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My Fall Break Away From Home

October 29, 2014

Being from California makes going home quite inconvenient. With crazy expensive airfare, airport security, getting to the airport, and long flight times, I'm forced to ration my visits home. Since I was already planning on going home for Thanksgiving, fall break seemed like a wonderful time to travel around and stay with friends. Luckily I have two awesome friends that I met at Oberlin who agreed to spend a bunch of time with me and let me live with them!


Photographer takes a selfie
This is me on my last day of work before break, in the dimmer room of the theater. Behind me in the ominous looking cabinets with glowing red signage are the dimmers for Hall auditorium, our main performance space and where I work as an electrician for the theater department. (Shameless plug - the first opera is Street Scene, and runs November 5, and 7-9.)


Photographer takes a selfie in the passengers seat
DISCLAIMER: Do not take selfies while driving.
Sophie (the driver) invited me to spend fall break with her in Pennsylvania, in a quaint little town about an hour away from Philadelphia. I got to visit her old high school and meet teachers, and stayed with her family. I also got to see many of her favorite restaurants, which is one of my favorite ways to experience a new area.

The hood of a car driving on a road
We went on a beautiful drive to Princeton, New Jersey, to wander around town, and as we drove I was staring at all of the leaves changing color. There is not a true fall where I live, so having color changes and piles of leaves to jump into has been completely new for me, and I've been loving it!

A meal of bread and various sides
Sophie and I decided to cook dinner for her family one night, and decided on an Indian-themed dinner. While neither Sophie or I had extensive experience with Indian cuisine, we are both in co-ops and had some limited experience from that. We made a spicy baby vegetable curry, "deconstructed" chicken curry, saffron rice, spicy cabbage, and naan. The naan was delicious, but we realized once we started cooking that we were missing a few key ingredients for the chicken curry. However, with a little bit of creativity and a loose definition of the word curry, we managed to turn out a fairly good meal!

The photographer takes a selfie in a train
While the first half of my break took place in Pennsylvania, the second half would take place in New York City. I absolutely love New York, and was very excited to see a big city after rural Ohio. Anabel, Sophie, and I (right to left) took the train from Trenton to Penn Station and then walked to Anabel's apartment, where we would be staying.

a view of high levels of buildings
The view from the apartment.

The photographer takes a selfie with someone else
One highlight of my fall break was getting to reconnect with old friends from home, even thousands of miles away from home. This is me with my friend Cierra, who goes to school in New York. While it was weird to be meeting up so far from home, it did make me feel like I was back at home to see her again.

A mural on the side of a building
We walked along the Chelsea High Line, a public park built on top of an elevated freight rail line. As we walked along we came up with wonderful (and completely fake) stories to tell people about break. Sophie, Anabel, and I decided that we had gone skydiving over break, and crafted elaborate back stories for our individual skydiving instructors.

Donuts on trays
As we were walking along the street, someone walked by us carrying the most amazing looking donut. Instead of doing the normal thing and asking her where she got it, we went on Donut High Alert. Anxiously scanning the businesses ahead of us, we located the donut shop. As soon as I stepped inside, I was overwhelmed with the delicious smells and the size of the donuts. The three of us ended up splitting a hibiscus donut, which was delicious.

Someone sleeps on the floor
My 6pm siesta to prepare for a night of exploring the city.

A photographer takes a selfie in a mirrow with two others
Anabel, Sophie, and I all gussied up for dinner with another Oberlin student's family. This dinner brought the total number of Oberlin families I'd mooched off up to three.

Miniature baked goods on a tray
The combination of Baked by Melissa and other store-bought treats went perfectly with the delicious home-cooked meal of tofu, rice, and salad.

The photographer takes a selfie in a train station
I had a little bit of time to myself one morning and so decided to walk to Grand Central Station, since I had never seen it. I waited my turn behind a crowd of (other) eager tourists to take a picture with the famous clock in the background...which my head completely blocked.

Two people point to an advertisement with the word "selfie"
When I saw the "Selfie" sign on the bus, I knew that I had to take a selfie with it. Once I realized that my arms were not long enough to capture both the sign and my smiling visage, I decided instead to just pose happily with it.

Four people walk through a crosswalk
A bunch of Oberlin students let loose in New York City.

A highway exit sign for Oberlin
After 7 hours on the road, it was very nice to be back!

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