors of Chaverim (the a cappella group I’m in, the only Tri-Co a cappella group (members from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges)). While the seniors were busy forming their processional line, I met up with Elizabeth, Charles, and Will to watch the ceremony together. None of us had tickets to view the ceremony from the Scott Outdoor Amphitheatre, which is where the ceremony would be taking place, but we had schemed a plan to sneak in from the back. Unfortunately, the back was lined with people making sure that that exact thing wouldn’t happen, so we had to make do by staking out the trees and viewing from afar.
I ate five cookies at the reception.
Oh, we didn’t see you there catching us mid-fake-performance! 😉 Once a cappella, always a cappella. Chaverlove 5ever!
Next up in the game plan was lunch with Jennifer at Lulu Cafe, a Taiwanese cafe! I’ve never been so excited. I’ve been feeling a wee bit homesick, probably due to all the adulting I’ve been trying to do (apartment shopping, budgeting, cooking, fending for myself, etc. oh god I miss childhood), so this Taiwanese cafe made it into the game plan as soon as Jennifer suggested it. We shared shaved ice (topped with green bean, herbal jelly, and mango jelly) and popcorn chicken. Jennifer also got the Summer drink from their Speciality list, and I stole a sip. The popcorn chicken was SO GOOD. DELICIOUS. MY HEART. IT IS HOME. A full blog post for Lulu Cafe will come to the blog in the future!
After a bit of blogging and reading at Lulu Cafe, we scurried back to the apartment before the rain hit. For dinner we brought out our pasta and Jennifer sauteed some leftover broccoli. Then the rest of the evening was left educating me in musical theatre and watching Moulin Rouge. CHRISTIAN!!! I am in love with his voice and his face doesn’t hurt, but I can’t forgive him for what he did at the end. That was a douche move. Stay classy.
gourmet grilled cheese: pesto bacon mozzarella & bacon egg guacamole w/ pico de gallo variation
After waking up at 9:00AM to make and eat breakfast, I started reading The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton but then passed out, didn’t wake up until 11:00AM, muttered something about how warm the couch was, and fell right back to sleep until 3:30PM. I mean, we had planned for Monday to be our lazy day in while it poured outside, ootd=pyjamas and all, but there comes a point…
Alas, the day was not yet over; there was still time to save! for more laziness! The game plan called for movies and beverages. Jennifer had cans of Trader Joe’s matcha powder, so we decided to relieve her of this burden and concoct something with it, blending an experimental matcha Nutella strawberry shake. It probably would have been just as good if not better as a classic Nutella strawberry shake, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We settled in to watch Stardust.
What’s a cosy night in without freshly baked cookies? We whipped up a batch of Betty Crocker oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I know, I know. A mix? A mix?! Please forgive us. We were trying to save money on ingredients, so using a mix seemed to be the best option for our budget. And they were delicious. Bottoms burned the perfect amount.
For the grand finale, we sunk into the sofa and feasted on our meal of leftover-but-still-fresh pasta and sauteed spinach with Rent playing on the TV (Angel ❤), a perfect way to end the evening and the weekend. I can’t wait for my next three-day weekend, which will be for Independence Day on the weekend of July 4th!
Thank you Jennifer for inviting me over to your place and for lending me your camera for the weekend!
tl;dr– I spent Memorial Day Weekend staycationing at Jennifer‘s apartment in Philly. We cooked a lot, ate a lot, and watched three musicals.