Thursday, September 22, 2011

East Coast Adventure: Part 1

I'd actually almost forgotten how much easier it is to blog while you're traveling. It's so funny; while I was home these last couple of weeks, despite all the good times I was having, nothing seemed quite noteworthy enough to warrant a blog post. But as Eia and I have been running all around the East coast the past few days, my head has just been spinning trying to keep track of everything I want to write about. It's taken me right back to the BEDA mindset, in a really good way.

Anyway, our trip! We're currently in New Jersey, though we didn't begin here. Two days ago, the two of us hopped on a flight to Philly. As much as I was mentally resisting the idea of enjoying another flight whatsoever, it was pretty alright. We spent the first leg going through old pictures on my computer, and the second leg (after a layover in Chicago) was spent playing Peggle on my iPad with Eia watching and rooting me on over my shoulder. Peggle is my airplane game. I only ever play it when I'm flying, so it's kind of a little treat I give myself when I do have to take another obnoxious flight somewhere.

We landed in Philly around midnight and then took a cab to our friend Robyn's house. On the way there we realized we had no idea what Robyn's living situation was, and were pleasantly surprised to find out that she lives in the most adorable house of all time. Everything is ornately decorated with things like leather chairs and old books and antique knick-knacks. I especially enjoyed the pull string toilet and claw-footed bathtub. I was tickled by the European-ness of the house (separate spigots for hot and cold water is always a dead giveaway) since it's something I just never get to see except for when I'm IN European countries.

Even though it was incredibly later when we arrived, our girliness took over and we stayed up much, much later than would normally be acceptable, drinking tea out of a fancy tea-set, eating macarons and gelato, and generally girling out and chatting well into the night. So late that when we finally stumbled out of bed at 2pm the next day, I was only a little ashamed. I never do that! I'm always an early riser! I'm blaming the new timezone.

Robyn took us on the trolley (how adorable; I still can't get over it) and we headed into a more central part of Philly to go to the Reading Terminal Market. It was filled to the seams with all of these great little stands selling food, bakery items, books, jewelry; really anything you could think of. We marveled at the different options, wandering for at least thirty minutes before deciding on something(s) to buy. I ended up with a fried macaroni and cheese ball, a hunk of cornbread and half a turkey/stuffing/cranberry sandwich (not to mention a bunch of jams and pumpkin butter from the Amish stand to take home for later). And that's not even counting the red velvet and oatmeal whoopee pies I took to go, as well as the cookies that were given to me by a girl at one of the bakeries who recognized me from ALL CAPS, hehe. So, it was kind of a food day. You know. Know big deal.

The only negative part of the day was that I was carrying around my favorite black cardigan, and then suddenly I wasn't. The place was such a maze of vendors that I didn't know how to begin looking for it, so, defeated, I just sort of said a mental goodbye to it and went back slightly shivering in the autumn rain sans any sort of jacket.

Completely stuffed, we took the trolley back. I grabbed another jacket from my suitcase (this time with a hood) and we set off despite the drizzles to the big old Victorian graveyard behind Robyn's house. The three of us spent the next hour or so wandering aimlessly through the cracked and aging headstones, reading the names aloud to each other and wondering what the people were like, since many of them died back in the 1800s. We investigated particularly strange collections of graves in fenced off family plots and ones nearly hidden over the years from trees growing and overtaking their spots. The saddest ones were the graves so weathered you couldn't even read who they were for anymore, or the ones that had fallen over with time and age, now lying face-down for all eternity. Or the ones with crying baby angel statues atop the headstone, with etched in lifespans that couldn't have been more than a few years, or in the most tragic cases, a few weeks or days.

After sufficiently weirding ourselves out, we rushed back on to the trolley to go to a wine and cheese bar Robyn loves called Tria, where we indulged in various delicious bruschetta and cheese selections, referring to them as the "sexy pillow one" or the "dark and sultry red", going off the descriptions rather than attempting the pronunciation of the real names. We had the best girly time there, albeit having to cut it short to race back in time to meet with our friend Colin and his girlfriend Mel who were coming to pick us up.

We got back just in time (okay, maybe a few minutes late) and since our friends were hungry, Robyn showed us a bit around U Penn in a search of food. We ended up going to this cute old tavern of which the name has escaped me. Since we were kind of stuffed from all this cheese, we girls just ordered drinks (hot toddies, which I wasn't a particularly large fan of) and desserts (bread pudding and ice cream, which I was a HUGE fan of). It was nice catching up with Colin and meeting his girlfriend (since he moved away from us we never really get to experience his new life at all, since our only reunions are generally back home in Seattle) and she was lovely. Eventually it was time to go (as we still had kind of a long drive back to New Jersey that night) so we said our goodbyes to Robyn and hopped in the car.

