Author Archives: katie

My final week!

On Tuesday, Catherine and I decided to go to Reading Terminal Market (truly one of the best places in Philly to get food) and I went specifically to Beiler’s Bakery and got 3, yes 3, huge doughnuts. Specifically, PB & J, Peanut Butter Creme and I think Maple Pecan? They were all straight up delicious and so filling. I see why Beiler’s is thought of as Philly’s best doughnuts (I personally will always have a love for Federal, however!). Catherine got some Cajun food from a delicious looking vendor too. After this, we ventured over to Chinatown for bubble tea (TeaDo do some great bubble tea) and I got the Coconut milk bubble tea which was delicious. I dread to think of how many calories were in the stuff I put into my body but it was phenomenal, especially in the lovely weather. Of the night, we went to South Street Diner for our last ever midnight diner run – I love these. Me and James always eat loads of food and have great banter when we go :’) And I’m gonna miss diner’s in general – cheap prices for a large amount of food. It was a sad but great time. On Thursday I finished my last ever exam (International Politics) at 10am (it started at 8am – how ridiculous) and then I was officially free with NOTHING TO DO! I should have mentioned that I had exams all prior to this this week and final papers that were due in so that sucked a bit. So after it, me, Sam and Ejaz went out for food and drinks at Sabrina’s Cafe to celebrate our new found freedom! It was actually pretty lovely. We were all tired AF because we’re students and we don’t sleep but it felt so good to not worry about having anything to do! After this, I met up with Elisha and we went and sunbathed in Rittenhouse Square because the weather was beautiful! It was so nice. We just had a bit of a catch up and talked about life while laying in the sun, relaxing – super lovely! Then after this, me and Catherine spent the whole day together and ate literally so much food it was disgusting. We literally spent like 7-8 hours just together, eating food and having a really good time. It was pretty great. We ended up going to Cav’s this night for a little bit because everyone was there – it was the last Thursday of the school term so it was pretty lit – SO PACKED and crowded. When I got back, Mick had gotten me this care package full of peanut butter products, Doritos, Pringles, Dr Pepper, ice-cream and doughnuts – it was literally so amazing and thoughtful. It was the cutest thing in the world! And of course, it was literally all of my favourite things – this girl knows me so well. The food didn’t last as long as it should have, especially seeing as I was drunk when she first gave it to me. On Friday, I had to pack all my stuff up ready for England as I had to be moved out of my dorm by Saturday morning at 10am. I ended up fitting everything into two large suitcases and a small suitcase – I was quite impressed considering the amount of stuff I had. I met some of the girls on Friday evening for a meal at The Cheesecake Factory – it was my way of saying goodbye to some of them and this was actually lovely. We had such a nice time and I’ll truly miss the girls there so much – they’re all great friends! And of course, we ate too much which I personally love. My sorority girlies are literally just the best. After this, I went to meet Elisha in centre city as we were going to the observation deck which I believe was around 54-56 floors high. At night, the view was so incredibly beautiful – you could see all of the city and we spent so long up there just looking out at everything and trying to figure out which buildings were which – it was mesmerizing. The pictures of course, did not do it justice. But this was honestly lovely – I love observation decks more than any other touristy thing, they’re incredible. Then I headed back home as me and some other friends had plans to go to ‘Moshulu’ which is essentially, a huge ass fancy party on a boat! However, because of some issues, we didn’t get to go meaning we all just got drunk at Greeks (despite being dressed up haha) and then eventually headed to my friend Monica’s for more drinks, as it got later. This night was a lot of fun – super late one though. It was one of those nights where you wake up thinking you definitely could have done with drinking less! The next morning I had to be moved out by 10am and was running off of literally 3 hours sleep so it was pretty grim, packing while hungover. But fortunately, we made it. We then drove to Jersey as I was keeping all my stuff at Catherine’s as I, at that point, had no place to live haha. So after having moved out and moved into Jersey, we drove back to Philly and went to the Betsy Ross House because there was some sort of carnival going on for ‘Flag Day’ – it was really nice and fun. The weather was beautiful as usual and everyone just looked like they were having such a good time. I’ve already been to the Betsy Ross House but it’s such a nice place to visit so it was lovely heading back. After this, we headed to Spruce Street Harbour park which was literally so amazingly beautiful. It’s in old city (so we stopped off at Franklin Fountain for ice-cream prior to this, yay) and it was essentially like a long strip along the harbour of really cool things like oversized chairs, swinging hammocks, food vendors, life-sized connect four and jenga games – it was super dope. There were a bunch of people there with their families and you are actually able to drink on this one street (which you know me, I loved) and it was just phenomenal. Easily one of the loveliest places in Philly! The views were so beautiful, especially with all the lights in the trees. At night I could imagine it would be very romantic. We actually hired out a ‘swan boat’ which was a small boat for 2 that looked like a swan. It was so much fun! You had to pedal it yourself and you got about 30 minutes on it in the harbour (Delaware river) – me and Catherine are such nerds so this was amazing for us! I love boats :’) After this, we headed to Magic Gardens but it was closed by the time we got there so instead, we randomly went on a shopping spree? We went to Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and some other stores and ended up spending literally way too much money. Like $200. For no reason. But the stuff we got was pretty cute so it’s all good :’) It was just exceptionally random and non-intentional :’) After this, we met up with Izzi, Bree and Sara to get food at Sava’s. It was delicious! Sava’s is a little weird because the portion sizes are nowhere as near as big as they are in the rest of the U.S. so I’m not sure how I feel about that haha. But Monica was our waitress (bae) and she brought us out free dessert (WHAT A WOMAN) and we literally didn’t even ask for dessert. I love her so much :’) So that was super fun – I had to say goodbye to those guys at that point, which sucked. And then after this, we basically just spent the night drinking at Greeks with a bunch of people who showed up. It was a lot of fun! My last night ever officially drinking in Philly. I was gonna go out but then Catherine couldn’t come as she was underage so I thought it’d be nicer to spend the time with her and it was lovely – I’m gonna miss ‘not your father’s Rootbeer’ (the drink – it’s the most delicious beer in the world I swear). This was a lovely night and I’m really glad it happened and we drove home to Jersey after this. The next morning, Sunday, Catherine and I woke up, loaded the car with all my suitcases and stuff and then went to Pennqueen Diner for our last ever diner breakfast! It was lovely. And then we headed back into Philly to hit up Magic Gardens (as it was actually open this time) and this was easily another one of my favourite places in Philly. The whole place was made up of Mosaic art all over the walls and ceilings – it was essentially an outdoor museum full of beautiful art. It was honestly like walking through a magical garden – so photogenic, alternative and quirky. Really incredible place. I could spend hours just walking through the same garden over and over again – I would highly recommend that everyone goes here in Philly. After this, me and my friend Sam got Starbucks and I headed over to Greeks to say goodbye to everyone officially as I had to catch my flight in a few hours time. This was honestly the saddest time ever – I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I’m gonna miss my friends in Philly so much – the friendships I developed in this country are not comparable to the friendships I made in the UK. The quality was so much higher and everyone will be so so so missed and so remembered! There was actually an issue at the airport where I thought I wasn’t going to be able to board my flight home – me and Catherine were quite depressed when it all worked out haha. We cried so much at the airport – it was so hard seeing her leave and saying goodbye to her for good. I’ll never forget the moment when she just said ‘you’re my best friend’ – so heartbreaking, truly. She surprised me with a scrapbook full of pictures of us which I thought was absolutely adorable. I honestly didn’t stop crying for most of Sunday – I’d see or think something that reminded me of Catherine and just start tearing up again. It was absolutely horrible. I wrote most of this blog post with the heaviest heart in the world. I leave Philly as a changed person, full of confidence, an increased sense of independence and self-esteem and so many untouchable memories which will never be given justice when I try to tell others of them. Every single person who I came into contact with has left some sort of impact on my life and personality – I’m a part of all of the friends I have there. I honestly loved my style of life and the way I lived in the U.S. – every moment was so exciting, new, interesting, fun and full of so much love. This was undeniably the best thing I’ve ever experienced – I was so fortunate to have this opportunity and I’m so full of appreciation for everyone who contributed to the experiences that I had there. Even the people who I would just see passing on the street – you made it so amazing for me. On the flight home to England, I watched the movie ‘How to be single’ and this one line touched me so much. ‘Just because it’s over, doesn’t mean the love is gone’. And this is exactly how I feel. This year has undeniably been the most interesting, emotional, fun, crazy, new, spontaneous, reckless, overwhelming, perfect year of my entire life. I’ve learned so much, seen some of the most beautiful sights in the world and truly, met the best, most unique and phenomenal people that the world has to offer. If my boyfriend could have been with me during my time there, I would have had NO complaints whatsoever. I can’t wait to somehow see my American friends again – it will happen – I will make sure of it. I can’t wait until Catherine comes and visits in England and then we’re tourists in Europe and I show her around like she did to me. That would be so amazing haha. Thank you so much Philly and the U.S.A in general – you’ve honestly changed my life and temporarily cured my wanderlust 😛 P.S. I also found out that my final grades for this term were A+, A+, A and B-. I’m super happy about that considering I literally did no work for any of my classes! What a relief. This is the last I’m going to post on this blog for a little bit – maybe I’ll post some more when I do some travelling elsewhere but for now, travel lots and love more! Katie xoxo

 

 

 

