Fall Trip Part 1: Philly

During fourth year of med school, there is a big test that everyone has to take that is only held in a few cities. The closest city to us that has one is Philadelphia and since Julian and I aren’t known for passing up a party, we decided to tag along. Then Ted found out about this big pumpkin festival in Sleepy Hollow, NY and my cousin and her husband were nice enough to let us stay with them for a couple days in Manhattan so it became a whole trip.

We drove down to Philly Thursday afternoon and once we got there we drove straight on through to New Jersey because we booked the cheapest hotel we could find. We met up with some of Ted’s classmates who had also scheduled the test for the next day and went to Chipotle because when in (the suburbs of) Philly…


Ted got a ride to the testing center in the city with his classmates early the next morning while Julian squirmed around in the bed with me. We ate a really gross continental breakfast, then I waited until after Julian took a nap at the hotel (during which I hid out in the bathroom painting my toenails and reading) and then packed up and figured out where the train station was. The plan was to sightsee until Ted was done with his test, then meet him at the testing center when he finished.

First stop: Reading Terminal Market. I had been to Philadelphia once before and this was the main thing I wanted to do but didn’t get to do. It’s an indoor public market full of delicious food. Julian and I walked around every booth twice and finally settled on Thai. At this point I realized my phone battery was getting low. I grabbed some Amish doughnuts on the way out and headed for South Street which I heard on the internet was a cool neighborhood.

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The actual street was kind of a letdown for me. Like a normal city street with way more adult shops. I didn’t really have anywhere else planned after that, so Julian and I started wandering back to the subway station to figure out how to get to Ted. We had a great walk back and I was snapping pictures of Julian on charming cobblestone streets, Julian by a statue at Penn’s landing, Julian in front of a random cool building I ran into that just happened to be Independence Hall when I got a voicemail from Ted about two hours earlier than I expected and my phone suddenly went from 30% battery to 0%.

I was a little panicked that I was about to be lost in downtown Philadelphia with a cranky baby and no way to find Ted. In desperation I ducked into a bank and begged them to use a phone. Luckily they took pity on me and I was able to reach Ted who had finished his test early and told me where he would be waiting.  Julian and I headed back out and found a subway station close by, unfortunately a station without an elevator. We got to the station that I was pretty sure Ted was close to, hefted the stroller up another flight of stairs, then realized that the address I had in my mind did not exist. I was right in the middle of Drexel campus, which seemed promising, but I couldn’t find Ted anywhere. The kind students running the front desk at the Drexel recreation center let me use their phone and after a few unsuccessful tries, I reached Ted again. I had remembered the address wrong and he was about six blocks further down. This time he came to me, and we were finally reunited.

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Julian fell asleep sometime during that mess I described above but he really had been such an amazing sport all day long. Like better than we deserved. We decided not to push it too much and after a quick walk over to the art museum so Ted could see the Rocky steps we grabbed dinner (at the market again), Julian made friends with some nice people on the bus, and we caught the train back to our hotel.


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