Saturday, July 21, 2012

Baseball and Juice

Today was Saturday yet there was no mandatory trip, so guess which lucky girl got to sleep in! I cannot remember the last time I had a full eight hours of sleep, but oh it felt wonderful. As soon as I woke up I left the comfort of my bed to get ready for a trip to the gym with Mariko, Clara, Chloe, and Alysa. From reading my blogs, I'm sure you all know by now that I love the gym. If I could, I would seriously live in there, especially the gym here! The gym is five stories, best showers ever, and an awesome pool!

I had never been to a baseball game up until today. I knew some people were really into sports so I was kind of expecting the loud drunk fans, but aside from that I was completely clueless. The only sport I watch on TV is soccer, which means I was lost during most of the game today. I have no idea how baseball works, so I just copied everything Alysa did. If she cheered or clapped then I did too. I think if I knew the rules of the game it would have been more entertaining, but I'm not complaining! I had a lot of fun and I enjoyed the game a lot! I wanted to cheer for the Giants, but I wasn't sure how the drunk Phillie's fans in front of us would have reacted. Well even without my cheering, our team took the win! Go Giants!

I had been doing some research online about Philadelphia's best restaurants, so when Mr. Lawrence asked if there was a certain place where we would like to eat dinner, I knew the perfect place! It is called Distrito, and it is a really modern. new-age Mexican restaurant. Some of the dishes weren't so authentic, but they still earned an A+ from me! Today was one of their "University Days" which means you get two appetizers, two entrees, and one dessert for a small price. I had the shrimp ceviche and jicama salad for my appetizers, mole amarillo and chicken enchilada for my entree, and el fuerte (a chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream) for dessert.

Mariko and Clara at Distrito

 The one crucial factor that made me rank it so high was their Agua de Jamaica. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, Agua de Jamaica is a beverage. It is made from dried hibiscus calyces that have been boiled in water. The water is strained, chilled, and after sugar has been added, ready to drink. I've had Agua de Jamaica in several other places, but it just isn't good. When I saw that it was on the menu I just knew I had to order it, and see if it was as good as my  mom's. I was anticipating the moment when the waitress would deliver it to the table. Oh my gosh. The Agua de Jamaica was perfect. If I had closed my eyes and drank it, I would have really thought I was back in my mom's kitchen. I had to take advantage of my discovery, so I ended up having five glasses before it was time to leave. That restaurant received my seal of approval!

This is what Agua de Jamaica looks like, along with the dead hibiscus calyces.

Tomorrow we are going on our weekend trip to Ocean City, New Jersey. This will be our last trip with Summer Discovery ): . One more week and the program will be over! Time has been going by so fast, which is why tomorrow I am going to enjoy every second of the day!

Phillies Game

This saturday there was no mandatory field trip, so we had the day to ourselves. A week earlier the gang decided that  we were going to go to the Phillies vs. Giants game . I was excited because I had never been to a baseball stadium other than the Oakland A's stadium. I knew how nice  the stadium could be because of the baseball video games I played.

Around 2 pm , we all headed to the Penn bookstore to get our Penn sweatshirts. This was perfect because I was also able to get gifts for my aunt and uncle. There were a lot of cool things in the store, ranging from snap backs to calendars of cats , which Chloe loved. After we all picked out the sweatshirt we liked , we headed to the summer discovery office were we signed out , and then headed to the SEPTA.

When we got off of the SEPTA , I was surprised that the stadium was basically right there. We walked closer to it and I immediately started to wonder why the Oakland A's stadium couldn't be as nice. The way all of the stands were situated made it almost impossible to get a bad seat. Even tho we were three levels up I still felt somewhat close to the field. In the eighth inning the Phillies tied the game, and since this was major league baseball I thought to myself," we might be getting free baseball!" Indeed we did get free baseball, about a whole innings worth. In the top of the 10th the giants scored a run , and held the Phillies in the bottom of the 10th which resulted in a win .

