That one time I went hiking…

As I trod along through the forest, two things are running through my mind. The first is an endless loop of the song “Far over the Misty Mountains” from the Hobbit. The second is “Oh god, why did I ever agree to go hiking? I don’t even like hiking that much!” These thoughts come at about mile #6 in our poorly informed and exceedingly long hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Our hike began on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon as a spur of the moment decision. My brother’s casual, “do you want to go hiking?” resulted in a long day. What he thought was going to be a casual 5 or so mile hike, became 12 or 13 miles across two different mountains. The walk started out pleasantly, as we drove to the top of the mountain and started out confidently into the woods. We walked the path, cut some walking sticks and saw some deer. The Appalachian Trail runs from Georgia to Main and covers 2,161 miles so there are tons of campsites and rest areas along the trail. We found about 5 of them and each was pretty cool, with homemade benches, fire pits and shelters. All was well and good and the walk was downhill.

Now I have a terrible sense of how far I’ve traveled on land (in the pool is a different story). I have to run on a treadmill because otherwise I’ll run 0.3 miles and call it a day because, hey, it felt so much longer. Anyway, we traveled what we thought was a good distance and reached the first landmark sign. It read, “10.8 mi to State Park.” This, of course, was our destination and where our ride would be waiting for us, so there was no escaping the walk that lay ahead of us. After getting over our regrets at not actually looking at a map before we left, we took a deep breath, tightened our backpack and then kept moving.

Once we reached the sign that told us that there were still 7.5 miles left in our hike, (after what seemed like 5 miles) my brother probably thought I was going to murder him with my only weapon, aka the walking staff that we had cut. The truth is, I wasn’t mad at him, I just get really cranky when I’m tired and it always, always shows on my face. The real problem was that I’ve been stuck in a library for the past 2 months studying and barely getting 2,000 steps per day. Saying that I’m not in shape doesn’t even begin to cover it. Finally, reaching the sign telling us we had 2.5 miles left, we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. (which is funny because there was actually a tunnel made of mountain laurel)  Throughout our hike, my brother and I sang marching songs, made up screenplays and talked about school, which all provided a nice distraction and some bonding time.

After loads of rocks, 4 steep inclines, approximately 43 times stubbing the same toe, 5-10 almost falls and lots of grumbling, we made it! 4 hours and 12 miles later, waking up this morning was a little bit rough. I knew I would be sore but waking up with aching shoulders and painful legs was not fun. All I have to say is, major props to the people who walk the whole damn trail because I could barely do 12 miles, and thats no where near even 1% of the trail. You go trail people, you go. I’ll be cheering for you from my bed.

Until next time!

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Time is on my side

To start this post off, I love reading. This, of course, stemmed from a lack of television and led to my desire to time travel. But I’m getting ahead of myself… let me explain.

My family has had television for a grand total of 2 years in my 21-year lifespan. We have a television, albeit a very large, old and boxy one, but we used it to watch VHS tapes and DVDs rather than cable. The only reason we had it for 2 years was because we really, really wanted to see the 2008 Olympics, aka Michael Phelps and swimming. You may think, “Mary, the Olympics only last for a month of that year!” and you would be absolutely right. You’re so clever, reader. This is where our diabolical plan (concocted by my siblings and myself) comes into play. Following the Olympics, we convinced my mother that we should keep the service just until the World Series in October… and then the Super Bowl in January, and so on and so forth until we had stretched it out to two years and my mom had had enough.

However, before my family had TV to watch, we read books and we read a lot of them. Reading was a big part of my childhood. It started when my father would tell us stories and read to us before bed. When we were very little, it was picture books and very silly stories that were made up by my dad. When we got a little older, the books changed to more advanced stories like The Borrowers, the Hobbit and my personal favorite, Redwall.

When I was finally able to read by myself, the first books I read were the Magic Tree House Books which, of course, are about time travel (Finally! She’s gotten to the point!). Back in the day, it would take me several days to read each book, which is sad because they’re only like 50 pages long. Now, I can knock them out in about 15 minutes. But I digress. Jack and Annie, the main characters, were mine and my brother Michael’s age and they traveled through time in a magic tree house to have fabulous adventures in historic places. I could easily imagine myself in every single storybook destination: the Titanic, the Wild West, the Civil War, Camelot, Ancient Greece and so on. The history fascinated me, as did the portrayal of the characters and it started a long lasting interest in the past and in time travel. See? We’ve come full circle.

