PA Trip Recap

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the long break in posts, but life has been so crazy this past week as I traveled from Philly to Alaska, tried to get back to normal life, and ended up ultimately getting super sick.  I must have taken a million pictures while I was home, so I wanted to do a quick photo dump before moving on to 2016!  Here’s what I was up to at home:

I had an awesome trip to Longwood Gardens to see the Christmas lights with my family!  I must have taken a million pictures, but I don’t want to bore you with endless Christmas tree pics so here are just a few.





I went to Pittsburgh to ring in the new year with all of my old friends from Pitt!


IMG_7965Standing in front of the Cathedral of Learning – the building where we had most of our classes

IMG_7956Where I used to do all my studying AKA fake Hogwarts  🙂

IMG_7973Pitt Panther for life!

I went on some really warm runs through the rolling countryside and past more covered bridges!

IMG_7933Running in Reading

IMG_8071Running on Forbidden Drive in Philly while visiting my in laws!


I also did tons of shopping at the outlets and at TJ Maxx (I got some crazy deals on workout stuff!), ate at Chipotle 3 glorious times, played and cuddled nonstop with my dog, hung out with my parents and sister, got coffee with a few old friends who were in town for the holidays, babysat my nieces, and ate lots and lots of Wawa.

IMG_7868Butterscotch Krimpets are my everything  ❤

The trip was awesome, but I’m not going to lie – leaving home was so hard.  I probably cried 20 times between Friday night and when my flight left on Tuesday afternoon because I was so sad about saying goodbye.  I just didn’t want to leave my family, dog, and friends again for an undetermined amount of time.  I think the trip was great, but going back there brings back so many memories and feelings that I’ve moved away from, and it’s hard to be back in that.  I can’t really explain my mixed emotions about the trip – you probably can’t imagine what it was like unless you’ve moved away from home and gone back for a visit.  Just know that if you spent an hour sobbing in the TSA line at an airport last week, you weren’t the only one.

And that last paragraph is probably the reason why I just haven’t had the energy necessary to write this post until now.  I am so incredibly happy here in Anchorage and I feel like my trip home shook me up too much for my comfort.  And it was really hard to get excited about goals for 2016 and things I want to accomplish this year when I was in a place where I felt like I was back in the past.  I was so grateful that after being sick for an entire week, I woke up on Saturday feeling well enough for my first run back in Alaska.  It was 30 degrees and sunny, which made for an epic outdoor run with my friend!  It was exactly what I needed to feel back to normal, and I spent the rest of the weekend feeling motivated and ready for 2016.  I’ve got my official 2016 goals post coming up this week and I’m so excited to share it with you all!  This is going to be an amazing year  🙂

How do you deal with tough goodbyes?  Do you ever feel strange spending time in your hometown?  And for my east coast peeps – what’s your favorite kind of TastyKake?  🙂

16 thoughts on “PA Trip Recap

  1. I am originally from Germany, married to an Irish and we live in England. Since I moved here I have no urge whatsoever to leave my island.
    I hated my hometown ever since I was little and every time I visited my parents I just stayed at the house and left after couple of hours again!

    1. Haha you are lucky! To be honest, I have no desire to live in my hometown (an hour from Philly) but I definitely miss Philly a lot. It just feels so weird to be home! I’m glad you live in a place where you are happy and never want to leave 🙂

      1. Oh sooner or later we will leave the garrison we are currently living. Either due to work or because we finally managed to buy a house up in Scotland! But yeah, for now we are very happy.

  2. I understand feeling split. I really do like Chicago, really I do, but it just isn’t home. It never really has been. So I’ve focused on letting Alex be my home, if that makes sense.

    1. Yes! It totally does! I do honestly think Alaska feels more like home than I thought it would, and it’s probably really going to feel like home once we buy a house here – I just am so over apartment life! My husband is so happy here and seeing him happy makes me feel like this is the place we need to be. It’s just so weird going back home…I felt like I was back in time and it was so unsettling driving through Philly again!

  3. I completely understand how you’re feeling, Kristen. Its never easy to leave my parents’ house in Illinois, whether I’ve been there for a long weekend or a week. There’s so many memories associated with having spent my teenage years there, and of course there’s nothing like being being back at mom and dad’s house. Hope things get a little easier as you continue to get back to your normal routine.

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I did almost go insane towards the end of being back home again – I love my mom but I was dying for my own space and my own kitchen by the end of it! I feel like it’s just so hard to go back once you don’t have a space there anymore (my sister lives at home and they gave her my room!).

  4. Not a tastykake fan, but as a kid I loved SuzyQs.

    I couldn’t wait to leave my hometown, and while I always feel nostalgic going back (which is often, as my parents & sister still live there), that doesn’t get me at all sad.

    Letting Chester go . . . that was hard. I’m mostly fine, but it just hits me hard at times and silent tears roll down my cheeks & I’m not a cryer.

    The only way to get past pain, though, is to go through pain.

    1. Haha well I guess I can’t hold the TastyKake thing against you 🙂 And I also couldn’t wait to leave my hometown (Reading, which is an hour from Philly) but being back in our old neighborhoods in Philly was really strange and made me feel weird. Plus saying goodbye is the hardest thing on earth for me to do – I take it so hard! I think this is just something I need to get better at because I’m definitely not moving back there!

      1. Believe me, you never know where life will take you.

        This is not where we were planning to live, at all, and it’s not where we plan to retire to. But for now, it’s home.

        And since it’s close to my parents, who are very elderly, for now, it’s a good thing.

  5. Aw, I totally understand. I moved from VT to Boston for a few years, and every time I went home for a visit, it was really hard to leave. And that was only a few hours away! Leaving Philly for AK must feel so far. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better, and I can’t wait to see your goals for the new year!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, it’s hard to know I have to wait so long to come back again. I didn’t feel better until we were finally landed in Anchorage again. I love it here, it’s just so hard to leave home!

  6. i totally understand how you feel. when i’m in chicago, i really am happy and proud of myself and the life i created, and rarely think about what life is like back home. but then i go home for christmas and when i can go to dinner with my college friends and can spend a day with my best friend or spend time with my family, my world is kind of shaken and i find myself wondering if i should move back. it’s a really odd feeling, but i too am just trying to focus on the year 2016 and all the good that i’m hoping will come from it!

    1. That’s exactly how I felt! It’s so good to know I’m not alone! We just need to focus on how happy we are and not look back into the past. 2016 is definitely going to be awesome and we are going to do lots of epic stuff in our new homes 🙂

  7. I just found your blog (which is awesome btw) and saw this post and had to say that I LOVE Longwood Gardens and probably also have a million pictures of that place on my phone!

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