new jersey

End of Philly trip, and the road home

Belgian fries in PhiladelphiaDan the man

So the story continues with me approaching the end of the week whilst on holidays and the uneventfulness continued, with lots of rest as I couldn’t manage to wake up a lot. I ended up meeting a friend who lived outside of Philadelphia, and decided that it was easier for them to come in to the city than me to go out. We sat, along with another acquaintance, at a Belgian café and had some food (which was unbelievable and totally authentic; foh shizzles!). It was another friend that I met via an online community of which I’m apart, and we got along great. It was the first time in a long time that I met someone from the internet world that was something like what I was used to, but we had known each other for many years so it wasn’t too awkward. We didn’t stay out for too long as they had to get home to entertain family, but we took some photos for proof of our meeting and so that I could rub it in the other forum people’s faces. Oh yes they were jealous! I’m so stealthy.

Unfortunately it rained, and I got soaking wet (go figure), which seems to be a bit of an olde story. It was a welcome refreshing moment, because it had been so hot an humid and I always was walking around feeling disgusting. It rained forever and ever and I declined going out with my host to dance (despite love dancing) because I was so exhausted from the weather.

PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia

I stayed in and watched some films and researched some random topics on the internet such as 9/11 and all the legal battles that have been going on. I felt myself become more interested in world affairs because I actually had time to. Later that evening I decided to meet up with the zoo-keeper per our original organized time, which was nice. We just sort of walked around and got some ice cream and avoided getting mugged and/or attacked (cause we are obviously paranoid about that!). Some of the neighbours outside my host’s house were having a birthday party so it was quite large, and when I got home after an uneventful evening I found the host’s roommate who was packing because he sister had a baby and she needed to leave for Boston. It was sad for me because we got along great, and then I realized that I would have to spend alone time with the host and the boyfriend, which was highly awkward. I lucked out and fell asleep before anyone got home, and then ended up waking up later than the host left for work. I decided that I had to start packing and things for my flight the following day, and then went out to the park to lay around and soak up the sun whilst reading some novels and grammar manuals (I’m such a geeek! I love it!). I went out for dinner again to a more enthusiastic restaurant, and returned home to discover it was Saturday night and that staying in wasn’t a bad idea since I had to wake up early. My host agreed that he’d drive me to the airport the next day, so I didn’t have to take a train or anything, so all was good.

I went to bed and woke up the next morning early. Packed everything up and woke up my host at 10:45 as he said I should. He was still sleeping through his alarm that had been going on for about 2 hours, and luckily the boyfriend was either gone or never came home with him (I was so thankful to avoid the awkwardness of walking in on them). He woke up, and so I was circa 2.5 hours away from my flight, and he sat down on the sofa and was like “So I don’t think I can drive you to the airport. I realized that my insurance ran out a few days ago and I can’t risk further by driving an uninsured car, which is reposessed, and since I’m avoiding the authorities in a different state it’s better if I don’t drive at all.”

I was livid, and kept my shit together and asked “So then how can I get to the airport?” He said that a cab was only $20 and could catch it around the corner. It was a Sunday morning, and of course no cabs were outside, and he didn’t have any number of one to call. I think I was visibly agitated when luckily one stopped by. I thanked him, and wished him all the luck with his ‘problems’ and such. Off to the airport I was, after realizing it was actually a $40 charge. I was upset, but the cabbie was nice and we chatted. It was better than being late and missing my flight and being trapped in the dump.

Newark, NJNewark, NJ

I got to the airport, did all the airport stuff, arrived in Newark NJ after a tiny 5 person plane with major turbulance took it’s 20 minute flight. Newark is a horrible airport as I couldn’t find food and/or somewhere to sit. The flight to Toronto was 45 mins away so I walked over to international destinations and talked Swedish with some Swedish people visiting (I’m Swedish btw!) so they were happy to find people around that could speak with them. They had very good English but were so self-conscious about their speaking. I ran off to my gate after they called for general boarding, and off I was to Toronto. I landed and went through customs quickly, but since I had to fill out the damn card and there were no pens around it was highly awkward and rushed. No searching, as I’m not a visible threat or minority (I guess) and I grabbed my bag to be picked up.

