Sunday, July 13, 2014

Unexpected Plans = The Best Plans

I expected my Sunday to be pretty ordinary and normal before another intense Physics lecture tomorrow, but my ideas for the day completely turned around.

Jasmine Tea and Mango Boba
After a well-rested night, I headed out to 1920's with Isabel for brunch and basked in the excitement of having a free day in Philly. Isabel had been craving bubble tea for days now, so we decided to go check out a restaurant nearby, called Carina Tea and Waffles. It was a cute little place connected to the International House in UPenn where the barista would freshly brew the drinks for you right on the spot. We took our drinks to go and went back to the Quad since Isabel had to go to Center City to repair her phone at the Apple Store. In the meantime, I decided to go hang out in her dorm and wait with her for Sarah, Isabel's RC, since Center City is not in our home area and we're not allowed to go without having a Resident Counselor with us. 

Accompanying Isabel scored me an invitation to go to Center City along with them, and I was super excited to go explore Philadelphia more! Sarah got some tokens for us and we boarded the SEPTA trolley (it actually looks like a trolley) to 15th Street/City Hall. The trolley ran underground and it was kind of cool feeling like we were going on a mission while traveling through an underground tunnel. The heat blasted us head-on once we stepped out of the station and I suddenly longed for the breezy and cooler weather that we had in New York yesterday. Center City actually reminded me of New York minus the craziness and hectic amount of people in the area, though it was still bustling with life. 

Our first stop was the Apple Store, but it was so busy inside that we had to schedule an "appointment", giving us two hours to kill. We weren't complaining though, since there were retail stores and shopping centers all along the block. There were way too many places for us to choose from, but we ended up settling in a huge H&M store right down the street. After spending a good one and a half hour there with Sarah, we ventured back to the Apple Store and ended up getting Isabel's phone fixed earlier than we expected. Center City left a great impression for me, especially since I had such an amazing first time in the area, and I even felt a bit reluctant to leave. Being back on familiar ground near UPenn made me a lot more comfortable though, since I could actually walk around without having to weave my way through groups of people. Isabel and I figured that it wouldn't hurt if we walked around our home area and explore some more once we arrived back in UPenn, since we still had a long day ahead of us. We hit up the Penn Bookstore, American Apparel, and Urban Outfitters before grabbing dinner in the dining hall. One interesting thing that I noticed while walking around was how abrupt the transition of one area from across the street is to another area. You can literally cross one side of the sidewalk from an isolated and sketchy neighborhood and end up being surrounded by tall buildings with people scattered everywhere on the other end.
Urban Art from the walk back to campus
Sunday is one of the two mandatory RC meetings of the week, so the residents from the Franklin floor met up in the lounge together around 9:45 PM to go over some news and rules from the program. We started the meeting with a pretty standard procedure where we all went around sharing the positive and negative aspects of our week, along with what we're currently looking forward to for next week. When it came to my turn, I honestly could not think of anything negative. This week has gone by so quickly; one-third of our summer experience at UPenn has passed by! I am already slowly bracing myself for what would be the end of this amazing journey, but for now, I hope to make the best out of every single moment.

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