After such an exciting game , all of us were hungry , so we headed to a local Mexican restaurant . The food was very good but after a long day in the sun , the only thing that I was looking forward to , especially after eating all of that food , was a bed. That is exactly what I would be doing when I got back to the dorms and signed in.


After sleeping in for a solid 8 hours, I found that I still had time. I decided to do my usual routine, but slowly (adding on to the relaxing day). It felt strange not having to be piled up into a bus for a fabulous trip. I met up with some friends in the lounge of my floor. In the early morning, the 3-weekers of the culinary program had left. I talked with Kelsey, a 6-weeker for the culinary program, who said that it was very difficult saying good-bye to her new friends. This coming Saturday is my last day at Penn, I after talking with Kelsey, I know for sure that it is not going to be easy.

We decided to go to a pizza parlor, Alegros, for brunch. Their pizza was so good and affordable. The cheese was hot and melted perfectly to the point that it became hard not to make a cheesy mess. After brunch, I ditched my friends to go with my cohort. We met up at the bookstore because we were getting our sweatshirts today. Unlike the girls, who were asking everybody about which of the 3 they should get, I just looked for the one I liked the most and done. We went back to the quad, dropped off the sweatshirts, and had Ian sign us out for the Giants vs. Phillies game.
Giants Making A Plan To Win
I have been waiting for this day to come for a long time. Underneath my character is something most people don't see, a die-hard Giants fan. I even wore my Giants shirt to the game. When I discovered that Matt Cain was going to be the start-off pitcher, I just knew they were going to win, which they did. If feel that I did miss out on some of the fun because we were in a Phillies stadium, which restricted my shouts and screams each time we scored. When I go play soccer, we have this ritual like thing in which we shout scoreboard if we won. When the game ended, I honored my soccer friends and screamed "SCORBOARD!" I enjoyed walking out of the stadium because the Phillies fans were very nice, give the Giants fans high fives for the great game. I even received a high five from a guy, who I clearly remember was three rows ahead of us and barged out angrily as the Phillies lost.
Entertainment During The Game....Check Out That Scoreboard
After the game, we had dinner at a semi-authentic Mexican restaurant called Distrito. Some of their food I will have to say was authentic, but others were clearly out of line. They had one dish, a ceviche, that looked and tasted like a shrimp cocktail, not even close to a ceviche. Nonetheless, we had a great time joking around. Tomorrow, we will be going to Ocean City. I am excited for the trip because I will finally be able to use my swimsuit. Water, here I come.

Lovey Saturday

This was the first Saturday that we haven't gotten up early and piled onto a bus.  Instead of an all-group field trip, we were relinquished from any duties and I spent my day with my Penn cohort and Ian.  From the gym to the Giants game and then onto dinner, I had a super fun-filled day with everyone and I will dearly miss spending my days with all of these people.

I have to say that the Pottruck Gymnasium is the best gym I have been to so far.  It has five floors packed with cardio equipment, a weight room, a pool, a mat room, a basketball court, a golf room, and even a rockclimbing wall!  There may be more awesome rooms within this facility but I have yet to explore all of them.  Since this gym is so close to the quad, I frequent it quite often.  This morning, Ivette, Alysa, Mariko, Clara, and I spent a couple of hours there, and I felt amazing after the workout I completed.

The Giants Vs. Phillies game we went to was so much fun!  However, it was a little bit awkward being a giants fan in a stadium full of red shirts.  Even so, I had a great time, seeing as it was my first live Giants game!  I really need to go to AT&T Park in San Francisco to see them, I think that will be the absolute best experience! 

Tonight, Ian took us to Distrito, a mexican-style restaurant literally one block out of our home area.  The food was really interesting, but very delicious and I loved eating with everyone again!

