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!
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.)
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.
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!
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!
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.
The view from the apartment.
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.
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.
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.
My 6pm siesta to prepare for a night of exploring the city.
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.
The combination of Baked by Melissa and other store-bought treats went perfectly with the delicious home-cooked meal of tofu, rice, and salad.
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.
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.
A bunch of Oberlin students let loose in New York City.
After 7 hours on the road, it was very nice to be back!