Week 33 & 34 in Philadelphia

So I actually stayed in Pennsylvania for these next 2 weeks which was rare because I’d been travelling a lot lately around the US. My friend actually saw me and was like “are you taking any classes this term?” haha. On Tuesday, I went to a really interesting lecture all about Europe and it’s sexual minorities meaning LGBTQ+ members. It was super interesting and I’m glad I went – it was mentioned to me by my politics professor and it was pretty interesting. At the night time, we went for another midnight diner run at Silk City Diner – I got a grilled cheese sandwich with sweet potato fries and then had about 3 cocktails too! It was literally so filling haha. The cocktails were pretty delicious but the waiter kept giving us cocktails that we didn’t ask for – I asked for a purple rain twice and got some weird concoction that was definitely not it. It was good stuff though – I love these diner nights because they always lead to great conversations. On Wednesday, I accidentally ended up skipping all of my classes because I went to lunch and lost track of the time?! That means I skipped 4 classes accidentally! What the hell. As you may have noticed though, I rarely eat at home – I basically go out for every single meal just because it was so cheap with the conversion rate and because I’m so lazy haha. In the evening, we went out to the Belgian Cafe for food and drink – we had vegetarian wings (yes, for real – they were actually delicious? I have no idea what they were made of though), fries and had a bunch of different beers. It was an amazing time! I got a lil drunk as per usual. This was like a new spin on the ‘midnight diner run’ because it was actually a restaurant and bar haha. I probably shouldn’t have gone out though because on Thursday, me and Catherine drove all the way to Hershey to go to Hershey Park! I was so freaking tired, I had to sleep in the car :’) I cannot express how phenomenal this trip was though. This was Catherine’s Christmas gift to me and it was so amazing. The drive was about 2 hours and honestly, the thing I’m gonna miss the most about Catherine is our car rides because we JAM SO HARD. We literally blast the music and go a little crazy with the singing and dancing – I love that so much. I feel so comfortable around this girl and just have so much fun – I feel like she’s genuinely my female soul mate! So when we got there, we went straight to chocolate world – we had a tour of the chocolate factory and went on a little ride that took us around. It was so cute! We then got free Hershey’s (which you know I’m about). We then looked around all the crazy things you can buy (huge ass Hershey’s kisses, huge bars, clothes – I can’t convey how insane the things were here – all the food was SO LARGE IT WAS INCREDIBLE). We spent way too long in the gift stores and places like that! We then headed over to the theme park – there were SO MANY ROLLERCOASTERS. Now, I’ve always had a fear of roller-coasters but after filling up on nachos, chocolate, smores cake, peanut butter milkshakes and iced coffee (some of my favourite things), Catherine convinced me to go on a few with her. This was a huge deal for me, guys! I went on like 6 huge ass roller-coasters with crazy drops, speed and it was actually so much fun! It was so scary but I also loved it, yano? We worked up to the bigger coasters. We started on the smaller ones and then worked our way up to the scarier ones. It was a lot of fun though. I loved the indoor and outdoor roller-coasters (the indoor ones had insanely impressive graphics and themes), the cars that spin, the warped mirrors that made you look way thinner or fatter than you were, etc – everything was just a blast. I was genuinely super nervous sitting on some of the rides but I really did have a good time so I’m glad Catherine encouraged me to do that – she helped me curb a fear. I’m excited to force myself to go on more :’) It was great going on with Catherine too cos we just literally always have so much fun together – I can’t express it haha. We spent ages on the park and just going round exploring all the stores and rides. We also went to the zoo (there’s a freakin’ zoo in the park) and saw a seal and sea-lion show?! It was so cute. That wasn’t something that I would have paid for cos I’m not sure how I feel about treating animals like that but it was adorable and lovely. We also saw a bunch of other beautiful animals who seemed pretty happy and looked after. The zoo was nice 🙂 Hershey park in general was just fab – Hershey is actually one of my favourite chocolates and I couldn’t believe how big the park was – there was just so much to do. There was a little train that took you around! There were all these dressed up characters that you could take pictures with too. It was honestly like Cadbury world but way better and with a theme park and zoo :’)  We had a bit of a nightmare at the end of the day though because Catherine lost her phone somewhere in the park and the park is huge! So I called her phone and thankfully someone answered it and took it to lost & found so we had to walk all the way back to lost & found after exiting the park and being back at the car… it took a while but we found it, phew! It was truly a little bit of a panic though. Honestly one of the best days I’ve ever had – loved every second of it – it was simply perfect. A huge thank you to Catherine for making that happen – she literally made my day amazing! On Friday, I had to wake up early to catch the train to Harrisburg with Elisha – we thought we’d booked train tickets to Gettysburg but like idiots, accidentally booked them to Harrisburg instead, which is the capital of Pennsylvania. We wanted to see the Gettysburg battlefield but I guess that wasn’t happening lmao. We had a really good day in Harrisburg though – the city had put up dinosaurs throughout the entire place which were like a treasure hunt and you had to see how many you could find. I think we probably found about 20? They were really impressive – all looked like different art pieces. Very cool stuff. After this we went to City Hall (which was exceptionally beautiful – I’ve seen so many city halls now haha) and then walked to the National Civil War Museum which was actually really great. I’ve been to a countless amount of museums since being in the U.S. but this one was honestly really impressive. However, it was about 90 degrees and we walked SO FAR to get to this museum – we didn’t realize how far away it was (the American family we asked directions from did warn us but we stupidly declined their offer for a ride) and we were just covered in sweat. I was also wearing flip flops which is straight up, a big no no, when walking long distances. We were so happy when we finally reached the museum – even though the last stretch was up hill haha. We each learned a lot in the museum and I love that! That is the purpose of museums, I think – to educate. So this means it was done properly hah. After this we got lunch and we each got a HUGE pizza – we didn’t realize how big they would be. I can handle food, I really can, but this was RIDICULOUS. Before we ordered the food, the guy who worked there actually warned us about how big it was haha. How crazy is that?! We took the pizza’s home, obviously but they were incredible haha. We tried so hard! We basically then just walked around Harrisburg city centre and took it all in – it was a pretty cute place! After this we went and sat by the big river/lake/harbour (I’m not entirely sure what it was but damn it was beautiful) and just spoke for hours and hours. We spent a lot of this trip walking so this was a pretty beautiful time! We then had to catch our train back but it was literally so much fun exploring Harrisburg – I’m so glad I got to see the capital before I left. When I got home, it was pretty late at night and I had to pack everything for camping in Felton, PA, the next day with my sorority sisters. We hired out a huge log cabin and drove down for the weekend! So Saturday morning was the start of memorial day weekend, meaning we all drove down in separate cars and took down food and everything we needed (seeing as though it was literally in the middle of nowhere) and me and my car (Bridget, Gabby and Elizabeth) stopped for lunch at Sonic. I got the most beautiful milkshake – it was peanut butter and chocolate cookie dough. It was huge – I actually couldn’t finish it because I started to feel sick haha and I don’t usually leave food… We arrived at the camp around 3pm after getting lost a little bit and a bit scared (we were in the middle of the woods and actually saw a deer omg). Most people had already arrived by that point but when we got there, the cabin was actually so nice. It was pretty huge with lots of space – I was impressed, truly. After everyone had moved in and settled in, we all had a coloured paint fight in the grass around the cabin – it was so fun haha. We were covered and looked an absolute mess afterwards so obviously, we took pictures. It was really cute and fun though haha. We then went and explored the showers on a further away campsite – we walked there and the walk was lovely. The weather was phenomenal – like it was outrageously hot so we were all dying of heat but being from Britain, I loved it! After our showers and stuff, we all just had some down time – we were playing cards outside on the patio (‘Bullshit’ is a particular favourite of mine) and we all just bonded a lot because we were in the woods, with no internet or phone signal – it was great. I actually loved every second of it! Then we all had dinner and there was such a range of food to choose from (some of the girls cooked and it was delicious) and we even had cookie cake which was phenomenal! We all ate so much food we actually couldn’t move haha. I was really impressed with the food, considering it was just stuff that the girls on the camp made themselves! After this we did a sisterhood activity which basically involved us being split into groups and given a different value (our sorority has 5 values – wisdom, power, love, hope and faith – that is what each member is supposed to represent) and we had to perform a skit or act them out in some way. My group got hope and our skit was absolutely awful, but it was super funny, so that’s all that matters haha. After that, we all huddled around the campfire that Anna Lu very impressively created and we made smores! They were DELICIOUS. We roasted the marshmallows over the campfire using sticks and then put it in between graham crackers and Hershey chocolate. I was so happy haha me and Catherine literally ate most of the smores! They were beyond delicious – I’m craving them now again, now I’m writing this haha. I wish I was back there eating smores now! It was great. The fire was so hot though – you couldn’t stand too close or you’d literally be sweating. We all played a huge game that night too in the cabin – everyone got involved. I forgot what it was called but it was the one where you pretend to have to kill people without them knowing about it and then everyone else needs to work out who the killer is? It was a lot of fun haha. The next morning we had some delicious pancakes for breakfast (courtesy of Catherine, thanks bae) that had m&ms and chocolate chips inside of them 😮 😮 They were amazing. And we spent the day outside tanning in the sun and playing games and having banter – it was absolutely lovely. We were all wearing our bikinis and just genuinely enjoying the weather. After this, a few of us went hiking – it wasn’t as hot when the sun was being blocked by the high trees in the forest – it was so much fun I love exploring new places. We found, what looked like, some agility courses and we also found baby frogs and it was really cute. The sights were beautiful and I’m so glad I was with the people I was with because I have no sense of direction – they somehow got us back to the camp site and I have no idea how they did that! We spent ages trying to find a lake that we could see from a distance but couldn’t quite get close to. It was really frustrating because we could never find it but the hiking itself was wonderful – hiking is my favourite form of exercise because it’s just so beautiful and interesting! When we got back, post-showers and such, we had more smores by the campfire – I literally consumed so many smores this trip – this was easily my favourite part because yes, I am a foodie. It was lovely to have everyone just roasting marshmallows together haha. After this we did ‘awards’ and ‘violets’. I got an award for ‘most likely to burn smores’ and tbh, it wasn’t wrong. A bunch of mine set on fire haha. Catherine won ‘most likely to burn in the sun’. Also accurate. And then we did violets and I got 3 – all the notes were literally so adorable awh. After this, we played even more games and had even more delicious food (grilled cheese and mac and cheese – aw yas). After this, things got very interesting – we played ‘Never Have I Ever’ and some people were a lot more drunk than others. I definitely found out some interesting information about my sisters haha. It was a lot of fun! The next day, Monday, we all headed home back to Drexel – perhaps 5 pounds heavier. Memorial day weekend was officially successful and a bunch of fun!

This next week was hella stressful because this was essentially when I had a bunch of deadlines and stuff due in. On Wednesday I had to give a presentation in front of my International Politics class and I hate public speaking so much  -it gives me more anxiety than anything else. So much that I don’t ever remember what I’ve said once the presentation is done. However, it went really well and the professor and class seemed impressed so I was happy to have that over and done with! Especially since I had an exam that night in my Psych of Disability class. The stress was so so so real. Especially seeing as though I didn’t really do any preparation for either of those things! Haha. On Thursday, I met up with Angela and Elisha and we all genuinely had the most amazing time. We went for dinner at Sabrina’s Cafe and didn’t stop laughing the whole time. I had the most beautiful tofu scramble (no really it was great) with sweet potato fries (obviously) and toast and then for some reason, we thought it’d be a good idea to get dessert despite already being full? So I got a snickers cheesecake and they had milkshakes haha and of course, this actually sent us over the edge. This was the first time Elisha and Angela had met each other and they got along so well – it was super cute haha. We honestly just had such great banter – it was lovely! That night I convinced Elisha to come drink with me at Greeks with James, Izzi and her friend from the Netherlands, Heather. It was such a cool night haha – we had a lot of fun! A bunch of other people turned up too because it’s Greeks and that’s always how it happens. We stayed out way later than we should have but it was totally worth it – so much fun. The next morning we woke up and felt like death haha. Elisha, I and her Australian friend who’s name I’ve totally forgotten (I’m so sorry) went for brunch at the White Dog Cafe. It’s pretty bad that most of my breakfasts consisted of veggie burgers and fries in America but hey, I can’t complain too much. The fries here were immense – they were like sea salt fries and they were just so beautiful. Honestly some of the best fries I’ve ever had – if you want good fries go to the White Dog Cafe, for sure. The conversation at brunch was great – I was asking Elisha’s friend all these questions about Australia and learning a little bit about the country – very very cool and interesting. I’m pretty sure on Friday night I somehow got drunk again, despite feeling awful – probably with James and Monica again but I actually forget who it was with?! I’m writing this blog retrospectively so I’m pretty sure it was with James and Monica at Greeks. Regardless, with them, it was going to be a good night anyway! So I’m sure that was a bangin time :’) On Saturday night, me, Catherine, Elisha, Angela, Monica, literally everyone, went to hotel party at Theta Chi. It was pretty fun! The next day we all woke up feeling the roughest we had ever felt in our lives haha. We drank literally so much it was insane. It was so much fun though, nobody is denying that! We danced, we had jello shots, we tried the weirdest concoctions of drinks. All in all, a great party with a lot of cool people! Just the next morning, not so fun 😛

Week 31 in Philadelphia, Las Vegas & Cape May

After getting back from Florida, this week has been pretty chill. We had our sorority chapter meeting on Monday instead of Sunday because it was Mothers Day (I sent my mum a huge 47 inch teddy bear and a personalized huge Millie’s Cookies cookie – I’m cute I know) and then for the rest of the week, I’ve just been avoiding responsibility and pretending to do work! I’ve had a super heavy workload and loads of academic things to do. For example, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I had to meet up with my assigned group for my International Politics class as we had to give a presentation/debate on Wednesday about what the most effective and best way to take action against climate change is. It actually went pretty well and I genuinely really liked everyone in my group – we all got along so well and worked really well together. Some of us have actually developed friendships because of it! I’ve been spending a lot of time chilling at Mad Greeks with the guy who owns it and everyone there too – that’s always fun! On Wednesday, James, Monica, Izzi, Carlton and I went and pregamed at City Tap House (it’s actually super expensive there because it’s a restaurant: note to self) and then headed out to Smokey’s (a cool ass bar that I went to for the first time this night) and it was a lot of fun! I saw a bunch of people at the bar that I already knew (my fellow international students and some Americans) and the bar was really cool. I had a lot of fun this night and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too! I always forget to take pictures when I’m out at bars for some reason – America has changed me! On Thursday, I basically spent the day preparing and getting everything sorted for my trip to Vegas the next day! I went with Mae and Maria from my sorority and I didn’t have anything sorted for it so I had to do it all last minute! Our flight was super early on Friday; like I literally had 2 hours sleep before hand. We got the train to the airport as it was a lot cheaper than getting an uber. We caught our first flight to Dallas, Texas because we had a one hour layover there which wasn’t bad at all – I think I slept during the whole flight. Then on the flight from Dallas to Las Vegas I sat by the coolest people – I made a new friend called Nate who I spoke to for the whole flight! He was 26 and from Utah originally, and he told me all the coolest stuff to do in Vegas (as he goes there a lot for business). The flight was actually hilarious cos we had some great banter – we got along really well. Time literally flew by (get it? flew? we were on a plane? lol ok). So that made the start of the trip really cool! As soon as we landed, we went to our hotel (Treasure Island – it’s at one end of the strip) and checked in. The hotel was gorgeous – it was literally so beautiful and we had the most amazing view from our hotel room. Considering it was like 110 degrees, we got our bikinis on and went down to the pool and had a cocktail or 6… it was great. I can confirm, alcohol in Vegas is SO EXPENSIVE. Every single cocktail was at least $20, no lie. But they were so incredibly strong you honestly didn’t need many. Straight away I knew that Vegas was going to be one of my new favourite places… and I wasn’t wrong :’) So this first day we basically spent partying in the pool and chilling, having a good time! A little later, we went to an all you can eat buffet at the hotel and it literally killed all of us. I don’t wanna know how much I ate that day but I know that it was impressive haha. I actually was in genuine crippling pain afterwards – it was stupid in retrospect. At night, we went to explore the strip. Every single hotel on the strip is absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite things was exploring the different themes. We went to the Venetian (which has an Italian theme and was one of my favourites) and spent time exploring the sheer beauty inside, we walked around outside a lot because when everything is lit up it actually is mesmerizing, we saw Caesars Palace (yes, where the Hangover was filmed – it’s just as beautiful in person folks and the stores inside were crazy), saw the Mirage hotel and kind of just ‘got our bearings’ with the strip and where we were. I was so amazed the whole time – everything was so grand and impressive. Aesthetically, this place was incredible. You can spend hours just walking up and down the strip because of how beautiful and large and lit up everything in. I also love how everyone parties every single night in Vegas – that is exactly the kind of lifestyle I am about :’) The next morning we got up early and got breakfast at ‘Hash House a Go-Go’ (the guy on the plane recommended it and I’m glad he did) – it was in the Linq hotel which is actually a fairly new one (fairly central on the strip). The lines for this restaurant were insane but I can see why – the food was phenomenal. I got their snickers filled pancake and it was actually only one pancake but it was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen – it actually lasted me all day – I boxed it and then had the rest for lunch. That right there, is what you call real American food :’). I think it’s safe to say that they were honestly the best pancakes I’ve ever had – you could really taste the snickers inside of it and it was just flawless. It wasn’t just my food that was amazing though – I saw what other people ordered and it was all literally so huge. Like falling off the plate! After this we proceeded to do some more exploring and explored the Flamingo hotel which was again, phenomenal – there were actually Flamingo’s in the garden and it was such a beautiful day (I appreciated the weather so much – we were in the middle of the desert so it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced) and then we went to the Paris hotel and actually went on the ‘Eiffel Tower Experience’ which basically means that you get to go to the top of an Eiffel Tower replica and look out over all of Las Vegas. It was immensely beautiful! It was nowhere near as tall as the real Eiffel Tower but it was in fact, incredibly tall. So much so that Maria was genuinely scared to be stood at the top of it! It was a phenomenal view we spent so long up there. After this we walked down to Planet Hollywood and then saw the fountain show outside of the Bellagio – it was actually super beautiful, especially when the fountains were dancing to a Frank Sinatra song. The Bellagio is phenomenal. At the night time, we got dinner at I <3 Burgers (no, it was really called that) and then got a Gondola ride in the Venetian outside. It was so beautiful at night – it honestly just looked amazing. Our Gondola driver even serenaded us hahaha. We then saw the Volcano show at the Mirage which was pretty amazing in itself! The lights and graphics were immense. We then went back and saw the Bellagio fountains show at night too and compared it to when we saw it in the day time – both of which were magnificent in so many ways. I felt so fortunate to be able to see these views – they were second to none! The hotel we were staying in, Treasure Island, had the most amazing rooms. Truly epic! P.S. I was ‘cocktail in hand’ for most of this trip – the cocktails in Vegas were extortionately priced but so worth it. The next day, we woke up early and went to the other side of the strip – we started off with an all-you-can-eat buffet at Mandalay Bay and it was literally SO WORTH IT. The food was delicious and there was an unbelievable range! We actually couldn’t move afterwards haha. After this we explored Mandalay Bay (so beautiful and impressive), MGM Grand, The Luxor (Egyptian style), Excalibur (all to do with knights, castles, jousting – that sort of medieval stuff – very nerdy but cool), New York New York (I’m sure the theme here is pretty obvious from the name) and then even went into some non-hotel stores like M&M world & Hershey world. These hotels were all mesmerizingly beautiful and impressive – I honestly wish the pictures did it justice. You just needed to be there, to be able to see all these views. I felt so fortunate to be able to go! We got to and from each end of the strip by using the monorail because it was really hard to walk the whole length – it was incredibly long. We asked the guy I met on the flight if we could borrow his hotel pass to use the wave pool and lazy river in Mandalay Bay and he actually let us!? So after exploring all of these hotels, we went back to get our swimwear and then hit the pool for some more fun in the sun. The lazy river was genuinely the best thing – so much fun. Me and Mae found rubber rings and just floated down the whole way, drinks in hand :’) We then dried off, got changed and went to get some food (after literally like 3 hours just messing about in the pool and drinking – it was a blast) at ‘Slice of Vegas’ (an Italian Pizza place). After this, we returned the passes to the guy we met on the flight and he invited us to a party at Mandalay Bay so obvs, this was something that you cannot turn down. The party was phenomenal, guys! Mandalay Bay’s rooms are INSANELY gorgeous. It was such a fun night – I’m glad I got to meet such cool people on my trip! I wish I’d have taken pictures though 🙁 It was honestly just so immense, I wish yall could’ve been there to experience a true Las Vegas party! We partied till a ridiculous time. And then had to head back home to wake up in a couple hours to see the Las Vegas sign before we left! There were so many people at the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign – such a tourist opportunity 😛 After this, we regrettably headed to the airport, got food and caught our flight home! I was so sad to be returning – I don’t think I explained our time very well cos I didn’t convey how much fun it was and just how amazing Vegas really is. I think it’s more a ‘you had to be there’ kinda situation. Vegas is definitely one of my favourite places in the U.S. so if you ever have the opportunity, PLEASE GO.