So next time you’re in a historical city like Boston or Philadelphia and you’re wondering what it would have been like to live during the Revolutionary War, just close your eyes and imagine you are traveling through time, the world is spinning and spinning and then everything is still…absolutely still. Not only are you in the past but you magically have the right clothing, currency and education to survive whatever environment you happen to be in…how convenient. Thanks for reading!

 

P.S. The sporadic nature of this blog will continue as such because PA school is hard and I don’t have any time. This post is brought to you courtesy of the very short summer break period. 🙂 See you next time!

My Favorite Place

Among the chaos and stress in the world of college, I often wish that I had a completely quiet place where I could escape. It has been far too long since I was in my favorite place in the world, aka the bottom of a pool. Now most people wouldn’t think of this as a familiar or comfortable place. Unless of course, you spent almost 12 full years in a pool with at least half of that time spent underwater. It is so quiet that it is the only place that I have ever felt truly alone. Not only is it completely, absolutely and totally silent, it’s also a gorgeous shade of blue down there.

Swimming was one of the biggest parts of my life from elementary school to high school. These 12 years that I spent in this hot, wet and chlorine filled atmosphere were the best and worst years of my life. In those “worst” years, there were those times where hiding underwater was all that I wanted to do. Now while this didn’t usually happen during practice, the bottom of the pool was a nice place to chill out afterwards. Sinking to the bottom of the pool, wearing goggles and all, is immensely calming, surrounded by water. When you’re all alone in the pool, it is complete silence, but if others are swimming around on the surface, you can distantly hear the splashes. Not only is it peaceful, its also beautiful. You’re encompassed by all colors of blue and a view (on a good day) from one end of the pool to the other.

As much as I try, I can’t really explain this place to an extent that can do it justice. Here’s what you do. Go to your local pool, put on a pair of goggles and sink to the bottom. Experience the gorgeous colors, the awesome view and, best of all, the complete silence. Its a peace like you’ve never experienced.
Maybe you have to be a swimmer (or a former swimmer!) to truly appreciate it but hey, its worth a try!

You can thank me later.

🙂 Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Summer is Here!!

Well, I have discovered that I am equally as bad at keeping a blog as I am at keeping a diary. This semester was really rough. I had this class about medical genetics that not only consumed my whole semester but also happened to suck the life right out of me. But thank God it’s finally over and I never have to deal with that professor again!

I thought for this blog post, I’d write about this coming summer. It happens to be basically the last one of my young life because next year, I become a graduate student and every summer after that, I will have to behave like a grown up. Not cool man.

So anyway, here’s my Summer 2014 Bucket List!

  1. Go to a concert (or three!)
  2. Go to the drive-in movies
  3. Take a road trip
  4. Read a book per week
  5. Get in shape
  6. Buy a car
  7. Watch old home videos
  8. Go to the beach
  9. Catch fireflies
  10. Bonfires!
  11. Play paintball
  12. Lord of the Rings Marathon
  13. Go to an amusement park
  14. Baseball games, baseball games galore
  15. Go camping
  16. Go fishing
  17. Cook more, especially new foods
  18. Learn something new
  19. Go play laser tag
  20. And maybe, just maybe, I can start that diary I’ve been meaning to start since 8th grade.

🙂 Summer 2014, ready…set…GO!

Do you want to build a snowman?

I love winter. I love winter a lot. There’s snow and hot chocolate and sweaters and all of those freezing, exhilarating and totally awesome activities that come with winter. Of course there is also the crippling cold, which was perfectly illustrated by the sub-zero temperatures a few weeks ago. And you know how you usually want to move to Florida when it’s cold? That wasn’t even an option because it was below 40 there…totally not worth it. My favorite winter activity is skiing, but that will have to be in a different blog because this one, as the title might suggest, is about snowmen and other snowy things. Oh also, there’s a bit (okay, a lot) of bragging in this post…sorry not sorry.

Building snowmen and snow structures has become somewhat of a tradition with my family. It started out quite normally with my dad teaching us how to build snowmen when we were little. We built normal sized snow people with winter hats and stick arms and all the usual stuff. And then…we got creative. Snowmen became snow sculptures, like forts for snowball fights and jumps for sledding. It further evolved to snow sculptures like sharks and other animals. This one time, my sister Laura built the White Witch, (yes, the one from Narnia) crown, sled, polar bears and all. It. Was. Awesome.

