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!