So we got back from Vegas late Monday night and me and James and Monica went for dinner when I got home and had a bit of a catch up. I love the food at Landmark American, it’s kinda expensive but I think it’s pretty high quality. Now that I’m back in Philly and I’ve officially spent the last 10 months of my life travelling around 11 different U.S. states, I can honestly say that the sadness about leaving for England in under a month is really getting to me. I feel guilty about saying this because of course I’m excited to see my mum, dad, boyfriend, dog and the rest of my family and friends but this has been truly, the most incredible year of my life! I can’t even comprehend the fact that I’ve been able to do the things I’ve done and see the things I’ve seen. Let alone have such amazing friendships with the people I’ve met. I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do when I go back to England. Everyone I’ve met here has been so amazing and I’ve just gotten to learn so much and explore, live and adventure in so many ways! I hate how cheesy I sound when I say all these things because it doesn’t sound as legitimate and genuine as I’d like it to. I’m honestly heartbroken to be leaving all my friends here who have truly, become family! What will I do without Catherine and Mick to wake me up in the morning and deal with my loudness when I’m drunk? What will I do without coffee and dinner dates with every single one of my sorority sisters? Who am I gonna call to get drunk with me on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when I’m just a little bored and have none of my fraternity friends to party with? What am I supposed to do on a Thursday night if I can’t annoy the bouncers at Cav’s and order way too many drinks for everyone I know at the bar? Who will I message when I wanna check out another U.S. state if I can’t see my Brazilian, British or other European friends anymore? I can’t express the difficulty it’s going to be, going from such an immense, crazy, fun lifestyle to living back in England and not really doing that much. I wish I could thank the people I know here enough but it’s definitely not going to be enough for what they’ve contributed to my life and the experiences they’ve given me! It’s even going to be difficult to say goodbye to the people who aren’t necessarily best friends of mine but they’re people who if they ask me to do something with them, I will! Moving on from the soppy stuff, I’ve been thrown straight back into academia and loads of  work because it’s Drexel and I travel lots haha. Let’s not forget the stress of severely running low on money because I’ve been going a little crazy. Despite these concerns, James and I still managed to go to Village Whiskey (a super classy and fairly expensive bar in Center City) on Wednesday night. That was pretty fun! It’s the kinda place where you need to know about different whiskey’s and beers or you won’t fit in haha. There’s always a lot of great banter when James is there so I had a lot of fun this night! On Thursday, my sorority had I-night which is basically the pre-initiation meeting that we have. This was pretty nice! All the new members are honestly great. We all spoke about why we joined Sigma and why we love it so much, including what our values mean to us. And then this night, Catherine was actually able to come to Cavs with me and Michelle! It was literally so fun. We danced all night and screamed way too loud. It was really hot in the bar though cos it was like 80 degrees, the sweat was so real. I’ve never been out with Michelle before so this was great (she’s a sorority sister) and I definitely wanna party with her again – nicest girl ever, seriously. I always eat so much food when I’m drunk, like o m g. Lately my go-to is Doritos?! On Friday, Sigma had a free tie-dye event that was open to the public where if you brought along a t-shirt, we would dye it for you – we also had free white shirts available. This was just a way of getting our name out there and promoting the sorority a little bit – it was a lot of fun. There was free chips, hot dogs, soda, etc – a lot of people came out so that was pretty cool. Side note: I have the best best friend. Catherine brought me pizza back from work just because she got some for free. WHAT A WOMAN. Ok back on track. After the tie-dying event, Catherine and I rushed to her cousin’s 16th birthday party somewhere in Philadelphia. I love how her family invite me to all the events – it’s actually so sweet. The party was a lot of fun! Everyone looked literally so cute and had such a lovely time. It made me miss being 16 :’) the food was phenomenal! There were these stuffed ricotta shells which were carbalicious and amazing and I cannot get started on the desserts because I will not shut up. It was buffet style and there was such a range of food – the stocks cake, PEANUT BUTTER CAKE (no really) and the chocolate balls were my favourite. I couldn’t move after this party haha. The songs were bangin too. The party was like 4 hours but it flew by (maybe it was the alcohol) and we all got to take home leftover food haha. Then after the party (around 11.30 – 12) we drove to Catherine’s house in New Jersey and got our PJ’s on and then embarked on the two hour drive to Cape May, NJ (it’s the most southern point of NJ) and we arrived just before 3am. Catherine and her family have a boat out there and we slept on the boat for the weekend (it’s really nice – it was just docked in the harbour and literally has everything you need – I want a boat so bad haha). We went straight to bed because it was so late and then woke up early on Saturday. When we woke up, Catherine’s mum greeted us with morning Margaritas (i love her) and then we headed out for breakfast. We went to Raw Bar and because we’re surrounded by water (Cape May used to be called Cape Island), Cape May is huge on seafood. I obviously didn’t have seafood though haha. The restaurant was super nice and the food was delicious! It was so nice hanging out with Catherine and her mum the whole day! They had great coffee there too. We headed to the Emlen Physick estate after this and had a tour of the mansion – it was owned by the richest person in Cape May who actually retired at the age of 21 because of all of his wealth (goals)! The mansion was beautiful on the inside and we learned a lot of history about the Victorian era – they were into some pretty unusual stuff haha. It was really cool and I’m very grateful that Catherine and her family allowed me to come to Cape May, stay on their boat and act as my tour guide the whole time! It was so lovely. This is basically where they go in the summer – it’s like a little vacation destination. After this we got scones, tea, little sandwiches and cakes and some other rather British things in the merchandise store near the estate! We then continued on to the town and it was so cute – full of little boutique stores selling clothes, cupcakes and other baked goods, art and everything you can think of. There was a whole store dedicated to peanut butter (my dream)! Literally everything was peanut butter – spreads, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate, sandwiches, bars – I was so happy the entire time. Here is where I had the best fluffer nutter I’ve ever had, in my whole life! It was called peanut butter co. and I’m for sure, going to order things online from them haha. Is it sad that this was the whole reason I wanted to go to Cape May in the first place?! As soon as Catherine told me about this, I WAS SOLD. I also got a really great peanut butter cookie. I just freakin love this place so much! After this we went to people-watch at Congress Hall by the fireplace, seeing as though it was a rainy day! It was so lovely. Catherine actually fell asleep haha while me and her mum talked about everything! After spending a copious amount of time doing this (there was actually a wedding happening at Congress Hall so we watched a bunch of that), we went back out to explore Cape May a little bit more before heading back to the boat! Catherine’s mum and dad actually drove back home that night because they had to look after and feed their dogs while Catherine and I stayed! After they left, we went to get dinner at Panico’s Bistro and I was so happy that we did. This was easily one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. It was pretty expensive but I feel like it was definitely worth it – it was all Mediterranean food and it was such high quality food! Catherine’s food looked amazing but I personally had the house bruschetta (absolutely flawless), the fried eggplant pasta with penne (I liked it way more than I expected to – fried eggplant IS SO MUCH NICER than regular eggplant and the pasta was bangin) and a side of truffle fries. I genuinely couldn’t breathe for hours after this meal – there was so much food. I want the truffle fries now again just because I’m writing about them! The service was excellent here too – this was just an amazing place. If you’re ever in Cape May, definitely check out Panico’s – surprisingly a good amount of vegetarian options too! After this, we got tickets for a trolley Ghost Tour around Cape May at night. It was actually pretty scary because it was heavily raining and super dark out. I really don’t believe in stuff like this but it was actually a lot of fun just to hear about the stories that the tour guides were telling us and to get excited about the concept of something supernatural :’) After this, we just went back to the boat and watched ‘The Sandlot’ – this is literally one of my new favourite movies! It’s so cute and hilarious at the same time :’) The next morning we had to get back to Drexel for initiation of new members into Tri Sigma so we got breakfast and then drove back and made it in time, thank god. Initiation was long because for each new member it takes around 10-15 minutes… so we were there for a while. After initiation, we all went out to Qdoba Mexican grill and it was literally SO DELICIOUS. Something that pleasantly surprised me about Qdoba was the amount of vegetarian options. Places like this don’t usually have a lot of veggie options but this place definitely did! I got some sort of veggie taco and it was so yummy – I’ll definitely go back.

 

