Hi everyone! Guess what? This time next week, I’LL BE HOME!!!!! After 14 long months I’ll finally be visiting my family, friends, and my puppy Bella! I can’t wait! We’re leaving Anchorage at midnight AST on December 23, and should hopefully make it to Philly by 4:00 pm EST on December 24. I’m cutting it close, but I’ll be home for Christmas this year! Half the time will be spent in Reading with my family, and the other half will be spent in Abington with my husband’s family. In case you can’t tell, I’m pretty pumped about this, and it’s all I can think about. So when I saw that today’s Friday Five Linkup with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar is all about favorite winter activities, I decided to make it all about my favorite winter activities…in Philly! Check out what I’m most looking forward to doing when I’m home:
1. Longwood Gardens: This is always #1. The lights are gorgeous, the greenhouse is huge, and I’m super jealous of the tree houses there. My mom loves going here, and other than last year I can’t remember a year when we didn’t go.
One of the 8 billion christmas trees there (rough estimate)
2. Warming up with my favorite foods: Although according to my weather app, it will be pretty warm when we get home! But anyways, I’m looking forward to my usual week-long binge at Chipotle as well as all the coffee my heart can handle at Wawa. Plus I’m pretty excited about real cheesesteaks and pretzels!
3. Philly Christmas lights: I want to see them all: Love Park/City Hall/downtown in general, Rittenhouse Square, and basically every block in South Philly – including The Miracle on South 13th Street. Any big ones I’m missing? My sister and I plan on driving around Philly one night and taking in as many crazy displays as possible!
Rittenhouse Square and the red and green skyline
4. After-Christmas shopping: I’ll be hitting up all my faves! My mom and sister and I already have an entire day set aside for the outlets and the King of Prussia Mall, and I’m going to probably end up at every TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the Philadelphia suburbs. I know that I’m mostly getting money for presents this year so this is where all of it is going. And yes, I’m bringing an extra suitcase. #alaskaproblems
5. Running my favorite old routes: I’m slooooooowly getting back to running with the help of the awesome Coach Suz, and I’ve got my training plan for the next two weeks and it looks like I’ll be able to do a few runs while I’m home as long as I still feel okay! I’m planning on hitting up Grings Mill in Reading, and hopefully doing Forbidden Drive when I’m visiting Andrew’s family. There will be so many covered bridge pics on Instagram, you might want to prepare yourself now.
In between all of these winter activities, I’ll be relaxing and catching up with friends and family. Our NYE plans are still up in the air too – will we be dancing in the streets with the Mummers in Philly, or will we brave a 4 hour road trip for a college reunion in Pittsburgh? All that matters is that I’m doing it with the people I love!
What are you doing for the holidays? If you have travel plans, what’s the number one thing you’re looking forward to doing in your hometown?