Week 15 in Philadelphia & The Gate City

On Monday it was back to having regular sorority chapter meetings again – it’s always nice to see the girls! On Tuesday night the sorority hosted a recruitment night for potential new members (we’re trying to recruit a fair amount of people) – we had a Taco night with a bunch of different foods, I ate lots. We met some cool girls and bonded with some of them; it was great to see people showing interest in the sorority. After this, Catherine and I went to Shakeshack and I got Cheese Fries (absolute favourite) and a Peanut Butter milkshake (my other absolute favourite) and just had some nice banter and bonding time. After that, despite being full of food from the day, we went to Northside and picked up a bunch more junk – chocolate covered pretzels, a range of different chocolate and just got fat while watching Sirens in our apartment with Mick; it was a very fun and chill evening. On Wednesday, it was back to our routine of doing the grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and stopping by Dunkin on the way for an iced coffee (Dunkin do the best, in my opinion – all gift cards will be greatly accepted and appreciated as presents, FYI) – I just wish everything wasn’t so expensive haha, I’m spending far too much money. On Wednesday evening it was the second night of our informal recruitment – my sorority hosted a games night with ‘Cards against humanity’ and a bunch of other hilar activities (not to forget snacks) and we got to speak to the PNM’s (potential new members) more and just hang out, which was super fun. We then had to vote on the PNM’s and decide who we should and shouldn’t offer a ‘bid’ to, in preparation for the upcoming ‘Bid day’ which was supposed to be on that Saturday but got cancelled because of the blizzard/snow storm that was happening in Philly – the snow was supposed to be a record-breaking amount and based on the snow we’ve been receiving, I can believe it. On Thursday, Catherine, Will, Angela and I all went to Cavs – it’s literally never NOT a good night at Cavs so I’m glad we went (despite the fact that I had to give a presentation the next morning so I was somewhat nervous about doing this). It was again, really fun – saw a bunch of people I knew, had some good conversations, some excellent dancing and a copious amount of food was eaten afterwards. My presentation the next day actually went really well – it was for my Critical Reasoning class and I don’t think I was very prepared at all but it still came across well, so I’m super happy about that! On the same day, Friday, Janelle, Catherine, Chloe and Chloe’s friend from Miami went to ZaVino’s – it’s Japanese cuisine and it was so good. I had eaten tonnes that day so I just had vegetarian Sushi and Mushroom Wonton’s but it was incredible; Japanese food never disappoints. Absolutely lovely restaurant too – I’m all about the vibe of places and the interior design was just beautiful. I especially love candle light in restaurants and a nice ambiance, best thing. Then Will came around to mine and Catherine’s and we all just chilled, had a few drinks, played some Halo – it was a nice relaxing Friday, as oppose to our usual antics. The snow had started quite heavily on Friday and it made Drexel look so incredibly beautiful. When we woke up on Saturday, the snow was crazy! Like it’s hard to go out in; incredibly beautiful though. On Saturday, me and Catherine had a few drinks at our usual place – very chill and fun. Four Loko is perhaps one of the more interesting things I’ve encountered in the US – give it a try. Was pretty difficult walking there and back in the snow haha. Had a pretty chill day with Catherine and Janelle prior to that because we couldn’t do much in the snow. On Sunday, despite the STILL crazy snow, we drove to Target and Walmart to get some stuff for the apartment. It was my first time ever in Target (I know I’m lame) and I was actually excited about it haha. Guys, Target is amazing! Like it’s weirdly awesome, please come to the UK Target (a).

