I woke up at 7:58 and realized that I was supposed to meet my cohort for breakfast in about an hour so I rushed to shower and get ready. The building was pretty quiet because unlike me, the rest of the girls got to sleep in due to the fact that there was no class today. When I went back to my room I was surprised with a text message from our chaperone informing us that we would be leaving later than planned. I went outside to meet my cohort because we were all ready to go. While the majority of the cohort went ahead, Cameron and I stayed behind to get our visitor paperwork complete so we'd be able to join in on the festivities with our cohort. All went well and we hurried off to meet everyone for breakfast. After breakfast we headed towards the trolley station (which is underground by the way) and headed towards our first destination.
|Chaperone Ian Lawrence and students Chloe and Mariko show their spirit by sporting red, white, and blue.|
Stop number one was the area near Independence Hall for the Independence Day Parade. The parade got started a little late but it was well worth the wait. My favorite part of the parade was all of the marching bands that played. Seeing people in extravagant costumes and playing great music really added to the atmosphere of already cheering and excited people.
|The National Guard band marches by playing a well-known American tune.|
The parade was super fun and exciting. Aside from the marching bands, I enjoyed seeing dances performed from all over the world. It was really amazing to see people from other countries out there celebrating American independence. We basked in the warm sun for a while before we decided it was time for lunch. We walked down the street until we reached Subway. We enjoyed bottles of cold water and sandwiches as we played "camera tag", a game in which you try to take pictures of the other people while they're not looking. We left Subway satisfied and headed towards destination number two.
|I got you, Ivette!|
Location number two was the "Party on the Parkway" sponsored by Wawa. This was a street festival where they had lots of food vendors, free stuff, and fun sights. We picked up free lemonades from a Wawa stand and found a nice patch of grass to settle on. It was rally hot outside so we paused our adventures for a while and went at it again. We continued walking and found a few stages where we stood and watched some performances.
It was that time again! After working up our appetite once again, we headed to a local pizza parlor to feed our appetites. Me, Ivette, Mariko, and Clara shared a large, 14" Pete's Pizza (which was just a normal combination pizza.) The pizza was delicious and I believe we were all satisfied. We headed back to the Wawa sponsored event to get seats for "the largest free concert in America." Well it turned out that you needed tickets for this free concert so we just chose to watch from the curb. Performers included The Roots, Common, Nick and Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers, and a few other performers. Our initial plan was to stick around after the concert to watch the fireworks but by then we were all way too tired. We made yet another long trek back to our hotel. Of course we had to stop by Wawa first! (Wawa is like a twenty-four hour 7-Eleven.) We all picked up a few snacks at Wawa then continued the journey. While walking back we got the chance to see the fireworks! It wasn't the best view ever but it was good enough for us.
We arrived back at Penn to find out that the other students still hadn't returned from their outing. As soon as that was said, we all rushed off to our dorms to make it to the showers.
This Independence day was great and I am glad I got to spend it with my wonderful cohort. I have to get some well deserved rest because tomorrow in physics we will be video conferencing with Prof. Elliot Lipiles, a member of Penn's High Energy Group, about the CERN announcement.
Bye for now!