How has your spring break been so far? Or should I say winter break part two? 😛 Spring break for me kicked off with a snow storm, which resulted in the first snow day of this school year. I might plop my snow day photos in their own post later on, but for now you can get a sneak-peek on my Instagram. Anyways, it was a pleasant surprise to see the weather clear up this Sunday, and I’ve been seeing a lot more color, so fingers crossed the weather will keep getting warmer! What a perfect day to explore.
Because our spring breaks coincided, Jolie came over from the Midwest to visit Heather and me at Bryn Mawr for a few days. I hadn’t seen Jolie since our senior trip to Hong Kong in July, but when we finally reunited, it felt like no time had passed. Aren’t those are the best friendships?
We easily fell into rhythm. We did what we always do. Eat and sleep and eat some more. During our first meal together on Saturday night (after sleeping almost all afternoon), we planned our next few days while chowing down on pizza, paninis, wings, fries, and milkshakes (courtesy of Campus Corner; shout out to the moose tracks milkshake) on my dorm room floor. Ya know, the college life.
Heather and I haven’t really had very much time to explore Philly ourselves, so the places we could take Jolie were limited. Stuck for ideas, we decided to base our itineraries off our meals, because, well, food is very important to us. All we did while Jolie was here was eat until we were full and more, try to find ways to pass some time while waiting until we weren’t so full anymore, and then eat again. Really.
Our only plan for today was to eat lunch in Chinatown. If you ever find yourself in Philly’s Chinatown, be sure to grab a drink at Tea Do and a bite at Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House. While figuring out how much to tip and waiting to digest, we spontaneously came up with the brilliant idea to roam through the Old City until we got to South Street and hopefully find some cool things there.
Something very cool did happen in fact. Celebrity encounter! Heather all but hyperventilated. We were minding our own business, innocently rounded the corner and, lo and behold, who should we see standing there but Cory Wade of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20 filming something with some snazzy-looking-apparently-also-famous-people and someone wearing a scary teddy bear character costume. I wish I knew who those other famous people were. I really like their style.
We stood on that corner for what felt like forever, waiting for Cory to finish filming whatever he was filming. As Heather still had not recovered, I decided to display my social eptitude to redeem myself from last night’s social ineptitude*, walked up to Cory and asked, “Could I take a picture of my friend with you?” Cory and the famous people probably most definitely already saw us standing giddily in the corner for the last many few minutes. They waved us over before I had even finished my question.
By the time this post is published, I’ll have rewatched all sixteen episodes of ANTM Cycle 20.
*Last night I was given the task of ordering dinner for everyone as we were chilling in my dorm room, but I get really anxious talking on the phone, so I typed out everyone’s order, and Heather and Jolie helped me formulate my opening sentence, which I also typed out: “Hi, can I place an order for delivery?” However, when the phone stopped ringing, the lady at the other end asked me the question instead. I was not ready for that curveball. I still don’t remember what her question was. It was all a blur. I think I heard something along the lines of, “Hi, Campus Corner. Would you like to place an order or delivery?” though it might have been, “Would you like to place an order for pick-up or delivery?” which would have made more sense. I couldn’t very well answer with “Hi, can I place an order for delivery?” as I had practiced, so I improvised and said, “Delivery,” though it came out more like, “Uhh…d-d-delivery.” Darn, and I had practiced so hard! It was all very stressful. It didn’t help that Heather and Jolie were both on the ground in front of me in a fit of laughter.
After we had done enough roaming, we decided to kick back and relax at Milk & Honey Cafe. It was the typography, Christmas lights, indoor plants, and wood tables that drew me in. What a pleasure it was to stumble upon! Usually on excursions, I plan everything to the utmost detail due to my travel anxiety, but because I was with friends, I felt comfortable enough to not do that this time.
The coolest part is that the baristas didn’t seem to mind that I was spending an excessive amount of time walking around taking pictures. In fact, one of them slung his arm around another’s shoulders and playfully posed for me with a huge smile, but alas, I did not click the shutter button fast enough.
Because I wasn’t particularly hungry, I ordered a light snack of vanilla yogurt parfait topped with banana and granola, but I really wanted to try the Italian market hoagie (prosciutto di parma, genoa salami, green meadow farm ham, provolone, fresh arugula). I guess that just means I’ll have to come again!
Getting lost is just another way of saying “going exploring.” -Justina Chen Headley, North of Beautiful
We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost. -Ray Bradbury
Lose yourself. Take a public transportation map, close your eyes, and point. Go there with your camera and a peace of mind. Also bring a bottle of water and a phone for emergencies, but don’t worry about that. Perhaps you’ll find a cozy nook and you’ll want to have a book to read, so pack that in too.
Put your earbuds in, listen to music, and pretend you’re in a movie. You’re the protagonist of your own story. Or maybe turn the volume down low and drift between the conversations happening around you.
Ask for directions. Bid them a supercalifragilistic day. Send them off with an expialidocious wave. Improvise. Wander into a coffee shop. Ask for a recommendation. Watch them talk about something they like with passion in their eyes. Or buy the cheapest thing and linger around inconspicuously.
Look around you. Flash a smile. Hold a gaze. Remember the moments.
“There’s a word for it,” she told me, “in French, for when you have a lingering impression of something having passed by. Sillage. I always think of it when a firework explodes and lights up the smoke from the ones before it.”
“That’s a terrible word,” I teased. “It’s like an excuse for holding onto the past.”
“Well, I think it’s beautiful. A word for remembering small moments destined to be lost.”
-Robyn Schneider, The Beginning of Everything
PS: hothouse coffee