My family actually became famous this one time when it snowed on St. Patrick’s Day. We took full advantage of the snow day and built a ginormous snowman in our front yard. It was a good 10-11 feet tall, right in front of our house, which was on a relatively busy street. To this day, I honestly don’t even know how we got the pieces on top of one another because they were so big and heavy! Anyway, we decked it out in green, in honor of the day, with a bowler cap, scarf and a large four-leaf clover on its chest, which we dyed with food coloring. Minutes after we finished, a reporter man pulled into our driveway, climbed out and asked if he could take our picture for the newspaper. And the next day, there it was, on the front page of our town paper. Seriously was one of the proudest moments of my life, not even kidding.

This habit of building things doesn’t end in the winter, it easily carries over to the summertime, when we go to the beach and do the exact same thing. Sand is a little bit trickier but we end up making things that are just as cool. Off the top of my head, we’ve made an alligator, a shark, a lobster and a battleship on the beach. And they’re not little things either, I think they’ve all been at least 7 feet long. I’m certainly not taking credit for these things because most of what I end up doing is piling sand/snow and then cutting it away to make a general shape. The whole process is definitely a family project and I give full artistic credit to my father and my siblings. They make the magic happen, I just pile soil into big mounds.

So that is the whole of my snow building story and my ending is pretty anti-climactic but that seems to be a theme around this blog. Hope you enjoyed and please keep coming back! You are my favorite. 🙂

Peeved

I’m going to tell you my 15 biggest pet peeves and annoyances because why not? You will quickly learn that I strongly dislike having weird substances on my hands and I don’t like people who treat other people badly/stupidly.  I’m sure a lot of these are relatable for some people and I’m not saying that I’m completely innocent in the use of/behaviors that are expressed here. These are not pointed at anyone directly and please don’t take offense at them. < That sentence sounds like a disclaimer. Here goes:

1. Butter on my hands –Butter is the WORST. It feels so nasty and slippery; a close second is egg yolky stuff, and then other oily things like….well, oil.

2. Eating loud foods in quiet places – do you really need to eat chips in the library? (I’m looking at you LECOM. Carrots for god’s sake) If we are in a place for eating, eat away! It’s a free country so eat as loudly as you want. But lets keep quiet places quiet, shall we?

3. Misuse of literally – you cannot say, “I literally died.” You didn’t. You figuratively died. Literally means precisely, actually, factually and truly. Figuratively means metaphorically. Please use them correctly, I am literally done with misuse.

4. Those people who ask questions when class is 2 minutes from being over – WHY? Everyone is so ready to leave, and you ask a question that requires a 5-minute answer. That is not okay, and now you are “that guy.” You silly college student. Take my advice, ask the teacher by yourself when everyone else has left.

5. Bad drivers – I’m pretty sure that everyone hates bad drivers. The main offenses:

  • No turn signal – come on, its so easy, just flip the lever.
  • Cutting me off – just not nice
  • Tailgating – all you’re making me do is stay in front of you so I can annoy you.
  • Not using lights correctly – Green means go. Yellow means go but cautiously and quickly. Red means stop. **The more you know**

6. Wal-Mart moms – this doesn’t mean all moms in Wal-Mart, just the ones who are in there at 11:30pm with a 3 year old who is crying because they’re tired and the mom screams at them. You, ma’am, are an asshole. Take your child home and put them to bed and buy your snuggie tomorrow. (Real life example!)

7. Styrofoam – this came from a recent epiphany after unpacking Christmas decorations and those little white pieces were on my clothes. IT. GETS. EVERYWHERE. And it’s impossible to get off. Also it makes that horrible squeaky noise whenever it rubs against anything. The kind of noise that makes your ears bleed, figuratively. Engineers of the world: 1 Everybody’s ears: 0.

8. Staring (easily fixed) – people don’t need to stare. It’s not nice. Luckily, it is so very easily fixed. Here’s what you do when you find someone staring at you:

  1. Make eye contact and stare intently back until they become so awkward that they look away.
  2. Laugh in triumph.

This technique does not apply while you are behind the wheel of a car, but it is perfectly acceptable in the passenger’s seat.