Week 29 in Philadelphia & Florida

Midterm week has begun and because it’s me, I obviously haven’t studied for any of my exams and I feel incredibly underprepared! I walked out of my exams feeling like I didn’t know anything haha. But I managed to get pretty good grades so I’m actually super happy about that, considering I was genuinely so not prepared! However, we’ll have to see how the rest of the quarter goes :’) Bernie Sanders was actually at Drexel on Monday holding a rally for the primary elections the next day. It was open to the public so I went (we lined up and waited for him for four hours) and it was honestly great. Bernie is my favourite presidential candidate and it was really cool and surreal to be at an American political rally. I honestly hope he wins the elections – I think he is the least corrupt candidate in America right now. Unfortunately, I think Clinton will win but I suppose, she’s better than Trump. Though I still really don’t like her or her policies. Anyway, the Bernie rally was really inspirational, honest, real and full of compassion, love and hope for the future. I walked away from it feeling as though the next 4 years for America might not be as bad as I originally thought! On Wednesday, Izzi, Bree and I went to Fishtown which was THE coolest place! It was full of old school bars and really retro alternative drinking establishments :’) It was so dope. We went in an arcade and played on old machines and it was so cool. We basically did a little bar crawl where we had a drink at each bar and moved on – it was so much fun. Izzi and Bree are the coolest people too (note: pickle back is DISGUSTING, do not try it) and obvs, we ended the night by eating copious amounts of fries (yas). 100% go to Fishtown if you haven’t been! On Thursday, Izzi and her friend who’s name I’ve forgotten (sorry) and I went to Cavs. I pregamed a little with James and the guys who work at Greeks (a pizza place James owns which also sells a copious amount of alcohol – literally everyone goes there) and that was pretty fun! Then we all met up at Cavs. Cavs was a lot of fun that night! Ended up being a super late one and we went to a frat house after and drank and ate more. I love that part of the night where everyone’s calming down from the hype and just being fat and talking, it’s great :’) And you never really go wrong with Cavs. I love that I literally don’t even show the bouncers my ID there, they all know me :L On Friday, I somehow also ended up drinking at Greek’s with everyone – again, super fun and just such a chill place. I wasn’t even gonna drink on Friday but somehow I ended up there and we drove to Center City as we were gonna go to voyeur (a gay bar) but once we got there, I REALISED I FORGOT MY ID. So annoyed. But it’s all good, it was pretty funny. I really liked just having banter in Greeks, it was a lot of fun! (No judgement for drinking 3 nights in a row please, cos it’s about to get worse). On Friday, Mick woke me up to go to Green Eggs Cafe with her – we’d been planning on going for a while so I’m glad she did haha. It was incredible – I’d go back in a heartbeat! It’s mainly breakfast, brunch and lunch foods but they do have dinner and desserts too (not to forget cocktails!). I had one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had in my life and sweet potato fries. I feel like I say that about a lot of the food I have in the US but honestly, words cannot describe the deliciousness. This place actually has great options if you’re a vegetarian! Angela, Sara and I, for some reason, then decided to go to ‘Fuel’ for dinner that night in center city. It was pretty random but again, this place is great for vegetarians! I had two burgers and two servings of sweet potato fries this day. ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS. Saturday morning was ‘Quest for the Best’ which is my sororities biggest philanthropy event where a bunch of different teams sign up and participate in a quest which involves a bunch of different challenges and fun stuff to do. It was actually a lot of fun! Theta Chi won so props to you guys! The challenges were absolutely ridiculous, it was great :’) And I think we raised a lot of money, which is dope! We also got to take home a bunch of free food after the event which we didn’t sell (including a whole box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, cake pops, brownies, cookies, etc!). After this, Catherine and I drove into New Jersey for a wedding anniversary (despite being late) and guys, there was an OPEN BAR. It was so amazing! The wedding anniversary itself was incredibly beautiful – Catherine’s Grandma and Granddad renewed their vows and had the most beautiful ceremony in the most beautiful country club! The food was amazing (I was IN LOVE) and the drinks were literally incredible – Malibu bay breezes, champagne, martini’s, wine – what more can you want guys?! It was honestly just such a fun night – Catherine’s family are literally great. We all danced like nerds on the dance floor and just didn’t care what we looked like – everyone was in a great mood – it was truly wonderful. We watched Catherine’s grandma open their anniversary gifts after this and it was just the cutest and most emotional time. I actually cried at the speeches haha, they were so touching! We got up early the next morning and went for breakfast in a diner (Jersey are known for their diners and I can see why – it was amazing) and then me and Catherine headed to King of Prussia to do some shopping for Florida! We were originally going to go to Hershey Park but we rescheduled because of the weather. KOP is amazing – such a cool mall. I think it’s the largest in the state – it’s literally huge! We literally spent so much money, it’s shocking :’) We got a fair amount of stuff though so it wasn’t too bad! I love American mall’s, they literally have everything. The food courts are obviously the best part :’) I definitely need to go back before I come home to England. It’s the only place in the U.S. that has a Primark, I swear! I’m gonna miss places like American Eagle, Free People and cool quirky outlets like that! I honestly think I just like shopping and spending money :’) On Sunday night, we drove back to Philly and Catherine had her first chapter meeting as a new member of Tri Sigma! How cute haha.

On Monday night, Catherine and I watched the movie Mystic River – it was nice just having some chill time and not actually doing anything! Especially seeing as though this week has been really hectic in terms of workload – the Drexel shaft is so real. On Tuesday, Elisha and I went to the Max Brenner chocolate bar and restaurant. It. Was. Epic. I’d been wanting to go for a while and literally, everything is chocolate! You can get actual food too but people will often go just to order from the dessert menu (which is what I did). We’re already making plans to go back because of how amazing it was :’) We got a CHOCOLATE PIZZA (yes this is real life) and it was the most delicious, sweet, tasty thing I’ve ever experienced in my life – it was huge. It almost defeated me though because I also got a peanut butter milkshake – but because it’s me, I powered through! I felt so sick afterwards haha. On Wednesday, Elisha and I went for lunch at Zavinos and my friend from my politics class (Ejaz) randomly joined us – it was nice though. I love squeezing restaurants in between my classes :’) I swear all I do at Drexel is just eat out!?  I did a lot of Florida prep this day too as on Wednesday night, Catherine and I drove to and stayed in Jersey ready for our flight to Florida the next day, meaning I had to get all my stuff packed before Thursday! We flew from Atlantic City Airport on Thursday so it was just easier to stay in South Jersey so we didn’t have to drive as long in the morning! We went to Pennqueen Diner for breakfast before the airport with Catherine’s dad – it was really nice as our flight was pretty early. We flew to Tampa airport and then had to get an uber to Clearwater Beach as this is where we were staying! I think we basically slept the whole flight, which I love. As soon as we got there, we put our shorts on (the weather was absolutely beautiful) and went to explore and walk around! Clearwater Beach is perhaps the most relaxing part of Florida – it’s very chill, unlike Miami or Orlando, for example. It’s the kind of place you would want to take your family and kids – it was absolutely beautiful! The beach itself was voted the 20th best beach in the world (which I totally understand why) and it was just the prettiest place to walk around. I instantly fell in love with all of the palm trees, the streets, the clear skies – absolutely everything! We got ice-creams as soon as we got there (I got the gator tracks flavour – amazing! It’s like moose tracks) and we also went to Hooters! The first Hooters was originally started in Florida, I believe! Obviously I had a cocktail with my nachos! We sat outside and it was just such gorgeous weather! This first day we honestly just walked around, explored, saw all the stores and cool things to do and ate some great food! We got a little (very) drunk at night too and met some interesting people! Liqor stores in America are great guys. Is it just me or is alcohol in Florida super cheap? It was amazing just because I got to be with my best friend in the whole world (other than my boyf), in a beautiful place, in amazing weather, just having a wonderful time! I honestly loved every second! On Friday, we got up early and headed to the beach (after having breakfast at McDonalds :’)) and spent the whole day on the beach, going in and out of the ocean, making fools of ourselves and just relaxing and enjoying the weather. It was honestly lovely! That was… until we got home and realized just how sunburned we were. The sun was SO intense but we didn’t really realize because there was a nice ocean breeze. I cannot express just how red both of our skins were… Catherine was using SPF 100… wtf?! Mine was actually worse than Catherine’s and the next morning, I lay in bed and literally could not move. All of my skin ached. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever experienced. Note to self and others: NEVER forget to re-apply. Because you will look like a lobster afterwards. No exaggeration. Anyway, we decided to drink the pain away and got a bunch of wine and cocktails for the night! We had a little pregame in our apartment and then went to a food festival (it’s like Florida knew we were coming) which was basically $30 for all you can eat and drink, from a range of different companies. We ate so much pizza and pancakes – it was great! We were pretty drunk too so the food tasted even more delicious! For some reason, we also went to Extreme Pizza at the end of the night to get even MORE pizza? It was a very food-filled evening. It was lovely haha. We got up early again on Saturday (despite the hangovers) to get breakfast at IHop haha – we each got 2 orders of food. It was great :’) Red velvet pancakes, double chocolate chip pancakes, new york style cheesecake pancakes and strawberry banana pancakes – I remember them all fondly haha. It was straight up DELICIOUS. After this, we lay on the beach again and relaxed – there was some sort of Hindu festival too on the beach – it seemed like some sort of celebratory parade. It was very cool to witness! We actually then went and rented out Jet Ski’s/Wave Runners this day; it was the COOLEST THING. We got our Florida boating license which is valid for a year and had the most fun time on them. I literally love Jet Ski’s – it’s the only thing I ever wanna do again. I just wish it wasn’t such an expensive hobby! After yet another really cool day on the beach and chilling in Florida, we went to Frenchy’s Rockaway Bar and Restaurant that night (Clearwater Beach is known for this place!) and I see why. Obviously in Florida people are huge on seafood (I personally don’t eat it but it looks pretty good) and the food here looked amazing – Catherine definitely enjoyed it. I ate so much still. I had cheese fries for a starter (omg) and a veggie burger for dinner (it was HUGE), along with the most delicious chocolate and strawberry cocktail. I was actually shocked at how nice it was haha. After we were able to breathe again, we went fishing on pier 60 (again, I didn’t, Catherine did) and I essentially just stargazed and looked at how beautiful the night was. I actually saw a baby shark die this night, which is actually illegal – you’re supposed to throw baby sharks back into the ocean if you catch them but this one incredibly infuriating and sick family, caught it and watched it die on the pier, which tbh, enraged me so much. I actually cried because I didn’t know how else to express myself. It was literally the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen – this family had children too who were witnessing this and they seemed so ok with it. If you wanna kill or watch a baby shark BE killed, you do you, but I almost 100% don’t wanna associate with you because it was literally heartbreaking. It may sound dramatic and you may be thinking “Oh it’s just a baby shark?” but that is an animal that has been murdered for no reason other than ‘sport’. And that folks, is under my definition of ‘fucked up’. I have absolutely no respect for people who engage in acts like that. Fishing, I almost understand, because you don’t kill the fish and they don’t have any pain receptors in their mouth; you just throw them back into the ocean. BUT KILLING A BABY SHARK. No. I’m not gonna say anymore on that but yeah, that sucked. Moving on, we had our flight back to Philly the next day, in the early afternoon. However, our flight got delayed by like 4 hours? I’m not sure why but wahey, extra time in Florida so we just kind of walked around, had some cocktails and enjoyed our last few hours there. We didn’t do anything substantial; just enjoyed the views and were pretty sad to be leaving! When we got back on Sunday night, Catherine and I were so sad. We literally had the most amazing time in Florida – it sucked to be back haha. But honestly, I love Philly so I’m not too bummed about it. Her mum and dad picked us up from Atlantic City airport and drove us back to Philly. And then we were back to reality and I had to go straight to a meeting with my group for a Politics presentation due that week!

 

Week 27 in Philadelphia & New Orleans

So Greek Week is in full swing here at Drexel and the PHC and IFC communities are not taking it lightly! On Monday, the event was arm-wrestling and unfortunately, both our lightweight and heavyweight competitiors lost! We were all there to support them but sometimes it’s just not gonna end well. Everyone was in main build crowded around and the screams and cheers were deafening! Each sorority/fraternity also had to create a tile that was designed and painted by it’s members and tbh, ours looked pretty bangin! Prior to this, Catherine and I got our FREE TICKETS to the International Ball hosted at Drexel – I’m not entirely sure what it is but the concept of a formal ball sounds fun to me haha. Despite the fact that I have no formal clothing :’) I tried to go give blood on Tuesday as this was also a part of Greek Week but I wasn’t able to because I was in the UK before the year of 1996 (I was born in 95) but I’m not exactly sure what the issue with that is? I’m unaware of any diseases or illnesses that were present at that time but hey, it still counts for our sorority because I tried! Mae, Monica and I went to a Phillies vs Padres game at Citizen Bank Park – super cool because this was my first ever baseball game! I ate so much freaking food. I had a whole funnel cake to myself (it’s basically just all sugar), a large NY style pretzel (I’m not sure why I love them so much because all you can taste is salt but it’s literally delicious) and a large cheese fries (bae). And of course, some cotton candy. I actually couldn’t move after the game but it was really interesting. The Phillies won but honestly they’re not the best team :’) But it was really cool, I actually genuinely enjoy baseball (and basketball!).  On Wednesday we had one of our biggest events – Talent Show! I skipped my 3 hour class (which I really shouldn’t have done) to go support the girls in the show but I’m glad I did because they KILLED IT. Their performance was literally so impressive, I was blown away! Our theme was Grease the musical and they literally looked so cool and put-together! We came 5th overall which is actually really good and a step up from previous years! Tbh, all the sororities put on a great performance and all o them were very impressive so the whole show was really fun! We all had cute outfits to wear in the audience and our own little dance moves to join in with. Thursday was the chariot race (we literally had a human in a small box that we pulled along and raced – it was quite dangerous in retrospect) and we came 3rd which was SO impressive! Some of the frats chariots actually broke and ended up running into people… but everyone was ok so it’s all good! Deviating from Greek Week a little, I did some shopping at Urban Outfitters and American Eagle (literally two of my fave stores) for Florida because I haven’t brought new clothes in forever and I didn’t actually buy that much but I somehow spent SO MUCH MONEY. Like you honestly don’t even wanna know the amount I spent! But it had to be done. I then came back and randomly booked a flight to New Orleans, Louisiana next week?! I know. My friend Chloe (she goes to Aston, my uni back in England but she came here for her placement and is now doing an internship in Chicago) messaged me and was like, ‘yo I have some free time next week, wanna travel?’. And while this was clearly very last minute, I had to take up the opportunity so we randomly decided on Thursday that we would go to New Orleans on Tuesday – Friday meaning I’m missing a bunch of classes; my professors are probably gonna be a lil annoyed! It actually wasn’t that expensive too considering it’s pretty south, so I was super psyched about that! On this same Thursday, another part of Greek Week was this 1 hour speaker we had to attend; the speaker was actually the coolest guy. He came on stage dancing and singing. The talk was basically about how we as a greek community should be working together to achieve things rather than working separately. It was actually incredibly interesting! One of the things I love about Americans too is that, while we were waiting for the speaker, music was being played in the auditorium to kill the time and a whole sing-along just started happening and people randomly got up on stage and started dancing, twerking, dougie-ing, wobbling, dabbing, the works! I feel like British people would have just sat there and politely waited in silence but no, everyone in the auditorium literally just got up out their seats and started dancing and singing! It was pretty hilarious. I love the confidence and lack of inhibition. Definitely an outlook or personality or approach that more countries should adopt! Friday afternoon I went to Elisha’s to watch a movie for our Criminology class (Frankenstein) but honestly we didn’t really watch the movie; we just chatted and had a catch up. It was really nice! I think I’ve already seen the movie anyway so it’s no big deal haha. My sorority had Arc degree in the evening which is essentially a formal invite for the new members; that didn’t take too long and it’s always nice to welcome the newbies! Always a little bit of a weird process though haha. Then straight after we had the all greek social at Cav’s meaning all the sororities and fraternities are represented there and we all get together and party. It was a lot of fun! Me and the girls pregamed a little bit before and got a bit jolly. I genuinely had such a good time and even bonded with some of the girls in my sorority some more and ran into some cool people that I know in other organizations. Genuinely just a cool ass night 🙂 I also got challenged to a dance off… and WON. Despite whatever Rocky says.. ahem. On Saturday, we had our Greek Week volleyball game and unfortunately lost to ASA but you know, you win some you lose some. The girls all played really well! Catherine and I went to Federal Donuts (ermergerd) and got some of the greatest doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. I was so genuinely impressed; they tasted literally delicious. Butter pecan, lemon meringue, black and white and strawberry lavender. Honestly they are UP there in the hierarchy of doughnuts! Then we went randomly to a continental restaurant (we saw it from the outside and thought it was a diner) and then ended up in swinging chairs elevated from the ceiling and around Chinese lanterns and stuff. We soon came to realise that we were in a really fancy and expensive restaurant in shorts, converse and snapbacks haha. A bit out of place but the food was delicious. Then we had the Pipino 5k run (aka the glow run) around campus so I went out to support Catherine and the rest of the sisters who were participating (and obviously steal some of the free food that she got for running); it was a pretty fun environment.  Sunday was the last Greek week event and it was Tug of War! It was so hilarious to see everyone on the volleyball courts just tugging a huge ass rope back and forth; it got pretty heated! The winners of Greek week were announced too (Congratulations to Phi Sigma!) and everyone kind of just relaxed now we all know that Greek week is finally over! It was a lot of fun though, something I’ll definitely remember from my time at Drexel!