My mom had agreed to pick me up from the airport so I didn’t have to worry about more travel woes, but of course she doesn’t have a mobile phone, and she went to the wrong terminal. Two hours later she found a pay phone and called my mobile to discover how “duh” she was. We arrived home in the nice cool evening breeze and I went right to bed knowing that I’d have to be up at 5am for work on Monday morning. I was exhausted and unmotivated even enough not to watch the episode on my PVR from Desperate housewives! I was really out of it, clearly. The next day I woke up and bam I was at work again with a huge pile of stuff on my desk of things that other people couldn’t do and figured that they could dump on me. Even to this day, two full weeks later, I’m still behind by about 3 days…

Boston to Philadelphia, and everything in between

Boston Skyline

So whilst in Boston and additional stories that I forgot to mention; I was jammed into the backseat of the car across several people because I was more or less coerced to take a ride with them back from Cambridge to Boston. I realize that I’m admitting to committing a felony but it was in the USA, and you weren’t witness 😛 It was funny because the entire left hand side of my body ended up going numb, and ironically the entire right side of the guy I was predominantly laying on top of went numb too. We ended up trying to carry each other up the stairs of the hotel; it was by far the funniest thing that the concierges had ever seen (or so they said!)

ProvidenceBoston

So after the jazz club brunch my friend drove me down to Providence RI where I sauntered around waiting for a train. People there are so nice and courteous. Very curious as to why I was there and what I was doing; it was such a lovely place and the weather was so perfect. 20°C and the sun warmed me right to the perfectness. Anyways, Amtrak train arrived and I was on my way through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Someone sat next to me on the comfy train (much better than busses) and wasn’t chatty at all, until he needed to plug in his iPhone and accidentally woke me up. I didn’t really care, but I’ve never heard someone appologize so much for something. I was afraid he was going to start throwing money at me. Crazy Americans.

So we arrive into New York City and although I stayed on the train for the 20min ‘break’ about 90% of the people got off the train and then the new people got on. First observation is that the city made me feel dirty, even in the train station. Second is that the smell was disgusting and made me sort of feel sick. Then there were the people that loaded onto the train; they were so weird. All the people going to Connecticut and descending into New York were okay but the weird New Yorkers suddenly put me on edge for the remaining 1.5hrs to Philly.

Without conversation, I made it through the dodgy darkness of New Jersey, and despite the delay in Trenton, NJ I arrived into Philly unscathed, unviolated, and met up with another friend of mine. He was happy to see me and it was weird to finally see him in real life, I mean cause I have known him for so many years and I couldn’t help but laugh and say “Hey look; you’re real!” He took me to get something to eat as it was late and I ended up getting him a meal because unbeknownst to me, he’s in quite a sticky financial situation. In fact, his whole life is pretty much in shambles and goes as far as to avoiding legal troubles. He talked to me about troubles in his ‘paradise’ (which was basically him having issues with his new boyfriend). We went home, and I met his roommate and she was so funky and cool. We chatted until I started to fall asleep and then I fell asleep on the couch as the air-mattress wasn’t available from the neighbour for a few days.

PhiladelphiaWalnut Street, Philadelphia

Turns out that the sofa was far too small for me, and painfully uncomfortable so I transfered to the floor with cushions. Then I realized that they had a mouse problem ( EW ! ) so I struggled on the couch with disgust. I woke up the next day and decided to head down to walk around the city. I walked about 10km total and saw the entire old town after stopping into the Visitors Centre to grab myself a map.

Penns Landing, PhiladelphiaPenns Landing, Philadelphia

I got painfully lost, but managed to follow the patterns of stress (simple 1st 2nd 3rd Streets all originating from the port!) I ran into some people at the port (Delaware River) who were swearing at Jersey (at the other side) and then realized that the people were sort of freaking me out and ran back to the flat. My friend, wasn’t really in a good mood cause his ex cut off his phone line, so he was moping around and I watched some Will & Grace episodes with him. I fell asleep on his bed (oops!) and snuggled the stuffed animal of Sitch (From Disney’s Lilo & Stich). I have this thing, where I visit people that I like, that I always bring a stuffed animal for them to remember me by… random but it brings me warm fuzzies.

Stich from Lilo & Stich

Above you can see Stich… 🙂