9. Speed Bumps – lets face it, they don’t work and everyone hates them. Enough said.

10. Music ADD – okay, I was infected with it for much of my high school life. I understand skipping the last few seconds of a song, but don’t listen to a song for a minute and then switch it to another song. And it is always when someone else is just getting into the song and starting to sing it (me, mostly), when you change it in the middle of my rock out session. Then we both look silly. Moral of the story: appreciate each song for its whole duration, life will be happier.

11. People who call other people hun and babe – unless you are 60+, calling someone hun is not cute. I think it sounds condescending and I feel like there are better words you can use. Please don’t call me hun. As far as babe goes, its one of those endearments that makes me feel awkward. Also, it makes me think of the talking pig.  If I ever call someone babe, please shoot me.

12. Texting and driving – its unsafe, unnecessary, and stupid. Your life is way more valuable than a text message, no matter what it is about. Anyone who texts while driving is automatically a terrible driver. Also, your car is really, really expensive and wouldn’t look good wrapped around a tree. Stop. Texting.

13. Bad Grammar – I’m not trying to be a grammar Nazi but some words really aren’t that hard to use. Good thing I can teach you about the 3 biggest offenders.

They’re, their and there: They’re going there so they can see their parents.

Your and you’re: You’re so funny. This is your room.

Two, To, and Too: It is too far away. There are two of them. We are going to the fair.

14. CHARCOAL – Another recent development caused by my drawing class this past semester. It dyes your skin black for several days to weeks, depending on how much you accidently grind into your skin. We probably had 10 charcoal assignments for class and I’m pretty sure my roommate hates me a little bit because no matter how much I sweep, there is always charcoal on our floor and therefore our feet and socks. Sorry Marissa, I hate it too!

15. Anticlimactic endings – and that is all I’ve got. 😉

Cereal Prizes. Kid Tested. Mother Approved.

Cereal is boring, right? WRONG. Now you may say, Mary, what a ridiculous way to start a blog post. And you’d be right, but cereal is in no way boring, and I am very passionate about it. What do I get from cereal? Well fiber for one, heart healthy grains, the sense that I’m in a commercial (and yes, I have practiced that “I am totally enjoying this cereal commercial look, who hasn’t). But most of all, I get… my childhood. Well at least the technology part of it.

Cereal boxes contained the best “free” prizes in the world. It had prizes like Hotwheels cars, spoons with lightsaber handles(!!!!) and little spongebob toys but the best prizes were CD’s with classic games like Oregon Trail, Amazon Trail, Liberty Kids, Backyard Baseball, and my personal favorite, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? What more could a kid want? General Mills and Kellogg’s were seriously my best friends in the whole world. My childhood was chiefly made up of playing outside because we had a big yard and lots of neighborhood kids to play with. Due to this, computer time was severely limited and honestly not very desired at the time but, because of the largely educational value of many of these cereal computer games, we were allowed to play.

What kid from the 2000’s hasn’t played Oregon Trail? I probably started about a thousand journeys because the best part was making your wagon train in Independence. You got to pick a name, a profession, and a wagon leader AND decide which supplies you were going to buy. Would your strategy be to buy all ammunition and fishing supplies so that you could spend a ridiculous time hunting and figuring out how to fish? This selection seemed to be popular with my brothers; one time I’m pretty sure that they killed like 20 buffalos in a buffalo stampede and had 3,000 lbs of meat…I don’t think the Indians liked them very much. Or would you actually try to reach the end of the trail, picking intelligent people and buy medicine and vegetables so that your travelers wouldn’t die of dysentery and scurvy by the next town (an all too common occurrence). Also, I don’t believe that any wagon could have capsized in rivers as much as all that. I think I may have won/actually finished the game twice…maybe.

My favorite game, Carmen Sandiego, was so awesome! For those that don’t know, I pity you. This game was a nerdy kids dream with word puzzles, mystery and hidden item games. You were agent 13 and had to free all of the previous agents in order to get to catch Carmen, this evil genius, and you had to travel the whole world and solve puzzles to free the agents. I’m pretty sure I learned at least half of my vocabulary words and all of the spelling for them with this game. Liberty Kids was great too, you went around interviewing people about the American Revolution and its battles and “meeting” important people like George Washington, Ben Franklin and Abigail Adams. I learned a whole lot from this game as well and my love of history was certainly influenced by this silly little adventure game that I got in a cereal box.