Giants 6, Phillies 5

Today I got a glorious 9 hours of sleep, waking up around 9:30 AM to go to the gym. I’m so glad that we get to take advantage of the athletic facilities here at UPenn; it’s made it much easier to keep in shape. After working out I went to Cosi with most of the cohort for breakfast. We met Mr. Lawrence at the bookstore around 2 PM to get our sweatshirts, and although it was difficult to choose between the many different options, I really like the hoodie I picked. The sweatshirts went back to our dorm rooms, and then it was off to the Giants game!

I can’t remember the last baseball game I attended, or if I’ve ever been to a baseball game at all, so I was excited for a new experience. It was pretty awkward to root for the Giants in a stadium filled with red, white, and blue Phillies jerseys, but I was happy because the Giants won 6-5. I also felt pretty special because both Matt Cain and Cole Hamels hit home runs in the third inning!

After the game, we went to a fusion Mexican food restaurant called Distrito. It wasn’t Mexican food like I’m used to, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I had tortilla soup, jicama salad, rice and beans, and pork tacos. My favorites were the salad and the rice and beans. (It’s probably apparent, but I’m still on my quest to eat rice.) I really enjoy dinner with the cohort, since we don’t see the Social Justice people as much during the regular week. The girls all laugh a lot, and the guys look embarrassed to be seen with us, and we all have a blast.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Even though we all slept in this morning, I'd like to think that it was still a productive morning. The girls of the Penn team all met at 10:30 to go to the gym for a morning workout. After the gym we went back to our dorms to put our belongings up before going to Cosi for a late breakfast. We then went a few stores over to the Penn Bookstore to browse the sweatshirt selection before our chaperone arrived. We spent what seemed like hours in the store trying to decide on sweatshirts. Once the apparel was paid for, we went back to the dorms one more time to be signed out for the baseball game. 

The journey to the stadium was much like any other ride to a sporting event via public transportation: loud with a dull moment never in sight. I always find baseball games to be very fun and this game was no different. After ten innings the Giants defeated the Phillies 6-5(yay!). 

We made our way through the large sea of people going towards the SEPTA station. Our next stop was dinner! We went to a hip Mexican restaurant by the name of Distrito. I was really hoping that we'd get to dine in a taxi, or maybe a school bus seeing as we're a group of eight. Instead we were just seated at a series of smaller tables put together. At Distrito we took part in the Dining Days deal where you get a three course meal for $30 a person. Dinner was filled with many laughs and more great memories.

Tomorrow we are off to the Jersey Shore for a little fun in the sun. Catch ya later!

Let's Go Giants!

Today we were relieved of all classroom and Summer Discovery responsibilities.  I woke up around 9:30, completing almost 9 beautiful hours of sleep, and feeling quite rested.  I exercised, and then went to Cosi with all the cohort girls for breakfast/lunch.  Unfortunately, none of the dining halls are open on Saturdays, so we were on our own for food.  

By then, it was a little after one, and we met with Ian, David, and Cameron at the Penn bookstore to buy our sweatshirts.  I am very happy with the hoodie I chose, even if it was a painstaking decision process, and I am wearing it as I blog.  Afterward, Ian signed us out and took us to a Phillies vs. Giants game at Citizens Bank Park.  When I pulled our my camera to snap a picture of our cohort riding the Septa, it would not turn on.  I am hoping his is an issue of battery power, not mechanics, but sadly, my blog will lack pictures today.  

We grabbed some food and found our way to our seats on the third level, right field.  Although they we sat far away, I could see everything from my seat.  It was a little awkward to root for the Giants in a sea of red and blue shirts, so we all quietly cheered for our home team (who won by one, for the record).  

We went for a belated Mariko's birthday dinner at Distrito, a new-agey Mexican restaurant.  It definitely wasn't the Mexican food I'm used to in California, but it was still delicious.  Once again, we ended up laughing the night away.  

Tomorrow, Summer Discovery will take us to Ocean City, NJ, where I'm told there is a beach and boardwalk.  It should be a great day, and hopefully the beaches here are a little warmer than the ones back home.  I can't believe tomorrow is our last Sunday, our last field trip, and our last day to relax before the final week of class.