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