That brings us to now, where Eia and I are being the world's laziest people sitting here in Colin's living room (he and all his roommates are at work). Eia's currently in the shower though, so we are attempting to get our day started. Colin left us the information for two train routes to get into NYC this morning, and when Eia's alarm went off at 10 AM this morning, we both made the executive decision to take the later train (no discussion was necessary). We are still kind of running on West Coast time, so I feel a little better about our extremely embarrassing sleep schedule while we've been here.

We have tickets to see Dan Radcliffe in How To Succeed in Business tonight, so I suppose it is time to get a move on if we want to get in any NYC shopping time as well. :)

Flights taken: 23


partyweetow said...

I've always wanted to try a turkey/stuffing/cranberry sandwich! Was it good?

It sounds like you're having a wonderful trip!

oomboo2 said...

Gah! I go to UPenn and the day you were here I literally spent half my time running around campus with my wand with another friend, since there was a quidditch meeting. If only I had bumped into you then. Would have made my day so much.

Love, Chelsea said...

I think you are having too much fun, can you share please?

bythegazebo said...

Aww, I'm now officially bummed. Every time you've been to NYC, it's always been at a point when I was completely unable to see you, though I think you're absolutely awesomeopossumfantastic! (Such is the nature of the internet... you feel close to, and as if you know, people whom you've never met before. =D) But, though I can't give you a tour of the city, I hope you have oodles of fun! If you do have a chance, or want some suggestions, you might want to consider visiting the following places:

The Donut Plant ( their creme brulee donuts are AMAZING.

Dylan's Candy Bar ( is an outrageous, super fun place to get chocolates and candies and yummy cupcakes. They also have a really fun shop with games, toys, and even fashion accessories. It's conveniently located near a Container Store ( If you haven't been there, you MUST GO-- it's full of fun organizational things you never knew you absolutely needed! =D

And, if you're AT ALL a fan of key lime pie, you MUST try one of Steve's Authentic ones ( You cannot be disappointed!

Other than that, hope you have a blast, Kristina! Thanks for bringing us along on your adventures! =)

sarah(: said...

reading terminal market is fabulous. spent a week in philly and went there for practically every meal. also how to succeed: LOVED. dan is incredible, and it was worth the wait to stay after the show, I got to shake his hand! (MASSIVE FANGIRLING)

Manar said...

Oh my goodness! How to Succeed in Business! You're so lucky! Also shopping! In NYC! I am a suburban girl, so the idea of living in NYC is very unappealing to me, but it's such a great place to visit! What with Broadway and shopping and stuff. :)

It sounds like Philly was fun too...And very food-filled. You make me feel like I don't eat excitingly enough. I should eat more exciting things.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip! Although I'm sure you will, since Matt and Lauren are freaking getting married! :)

Sarah said...

I live about 20 minutes away from NYC (in NJ! Oh my gosh, you're in my state!), so I saw How to Succeed for my birthday in July.

It was awesome. Dan is so talented and you'll be able to tell that he truly loves his job. In every interview you hear about how he's dedicated and everything, but seeing it live is really something else. Also, it's such a funny show.

I hope you have fun seeing it, because it's honestly one of the greatest experiences I've ever had at a show since I'm a huge fan of HP/Dan. Creepy as it sounds, I felt like a proud mother or something.

Danielle said...

Oh my god you are so lucky!!! Why would you complain about having to fly if you get to do all this?! So jealous! I would do anything to get to just take a trip like that! But i'm stuck at college, studying my butt off!

StarrySkyPixy said...

Stop being and doing so many exciting things! AHHH!! I cannot live up to your high expectations. Everything sounds delicious. And the places you get to go on a semi-regular basis... DFTBA. Not that you have any trouble with that at all. :)

kira902k said...

aw, I love traveling so much. And experiencing my friends' lives for a little while. I find it so fascinating.

I'm going to see How to Succeed when Darren replaces Dan Rad. So excited! :) Wish I could see Dan too though. Ah vell.

Julia Rose said...

Ahh! I Always have a fangirl moment when a youtuber goes to Philly (my city <3) and goes some place I know! Reading terminal market! Like, fo' real, best place. Delicious food, delightful people, neat little shops. Just great. I'm so glad you enjoyed your time here, and I hope someday you'll go back and see some historic philly!

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