Uncharted Flipadelphia

For the record, I ran it fast than Rocky!


This weekend, I took a trip to see one of my dearest friends, Leah and her beautiful baby son, David. I’ve had mentioned her in a past blogpost (https://vforvinnie.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/why-i-like-my-job/).

I met Leah at my first job at Grey Direct, and immediately thought she was awesome. She is one of the most adorable people you will ever meet in your life.

She’s like that “Goofy, cool friend” I always wanted in my life. She is one of the few people in my life whoever really “got me” (a rare, small club, I even have close friends who haven’t “got me” though they still treat me well ) She makes these really, funny faces, she from North Carolina and she still has traces of that southern accent. I always remember hanging out at her old apartment on weekends in the Upper East Side watching random movies, eating Papa Johns Pizza and munching on candy I would grab on the way from her apartment via the Duane Reade.

Through her I eventually met another great friend of mine, Carly who I am close with and also care about very much.

She moved to London about 4 years ago when her amazing, loving husband, Peter had a hard to turn down opportunity for a job in London.  I remember helping her move out of the apartment literally lugging tons of stuff out of there and into the Salvation Army around the block.

I was sad to see her go, around that time I was going through a tough transition in life when I had to leave Grey because of some bullshit that happened which is another blog in itself. But also just as happy at the great time knowing she and Peter had a great opportunity in London and that I would see her again. I really didn’t have that many friends especially friends like her and it was tough though Carly and Liz were still here.

A few months later, I even saved up enough cash and got to see her in London! My first trip overseas ever and it was such a great trip. I never really thought I would ever get a passport and see Europe but because I wanted to see her and she how she was doing I finally had that drive to do it.

I also saw her and Peter get married in NC where I got my first taste of grits there and never looked back and even got some 4am Fried Chicken at an open Popeyes at the Raleigh Airport,  Monday morning waiting for my flight home to NYC 😉

As things always go with overseas friendships,  it was tough for us to stay in touch which is natural since we’ve both had jobs and the time difference. She eventually got pregnant and her and Peter gave birth to a beautiful son, David.

About 3-4 months ago, I found out from  her that Peter got accepted into the Wharton School of Business which meant two things: 1) Great Opportunity for them! and the best part of it all…2) They were not only moving back to the States, she wasn’t too far from NYC (a 2 1/2 hour train ride to Philly)!

She came by the city about a month ago and I finally got to meet David in person while eating some burgers at Shake Shack! I got him some toys and books from Barnes and Noble. Coincidentally  I got him a “Paddington Bear” unaware he actually was born at Paddington Hospital in London (weird ain’t it?!)

This weekend worked out where I was able to visit them in Philadelphia.

I got up extra early, Saturday morning, went to Penn Station and got on a NJ Transit Train to Trenton where I would switch to a SEPTA train straight to Philly, which is a 2 1/2 hour trip.

The train ride was good, kinda boring though I was listening to music, should’ve brought my laptop for the trip (maybe to blog?) though I had a lot of thoughts (which will be the next blog post) as I went from stop to stop on the train.

It was a boring train ride yet at the same time, I was full of nervous excitement to see my friend and in a way I needed a boring train ride. I had a crazy week at work (again), so a little slow train ride was actually a welcome sight for me.

I finally get to Philly and it was funny for three things:

1) I really was hoping to see anyone from “It’s Always Sunny in Phildelphia” especially any dude in a Greenman costume.

2) I immediately had the urge to play Motownphilly by Boyz II Men on my iPhone.

3) I realized other than seeing Leah and David (Peter was out of town for a Soccer tournament) which was the main goal of the trip, I didn’t really didn’t know what I wanted to do in Philly. I was going there pretty much “Uncharted” in terms of goals and plans.

Not that is ever a problem for me 🙂 I prefer “Uncharted” sometimes and I know seeing my friend Leah and David was the biggest attraction in Philly and everything else was an added bonus or gravy (mmmm gravy, now I want to have gravy fries) 🙂

As soon as I got to her apartment, I got to see David. it was funny first seeing him. He was actually “sizing me up” like he was “Who is this dude in the Oakland A’s cap and coat who knows my mommy”… His dad would be proud that he’s only 8 months and already acting like the man of the house with his mommy.

It was really funny and he was immediately comfortable with me when I started to play with him. He really likes my goofy faces and my weird pop noises I would make.

We went to Rittenhouse Square (Leah, if you are reading this…That was Rittenhouse Square right?) to walk around with Leah pushing David on the stroller, sat on a bench drinking cider and people watching. Some weird dude walked by chugging every little last drip of a gallon of chocolate milk bottle, it was really weird. I was talking to her about how I sometimes see Jake Gyllenhaal at the coffee bar near my job, and some lady passing by thought I had saw him now… She was disappointed when I told her I was talking about NYC.

Had some lunch at this cool retro/modern diner and even walked passed the Occupy Philadelphia people. I must admit those people didn’t smell as bad as those Occupy Wall Street people.

Hey Occupy Wall Street  hippies, I don’t mind you guys protesting (which is your deserved right) as long as it’s civil but would it hurt to occasionally take a shower and not overload port-a-potties with your Vegan Poop?…Just a thought.

Then we hanged back at her place to watch “Bridesmaids”, Leah never saw it and I could tell her mind was blown by it. It was one of the funniest movies this year with “Horrible Bosses” and “Attack the Block”, Eat Pepperoni Pizza/Cookies and watch TV (She got me hooked on “Storage Wars” which I watched all night). Honestly, if we only did that all day was play with David and stood inside to eat pizza and watch TV… I would not have mind at all 🙂

Woke up early and we decided to go to Philadelphia Art Museum which is well known from the movie, “Rocky” when Rocky runs up the steps as he trains to fight Apollo Creed. It’s so iconic, they even have a sculpture of him with his arms raised up.

Being me, I had to run those steps and I freaking sprinted those things with the Rocky theme playing in my head. I get to the top of the stairs and I excited to do it and very out of breath… ugh.

We go in the Art Museum and walk around with David. A lot of great art and I almost got a $40 Rat Doll (seriously it looked awesome) in the gift shop.

We went back to her place and finished the leftover Pizza and cookies from yesterday. I played a bit more with David who is happy before I pack and head back to NYC 😦

I give Leah a big hug and I  gently/carefully rub David’s little head with blond hair and say goodbye until the next time and walk to the train station.

I realized as I was on the train that sometimes the best things that can happen to you in life whether it is meeting a person who would become to be a great friend, finally going to Europe, raising children, having a good time with people  or whatever is always “Uncharted”. There is never a set plan or a map, it’s not like you can see a person, point at them and say “she’s going to be a great friend”.

Life doesn’t work that way. You can never force it, you just have to wait for it to happen and when it does, just let it happen and it might be the best destination you ever reach, even after a boring train ride 🙂

-V. for Vinnie






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