XOXO Philly

XOXO Philly

City of Brotherly Love

The city of brotherly love in all its beauty. Although the sports fans are a little over the top the city itself is so historical and beautiful. Here is a list of things to do if you ever get to visit.

1. Go see the Liberty Bell.

Okay if you are visiting Philly this is one of the obvious things to do. The Liberty Bell is so historic and beautiful. Plus outside of the liberty bell is the constitution center. This museum is full of information on the constitution and has a cool place called signers hall. Signers hall has statues of all the signers of the constitution.

2. Go to Spruce Street.

If you come to the city during the warmer times spruce street is the place to be. It is a little park on the Delaware with lights, hammocks and many other activities. As well as what is listed before this park has roller skating, giant chess, fountains and sometimes even a ferris wheel.

3. See City Hall.

First of all City Hall is beautiful with the statue of William Penn on top. There is a nice courtyard to go sit at during the summer. In the winter they have a giant Christmas tree with ice skating in front of it. In the summer it is just the pretty courtyard.

4. Visit the Betsy Ross House.

Who doesn't want to go to the house where the original flag of the United States was created. Betsy Ross house is a step into the past. With tours inside and just looking at it makes you feel like you are in colonial America.

5. Visit the LOVE sign.

This iconic sign is in a cute little park in center city. You can take a picture or you can sit by the fountain. Whatever you do it will be worth it.

6. Go to the Art Museum and run the Rocky Steps.

This cinematic dream is one of the best runs I have ever been up. Also, the art museum has some very pretty art. Plus you can find the Rocky Statue and take a picture with him.

7. Enjoy some of the best cheesesteaks around.

Throughout Philadelphia you can find cheesesteaks. However, all you need to do is go to Pats, Genos or Steves and have the best Philly Cheesesteak there is

8. Walk down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

This Parkway is home to a long road of flags from countries all over the world. There is a nice view of city hall and of the art museum. So no matter where you walk you can see the pretty city.

9. Go to the Franklin Institute or one of the other Museums in the area.

These Museums alone have so much to offer and see. They offer looks into all different types of history. The Franklin Institute is so interactive and has different exhibits all the time. While the Museum of Natural Sciences shows you dinosaurs and other cool prehistoric animals.

10. Go to the Philadelphia Zoo and Camden Aquarium (even though Camden is in New Jersey).

The zoo and aquarium are great places to see all the wonderful animals. It is personally one of my favorite spots to visit. With tigers walking over you to standing in a tunnel surrounded by sharks. These sites are some of Phillies best.

11. Last but certainly not least. Go visit the home of the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers, Union and Wings.

The stadium area is home to all three stadiums for Philadelphias Sports teams. From the eagles (fly eagles fly), to the phillies, sixers and flyers philadelphia sports fans are some on the most interesting.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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Why You Should Visit New Orleans

There's more to the city than just Mardi Gras

For my last Spring Break, I decided to do something a little special and venture outside of New Jersey for the week. My friend and I packed our bags, but instead of heading to Florida like many college students, we headed to the Big Easy. While NOLA may not have a beach of its own, there's plenty of other reasons why this trip was so memorable and amazing.

1. The food was amazing!

From gumbo and jambalaya to Caribbean taquerias, New Orleans has so much to offer in the way of flavor and food. And much to my surprise, they had plenty of options for vegetarian, vegan, an gluten free diets.

2. The architecture was beautiful.

The unique architecture of the city will pull your eye in and make it really hard to look away. Picturesque and gorgeous homes litter the streets of the city, especially in the Garden District.

3. Cemeteries

Since the city is mostly below the water table, and due to the influence of the Spanish, many cemeteries in New Orleans feature the unique concept of above ground burials. You can visit the tomb of Marie Laveau and the tomb purchased by actor Nicholas Cage (who is notoriously obsessed with New Orleans).

4. Voodoo and Hauntings

Speaking of Marie Laveau, New Orleans is special because you can explore the world of voodoo in an area where Caribbean and Catholic influences alike contributed to this unique culture. Visiting one of the most haunted cities in America opens up doors for lovers of all that is creepy-- you can go on ghost tours and visit the sites of some of the most gruesome murders and notoriously haunted establishments.

5. Drinking on Bourbon Street

Walking up and down Bourbon Street is an experience in and of itself. The only rule about carrying alcohol on the streets of New Orleans is no glass bottles. Other than that, its open range for walking the streets with the crazy cocktails Bourbon Street has to offer.

6. Jazz on Frenchmen Street

Jazz is one of the first things I think of when I think of New Orleans. Its hard to walk around the city without hearing the soulful sound of a saxophone or trombone. On Frenchmen Street, you'll find more of a local vibe where bars have open doors and jazz bands playing almost 24/7.

7. Shopping at the French Market

Although a bit overwhelming, you'll find almost anything you could need from trinkets to food to cocktails from the various vendors in the French Market.

8. Steamboat tours on the Mississippi

One of the best ways to tour the city is on the Mighty Mississippi. Grab a cocktail, some authentic Creole food, and watch the sights pass you by.

9. A Huge Casino (with a nightclub).

Enough said. Central to many areas of the city is a Harrah's Casino with their own nightclub, Masquerade. If you aren't afraid of your wallet being mad at you, go spend an evening at the casino.

10. Festivals and Parades.

I was lucky enough to catch the Top Taco Festival during my visit, and it was one of the best nights of the trip. A ticket got me endless tacos, tequila, and cocktail tasters, and the vendors were very accommodating to the fact that I was vegetarian.

11. Beignets and Cafe Au Lait

If you didn't get Beignets and Cafe Au Lait at Cafe Du Monde, did you even go to New Orleans? And don't you dare say it is the same as donuts and coffee, because it just isn't. If you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further.

12. The Restaurants and Shops on Magazine Street

A little different and more laid back than the French Market, this is a must visit area of New Orleans. The Rum House has some of the best cocktails and tacos you'll ever eat, and its worth the wait for a table.

13. Explore a city with a very rich history.

I was blown away by the amount there was to see and learn during the day in New Orleans. From French rule to Spanish rule, to the Louisiana purchase that made New Orleans part of America, the city has seen the influence of many different cultures as well as the impact of natural disasters such as fires, floods, and Hurricane Katrina.

14. National Parks, Museums, and Art Galleries

If art, nature, or history is your thing, you will love the Big Easy. With plenty of art all around the city, Museums on Mardi Gras and World War II (just to name a few), and plenty of gorgeous parks to stroll through.

15. You'll remember it forever!

Because of all of the things listed above, New Orleans will be a place that I will never forget, and only hope I get to visit again.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Kleinwaks

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The 5 Stages Of Leaving Spring Break

2. Anger

The week you've been looking forward too all year has come and gone all too soon. Here are the stages that you'll go through while leaving your vacation

1. Denial

This week will never end and I will never have to see snow or go to class again.

2. Anger

It's not fair that I have to go home!

3. Bargaining

Just one more day and I'll leave in peace

4. Depression

I don't want to go home. I'll never be happy again.

5. Acceptance

There's always next year!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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