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Friday, July 3, 2015

New Place New Knowledge

Atlanta was a nice city, at least from what I saw. Although there was a lot of rain, the people that I met gave off a really friendly atmosphere. I just wish that we could have explored the city more, but with our limited time, I can understand the rush. One thing I won’t miss, however, was the window at my room. The curtains were too sheer, so the light from outside kept everyone up. After we got into bed, it took almost an hour for Joanne, Elexis, and I to just fall asleep. When we finally got up, it was around 8:10 AM, so Elexis and I hurried to pack our things so we would still have enough time for breakfast, while Joanne went downstairs to eat first. The Holiday Inn had a variety of breakfast foods ranging from cereal to eggs and bacon. Personally, I didn’t really have an appetite to eat a lot, so I just went with some scrambled eggs and some pancakes. After finishing our food, we went back upstairs to get our luggage, and headed to the airport.

Waiting for our plane
Once we arrived, we discovered that our flight had been delayed due to the weather, which was no surprise, considering the fact that the rain started pouring when we were barely on the freeway. Instead of having the flight at 11 AM, it was pushed back to 12:45 PM. Thankfully, Mr. Hillyer was able to get us tickets to a direct flight to Philadelphia, instead of having us go to a stop-over in Orlando, Florida. The only bad news was that we weren’t even going to board until 3:30 pm. This left us with 5 hours of just waiting at the airport.

To me, this seemed longer than waiting for our original flight, but Mr. Hillyer said that we would’ve arrived in Philadelphia an hour earlier than the other flight. To my surprise, it was true. Our original flight was delayed yet again, and there would’ve been an hour of waiting at the airport in Florida. Nonetheless, our new flight schedule gave us nothing to do but to talk, eat, and blog.

First off, we began wandering around the airport to look for seats for the 7 of us. When we finally set down our luggage, Elexis, Jun, and Chiamaka got bored of just sitting around, so they walked around to look for restaurants that we could go to for lunch. In the meantime, Rudy, Joanne, Mr. Hillyer, and I stayed behind and watched everyone’s things. This gave us some time to talk a bit more and started drafting our blogs.

When they came back, we waited for about 30 minutes before we actually went out to eat. While waiting, interesting topics popped up in our conversations. At first we were simply talking about what we could do in Philadelphia, but then it changed into the topic of Lasik eye surgery. Mr. Hillyer went into detail about the procedure done on his eyes, and it was not pretty. I learned a lot from his detailed description, but I know one thing for sure; I am never going to get eye surgery. After that topic passed, we moved on to the discussion of drinking responsible, and then to abstinence. I honestly have no idea how we got to those topics, but they were interesting to talk about.

At around 12:30 PM, we went all the way across the airport to eat at Five Guys, a fast food restaurant that served delicious burgers. Since I was still a little bit full from breakfast, Jun and I decided to just share one burger, because their food was pretty big. The dining space for Five Guys was rather tight, so Mr. Hillyer, Jun, Chiamaka, and I sat in one table, while Rudy, Joanne, and Elexis sat in another. Once we picked up our orders, the first thing I saw were two tall cups full of fries. I was already full from just looking at it. Eating all of these large amounts of food for three days straight made me feel extremely unhealthy, but they were certainly delicious.

After eating, we just headed back to our gate and just relaxed a bit. There was still two more hours to kill, so we all just did our own things. There really wasn’t much to do at an airport, but after sitting for so long, we all became entertained by watching the workers aggressively throw our luggage onto a conveyer belt. This have the result of 5 hours with nothing to do. At least after they finished loading the luggage, we were able to finally board the plane at 3:30 PM. It was smooth sailing from there, and I had a quiet flight because we were all scattered, and my neighbors didn’t seem to be in the mood to talk.  I’m just glad that this is going to be the last flight I’m going to have to take for a while.

Philadelphia Skyline
It was a huge relief when we finally landed since the plane was full of small children that were whining the entire flight. This flight actually felt longer than our flight from San Francisco to Houston, even though it was only two hours long. Anyways, when we landed, we just went to claim our luggage and waited for the shuttle. It took a while to get to the airport, so it gave us time to take even more pictures. When we got into the shuttle, we shared it with an older couple and headed to the Sheraton hotel. On our drive, the gorgeous architecture of the buildings and the city life was fascinating to me. I never even knew how urban University of Pennsylvania was. When we entered University City, I didn’t even realize which part was the city and which was the actual university.

The view from our room
We checked into our rooms, and we ended up rooming with the same people as last night. We then went out at around 7 PM to tour the neighborhood and even part of the campus. The weather was actually perfect today because it wasn’t even like humid like the other days, and I was finally able to see what the famous Wawa’s was like. Imagine a 7-Eleven combined with Subway and Starbucks all in one. That’s basically how Wawa’s is like. We took tons of pictures, and we even took one with the well-known Benjamin Franklin statue. Mr. Hillyer also took us to see all of the fraternity houses, which were absolutely stunning. They looked like small castles and had intricate details on their walls. I fell in love with the Penn campus.

UPenn Bookstore
Frat Row
After our mini tour, we went to a restaurant called Distrito, and their food was like gourmet Mexican food. I found out that the restaurant was founded by an iron chef, which explains why the food was so delicious. They had a variety of food, ranging from tacos to enchiladas to steaks. Their menu was so extensive that I didn’t even know what to order, but I ended up getting their one of their tacos. I even got to try my first virgin margarita. Afterwards, we had our desserts and we were back to the hotel in no time. All of us went to Mr. Hillyer’s room, and we had a little “blog party” to finish up the rest of our blogs.

It was nice spending time with everybody, even if we’re just typing our blogs up. I’m definitely excited to see the rest of Philadelphia and celebrate the 4th of July at the birthplace of this day. 

One of the dorms

The dorm I'll be staying at

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