Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Philly Break

A few weeks ago I decided to go back to Philadelphia to attend my friend Laura Kicey's photo gallery opening show at Gravy Studio, called Lost and Found (if you are local, check it out! - ongoing until April 30). Initially I wanted to drive there and surprise her as I did a few years back for another one of her shows, but I changed my mind and I ended up flying to Philly the night before the show. This little fella and I were on a mission, to spend some quality time with talented friends and forget about stress and work for a weekend.
On Friday, after a scrumptious breakfast, courtesy of Miss Kicey, we got ourselves ready to partaaay and went downtown for a long stroll through the city before heading to the gallery.
Ended up doing a walk a bit shorter than 5k, but quite impressive when you actually look at the map. We covered some distance, yo! We also stopped for coffee in Chinatown and had, for the first time ever, the Cadillac of coffees, Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica, prepared in a siphon, which was quite the contraption. I only put in some milk, it didn't even need sugar, and I'm the one who cannot drink any coffee without 5 spoons of sugar in it. This coffee was not bitter at all, had such a velvety taste, very unique and purely wonderful. Have one at Ray's Cafe if you ever find yourself in town.
The evening was as much packed with people and socializing as I could expect it, but I was glad that we managed to go to bed before 2am since I was due to run 10k the next morning. The weather was going to be very clement with a bright sunshine and a 16 degrees Celsius that day. I put on my capris and a long sleeve tshirt and off I went to discover the neighbourhood on the go. Told Laura that I should be gone for about 1h and that she could follow me on Runkeeper if needed. I honestly had no plan, I was just going to follow the sidewalks. It went like this:
The houses on this street were too sexy for sidewalks
Found runners and a long sidewalk
Ooooh, a school and a paved trail!
Which turned into dirt trail
Lost the sidewalk again, but found the cyclists
The rest of the pictures can be found here. I got a tad lost, or rather, I wanted to find a way back home that didn't look like a main road without sidewalks. But given that it seemed to be the only way back, beside the train tracks, I decided to adventure myself on it and thankfully found another paved trail shortly thereafter. I also found a bunch of cyclists that were looking happy to get to the end of a very steep climb and I gave them a "Way to go, guys!". I told myself that I envied them for riding outside already. I ended up running a bit longer than 10k, but it was a very enjoyable one, plus I crossed paths with dozens of other runners, so I really felt like I was belonging there. I had found my tribe, and that was rather memorable given that I went on those streets totally at random. Hint, always look for the high schools, they have running trails and plenty of people on them.

In the afternoon we went hiking in Ridley Creek State park, where I almost lost an eye. While bushwhacking to reach an abandoned greenhouse, a tree attacked me and lodged a splinter under my left eyeball. My brave friend managed to grab it with her fingernails and not to pass out in the process. (Forever grateful to you, my friend. You did awesome out there!) A few minutes later a thorn got stuck in my nose and I started bleeding. The day was just starting. Hiked for 6k afterwards, including an almost vertical ascent of 200m to retrieve a geocache. It was all worth it, I swear. What don't we do to find tupperware in the woods...
The next day we did it again. I ran 8k in the morning, then we went to visit another beautiful place, this time in Delaware - the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, complete with guided tour inside the mansion and photo walk through the Enchanted Forest, freshly carpeted with millions of tiny blue and purple flowers for as far as you could see.
All in all, three days spent mostly outside, reconnecting with the beauty of the nature, the fresh air and my camera. A much needed break and what seems to become a yearly ritual for Laura and I. I am so happy for having been able to go on a little paid vacation before losing my job, it made it all so much more bearable. Now I can open my laptop and pop on the screen the photos I took and relive those moments again and again. Blogging about them too, it's great therapy. Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. I love your friend's glasses! And you really were able to see some beautiful things on your trip. I'm impressed you made so much time to get outdoors while you were there!