16, 01, 2017
Happy (belated) 2017!
I have been so busy recently with winter break and, sadly, studying for my nursing exit exam. However, this past break has been filled with so many treasured memories with family and friends. I went back to Los Angeles as I always do to spend time with loved ones for Chritmas. I had originally planned to do some blog posts in LA, but this past semester was so exhausting that I decided to just enjoy time with family rather than attempting to hit up popular LA spots. So, I was so incredibly happy when the stars aligned and I was able to finally visit Philadelphia!
Philadelphia has been on my bucket list since the beginning of 2016. I’ve always imagined myself to be a city girl — someone who would live in a downtown loft, walk to the local coffee shops every day, use the subway to get around, and be a local amongst tourists. For a while, I started to feel like that lifestyle wasn’t for me anymore. After visiting places like NYC, Toronto, San Francisco, and LA, I found the city life to be so impersonal. Everybody was either a worker or a tourist, and there was no sense of home. But the moment I stepped out onto the streets of downtown Philly, I fell in love.
I stayed with my cousin near Rittenhouse Square, a beautiful park in the middle of downtown. My cousin’s neighborhood was everything I ever dreamed of living in. So many cute doors, local coffeeshops, and people out and about from morning to night. Unlike other cities I visited though, Philly still had a personal touch. I felt like I was living in a busy city yet at home at the same time with all the friendly faces walking around. Every corner I turned was another adorable street that strongly reminded me of the West Village in NYC. The greatest part of my trip was that it snowed!! I asked my cousin every day up till my flight if it was snowing in Philly. At first it seemed like it wouldn’t be during my stay. But on my first night in town, snow began to fall.
As I said, Rittenhouse Square is a beautiful park in the middle of the city. I don’t think I ever passed the Square without expressing how beautiful it was. With the snowfall and the twinkling lights, the park was always breathtaking to walk through, especially at night.
I visited many tourists spots during my stay, but it started to snow a lot more and became so so SO cold that I couldn’t even grab for my camera without my fingers becoming numb. The snow was absolutely beautiful though. It was definitely a love hate relationship as I was surrounded by a winter wonderland, but I was constantly walking through snow flurries to my face. Rarely experiencing snow in Texas, I quickly learned gloves, beanies, ear muffs, and good shoes are essential for snowy days!
The evenings were always the best time. I was constantly enchanted by the lights streamed throughout the city. As the sun set, the city lit up in a way that’s nearly hard to describe. Although it was freezing outside at times, the city warmed up the walks somehow. Only on my last day in Philly did my cousin and I use a car to get around. Besides that, I walked a total of 28 miles during my 4 day stay!! That’s insane for me since I usually walk around a 1 mile a day… But that’s just another reason I fell in love with Philadelphia. No need to worry about cars, parking, gas, etc. Just slip on a coat and walk outside!
Philadelphia really did steal a piece of my heart. I fell head over heels for this city. Every thing I ever imagined myself being a part of in the future came to life. If the opportunity ever came for me to live in Philly, I wouldn’t even hesitate. Philadelphia seems like a truly underrated city. People talk about how great NYC or LA is, but of all the cities I’ve visited in the U.S, nothing has charmed me quite as much as Philly.
My winter break was the greatest, and this trip was the cherry on top before I return to school. I start my last semester of college and nursing school this week, and it’s quite bittersweet (but more sweet). I’m so excited for this year as I have a few trips planned, and I am 5 months away from real adulthood. I can already feel 2017 being a great year!