On Monday, I surprised Catherine with tickets to the Phillies vs the Mets. She was like super happy about it cos she loves baseball and frankly, so do I! It was so much fun. We got mandatory crab fries with cheese and obviously a cheeky beer (the food and drink at games is so expensive lmfao) and we had great seats! We just had such a laugh being silly and cheering and being mean to the Met’s. It flew by! I love watching sports at games and just having a beer or two, best vibes in the world! Citizens Bank Park is incredible too! It was a warm summer night and it was just an amazing feeling to be able to be there! I did all my packing for New Orleans before I went very quickly, haha. On Tuesday, I got an uber to the airport and headed off on my flight to New Orleans, Louisiana! I went straight to the house we were staying at and met up with Chloe for the first time in like four months! It was so nice to see her again and catch up. We rented a room from a couple who have an air b&b type house. It was the coolest house; very Mardi Gras! It was very chic with lots of beads everywhere, funky colours, a cluttered yet organised look and honestly it just looked very alternative. It was so dope getting to stay there, really cute and cool place. I can’t express within this blog post just how incredible and amazing my experience and time in Louisiana was! NOLA, what a city! Perhaps the coolest city in the U.S. So overwhelming and amazing to have been able to spend a fair amount of time there travelling and exploring! As soon as I got there we went out for lunch and tried red beans and rice; this is a delicacy in NOLA and actually tastes really good. So simple yet so delicious. Obviously served with Corn bread. Then we went to the French Market in the French Quarter (we stayed on Frenchmen street so it wasn’t too far away) and the market was incredible; so large and impressive! We got pralines (another delicacy) and I got the peanut butter flavour; it was delicious! It was basically like biting into sugar and butter, right up my alley haha. Then we checked out the Mississippi river (damn) and explored the main areas of the French Quarter like Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Presbytere, the Cabildo, etc; such a beautiful place. Honestly one of the most mesmerising areas I’ve seen! We checked out City Park too which was a huge beautiful park, followed by Lake Pontchartrain. Honestly, everything in this city is phenomenal. We tried beignets from Cafe Du Monde (another delicacy – it’s basically a French doughnut covered in sugar) and they were fabulous. That’s the only thing you can get from Cafe Du Monde along with a special type of coffee; it was very French. After this, we checked out Bourbon street and Royal street. Royal street is the cutest street in the world – I wanna go there every single day. Full of cute little boutiques, cafes and street performers. It was amazing. We got dressed up for Bourbon street and went into a few bars and had a really fun night! We tried hurricanes, hand-grenades and strawberry daiquiris  – all staple drinks of NOLA! They all lead to some interesting consequences haha. We demonstrated some pretty crazy dancing in the bars and clubs – it was so fun! Bourbon street reminds me of a mini-vegas or a mini-AC. When you’re walking along, people on balconies in bars throw beads at you too so you can just collect them as you’re walking up and down the strip. Crazy! Honestly we had a blast. I love Bourbon street, we went a little crazy. Waking up the next day was difficult! On Wednesday we had a walking tour of the French Quarter and its history but I HAD to leave early to get food, I was starving haha. After this we explored more of NOLA in general and just walked around, that’s one of my favourite things to do in a new city! We went to the Fudgery and got the most amazing chocolate and fudge creations! A foodies dream! We had a bayou/swamp tour after this; we got a coach to the swamp and then went out on the boats to see some alligators and go deep into the South of Louisiana! It was such a dope experience. I got to hold a baby alligator on the boat; they’re actually the cutest things! It was pretty scary though haha. Definitely a must-do in Louisiana! After this we went to a free Jazz festival in Lafayette Square (Jazz is a huge part of NOLA) and it was really cool. We walked along Canal street which is like a main shopping area in NOLA and went to Popeyes for food haha. We also walked along the Riverfront at night and it was one of the most beautiful views in the world! Honestly, I wish I could have captured it on camera. I hate that you can never see how amazing things are on pictures! We just spent this night having a drink or two and walking around exploring. I love that you can drink on the streets in NOLA, makes travelling a lot easier ha. On Thursday, our last full day, we went and got breakfast at the French Market and sat outside. The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole time; about 80 degrees! We then caught the street car (so cool) to the Garden District (WHERE BEYONCE AND JAY-Z JUST BROUGHT A HOUSE!!!) and just looked at all the beautiful homes there, wishing we had the money to afford one :’) We saw the house from American Horror Story: Coven and literally freaked out. It was so cool! I loved the Garden District it was so beautiful. We walked back via Magazine street which was another cute little street full of cool boutiques and alternative stuff; really sweet and retro place. We then went and checked out the State Museum which was basically all about the history of New Orleans, specifically the battle of New Orleans! We then went for food (Chloe tried Gumbo, Jambalaya, a Po-Boy, Crawfish and a bunch of other specialties on this trip but I opted out because they’re not vegetarian), ate way too much and then got ready for another night out on Bourbon street! We headed to Armstrong Park first for some drinks and another Jazz musical festival! They happen every Wednesday and Thursday in NOLA and they’re usually free – how freaking dope is that!? We got a little tipsy here then proceeded to go to a Jazz concert at Preservation Hall (Chloe’s grandma had recommended it haha) and it was SO COOL. It was like $15 and you couldn’t take any pictures in there but it was really intimate and up close with the musicians; we were sat on pillows on the floor and requesting songs and they were just playing this beautiful Jazz right before us. It was incredible! One of those moments that you just know you’re going to remember for a really long time because it just feels so incredible. ALSO, the singer from Smashing Pumpkins was just chilling in the audience?! So I was like, hey, I’m a huge fan (I’m not really but they’re pretty cool), can I get a picture with you? So we all got a picture and had a little chat and it was so freaking cool. He’s such a chill guy, I was like, wtf :L After this we proceeded to hit up some bars and clubs, have a dance and boogie and some drinks. Of course, ending the night with too much pizza. We had to wake up an hour after we got back in order to catch our flight back to Philly! I literally fell asleep on the airport floor while we waited for our flight – that is how tired I was! Worth it though. We got back to Philly around noon on Friday and it’s a little bit sad to be back because now I have loads of work to do as I missed loads of classes but hey, it was an incredible experience! Chloe’s staying in Philly for a few days before heading back to Chicago for her internship!  Chloe and I spoke a lot about how we don’t have as much time left in the states as we would like; we got a little bit sad about the thought of coming back to England but I’m not gonna let it get me down just yet, I have a fair amount of time left! I just love how much I’ve been able to travel and the things I’ve gotten to see and do have been absolutely amazing. It’s felt so normal but crazy at the same time – like I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing and that this is the kind of lifestyle for me! Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t seen my parents in so long and I miss my boyfriend ineffable amounts – I’m so freaking excited to see them all again and just have catch ups but it’s going to be such a huge transition. I’ve become so accustomed to American life; I think it’s honestly going to be a culture shock when I go back to England! This has truly been the best year of my life, to date, it’s been absolutely perfect! Actually no, if Tom would have been here, it would have been perfect!  Anyway, now I’m back in Philly and instead of studying for my exams as I should have been, I went to Summit and partied with some friends. I’m genuinely going to miss Four Loco’s so much, I really want England to start selling them haha. This was a pretty late night! On Saturday, Catherine, Mick and I all went to the International Ball and it was so much fun! There was some incredibly delicious food (the pasta and chocolate cake were my favourite), some great performances from a range of different acts and great music and dancing afterwards! It was truly a lovely event. We got to get all dressed up too in cute dresses and pretend to be fancy! Mick was a part of the committee who created the event and honestly, they all did a great job! It was very impressive! On Sunday morning, I had to wake up at 6.30am to volunteer at the ‘For Pete’s Sake’ walk at Citizens Bank Park;  this walk was created in aid of someone who developed cancer (it’s actually a beautiful story) and I did this for my Sigma service hours. It was actually really fun – I gave fake tattoo’s to the kids involved in the walk. Sunday was actually also Tri Sigma’s founders day so there was a celebration regarding our creation and beginning! Genuinely so proud to be a part of this sorority! We formally invited Catherine to join Tri Sigma too at our meeting Sunday night – it was such a cute process haha.

Week 25 & 26 in Philadelphia

Term 3 commences! And I’m taking some varied, interesting and perhaps depressingly difficult classes this quarter. The Psychology of Learning, the Psychology of Disability, Criminology (leggo) and International Politics (say what now). Drexel has literally just started and I’m already stressed. Trying not to get too caught up in it though. So last quarter I got A, A, A, A-. Which I’m happy with but the A- is bothering me a little bit, but I didn’t actually study for that exam, so I’m pretty pleased! In first term I got A+, A+, A+, A+ so for this final term, to keep my grade high, I’d really love to just get A, A, A, A. It’s only worth 5% of my overall grade back at Aston though, which sucks. I wish it was worth more! However, I must stress how difficult this quarters classes are already! Just after a week of having them I feel pretty shocked at how difficult they are. However, this of course isn’t stopping me from having fun! On Wednesday, Mick and I went to Hip City Veg (all vegetarian restaurant) on Penn’s campus; it was the loveliest day so it was fab. I got a chicken club sandwich (it tasted like actual chicken) and a groothie smoothie. It was so delicious and probably one of my new favourite restaurants! I definitely wanna go back. It was a little bit expensive but vegetarian food usually is! On Thursday, Janelle, Blair and I got drunk randomly. It was pretty unplanned but it was fun, Jackie chilled with us too. Me and Catherine as well went for a run because we realised that we had a 5k run on Saturday (we signed up a while ago and just forgot about it) and we thought that should maybe do a little bit of practice considering we just literally had not done any training. I am so unfit but we’ll get to that. On Friday, Catherine and I went into centre city to pick up our 5k packages from the convention centre and I had to get a new suitcase. We also went to Panera Bread for food (I got a grilled cheese, so yummy) and then came back to campus for a co-op couture fashion show. One of my sisters was in the show which was basically why I went and it was pretty interesting; it was basically clothing for co-ops and the work environment. After this we had a pretty early night because we had to wake up at 6am the next day for the run! It was raining the whole time and I only got about 5 hours sleep so it was pretty draining but I actually really enjoyed it. I felt so accomplished when I finally finished; I ran it in just under 40 minutes, which, considering I had no prior training, I was pretty ok with this time! I just jammed to a bunch of Chance and Nas as I ran to power me through, it was kinda fun! We got a bunch of free chocolate fondue, pretzels, rice krispies, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, bananas and hot chocolate after the run (it was a hot chocolate run) and we got a free sweatshirt, so you know, basically worth the $40 sign up haha. We got a bunch of free food when we went to pick up our packages prior too! I literally never exercise and I’m the most unhealthy person in the world so this was a big deal haha. Then I had to rush home and shower because I had a sisterhood retreat from around 12-3 which was basically a big bonding experience for us all. It was actually a lot of fun and just based on that experience, I feel a lot closer with my sisters and a bit more comfortable too. A bunch of us went to get dinner at Landmark afterwards and it was delicioso. Quite fancy and a bit expensive but you know, that’s restaurants for ya. Then my sorority had a social with Beta Theta Pi (also at landmark) to watch the Villanova game and this was fun, was cool meeting some of the Beta guys and just hanging out some more with the sisters. Then after this, we had ANOTHER social (it was a very busy day) at AXP with them, Theta Chi and Delta Zeta – this was super fun! My first quad party. Such a great night honestly, won’t go into too much detail but you can imagine what we got up to at a party like that. Free alcohol is never an opportunity to be missed! Such a late night though, my nights out never end early. P.S. my legs ached the whole day because of the 5k in the morning :’)  Its rough that we always have our sorority meetings on Sundays because that’s usually the day after being awake super late.