So moving onto the next week, On Tuesday Catherine and I baked Red Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting – so good. We also mixed some of them up and used some Chocolate frosting, so it was pretty epic. On Wednesday we went to the Drexel homecoming bonfire with free Smores, hot Chocolate, hot Apple Cider and live music. By the time we got there though they had ran out of hot Chocolate so we made our own with Hershey’s (well, Catherine did) and it was MAGNIFICENT. Best tasting hot chocolate I’ve ever had! I really like Bonfires for some reason so this was pretty nice, I’m very intrigued as to who will win Hoco King & Queen! I spent most of Thursday just preparing for my trip to Atlanta, Georgia with Kyomi as we flew out on Friday and I hadn’t packed or got anything prepared really haha. I had to wake up super early on Friday because the flight was crazy early (cheapest way to do it). We planned to do this at the start of the quarter as we both wanted to travel and see a state that was a bit more southern than Philly. This was actually a really bad timed trip because when I got back to Philly, I had 3 midterms literally one after the other meaning I didn’t get the chance to study for them. However, I’m really glad I went cos it was such an awesome opportunity to get to explore some of Georgia! As soon as we got there, we noticed a very obvious accent change from Philadelphians – it was way more southern than I expected it to be, it was so cool haha. So we flew out on Friday super early (my friend drove us to the airport), had breakfast at the airport (bagels are bae) and checked into our hotel. The first thing we did was go to Coca-Cola world and let me tell you, this was AMAZING. I didn’t expect it to be so awesome but it was literally such an incredible experience – we were greeted with free drinks and literally tried over a hundred free samples while we were there, from all around the world. There was actually so much cool stuff to do and I really underestimated how cool of an experience this was gonna be. If you’re ever in Atlanta, please do visit – Coca Cola was first invented in Atlanta so everybody’s obsessed with it! I actually learned a lot about the drink too. I think this experience affected how much I wanted soda this whole trip, cos I had like 2 cokes, at a minimum, every day – my insides were gross AF by the end of it haha. After this, we went to the Olympic Centennial Park (in 1996 the Olympics were hosted in Atlanta) which was actually a lot smaller than I expected but still a really beautiful park. My favourite part of going somewhere new is just walking around outside and acting like you live like a local would and this is kind of what this felt like. Then we went to a diner called Flip Burger Boutique (it was highly recommended online and I see why!) and I got a Veggie Burger and Nutella & Smores milkshake which was, as it sounds, amazing! On the way there we saw the largest drive in restaurant in the US called The Varsity, it looked insane haha. After this, we were super tired from being awake so early so we basically just called it a night! On Saturday we went to the US’s largest aquarium – I’m not entirely sure how I feel about aquariums but Kyomi wanted to go so we did – they’re not really my thing, I’ll be honest, but it seemed like a cool aquarium and the dolphins and animals and such seemed pretty well looked after and healthy so fair play. It was a good experience. I got my boyfriend the cutest little teddy :’) haha. We then went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights which was kind of a museum about human rights activists and people who have fought for equality in the past/currently are doing so. A lot of this was focused on MLK! This is my favourite museum, to date. I’ve never been to a museum that I enjoyed so much. It was so eye-opening and overwhelming; highly emotional too. It actually inspired me to do what I can to have a positive impact on the world and the people I meet – it sounds so lame to say but I think it changed me a little bit in the way I see things and my perspective on the US. This is something else I’d highly recommend checking out in Atlanta! We then had a tour of the CNN studios which was pretty cool. The CNN building is crazy inside – just full of different food outlets and merch stores. During this whole trip, I basically lived off of Nacho’s and I’m not sure why. I’ve recently developed an obsession with Nacho’s and Mexican food – like more so than usual haha. It was cool to see behind-the-scenes of CNN, definitely worth the money. After this, we went to Woodruff Park in a somewhat dangerous-looking part of the city – that was definitely an interesting experience. As well as City Hall and the State Capitol Building – they almost looked somewhat isolated and deserted. City Hall and the State Capitol building were super beautiful buildings though – they were just located in a place that seemed pretty lowly populated. On Sunday, we used the Metra (similar to the London Underground or Subway) and went to Piedmont Park which was actually really nice – it had everything that a park could want and an awesome running track which I’d definitely utilise if I lived there! We then went to the Margaret Mitchell House (what a woman!) and got to learn more about her life, who she is as a person and the inspiration behind ‘Gone with the Wind’ – this was really awesome, my mum would definitely have been jealous of this. We then took the Atlanta Streetcar (it’s kinda similar to a tram but on the road) to the MLK historic site which basically consisted of his birthplace/home, where he went to school and where he spent most of his life, etc – this was a super cool experience and enlightening to realise that a man who achieved so much came from an area and a background where he didn’t really have much! After this, we checked out Inman Park which is basically a neighbourhood of super beautiful and expensive houses – the houses were cray and made me jealous. We also got to see Peachtree Street which is what ‘Gone with the Wind’ was based on and Little Five Points/Underground Atlanta (which was like an alternative place to live and shop – pretty interesting). On Monday, our final day, we went to the Atlanta History Center which featured information about basically ALL of Atlanta’s history – there was a lot! We also went to the Swan House (which was actually used to shoot a few scenes in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – the interior and exterior of this house was absolutely amazing) and the Tullie Smith House Family Farm/plantation – I really want to go to a real cotton plantation in the south. There were even people role-playing on the farm! Again, this was something awesome to see! We then went to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (cos it was included in our Atlanta City Pass which we purchased upon arrival) and I’ve been to a fair few history museums now throughout my travels and this one, in my opinion, wasn’t incredible but it was still pretty good and interesting! After this, we basically checked out from the hotel, got our bags and headed to the airport for our flight home! Touched down in Philly around 10pmĀ  and my friend picked us up again. Trip was a fairly successful one! From my personal experience, Atlanta isn’t the safest place. It was quite scary at times because we’d find ourselves in places that were quite isolated and were quite run-down. I don’t think it’s the kind of place where you want to spend much time walking the streets at night. It was definitely eye-opening as I didn’t expect Atlanta to be like this at all. I’d like to go back to Georgia some day and explore Savannah, however. I think that’d be so interesting! I haven’t gone into much detail about what we did but I can assure you, it was a pretty unique trip and if you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask! Some of the views just walking around the streets of Atlanta are incredibly beautiful!

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