Saturday, July 7, 2012

Empire State Of Mind

After waking up just twenty minutes before I was supposed to meet the ladies of the Penn Team, I hurried down to the quad to head off to breakfast. This Saturday morning, just like last, we chose to eat at Cosi which is located just a few blocks away. Cosi sells delicious homemade squagels--square bagels. Today we decided it'd be best to just take our food to go because we had to board the busses at 8:15. After I ordered my Cosi club squagel(bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiched between the squagel of your choice) I waited for everyone else then we returned to campus. By the time we reached campus it was already 8:00 so we stayed close to the front gate in order to get the bus of our choice. The girls all chose to sit on bus #5 and this will be our bus for the remainder of our trips here.
Clara and Ivette pose for a picture during the bus ride.

The bus ride to Columbia University was about two hours long, though  it seemed much shorter due to the laughter and playfulness going on in the bus. When we arrived at Columbia the RC's told us that we had to be back at the front gate no later than 1:00. We had previously been given a map that outlined the areas we could travel to on our visit. The cohort and a few others set out to find a restroom. We then walked down the street to Pinkberry for frozen yogurt. I'd been dying to try Pinkberry forever! The way they operated was a little different. At all other fro-yo places I've been to, you serve your own frozen yogurt, than choose your toppings, and finally pay according to the weight. At Pinkberry you choose a size, flavor, and wether or not you want toppings at the register. The cashier then prints a sticker and places it on a cup. After that, a server puts the desired flavor of frozen yogurt in the corresponding cup, then  you tell them all of the toppings you want. I think I still like the other way of operation better, it calls for less traffic in such a small space. The frozen yogurt was great, nonetheless! I had watermelon frozen yogurt topped with organic gummy bears, strawberries, and watermelon.

Ivette and I keeping cool in the shade at Columbia University.
The bus ride to Times Square was a lot shorter and much more exciting. For a lot of members from the Penn Team, it was our first time in New York. Even the waiting was super fun. After going through the same process of being read the rules and being shown the meet-up place, we were free. We immediately made our way to Times Square and I was instantly captivated. All of the people, lights, and buildings were truly breath-taking. New York has always been one of the places I've wanted to travel to so I couldn't believe I was finally there. We didn't waste any time finding stores. We thought it was smart to eat before we got started so we stopped and ate at a hotdog stand. We then made our rounds to all of the stores we wanted to see. It would take way too long to talk about everything I bought and all of the sights I saw but everything was really amazing.
The huge billboards add to all the excitement!

The girls enjoying their hotdogs at Snack Box in Times Square.
First timers in New York City!
For the next couple of ours we all shopped around a bit. We went to major stores such as M&M World, Forever 21, the Disney Store, and American Eagle. We also made a few stops at small souvenir shops. At about 5:50 we headed back towards Starbucks on 42nd and 9th. I am proud of myself for being able to find my way around such a big city.

This Saturday trip was so fun and exciting, I'm not sure if the other trips will be up to par. I definitely look forward to more trips in the future.

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