On Monday and Tuesday we had informal recruitment for new potential Tri Sig members! OBVIOUSLY I dragged Catherine along because she’s my BFF and I want her to join the sisterhood (and she knows a bunch of them already anyway). Mondays session was really fun; we played a bunch of games like Family Feud, Pictionary, Cards Against Humanity, tower-building (?!) and whatnot. Catherine seemed to enjoy the experience and get along with the girls well (yay) and I met some PNM’s who I really liked and thought were really cool. It was generally just a lot of fun. Of course, a lot of food was consumed at both of these recruitment events! The second event involved making bath bombs; it was actually really fun. We voted straight after the events regarding who we wanted to offer bids too and I’m happy to say that Catherine is now a member of my sorority! How exciting! We ended up recruiting a bunch of new members which is great and they all seemed lovely. On Wednesday we had a coastal trunk show for greek life which is basically a pop up store which comes to campus and sells  sorority t-shirts, sweaters, hats, accessories, etc – any greek-related merchandise. My collection of Sigma attire is slowly growing; I need to cool it though because when I wear clothes in England with greek letters on, nobody is gonna know what it means! On Thursday I randomly decided to cut my hair short and I actually really like it? It’s a lot healthier now and it feels very ‘me’. I kind of wanna dye it a dirty blonde but I don’t wanna put any more chemicals in my hair than there needs to be.. but I like to experiment with hair so you never know. Also I’ve never had short hair so this is a really interesting feeling. Friday was bid day, meaning the new sisters got their formal invites! We had a BBQ and then went to watch a frat football game. It was actually a lot of fun! I ate lots, again. I swear eating is all I write about. All the new members seem great and I’ve recently become super invested in my sorority; like I always was but I feel a lot more passionate about it lately and proud to be a member so I’m very excited to get to know them all. Friday night, we randomly decided to have a party at Maddi’s with a bunch of sisters. It was actually a lot of fun! It was supposed to be a small get together but a bunch of people turned up and made it a party. Good music, good people, great time. We had a mandatory stop for cheese fries and pizza because it’s me and I like to eat. As you can see, this week has been very sorority oriented! Greek Week started on Friday which is basically a week long of events between all of the greek communities on campus; the fraternities and sororities all compete against each other in a bunch of games. We played flag football on Saturday (I went to cheer and show support) against Delta Gamma but unfortunately, lost 🙁 But hey, it was a very fun environment and we still have a bunch more events to happen in Greek Week! I’m very excited for some of them, gonna be good! On Saturday night we had a box party on Penn’s campus and guys, box parties are the best thing in the world. AKA case races. You’re split up into teams (in advance so you can come up with strategies and such) and each team is given a box of wine, loads of beers, spirits, shots, etc and it’s a race to finish it first. They’re so much fun because you play games throughout the party in order to help you get through the alcohol like flip cup, boat races, body shots, never have I ever, etc. I genuinely had the best time and I loved everyone there! It was a pretty wild evening but it was honestly a lot of fun. Like for real, I am not gonna go into detail about that but like, just understand, it was crazy fun!

 

 

 

Week 23 in Philadelphia & Spring Break

ITS FINALS WEEK! And guess what, I’m not ready but I’m also SO done :’) Janelle’s birthday was monday so we went to Zavino’s with Linda, Chloe and Blair to celebrate! She’s finally turning 20, so young! (a) I got the gnocchi pasta and tbh guys, would not recommend, wasn’t amazing. I ate like half Janelle’s salad too and some flatbread, which was better. But I’ve been here before and I totally WOULD recommend the pizzas; their pizzas got game. Happy Birthday Janelle, this was a super cute night 🙂 On Tuesday, my British friend and I (Elisha) went to explore the Eastern State Penitentiary in South Philly which is perhaps the most influential penitentiary in America. It’s closed down now of course, and is a large tourist area. It was the coolest thing; we got to go around and check out all the cells (even Al Capone’s!) and death row, learn about the history and just generally get an more of an idea of what is was like to be held as a prisoner there. It was honestly so interesting; we’re both really interested in forensic psychology and criminology so this was like a really dope field trip, would 100% recommend. To refuel we went to Cosi Cafe in Center City and I had the nicest flatbread pizza, it was honestly beautiful guys. I know I talk about food a lot on these blogs but honestly, it is literally a hobby and passion of mine! On Wednesday I had the final instalment of my psychological menstrual study where they made me eat lots of food! I’m sad to see the last of the free food :’) The whole month before Thursday I was literally just so excited and highly anticipating the arrival of my boyfriend in Philly! He arrived at 5pm on Thursday and Catherine and I picked him up from the airport (he was waiting for us with doughnuts… this is why I love him). It was so amazing to finally see him again, I’m so happy he’s here! That is the only thing I would change about Philly, the fact that he’s not always here! It’s always so amazing when we finally get back together again, long distance is really hard guys 🙁 I can’t emphasize how great it is to have him here – I’m constantly a little bit heartbroken without him so this was like Christmas day x503573654. We went out to Wahoo’s with Catherine on Thursday and I got nachos because lbr, what else is a nacho-enthusiast gonna get at a Mexican restaurant? We came back and all got drunk together and bonded, it was great. I’m so happy Tom and Catherine have finally met cos I knew they’d be best friends. Mick joined us too and it was just one of those great nights where you all have political debates for hours and get really passionate about what you believe in. I love that so much! We all talked and discussed for so long, it was literally wonderful! On Friday, we basically just chilled out and me and Tom finally got to be cute together again, haha. I had my final exam on Saturday so I probably should have been studying but honestly, how am I supposed to do any studying while my boyfriends here?! We went to Mad Mex (I love this place) cos I really wanted a fix of nachos (again). After having pizza for breakfast, I decided that I was truly a disgusting human :’) Not to forget the 3 doughnuts from 7/11 after the nachos. No judgement guys. Saturday I had my final exam (I’M FREE), meaning Tom and I could FINALLY embark on our road trip and say goodbye to Catherine for the week!
On Saturday is where the best week of my life happened and began! So after finishing my final exam and last minute packing everything, we headed off to Washington DC (with a pit stop for cheese fries) and the drive wasn’t too bad, only about 2 and a half hours! We actually stayed in a Marriott and it was so beautiful and fancy; the beds were the most comfortable thing I’ve ever experienced and it was just wonderful. Beautifully designed rooms too. It was quite late by the time we got there so we went and explored Dupont Circle (which is kind of like a shopping district in DC but with other stuff there too) and got Krispy Kreme doughnuts and empanadas and kind of just got the vibe of what DC was like. It seems like quite an artsy and cool place; I never realised just how pretty DC was. The cherry blossoms everywhere are gorgeous. We really started exploring on Sunday; we went to see the White House and found a bunch of protestors outside condemning the actions of Israel and demanding that Palestine are freed. It was quite a powerful protest and it was really interesting to see the police’s reactions to this protest. American cops seem to enjoy showing people that they hold a lot of power and can do many things, even if they don’t actually exercise or use that power, it’s more of a show of muscle. Very interesting. The White House, United States Capitol building, Congress Library and US Supreme Court were all very incredibly beautiful buildings. Congress Library was amazing inside too! The Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool were so awesome; this was just such a nicely designed landmark and so impressively created. We also saw the Washington Monument (huge), Jefferson Monument, Lincoln Monument and Tidal Basin (very pretty). It was really dope to be able to see these landmarks in real life and not just on TV haha. The coolest thing of all though, is that we actually saw Obama leave for the airport for his trip to Cuba! His car was followed by like 2 police cars, 2 ambulances, a bunch of secret service cars and it was crazy! He just drove past us in a car (we think Michelle was in there too) but we were so close to him. Tom and I were freaking out :’) So cool. DC was such a cool experience. Our hotel was actually in Arlington, Virginia because it’s so close to DC so we actually had dinner in Virginia at Hard Times Cafe (it was like a diner, amazing burgers, pretty good fries) and then drove to Georgetown. Georgetown is such a pretty place with the best stores; they range from high-end designer to high-street. So random but I love the variety! On Monday, we went to the International Spy Museum and this was SO COOL. So interactive and fun, got to learn a bit about how spies will disguise cameras, gather intelligence and generally just operate. Pretty badass museum. I didn’t even know this place existed until we got to DC, so glad we went. We also went to the Roosevelt memorial, saw a little bit of the Pentagon (it’s hard to actually see) and I introduced Tom to Shake shack (most banging cheese fries and shakes ever). We seemed to get all of our food from Dupont Circle. A lot of time in DC was spent just walking around and absorbing what it’s like to live like someone from DC, it’s a very beautiful place! I’d love to go back. On the same day, we drove to Richmond, Virginia. We stayed in a little motel and when I first got there, I was a little bit scared because it looked like the kind of hotel you see in snuff films? Was quite a switch from the Marriott. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. It had everything we needed but it just wasn’t the nicest quality; but I actually started to appreciate and like the rawness and traveller-esque vibe of the place. You get what you pay for! On Tuesday, before exploring Richmond, we got breakfast at the Waffle House (I wanna go there every day) and then headed to Richmond International Raceway (particularly known for Nascar driving). We had a tour of the track and got to actually ride around the raceway, was a very cool place! I love stuff like this, always interesting to learn about what goes down. We went to the Edgar Allen Poe museum which was very tiny and hidden away, it was a really cool museum though. Made me wanna explore poetry more and look more into his work! We then checked out the Virginia Historical Society which basically included a bunch of information and exhibits about all of Virginia’s history! Pretty interesting stuff. We went to see the Virginia Capitol (beautiful building, inside and out – we met the loveliest ladies who began telling us about how they met the Queen haha), Old City Hall and explored Downtown Richmond. I must say, I liked Richmond but I expected there to be more to do. I think that I assumed because it’s the capital, it’s the city which is most populated but I don’t think that’s the case! But I really did enjoy Richmond, it just wasn’t what I expected! We went along Monument Avenue which was a very beautiful place and then went and explored Carytown which was a cool and almost alternative-looking street full of different things. We went to a diner called Galaxy Diner and it literally looked like we were in outer space, so cool haha. We ate so much! We had your standard burger and fries diner meal each but with a huge chipwich dessert (ice-cream sandwiched by 2 big cookies and whipped cream, was delicious!) each too. It was so filling, just because the portion sizes in America are ridiculous. Couldn’t move afterwards 😛 Carytown was really cool, I would describe it as an alternative version of Georgetown in DC! We saw a theatre as we were walking down the street and that inspired some sort of want to go to the cinema! So we found one nearby that was showing something we wanted to see (The Big Short) and went and saw it! It was actually such a good movie! I love watching movies with Tom too. Very interesting movie, very political. Would 100% recommend! On Wednesday, we checked out of our Richmond hotel and drove to Yorktown (still in Virginia). Yorktown was actually a little gem, we weren’t originally going to go there but heard that it was really cool once we got there and it was AMAZING. It was like a little seaside town with a beach and lovely little stores. We had the best time! It was so warm and hot I actually got a little bit sunburned. We walked along Riverwalk landing, saw the Battlefield of Yorktown (it’s huge), saw the Yorktown Victory monument and just walked around the town. It was so beautiful and cute! Tom said he wanted to live there haha. Honestly, if you’re ever in Virginia, please go to Yorktown! We then drove to Williamsburg and everything embodied the word colonial! Williamsburg was full of people dressed in colonial dress, colonial food and stores, old buildings, performances and displays by people and it was just a really interesting and cool neighbourhood. Again, something we didn’t really find out about until we got there, really awesome place to visit if you’re in Virginia! We had root beer and butter toffee nuts from a colonial store and it was just so impressive! Yorktown and Williamsburg were some of my favourite parts of the trip! After exploring all this and walking around for ages, we went to 7/11 to stock up on food for our drive to Atlantic City! We stopped at Five Guys for fries and milkshakes too half way (we literally consumed around 6000 calories in this car ride, it was great. Side note: try the oreo cookie pieces milkshake with large fries to dip in!) and I just remember just feeling so happy and fortunate! I’m with the love of my life, road tripping across America, eating lots of great food, meeting lots of great people, seeing lots of great things and just having the time of my life! I honestly couldn’t ask for more! We got to Atlantic City pretty late as the drive was over 5 hours (it was so worth it!) and just relaxed in our (surprisingly very nice motel) with food babies, it was fab. Thursday was literally my favourite day ever! It was my 21st birthday (huge deal in America!) and I got to spend it in Atlantic City, with my favourite person in the entire world (who just spoiled me and made everything so perfect), while receiving loads of love from family and friends, exploring a new place and eating lots. In my book, that is pretty darn perfect. We went to Phoenix Diner for breakfast and got burgers and fries because what else do you eat for breakfast?! (May I note that we each consumed at least one burger and one serving of fries every single day on this trip – we didn’t miss any day – doing this the American way!) and headed out to explore. In the day time, AC looks like a really run-down version of Vegas. But at night, the whole place just livens up, casinos are full; it’s so busy and loud. Such a stark change. We saw the Absecon Lighthouse, went to Steel Pier and the Playground on the pier! Walked along the boardwalk and enjoyed exploring some of the casino’s and seeing what Jersey has to offer. It was a really cool and fun day! We went in the Trump Taj Mahal (obviously didn’t give Trump any of our money though), Caesars, Margharitaville and a bunch of other cool casino’s! Too many to list. Trump’s was actually the most run-down and least well-designed, in my opinion. We went back to the hotel around 6 to get all dressed up and lookin’ fab, while having a cheeky drink. Tom had reserved a restaurant (Mortorano’s, it’s fancy AF) and it was inside Harrah’s casino; it was so expensive and beautiful haha. Tom was inappropriately drunk by the time we got there, so cute haha. We had some more drinks at dinner and some of the best food! It was so lovely! We took all the cards that my parents, family and friends back home had sent me and opened them there, it was actually quite overwhelming! I opened a few cards and started to cry, I felt so loved and emotional haha. It was honestly just a perfect moment 🙂 Tom also gave me his birthday gift; he got us tickets to see a show in AC that night! It was the American Variety Show and it was actually so freaking good. We finished dinner and went over to the Borgata hotel (where the show was), pretty intoxicated at this point, stocked up with drinks and proceeded to watch the show. I expected the show to be good but I didn’t expect it to be quite as hilarious and full of talent as it was! Huge thank you to Tom 🙂 He spoiled me so much this day. He made sure everything was perfect and that I felt so loved! Truly the best boyfriend in the world. After the show, we went to a bar and a live band were randomly performing (they were so good) and we just had such a good time! We then went into another casino (I forget which one) and had some more drinks in a bar and gambled on a black jack table! It was so good, I actually won $40! How good!? We went home pretty late and got an uber back, stopping by a Wawa for drunk food. What a perfect way to end the night! Haha. The next morning (Friday) we woke up super early because we had to drive all the way to Boston! We had a helicopter flying lesson scheduled for me (Toms Christmas gift for me) but it got cancelled due to the weather! Meaning Tom’s gonna get a refund and get me something new for Christmas 😉 but we didn’t find out it got cancelled until we were already half way to Boston so we woke up wayyyy earlier than we needed to! But hey ho, we got longer in Boston than we planned so that’s great! We stopped over in Connecticut for nachos too haha. I’m not sure how Tom managed to drive on such little sleep, it was so impressive haha. I had cheese fries for breakfast just to soak up the alcohol haha. I actually love being in the car with Tom for prolonged periods of time, it was so nice to spend so much alone and intimate time with him! When we finally got to Boston, we checked in and again, stayed in a Marriott (it was lovely and so cosy!). We were both so tired though, we literally had about 4 hours sleep the night before! We then went to explore Harvard University and it’s campus – it was incredible! The architecture and buildings were pretty dope and the campus was huge. Very beautiful! We also explored MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and that campus was really cool too. Some very beautiful buildings and sights! I would love to go to an ivy league college, I can imagine that would be such an interesting experience! Then we went to South Street Diner (more burgers and fries) and continued to explore more of Boston! We walked along the waterfront/harbour. Saw the Massachusetts State House and Old City Hall. I really like Boston, it’s a very pretty and cool place! Great views and landscapes. I drew a lot of comparisons between Boston and Chicago! On Saturday, we checked out of our hotel and went along the Freedom Trail which was basically a trail which leads you through a bunch of historical sites and buildings in Boston, it was really interesting! We saw the Boston Common, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, Kings Chapel, Kings Chapel Burying Ground, the Old South Meeting house, the Old State House, the Boston Massacre Site, Faneiul hall (cute market), Quincy Market (best market ever – I got Boston Cream Pie and it was delicious – this actually wasn’t on the trail, we just found it. So many foot outlets = heaven) and Bunker Hill Monument. Really cool stuff. I think Boston’s one of my favourite US cities. Along with Philly, New York, Chicago and DC! Downtown Boston is really cool. I’m not sure what I expected before I got there but I’m definitely leaving with good memories and a respect for the place. A lot of history (well, a lot for America) happened there!  We also went and had a quick look at Fenway Park (home of the Red Soxx) before our drive back to Philadelphia (we had to return the rental car on Sunday). As well as going to Amsterdam Falafel for some damn good falafel! Something else which was really enjoyable on this trip was the petrol prices – we did a lot of driving and had to fill up 6 times in total, each time only cost $20! How amazing is that? $120 in total for the whole trip. This is literally amazing to me. I did not expect it to be so cheap; it didn’t differ much between states either. Maybe it’s most expensive on the west coast? The rental car we had was really nice too – a red Ford Focus. Definitely did the job! Tom and I came back on Saturday night and had some drinks together! Then spent Sunday eating even more food and exploring Philly (he’s never been to PA before), it was really nice! We had a few cheeky drinks again with Catherine, Janelle and Linda which was nice. I love spending time with him so much so I was literally heartbroken to see him leave – I literally missed him as soon as he left! I went with him to the airport at 3am on Monday morning and we both cried as we hugged and said goodbye. Hardest thing ever, leaving the airport and watching him check in for his flight back to England. The day always seems a bit more grey when I realise he isn’t there. 77 days to go until we’re together again! I’m aware that this sounds really dramatic and sad, and most of you are probably thinking “get a grip girl” but I can’t begin to explain how difficult it’s been, not being able to see your favourite person for months at a time. This spring break road trip was pretty perfect, I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Having said that, this general study abroad experience has been a life-changer! I’m glad I did it independently, it’s pushed me to do new things and reach new limits that I didn’t before think was possible!

