Posts tagged Pennsylvania
On Saturday, Katelyn and I got ourselves organized before heading out for the second-half of my homecoming in Bucktown. As we approached “downtown” Bucktown’s main slash only intersection, I felt another nice wave of familiarity.
In the afternoon, we went out to see Shutter Island with my dad, which was fun. After that, we hung out at my dad’s house too. Alex played electric guitar and piano for us (he’s getting really good!), and we introduced Katelyn to the Martin Family Specialty that are Nerf Battles. These are a common occurrence at our house once we discovered that Dad could use the guns perfectly fine without moving his fingers. Usually it’s Alex and I against Dad, Alex and I crouching behind the recliner in the family room and Dad in the kitchen, firing as fast as possible until we’ve expended all of our darts. With Katelyn in the mix, we split boys versus girls and needless to say, Katelyn (despite being a novice) and I were victorious. We a picture was necessary to capture the real “tough” nature of these battles.
After staying at my dad’s, Katelyn and I headed to Philly to get Indonesian food (Katelyn’s birthday was the 28th, but we celebrated Saturday night). We had a great, long meal with some of our friends, then headed out to Old City Philadelphia. I called some friends from home and we pieced together a big group of people, which was a lot of fun. Once the clock struck midnight, we got a large group to sing happy birthday to our birthday girl.
On Sunday we started our trek to NYC, planning on making a pit stop in New Jersey to take my grandma to lunch. Our time schedule was a bit thrown off because yesterday was a very rough “Gee I miss my GPS” day. Thank goodness for patience and persistence otherwise we might still be crying somewhere in no man’s land Philadelphia having given up on our quest. Thank goodness also for Grandmas because once we actually did make it to our lunch turned early dinner, we had a wonderful afternoon eating delicious food and having some good old fashioned girl time. The restaurant even brought out a candle for Katelyn’s birthday with our dessert and I was glad we had such a nice afternoon to brighten our day.
After lunch, we continued to NYC and had a little more luck with directions than the first leg of the journey. With only minor complications, we reached our destination. Katelyn stayed with a friend of hers in Manhattan and I made my adventurous solo journey by car to Brooklyn to hang out with Khary (friend from Harvard). Driving in New York might have been added to my top 10 list of things I hate last night, but once I got there I was happy to have a low-key, enjoyable night getting to catch up and re-connect with a good friend. The last few fast paced days eventually caught up with me though, and I was grateful for a good night’s sleep.
Sunday marked 3 weeks since we’ve begun our adventure, it seems very hard to believe. We’re going to make the most out of our last few days.
Our first full day in DC turned mostly into a day of relaxation and work catch up. Josh and I got a chance to work a bit on SPINALpedia stuff without being relegated to the phone for the first time in a while. It was nice to have a day to lounge though and be entertained by Josh’s cute 3 year old niece Briana.
By the end of the day though, we were ready to meet up with some of our friends and get out in DC. Katelyn and I met up with my friend Scott (from studying abroad in Beijing in 2005) in his apartment and hung out for a bit.
We ended up driving around downtown for a while and taking some cool night photos of the tourist hot spots, and the absolute bitter cold (the wind has been relentless) forced us to actually run back to the car after not too long because we couldn’t bear it.
We then dropped off Katelyn to hang out with another friend of hers, and I went back with Scott for an early night because he had to work and I actually had an early job interview the next morning. It was another great night for catching up with an old friend though, I’ve felt very lucky for the people that I’ve gotten to reconnect with on this trip.
On Friday morning, I got up earlier than I had in a LONG time to get out to a meeting outside DC in regards to a permanent substitute position for a Chinese teacher in a private middle school for boys. I have been interviewing over the phone for this job intermittently throughout the course of the trip, but was waiting for my arrival to DC to meet all the necessary people and attempt to “seal the deal”. After all the formalities, I found out that I actually got the job and am starting March 11th! I’ll be teaching 4 different sections of 3 levels of beginner Chinese between 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. I had an awesome day at the school and really loved the atmosphere and the people, and got to observe and interact with some of the Chinese classes. I introduced myself in Chinese to two of the 6th grade sections and it was so cute to see their enthusiasm to learn and their impressions of seeing that their new Chinese replacement is not in fact Chinese. Even watching the class, I felt compelled to want to start teaching. I have had different types of teaching experiences in the last few years, and I love the dynamic of sharing knowledge and getting to see someone else absorb it. I’ll be teaching until the end of the school year and after my day today I feel really excited for it!
After my day at the school, I picked up Katelyn downtown (only getting slightly lost on the way), hung out with her and her friend for a bit before getting back on the road to get back to Pennsylvania and my mom’s house. The last leg of our PA drive stunned both of us with easily over 10 ft high snow drifts along the side of the road— I couldn’t have been happier I missed out on these series of blizzards and hope that they’re all done! We arrived with Nick’s family to celebrate his birthday and had a nice dinner with delicious food. It was great to be reunited with family too, and of course Rylee was excited for a new friend.
Exciting note of the evening: I EMPTIED OUT MY CAR!! Once we got back to mom’s house, I was able to feel the relief of clearing out and organizing the horrendous mess that has become my car. I wasn’t kidding about losing my motivation for keeping any kind of order in my car after the Kansas tire incident (See Day 13- Bad “Car-ma” for the dramatic details), and emptying my car only made that more obvious. This is what my bedroom looked like after bringing in most of everything out of the car:
Mom’s only reaction was shock at how on earth we had fit so much into my little Civic. Now that the car’s nearly empty, I can actually replace my spare tire to its proper location and only pack the essentials for the northeast segment of our trip. I feel like a new woman. Although we’re now treading in familiar territory, Katelyn and I refuse to lose our road trip vibe. It’s not over yet ladies and gentlemen!