When people think of stereotypical spring break plans, they often picture beaches, sunshine and relaxation. People envision flocks of students rushing the Jersey shore or Florida beaches, as they do their best to forget that they still have half a semester left to study.

This was not my plan.

Late last semester, a group of people started talking about taking a trip to visit friends in Philadelphia and also take a day or two to see New York City. Though monetary and time constraints made the trip impossible for some, a friend and I made the trek to the City of Brotherly Love.

The trip was not exactly the vacation that everyone searches for during their Spring Break. The city was definitely not warm, and the hustle and bustle of public transportation is more exhausting than relaxing. However, it was great to play tourist and see some of the historical sights. (Yes, I know I’m a nerd.) It was also really cool to experience the city where I might possibly be living next year while attending graduate school.

Our tour of Independence Hall and viewing of the Liberty Bell were definitely amazing; it’s incredible to think that our country was formally defined in a little room over the course of a single summer. We stood where the brightest political minds of that era stood and debated on what would change the world forever. I saw George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution, and I sat in James Madison’s chair in the original chamber of the House of Representatives. Another fun fact, the day we visited Independence Hall was the 217th anniversary of John Adams’ inauguration as the second president!

As a theatre buff, the highlight of my trip was getting to see five performances over the course of a week. I started by seeing a performance of my favorite podcast, “Welcome to Night Vale.” Next was the New York portion of the trip, where I caught performances (and met the casts!) of “Once,” “Wicked,” and “Les Misérables.” Before this week, I’d only ever saw one Broadway show (“Catch Me if You Can”) as part of a Gannon trip during my freshman year, so it was absolutely amazing to see more! Finally, I got to see one of my friends (and former Edge staffer), Allison Kessler, in her Philadelphia acting debut in a play called “Gemini.” It was great to see her on stage again, not to mention the play was really funny.

Although vacationing in the city might not be everyone’s top choice, I really loved my stay. It was great to catch up with old friends and explore everything Philadelphia and New York have to offer. Hopefully, I’ll be making a return to those cities very soon—if only I could hear back from the rest of the graduate programs I applied to!