Week 21 & 22 in Philadelphia

On Monday night, Catherine and I had tickets to go see Hardwell at Soundgarden and while I’m sure the gig was gonna be dope, Catherine really wasn’t feeling it and I wasn’t incredibly bothered about it so we thought we’d save some money and sell it online so we ended up selling a $35 ticket for $70. How good is that? Haha, but it took us ages and we were running around Philly meeting people at night :’) But still, a $35 profit is not bad! We just had a chill evening involving lots of food, it was great haha! On Tuesday night, we went to see Deadpool (fucking. finally) at the Cinemark on Penn’s campus and it was so. good. I really liked the movie was made (absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m obsessed with Ryan Reynolds) but I feel like the jokes made should have been a bit more explicit/boundaries should have been pushed a little more. That would be only criticism, if there was one!? But tbh, it was a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Some very hilarious moments!  It was my first time in an American movie theatre too – my only observation is that the cinema screen seems larger and the seats are way bigger and comfier. Overall, good experience :’) ha. I started an extra credit study on Wednesday which will go towards extra credit for a class I’m taking next quarter (getting it done early while I can haha) and it’s actually a menstrual study, requiring that I weigh myself every single day for a period of 8 weeks. Sounds fun right? :’) I’ve been given a set of digital scales and I’m required to have 3 lunches in the lab. I think they’re just trying to test the effects of your menstrual cycle on your weight and eating. Fortunately, for my self-esteem, you don’t actually have to look at the scale weight every day – it’s covered on the scale itself, it just gets sent to an app in your phone which the researchers have access too. So I’ve been weighing myself every morning but not checking  (it’s for the best). Me, Mae and Maria met up at Urban on Wed and booked flights and a hotel in Las Vegas for May. Super excited! I’ve been wanting to go for a while so I’m so hyped that we finally got around to making it happen! We’re going from Friday – Monday and it only came to $500 for everything, which isn’t bad at all. It’s the weekend after my trip to Florida with Catherine -gonna be an expensive month! And a bad one academically :’) But I’m here to travel, so what the heck. On Thursday, my sorority had I-Night (inspiration night) which was actually really fun. We basically just got together with the new members and spoke about what we love about being in Sigma, why we joined, what our favourite moments have been, etc. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside :’) I’m so happy that if I ever wanna come back to the US and visit that I always have a home to come to and people to stay with, this sisterhood is honestly so strong and loving. I’m honestly gonna miss my sorority sisters a lot when I leave, it’s such a unique experience to have such a tight knit friendship with such a large number of people. People reading this will probably think it’s fake and not possible but honestly, it’s so real and weird and fantastic at the same time. I can’t thank them enough for the experiences and memories they’ve given me; so unique and unlike anything else I’ve experienced before! Moving on from the soppy stuff, there was something being held on our floor, like a tax info meeting with free ice-cream and toppings (so obvs me and Catherine went) and the ice-cream was BOMB, seriously. I’m not sure why I ate so much after eating a whole pizza and then a jumbo chocolate & peanut butter cupcake? But for real, BOMB. We learned a bit about taxes too haha. On Friday, Mick and I went to California Pizza cos I just had to try their cheese fries (note to self: always listen to Mick’s food recommendations cos she is bae) and they were literally incredible. Why aren’t cheese fries more of a thing in England? We asked for them WITHOUT bacon in and then I realised around half way through eating them that they put bacon underneath 😮 So I told the waiter and he gave me some new cheese fries without bacon; so I at least I got some free food out of it, despite the fact that the portion sizes were insane and I literally could not move after! Thankfully I don’t think I ate any of the bacon (I’m a veggie, for anyone who doesn’t know). Mick found this HILARIOUS and I must admit, it was pretty funny. My sorority had a social after this at a frat that I’d only been to once before so I was pretty hyped for this. The theme was ‘gym rats & yoga mats’ so we all went wearing workout clothes haha. I keep forgetting to take pictures on nights out 🙁 Alyssa slept over at my apartment and I pregamed with her, mae, maura, izzy and emily which was fun AF and then we all went over together. The party was really fun, the guys in the frat seem really nice too. It actually ended early because some weird ass kids decided to put a brick through one of frat house windows? So a bunch of us just went somewhere else and hung out till like 5am. Was a pretty sick night. Saturday was Erin Express (huge bar crawl in Philly) and seeing as though I’m 20, I couldn’t go 🙁 So it was really hard to find a party on Saturday as everyone was out on the crawl but we eventually found one at like midnight but me and Catherine pregamed way too hard and played some games with Mick that we actually forgot about going to the party, we were just having too much fun (sorry Janelle/Chloe/Gab). This actually ended up being a pretty crazy night, details aren’t required, trust me :’) I’ve noticed that American’s don’t really pregame with actual games or cards or anything like that so I introduced that a little bit and it went down really well! I apparently just crawled into Catherine’s bed with her at the end of the night, woke her up and tried to spoon. If that isn’t friendship then I don’t know what is! I’m actually really thankful that Catherine and Mick are my suitemates cos they’re literally the best people. I’m not sure that anyone else could put up with me like they do! On Sunday, Tri Sig had initiation for the 3 new sisters! This was actually really nice, we then had Chapter straight after. I’m super pleased with the new members, they all seem fab! Angela, Maddi, Izzy, Emily & Zhefeng all went out to an Irish pub style restaurant afterwards and it was LOVELY (I WAS SO HUNGRY). P.s. shoutout to Jolie for giving me Reese’s cups for my birthday 😉 At the restaurant, the food was delicious, seriously, I will definitely be returning! The fries and the veggie burger just did not disappoint. So filling haha. I need to go back for that and to try the nachos! (If you haven’t gotten that I’m a huge foodie by now then I don’t know how else to explain this to you).

On Monday of the following week, we got into a really deep discussion and Mick, Catherine and I ended staying up until like 3.30am just discussing racism and society. It was really interesting and we all got pretty passionately into it. On Tuesday, Catherine and I waited in line at IHOP for about 40 minutes to get free pancakes (it was international pancake day) and they were SO GOOD. They were your standard butter-cream pancakes with the added option of strawberry, blueberry, maple syrup or pecan dressing. Literally so amazing, I love the fact that they were free, they were so fluffy and so worth the wait. You gotta take advantages of opportunities like this. Delicioso. This week has been SO hot, it’s been reaching 80 degrees. Everyone’s been walking round in shorts and cute rompers  and it’s been great! I’ve been trying to study outside in the sun as much as possible, the sun puts me in the best mood 🙂 On Wednesday, I had the second part to my psychological study where they literally asked me to go in to the lab for lunch and eat pasta, m&ms, oreos, chips and pretzels – free food and extra credit, this study is dope! I also had to go in on Saturday to do this! Me and a bunch of sisters went to Carlo’s Bakery on Thursday and I had the best peanut butter cupcake I’ve ever had (and a black and white cookie which was just average) and we had some nice bonding time. It was cute and bakerys are bae.  I met up with my British friend Elisha (from Aston uni) on Friday and we kind of just explored the city and enjoyed the weather and sat outside bonding. It was really nice to talk about our experiences together because we’re both going through the same thing. She’s been here for 3 months less than I have so I introduced her to a few things and it was just really nice. Then Mick and I met up to go to Bare Burger (she’s been talking about it for ages and I can now see why). I feel like this is my new favourite restaurant! It was a super organic and natural restaurant with the best vibe I’ve ever seen from a food place. The service, the interior design and the food was all 10/10. I was so food-babied afterwards. The milkshakes were dope too, ya’ll know I live for the shakes. And sweet potato fries, I’m so here for that lately. I need to go back ASAP with Catherine and try basically everything else on the menu; I had the black-bean burger but there was a bunch of other stuff I wanted to try. They wrote the calories on the menu though which is the only negative thing I have to say about that; I don’t wanna know that I’m consuming like 5000 calories per day guys, really :’) Haha just kidding, nutritional info is always a benefit. A few of us also hit up an Improv Comedy Show on Fri night which was HILARIOUS. I love comedy shows of all kind; this was pretty impressive. I’m very impressed by intelligent comedy! I’m not super into silly humour but this was pretty smart. This was the second and final weekend of Erin Express (meaning there was literally no parties) so on Friday and Saturday night, I just hung out with Janelle and Jackie in their apartment not really doing much, but it was fun! Honestly, I’ve been partying really excessively since I got here (I try not to write too much about that) and I’ve been advised by others too to calm down with that sort of thing so I’m taking that advice and trying to implement more balance and limit myself a little bit more (it’s been hard ha) so this was a good weekend to start. We managed to stay up until 5am both nights for absolutely no reason :’)

Week 19 & 20 in Philadelphia

This week’s  been a really busy one in terms of school work and academia – Drexel has really laid it on lately with deadlines and exams so it’s been somewhat boring in that respect! Wednesday evening I did some voluntary work with some sisters at Rubye’s Kids – I’m not a huge fan of children, I’ll be honest (not trying to be harsh), but this is always super fun haha. The kids there are generally lovely and it’s nice to see that they enjoy our visits so much! I’ve been there before so I knew what it was like and it’s always an interesting and unique experience so it’s really nice to volunteer there! We basically just do arts & crafts, games and whatever else with the kids and it’s only about an hour of volunteer work! On Thursday, Amanda did some henna tattoo’s on our floor so Catherine, Mick and I went to check that out. It was actually incredibly fun – we all just met up in Amandas room with a bunch of random people who live in our building, got to talk to some cool new people and had some really great banter haha, which is my fave. I was actually kinda sad when we had to leave to pregame for Cav’s cos we were all just having such a good time, I’m so pleased everyone in my building is so lovely! I didn’t get any henna though because I still had to shower and it would have just been pointless :’) but Mick’s looked super cool. Catherine, Janelle, Chloe and I had a rather wild night at Cavs. Someone drank a little too much (I will say no more) and it was just a wild ride haha. We ended the night in Fresh Grocer, so there ya go? :’) With a refuel stop at McDonald’s lmfao. Catherine was telling me all about it the next day and it sounds hilarious, from what I’ve been told, but my memories do not allow me to confirm or deny that haha. I was literally dead all of Friday – like I just ate junk food for a solid 12 hours and died on my sofa, watching movies with Catherine ha. I thought I’d lost my debit card and drivers license but thankfully, it turned up the next day! Scariest morning of my life haha. On Saturday, Taylor, Kyomi and I went to the Mutter Museum! It was incredible – super creepy and super weird but super interesting (it was super). Fragments of Einstein’s brain are kept within the museum, there were the real bodies of conjoined twins and other people who were born with abnormalities or defects and it was just a very shocking and intense museum. I’m pretty sure that when I die, I’d like to give my body away to scientific research because it’s good to know that I may be of some help in the future haha. There were so many interesting pieces there but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside, which is a shame haha. I had noticed that there’s been something not quite right with me lately, I haven’t been feeling  like partying or socialising too much meaning I kinda just chilled this weekend and watched movies/TV. It’s been very weird. Maybe it’s home-sickness. I’m not sure. But it actually passed within the following week so it was nothing too serious! I’ve actually been on a bit of a ‘downer’ for like a week but I think that’s to be expected every once in a while!

