June 17, 2014

home is wherever i'm with you

LANCASTER LOVIN'. Last week I flew home for Nic's graduation from high school, and I chose the BEST week to come home. Seriously. So many other happy things happened and I was so lucky to be home for all of it! East coast beast coast indeed.
My lil bro Nic received his mission call the same day I flew in! How lucky is that?!? The first text I received when I landed was a picture of his envelope. Once my family picked me up from the airport, we drove straight to Ocean City, NJ, where we stayed at this adorable little bed & breakfast on the beach for the remainder of the weekend. As soon as we settled in, we FaceTimed Ynna and Preston for the big reveal. Nic deferred his acceptance from BYU-I and has been called to serve an LDS mission in Melbourne, Australia, speaking Mandarin Chinese! He will serve there for two years and leaves for the Provo Missionary Training Center on Oct. 1st. So ladiezzz, hit up this righteous hottie because you won't be seeing that face for 24 long months. I will miss him so much but I cannot wait to hear all about his adventures and the Aussies he meets. I know he will be amazing in the field and learn so much. My baby's all grown up and saving China (or at least the Chinese people of Australia).

Sweet sweet frands <3 I love being in Provo for the summer, but I definitely miss hanging out with some of my best friends whenever I want. Sadly didn't get pics with them all, but I had such a wonderful time catching up with them at grad parties, Starbucks, bonfires, and some of my favorite Lancaster spots like Central Market and the new and impossibly cute Rachel's Creperie. I even tried out Skinny Park Juice, which Vanessa raved about in a past blog post of hers. Above are my cute friends Trevor and Alexa in Alexa's mystical garden for a bonfire on my last night home.

On one of the days I was home, I went to Philly with Chris. I looked up GQ's City Guide to Philadelphia (I remember Ynna referenced this list when we visited Philly over Christmas break) for some new places to hit up. Our first stop was the Mutter Museum. The description of this place was 'the grossest museum in America' so I was instantly intrigued. If you weren't aware, I love all things dealing with anatomy and the human body. I'm eventually going to take a cadaver dissecting class offered here at BYU. I have prints of organs framed in my room. If I could get my hands on a skeleton, I would want one in my future home. You get the picture. The museum is part of Philadelphia's College of Physicians and is full of medical oddities. We're talking Siamese twin specimens in jars, an entire wall of human skulls, and a colon that once held 40 lbs. of feces. It was a medical student's/horror movie junkie's dream. Sadly, you weren't allowed to take pictures in the musem, so here's a candid shot of Chris in the pretty garden outside of the museum. We then walked around old city to explore some of the shops and boutiques. I took Chris to Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, which is one of the chic stores I visited a few months ago. It had those hanging lightbulb bottles on the right, a Warby Parker station, sign language alphabet wallpaper, and Hillside ties. Favorite find of the day? Meandering inside this junky little thrift shop next to A.K.A. Music that was cluttered with floor-to-ceiling piles of books, creepy old dolls, and baskets upon baskets of records. I searched through the records (since we have a now working record player in our apartment!) and scored two: Touch Me by The Temptations, and Big Bands: Greatest Jazz Hits. They were gifts for Desireé and Drew respectively. I asked the lady working there (who looked about 104 years old) for the price; $3 !! I only had a $20 on me, and she said she didn't have change for that. I figured I could maybe muster a dollar or two in change. JK I only had 56 cents. SOLD. What a steal.
The last of the Padilla's graduated from Lampeter-Strasburg on Friday! Pioneers 4EVA. Nic was definitely the flyest graduate there in his cute chambray bowtie. I die every time I look at the picture on the right, which I snagged after commencement as the seniors exited the auditorium. #swaggie. After the ceremony and spending half an hour taking pictures of Nic and all his friends, we celebrated with dinner at Aussie and the Fox, a classy and fairly new restaurant in Lancaster City that I also made sure I visited before I left. I loved how this place was decorated and the color scheme of oranges and purples. The price was surprisingly not as fancy as this place looks. Ironically enough, this place serves Australian and American cuisine. Just tryna culture the kid before he heads to the land down under for two years.
I spent my last day at home attending church back in the home ward and celebrating Father's Day with my dear daddy. Also, Nic was ordained into the office of Elder this day and I am lucky to have witnessed such a special moment for him. I'm so happy I was able to be home for Father's Day, since I am usually away from my family for most holidays throughout the year. My time at home was a little too short for my liking, but very sweet like always. I picked a prime week to visit with my loved ones in my cute hometown. Hopefully I will be back real soon!