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.