So the story begins with an advert in NME (New Musical Express) magazine in the early 1960’s. From what I gather (there is a chance I got the story mixed up) there was a girl from Liverpool who liked The Beatles and for some reason got a lot of letters. So many in fact NME placed an advert saying if anyone wanted to be connected with a pen pal they could. So my Mum did and so did Jo from Philadelphia, USA. 50 years, a few visits and countless letters later they’re still friends. Over fall break I got the chance to go and meet Jo and her family for the very first time.
What a trip.
We walked a lot and saw a lot and laughed a lot. Perfect. I had some of the most incredible food, a proper Philly Cheese Steak (no I didn’t eat the lot), soft pretzels, cannoli’s, delicious pasta, blueberry pie – you name it, I probably ate it. We saw ol’ George Washington’s actual chair. HE SAT THERE. As an American Studies student I have to say it was pretty amazing seeing where the declaration of independence was signed and see Betsy Ross’s house.
It was also lovely to spend time in a real home, with homemade meals and tea before bed. Ahh. I wish Mum could have visited Jo with me, but won’t be long before we can all Skype together!
One thing I’ve learnt to do whilst on study abroad… pack lightly. I love not waiting at baggage claim!
Until next time, Philly.