All the other games, Clue, Amazon Trail and Backyard Baseball, to name a few, were just as cool and I spent way too much time playing them as well but they were all we had in the way of computer/video game entertainment at the time. However, the best part of all of these games was that they came with cereal. Yes, I love cereal. And that’s okay because the games came with awesome cereals like Lucky Charms, Trix and Honey Nut Cheerios, which, we all know, are delicious. So that’s my bit of 90’s and early 2000’s nostalgia for the night and hopefully I’ll be back soon with another random subject. It is Christmas break after all!!!

**insert happy dance here**

 

Thanks for Reading! 🙂 

Halloween Memories

Halloween is coming!! Now, It’s not one of my preferred holidays but it has always had its perks. Obviously, the biggest one is candy; Chocolate, taffy, gum, popcorn and whatnot. And don’t forget that always wonderful chance to dress up and talk to strangers by walking up to their houses and begging for food or threatening to vandalize their house if you don’t get candy. It’s a wonderful concept really…

When my siblings and I were little, my mom made us dress up as Saints. I know now why she did it, but at the time, it was a huge pain. She wanted us to get the nicer side of Halloween, most notably the All Hallows Eve part from Christian traditions and not the undead, monster filled, horror film stuff. (All Hallows Eve starts the celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day which both commemorate all of the souls of the dead.)

So the first few years were totally fine – cute angel costumes mostly – it was an easy time. But, as we got older, cool outfits and in the case of my brothers, badass costumes, were hard to come by. After years spent as various different pious womanly saints that basically consisted of the same nun costume, I decided that I needed a change. One of my personal favorite costumes was St. George. Now legend has it that St. George, for those of you that don’t know, killed a dragon and saved a damsel in distress. It’s a classic knight in shining armor story! Anyway, I decided that this costume was the greatest thing ever and I had to wear it, despite its male connotations, because I was just that cool. So this little plastic helmet, breastplate and shield was my costume for at least 3 years. I was a little bit pathetic but hey I was like 7 years old.

My sisters and brothers went along with the flow and as the years went on we became really creative with the costumes and my mom became more lenient on the whole saint thing. Now our restrictions just said that we couldn’t be a monster, a.k.a. a vampire, devil, zombie, etc. So we instead dressed as doctors and scientists, Olympians, football players, clowns and the always popular pirate. Life was easy and the candy was good and that is pretty much my trick or treating story!!

As for the other aspects of Halloween, I can’t even tell you how much I love pumpkin carving! My ridiculously talented family members have always taken carving very seriously. Of course, it has become a competition, as events between my siblings so often do. Matthew, my oldest brother, is really brilliant in this area and almost always wins our contests. We have carved everything from smiley faces to cartoons, star wars characters to ghosts and animals. And every year, we profit from buying so many pumpkins by roasting seeds and making stew inside of a pumpkin (surprisingly delicious!).

 My absolute favorite part of Halloween is the time of year that it occurs. Fall is my favorite season because of its gorgeous landscapes, colorful shades, cool temperatures and the occasional snowstorm. All in all, Halloween is a pretty fun occasion, enjoyed by tons of people from toddlers to college students (for different reasons) and of course it’s a great holiday to fill in that gap from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. ;)  

Bonus family pumpkin carving pictures! 

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Learning about Sports

At school my work study job is as an athletic training assistant, aka the water girl and veritable piss-on. It requires heavy lifting skills and the ability to not make a fool of yourself in front of many attractive male athletes. Needless to say, I have neither of these skills. I never realized how many different ways there were to make yourself look ridiculous; tripping, spilling water, not understanding what they are saying because of their very strong english accents…not that I’m citing any specific incidents…okay I am but lets stop talking about this.

As a…whatever I should be called, I have to stay on the fields and watch practices for football, soccer, field hockey and the other sports. As a observer with absolutely nothing else to do, I have learned quite a lot about the rules of each sport. While I know a lot about baseball, and a good amount about football, my knowledge of soccer and field hockey is extremely lacking. Until today! Seriously though, even though my knowledge is still pretty small, I learned some new stuff.

My first thought is, how do all field hockey players not have really bad back problems? That shit looks uncomfortable! But honestly, the rules perplex me. I get the whole basic idea – ball into the net, stay in bounds, don’t hit people over the head with sticks – but the actual penalties and rules? I have no idea what’s going on. For example, at the game I worked, play completely stopped for some reason that I couldn’t see and the defending team members all crowded into the goal only to rush back out as the offensive team attacked the goal. After further investigation, I discovered that this is called a penalty corner and it occurs when a player scores a foul inside a certain radius of the goal or does some violent act. Simply by learning this, I tripled my knowledge of field hockey. I apologize to my field hockey friends but this is nowhere near my favorite sport, I think its kind of silly. But I always want to learn new things and I would be totally open to lessons!

