04 June 2008

philly cheesesteak

No, i have not eaten one.

Nor do I plan to.

But I am in Philly. huzzah. This is a minor miracle due to my inability to leave on time for the airport when I'm flying away from California. Last summer I had to beg the flight attendants with tears streaming down my face to let me onto a flight to get back to Scotland, as I'd arrived only 45 minutes before departure and check-in closes an hour before (international flight)

Anyway, I arrived at the airport yesterday with my two huge bags - at least 35 pounds each, plus a carry-on that it about 30 pounds and a laptop bag. My dad dropped me at the curb, expecting that I would be able to hand over my big bags to the curbside check-in and then hoof it to security. But no. My airline has just begun charging $25 for a second piece of baggage. So I checked in the first bag outside so I wouldn't have to lug all of my bags inside. Then I had to stand around and finally wave someone over to get them to take my money and my bag.
And then there was security. bah.

By the time I made it to the gate, they had already called for final boarding. So I hugged my dad goodbye and ran inside, only succumbing to the burgeoning sobs once I'd hit the jetway.

The flight was uneventful but a bit bumpy. I finished reading my book (Lord of Chaos - yes this is probably the fourth time I've read it, okay I'm a geek) and left it on the plane. It's a paperback and I couldn't just leave it at home with only 100 pages to go!

Lots of frustration at the airport trying to figure out how to get to the hotel. I was told to wait for a shuttle and then told that there was no shuttle, so I dragged my bags around and around in circles a few times before deciding to just go for the darn taxi. It was such a relief to get into the taxi and let the driver take over that I hardly minded at all the sketchy seatbelts and smell of old socks.

The hotel is lovely and I have a really nice roommate - from the Bay Area (in California). We went out and grabbed some sandwiches for lunch with a couple other 'trainees'. I had this really yummy thing called a 'Godmother' - parmesan, eggplant, red peppers, bunch of other veggies. ooh yeah.

Finally I contacted my friend who is in med/phd school in Philadelphia and we went to a gorgeous little wine restaurant called vintage where we shared a satisfying bottle of red wine and a titillating slew of gossip and general catching up. Doc To-Be and I haven't seen each other in several years so we had lots of talking to do to set the world to right and advance our ambitions (in and out of our careers).

After we emptied the last drop Doc-To-Be introduced me to her apartment and her adorable cats and then the most fabulous thing of the evening: Workout.
A completely ridiculous and horrendously compelling show, I have to admit. I didn't make it back to the hotel until 1am.

I carefully crept in and got in my pajamas, setting my alarm for 6.45 am.

You may ask 'Why 6.45 when Peace Corps stuff doesn't start until 2?'

That's because my other Philly-based feminist physicist friend had invited me to a 9 am yoga class out in the suburbs. Awesome. I have never sweated so much in an hour. I felt completely drained by the end. It was so tough - I think that three 5-hour flights in a week really messes up my hips; I was ridiculously weak and couldn't hold Warrior 1 and 2 at all. That was frustrating, but I'm really glad I had the chance to wake up my hips before heading out for the 23 hour monstrous flight to Togo.

Science Grrl and I spent a lot of time setting the world right; exhorting the wonder and beauty of green things and young people and all who are straight but not narrow. It was a fantastic morning.

And how's my Peace Corps training going? Well, I'm tuckered out so I'll blog about that demain.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I had a great time catching up with you and I can't wait to hear about Togo.