You’ve always got to love a random last minute plan.
So a few of the girls decided on Friday afternoon that they would book a trip to Philadelphia for the next day.
Just a day trip. $20 for a return bus.
Bus leaving at 7am, returning at 6pm. House party at night. Sorted.
Why would I ever say no to this?
So we booked it.
Four girls on a day out in a new city.
This quickly changed to five girls, and four boys. Even better. The more the merrier.
And as my last post pointed out, 30 minutes later I got a message about half price tickets to a DJ set in The Natural History Museum for the Friday night.
Figured that would be doable. Was due to finish at 1am, wouldn’t drink very much. Get some sleep on the bus.
Famous last words.
My time keeping is abysmal
That then turned into home at about 3.30am.
Alarm set for 5.30am.
Scheduled to meet at 6am to get the PATH train to the city for the bus at 7am.
So, naturally, I slept through my alarm. And then, to make matters worse, turned my phone off. Which I never, ever do.
Just asking for trouble.
So nobody could get in touch with me to wake me up.
Bright idea, dummy!
Instead, I woke up at 8.45am (pretty much as the bus was due to arrive in Philly) screaming “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck!”
I’m sure that was EXACTLY how my roommate of two days wanted to be woken up on a Saturday morning.
I know I would.
What an idiot.
The show must go on
Or some crap like that.
I decided, what else was I going to do for the day when all I wanted to do was eat a Philly Cheese Steak with my friends, who were already there?
So I booked the next bus I could get.
I was in Philly by 1.30pm.
Straight onto a hop-on-hop-off bus.
Yes, I hate myself. They go against everything I like about exploring a new place.
I like to wander aimlessly, occasionally, sort of peaking at a map, but generally walking toward tall buildings in the distance.
That logic wasn’t going to work in Philly, because it’s all too short.
But anyway, it was the easiest way to see the city in a short space of time. Made even shorter by my stupidity.
Such a tourist
There were only a few things that I knew about Philly before I arrived. And with no time to research, it stayed as those few things.
Liberty Bell. Rocky Steps. And Cheese Steaks.
You can imagine which one was the biggest priority…
Unfortunately, my essential beauty sleep meant that I missed the Liberty Bell.
So, first stop, the Rocky Steps.
And with that, came the first con of the day.
I was standing with my big camera, waiting to get a photo in front of the Rocky statue. So of course a nice man stepped in and offered to take a photo of the group.
What an awkward experience that was!! “Put your hands up!” “Cheer!”
Erm. No. Thanks though.
*cough* Tip please *cough* [Genuinely no cash]
Then, we walked around and had a look at the area, contemplated running up the steps.
But instead opted for the slow walk and pretended to be paying loads of attention, and tried not to get in the way of everyone taking photos.
It really wasn’t much to get excited about.
But the gallery at the top looked nice and the view was pretty good.
So not a complete loss. Plus I can say I went.
And we got a photo at the top to prove we were there. With a selfie stick. I am so ashamed.
This was the first time I had used the thing since my best friends gave me it before I left – knowing how much I hated them.
The first tester shot was a peach.
And summed up my views on the situation perfectly.
Interesting twist of events
The most exciting part happened just as we were about to leave.
When a group of about 30 people came screaming round a corner.
Dressed as zombies.
Crawling along the ground.
Running up to people to sniff them.
Literally there were no words. I was in stunned silence as I had no clue what was going on and was too scared to ask.
Only in America. Or maybe Glasgow.
The best costume, hands down, has to go to the pregnant lady with a prosthetic arm sticking out her belly. Gross.
After some of the shock passed, I noticed drones flying around above us, people being interviewed and guys screaming “cut”.
So there may be a new zombie movie coming out… and I will look terrified in it!
In between times, I thought I’d play around with camera, willing the wind to blow in the direction so I could take photos of flags.
Yeah, I’m weird.
Back onto the hop-on-hop-off bus.
The advantage to these buses is that there is absolutely no chance I would have seen anything in a day. But instead I got to drive through the whole city and at least get a feel for it.
One thing I hadn’t realised before was that sorority houses are just on normal streets. We just randomly drove past them.
I thought they were part of a closed campus.
Although it did end up being the university district.
Best tourist bit
Realistically, what shows off a city better than its famous food?
So it had to be done, right?
We found “Sonny’s Famous Cheesesteak and Burgers”.
Just what we needed.
Authentic, busy, clean, noisy.
At the counter you could order a simple cheesesteak with onions and a selection of cheeses.
But there were also burgers and toasties with different variations of the cheesesteak.
And the best bit, even though it was rammed, I got my food really fast and it was really good.
Once we’d eaten there wasn’t really much time left to do anything else.
So it was just a case of having a slow walk back to the bus and grabbing a souvenir postcard on the way.