When you think about fall, what comes to mind? Pumpkins, perhaps? Crisp orange and red leaves floating to the ground? Coconuts and tropical umbrellas? Wait, what? My good friend Christine and I met up in Philadelphia yesterday for a fall day spent walking the city and checking out the Old City Fest, complete with fresh coconut water straight from the source.
Christine and I both ran at Marist and when she stayed a fifth year to compete and finish her graduate degree in education, we became close friends. Yesterday I truly appreciated her being willing to take a train at 6 a.m. to walk aimlessly around a city with me for a day.
After arriving in Philadelphia via Megabus and meeting up at the train station with Christine, we headed towards Reading Terminal Market for some lunch. It was great to talk and catch up after not seeing each other for over a month. When we reached the market, we wandered amidst the many menu options. I eventually settled on a vegan Indian veggie platter with a chickpea dish over saffron rice, eggplant and potatoes, and flatbread while Christine grabbed a quinoa salad and lentil soup from another stand. It was so nice to take our time eating and talking. With nowhere to be at no particular time, we were able to relax without being rushed.
Like all my good friends, Christine was extremely supportive when I explained my reasons for switching to a plant-based diet. When I first started out, I was a little nervous how others would take the news. So far, everyone I’ve told has immediately responded with a positive reaction. That means so much to me and I am very thankful to have friends who don’t hesitate to support me. Shout-out to all of you lovely people.
After a very long lunch, we set out to find the Old City Fest, an event we both stumbled upon online before our trip. It ended up being a great mix of art vendors, food booth and unique street entertainment. We continued our leisurely pace and wandered into shops and under tents to check out the different fares. You could find everything from air plant terrariums to handmade candles. As soon as we started seeing other people sipping out of coconuts, we knew we had to jump on the paradise drink bandwagon. We ultimately found the stand selling fresh coconut water and happily purchased them to enjoy as we enjoyed the rest of the festival, although let’s be honest we mostly got them for the picture/Instagram/this blog post. 🙂
We ended up also taking a trip to see the Liberty Bell and Jewelers’ Row to work in a little Philadelphia history while we were there. It ended up being a very good thing that we had extra time on our hands as we got a little turned around when we tried to make our way towards the train/bus station. We still ended up making it home to our opposite ends of the east coast and got bonus talking time as we wandered in circles around the city (we probably tallied about five walks past Reading Terminal for the day).
Overall, it turned out to be beautiful fall day, one that was perfect for exploring Philadelphia with Christine. Not everyone would be up for so much walking and talking to a chatterbox like me so I consider myself lucky when I find someone who is.