This next week has also been a stressful one in terms of school work and just relationships! I’ve had multiple deadlines and if anyone knows me, I HATE studying and doing work, I just get caught up with being sociable in some way, shape or form. Also, being so far away from home and everyone you love can really take it’s toll guys :’) My boyfriend being here or simply a hug from my mum & dad half way through this experience of being in a new country could have made a huge difference! But it’s not exactly like I’m having any problems, it’s just the fact that I miss them a lot haha. But on a happier note, it’s been a great week for a foodie! Catherine and I have gotten into the habit of late night cupcakes from Urban – double chocolate, buttersotch, red velvet, banana, blueberry, you name it! I think it’s safe to say that’s where all my money has been going lately haha. Speaking of which, I really just adore Catherine so much. I’m appreciating her extra lately – I’ve never had a girl friend who I was so comfortable and just chilled with being around. I like that we’re so honest with each other – like if we have a problem with the other person, we’re not gonna bitch about it and not fix it, we’re straight up about things even if it hurts, which I think is why we’re so comfortable with each other. Seriously, there are no boundaries… She is definitely going to be the thing I miss most about America when I leave. I can’t wait for her and Tom to meet in about 20 days time! Hahah. I couldn’t be best friends with someone who didn’t love food as much as I do so this may be 50% of the friendship :’) I’ve spent a lot of time at Dunkin this week too -this is the SECOND thing I’ll miss the most about America haha, especially their munchkins. I’m straight up obsessed with the Iced Coffees there and Starbucks. If I weren’t for an excess of caffeine I’d literally drink Iced Coffee 100% of the time. My current favourite drink for definite – but it has to be full of sugar and cream. I also finally tried a frosty at Wendy’s and I had the chocolate flavour and it was SO DAMN GOOD. Thickest milkshake ever but it tasted different from a milkshake, but in a way that I cannot describe? It was dope, especially when dipping fries in there! Honestly for a foodie, America is a dream! I did a fair bit of voluntary work this week – I spent Wednesday night at Rubye’s Kids again playing with the lovely children there and just hanging out with them. They’re seriously so cool and confident for such a young age group; it’s always an interesting experience there haha. It can be quite chaotic! On Friday, it was still restaurant week in East Passyunk (South Philly) and seeing as though I had somehow missed the Center City restaurant week (boo), Mick, Catherine and I went to P’unk Burger and all got burgers, fries and vanilla/nutella shakes! It was literally great. I love eating out at new places haha. I especially love milkshakes :’) We ate so much that I literally nearly fell asleep straight after, it was cray. In the evening, Me, Taylor, Emily and Caitlyn (biggie!) went to Escape the Room in Philly and folks, let me tell you, this is SO FUN. You’re literally put into a room with clues and a quiz master and you need to navigate yourself around the room to find the clues in an attempt to find the overall key to exit the room. It’s a lot more difficult than you would think and I was so impressed by some of the clues. We had 1 hour to try and find the final key and we found the lock box that it was in but couldn’t get the password to unlock the box and ran out of time! It was so much fun though, truly! We were in the room with 6 other people and it was generally just a pretty hilarious experience; it’s honestly so tense and so difficult but so interesting. I loved it 🙂 Would highly recommend to anyone! There’s only a 20% success rate apparently but it’s so worth it. After this, my sorority had a onesie social with a frat, which was dope. I had to borrow Catherine’s onesie haha. We pregamed and then got there and it got called off like super early because IFC came and saw all the alcohol, even though it was registered as a dry event. But we still stayed till like 5am and had a great night! On Saturday night, me and some of the Sigma girls did some volunteering at the Miss Philadelphia 2016 beauty pageant. 2 of our very own Sigma sisters were a part of the competition so it was great to go show our support for them too! In all honesty we didn’t do much volunteering because there were lots of volunteers and not so many jobs. We basically just ushered people to their seats when they couldn’t find them themselves and then got to watch the rest of the show for free! It was a great show, all the girls looked amazing and sounded like wonderful people. The formal dresses and swimsuits were too much to handle, they looked beautiful! It was generally just a good time and it was nice to be able to watch the show with sisters. I got an invite for a party while I was there so I headed to that frat straight after the show and had a pretty dope ass evening – I remember drinking punch and riding round the house on a scooter in my still-business-casual-wear from the volunteering at the beauty pageant haha. It was definitely a fun evening! This one frat at Drexel are always so friendly; whenever I enter the house all the brothers say ‘Hey Katie’ and it’s just so welcoming and comforting! It’s always nice knowing that I have somewhere to go if I just wanna hang out or get drunk haha. Honestly a house full of wonderful people with hilarious banter :’) I don’t even know half the boys there that well but I feel like if I had a problem, they’d have my back regardless? Which makes me feel very appreciative! I love how close my sorority is with this fraternity – it’s like a long lived tradition haha. I’m kind of just spending my time now counting down the days until I finally get to see my boyfriend again – it’s been so hard without him and I honestly cannot wait any longer! Counting down seems to make the time go slower though haha. I feel like my blog posts haven’t been incredible lately because I haven’t really been focusing on remembering what I’m doing or how I’m feeling so I apologise for that – I’ve been incredibly busy!

Week 17 & 18 in Philadelphia

When I returned back to Philly on Monday evening, I had a mid-term on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then a continued on one Friday. Which sucks because I obviously wasn’t prepared for any of them! But anyway, I did a miniscule amount of studying for each of them and I guess we’ll have to wait and see the outcome! This of course, did not stop me from going to Cavs on Thursday with the usual crew. Pretty good night as it always is – can never fault the music in Cavs, ever. I’ve never eaten so much food after a night out though – Me, Catherine and Anthony went to Wawa’s and then sevs to stock up on food. Between the two of us, Me and Catherine literally ate all of the flavours of Doritos that are available in the US – I don’t even think I’m exaggerating right now. I woke up with the biggest food baby ever :’) On Friday, me and Will went to the Philly auto show – it was amazing! So many incredible cars, I had so much fun. I didn’t really want to leave, it was comparable to heaven. I have some really big plans for the future regarding the cars I’m going to purchase :’) Then we met up with Amanda, Linda and Gregg and finally went to First Friday in Old City. I really enjoyed it – it was very antique-y, historical and artsy. It only happens the first Friday of every month so I’m glad I caught it this time – there were some really cool bookstores, thrift stores, comic book stores, art vendors and galleries, etc – was pretty dope. We went to Big Ass Slice in old city and I got one slice of pizza that was the equivalent to a whole pizza – America is cray! It literally required 3 plates to hold it :L We also went to Franklin Fountain for ice cream and I got the BEST PB milkshake, I was pretty much on cloud 9! Then came home and had a few chill drinks with Mick which was enjoyable cause the banter was on point :’) On Saturday, Will, Anthony and I went to get breakfast/lunch at Mad Mex – we only chose this place because of my love of nachos and my absolute need for Mexican food. The nachos did NOT disappoint – the serving size was huge too, I literally had to box it haha. This was fun – I always adore how over-fed you get in US restaurants :’) In the evening, me and a few sisters went to DPhiE’s Deepher Dude which is a male beauty pageant held to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to contribute towards finding a cure! There was a guy in the pageant from every fraternity as well as some other societies/clubs/etc so there were a bunch of people there to support their own frat or friends and it was incredibly fun! It was all very jokingly done and we honestly had such a laugh! I’m pretty sure they raised like $60,000 for CF too which in itself is amazing! Honestly just such a good time. Then I had a few drinks and hung out with the regular guys, which was pretty nice too, nice chill and banterous Saturday haha. I originally wasn’t feeling going out and socialising but honestly, I have the hardest time rejecting offers to hang out and do things :L On Sunday, my sorority meeting was postponed until Monday because it was the Superbowl so I went to Cinnaminson, NJ with Catherine and some of her family to eat lots of food and get into the football spirit. It was a pretty cool experience – I was cheering for the Bronco’s and guess what? They won! 😉 It was a good game tbh and a bunch of people only watch it for the commercials and then performances in half-time so that was awesome too. I slept at Catherine’s and ate/drank too much as usual. (P.s. no judgement for drinking 4/7 days in a row please & thank you).

The following week, I got convinced to sign up to be a ‘big’ within my sorority. I was contemplating it for a while and then thought, I’m only here once, so I may as well! So I scheduled a coffee date with the 3 potential ‘littles’ (the new members) for different times throughout the week but unfortunately, I was super sick this week and could only make one of the coffee dates, meaning I’m yet to meet the other 2 girls! There were 8 of us who signed up to be a potential ‘big’ and only 3 ‘littles’ meaning I didn’t get one as I didn’t get to meet all the girls 🙁 I’m super gutted about that but hey ho, there’s next time maybe?! I haven’t really done much this week because of how sick I’ve been – it’s seriously been awful. I’m 99% certain it’s because I don’t take care of myself in terms of health, at all – I live off of junk food, do no exercise and don’t even look after myself mentally/psychologically – this is something that I REALLY need to work on as it’s having some adverse effects as this has been going on for a while! I tend to lead a pretty busy lifestyle meaning that when I get ill, I don’t usually dedicate much time to properly recovering meaning that the illness is still kind of there but it’s just suppressed, it’s not as pronounced as it was to begin with. It was weird actually just chilling and doing nothing for like a day or two this week – I’m always doing something or have something to do but I was literally too sick to focus on anything, it was super gross :’) Because I couldn’t really go out during the weekend, Mick, Catherine and I had the cutest movie night on Friday – we watched Princess Bride and Better off Dead (John Cusack is bae) and it was so cute and fun. We had snacks and drinks and it was just a lovely bonding time – I’m so happy that I live with these two, they’re the best roomies! On Saturday, Catherine and I randomly decided to go to the Philadelphia Tattoo & Art Convention in Center City which was literally so dope. I’m not a huge tattoo fan – I really like some but I’m quite picky and particular about the ones I like and somehow, we both came back with tattoo’s? Hahah. We saw a deal with some tattoos being offered for $50 so we were like, uhm, yes? I had to convince Catherine to get one a little bit but she was so brave and I was so proud of her haha. She got an anchor on her ankle and I got a heart in the same place – it was actually really painful haha and it’s only tiny! I’m really happy with how mine looks though – it’s a nice reminder to love the life I have and love the people around me, I think it’s important to feel appreciation for things in order to lead a happy life – that’s something I lack sometimes and I’m working on it alot! We were literally freaking out before we got them – it was both of our first tattoo’s and Catherine was asking loads of questions like ‘DO YOU STERILISE THE NEEDLES?’ ‘BUT REALLY THOUGH?’ – it was pretty hilarious. Least cool we’ve ever been, ever. I was so nervous because I didn’t know how painful it was gonna be, whether it was legit to just get it at a random convention, whether I would die etc :’) But all in all, it’s a pretty hilarious and nice memory! Catherine’s tattoo was KILLING her after she got it – she was struggling to walk home, poor kid :’) We basically did the same thing on Friday night as we did on Thursday (after we of course, stopped at Dunkin and to get pizza) because I was still sick – we watched movies and just chilled. It was literally so weird to just relax and not go out and be act crazy – it was nice but I’m not sure that’s the life for me haha. Every so often, however, a night in is always good 🙂 On Sunday morning, me and some sisters did some voluntary work at JRA (Jewish Relief Agency) where we basically helped package food to deliver to families and then delivered it to these families – it was actually a lot of fun and everyone seemed to be in a happy and giving mood which was awesome! Of course, Sunday was Valentine’s Day so I would have rather my boyfriend been with me this day – it would have been nice to just be in bed with him watching soppy movies or going out for a romantic meal, distance is truly the worst thing 🙁 I literally cannot wait till I get to see him in March – I’ve never missed someone more in my life! Anyway, on Sunday evening, Catherine and I pre-gamed and then went to GALANTIS! I was so hyped and it was literally so much fun. It was at Soundgarden and when we got in, it was just like a rave. I felt like I was back in a club again which was super nostalgic and euphoric. It was literally such a sick gig – we were the perfect level of buzzed and just had such an amazing time. The set was awesome, everything was lit, it was just incredible – every single person was dancing and just being crazy! So good.