As for soccer, I have discovered a new interest. Not only are the players incredibly attractive (no I’m not ashamed to say it), I think the sport is genuinely interesting. Before, soccer was basically just an extremely long game that required quite a large amount of running, which has never been my favorite thing. But now, I can see how interesting it really is. The dexterity required for ball handling and the stamina needed for this REALLY long game is impressive. As a swimmer, I understand endurance (not that I ever really had any) and a soccer practice is just as long and repetitive as swim practice but a little bit less watery. All in all – mad props to soccer players. You guys are awesome!

Overall, training has been pretty great. I’ve gotten lots of health care hours (I need them for school), learned how to tape ankles and wrists (not sure how that will help me in PA life but cool none the less!) and learned about some sports I knew nothing about. Next on the list: Lacrosse, because I know less about it than I know about field hockey, and thats saying something.

Adventures on the Amtrak

Taking the Amtrak train back to school from a break is always a fascinating and beautiful experience. I people watch, as I so often do, and notice that college students chiefly occupy the seats surrounding me. Many of them are from my school who also happen to live in the general vicinity of the train station and will disembark at the same destination that I do. They are doing what college students/young whippersnappers do:

  1. Studying – very halfheartedly
  2. Sleeping – head down on those trays that come from the back of the seat in front of you, quite uncomfortable looking!
  3. Listening to music – loudly, and completely isolated
  4. Playing on their computers – like me!
  5. Texting – each and every one of them takes a break from whatever they are doing to check their phones at least every few minutes.

Others are older couples going I don’t know where, possibly to visit their grandchildren? They seem completely at home on a train, like they have ridden it since trains were invented (and maybe they have! Just kidding no one is still alive from 1800). The only exception is this one couple (probably in their 80’s) that completely disappeared within the first five minutes of sitting down. I kid you not, they got up and were gone and I’m not sure if I should be worried or not. Let us pray that they didn’t fall off the train…Amen.

But my absolute favorite passengers on the train are the people from Lancaster County. You know how you can tell where people are from just by the way they are dressed? Lancaster is one of those places, even though I’m sure it has normal people all over the county. There is an Amish family on the train, actually just a mother and a few kids, and the little girl is ADORABLE. She’s probably about 7 years old in her little handmade dress and bonnet and she has the bluest eyes ever. The little boy, with his stellar bowl cut (honestly one of the best that I’ve seen) is taking up two seats with his napping but no one cares because he is so damn cute. Oh and there is this guy dressed up like a cowboy. Stetson hat, boots and flannel shirt, he is straight out of a spaghetti western. I can’t think of any reason why he is dressed as such, but he’s so convincing that I don’t really care.

The few people around me that are particularly interesting include the guy next to me and the INSANE chick that is behind me. The guy next to me was studying what seemed to be advanced physics, but I can’t be for sure. I learned that he goes to Pitt and he is from New Jersey. Look at me, making friends on the train! Also he seems incredibly smart but sadly, not attractive. 😦 As for the crazy girl, who knows what’s going on with her. She keeps laughing loudly and singing off key. Now, I can’t see her, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say maybe she’s asleep? But then again she also yelled at someone for looking at her. Needless to say, I’m really glad I chose seat 22 instead of 24. Thank the lord!!

And lastly, the scenery. While I’m sure many people know that Pennsylvania has a gorgeous landscape, you’ve never really experienced it until you ride through a variety of counties in one afternoon. First was Harrisburg, right on the Susquehanna River, which was shining today with early October sun and autumn colors. And then, as the train travels up the river, there are cornfields, farmhouses and little towns and cities that all have the rustic, “been there forever” look about them. Interestingly enough, there are also abandoned mines, sketchy trailers on the river (that could easily house meth labs) and interesting rock formations in the river. Overall, it’s an interesting view of both the people and the places. The car is oddly dead quiet, except for the occasional maniacal laughter coming from behind me and I feel like typing is disturbing people. So I’ll say goodbye for now!

P.S. The train broke down, hence the extensive post because I just had so much free time that I have no idea what to do with, when truthfully, I should have been doing philosophy the whole time.