Philly’s Quirky Love, Part 1

Plans are turning into a reality! My travel journey began in earnest last weekend.

First stop: Philly!

Philadelphia is one of my favorites because of all the fond memories it offers. My first dance exchange weekend for social dancing was there some years back with the organization DJX. The team of dancers and humans who puts together the event is small, but efficient. The team almost always outdoes themselves for their fusion dance exchange weekends. The local dancers are friendly, fun, and gracious.

Some of my fond dance encrusted memories from this city include eating pizza the size of my face — I KNOW! “WHAT?!” you say, “that’s NYC’s schtick!” But friends, Lorenzo’s pizza place is where it’s at if you are hankering for face-sized slices of pizza in Philly. After your cheese fix has been satisfied, go around the corner on Sunday evening and you’ll find a jam session upstairs in the beautifully done interior of the Twisted Tail. Folks, I’m telling you, this place is gorgeous. But even more gorgeous then the interior and the beers? The musicians jam and the partner/social dancers who show up to make their ears happy and get their feet some kicks.

Oh wait!- you thought that was it? Nope, following the Twisted Tail, musicians, dancers, and dancing bears (kidding 😉 ) alike often make their way down to Spruce Street Harbor Park. You NEED to visit this place. Regardless of dancing or music this park is Pure *pick your own descriptive term* Magic.

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Check out this link: http://www.delawareriverwaterfront.com/places/spruce-street-harbor-park

The name gives away the location by the water, but there’s a big ole ship within sight that’s often strung with twinkling lights. Enter the park and glide into a surreal location with fountains and hanging lit icicles that rotate colors. Sway with the swish of that hammock you just got comfy in (so many hammocks!). Hungry? No problem, there are food trucks and restaurants in easy walking distance. With all the light displays here, it’s clear that the best time to visit this park is at night so you can enjoy the lights that play with the trees and the river.

Been to Philly? Have a favorite spot in Philly? Share below in the comments!

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A Few of My Favorite Things

What do all of your favorite things say about you? It’s a great exercise in self reflection and hopefully, gratefulness.

Here’s a list of my favorite things:

  • A sparkly, patterned, deep red scarf
  • An off white sweater with a single psychedelic blue/green bird front and center
  • Plain black booties with a single, thick chain running front side, ankle – ankle
  • A black “heartless” hat, two black antenna that dangle up and off to the side
  • A beautiful dance
  • A soul-deep conversation, about anything real and heart felt

The beautiful scarf is one of my favorite colors and a gift from my best friend. When I lived with her for a brief period of time before moving into the place I’ve been since, it was fall, the cusp of winter. Coats, jackets, gloves, and scarves come out, but most of my stuff what is boxes. She had these glorious scarves and whenever she happened to be home, I’d run and grab the one she took off and wrap it around myself in a mix of amusing, hilarious, and sometimes serious ways. I always gave them back, but she knew how much I loved her scarves. One day about a month or two ago, she told me to sit tight, that she had a surprise for me. Sure enough, she came to visit and brought me the exact same scarf as her green one– just in red! Apparently they don’t make the specific type of scarves she had anymore so she scoured thrift stores on and off again ever since keeping an eye out for another for me. AND IN ONE OF MY FAVORITE COLORS! ❤ I get so many compliments on the scarf and I take great joy in telling people my best friend gave it to me. It makes me so happy to wear it.

The sweater was a random gift my best friend brought me one day. We randomly give each other things. Instead of placing emphasis on holidays and other events, we find cool stuff and give it to each other through the course of the year. It sits on me so well, and it’s so warm, not to mention classy.

The booties. *happy sigh. Ah, do they appeal to me! They’re simple shoes, match with pretty much everything I wear, good for all kinds of weather, PLUS they have a chain. The chain for me represents the little differences that makes me, you, and your mother unique. When I wear them, I feel like the chain speaks for all the little things that makes us unique, as human individuals. Simple, small, eloquent.

Have you ever heard of Kingdom Hearts? If not, go look it up! It’s a classic video game. My sister and I beat all the games together. Two holidays ago, she got us matching hats. I look ridiculous and silly in the hat, and love it all the more for that! It reminds me of something my very different sister and I have in common, and it’s fun to play with. It’s also an excellent conversation starter, if you can get past the weird looks people send your way. I can, it’s a great way to make people laugh, including myself.

DANCING. ❤ Oh, my heart! I’m a social dancer- that is, I partner dance with others. Blues, swing, tango, a variety of others. Dancing is being strictly present in a moment in time, communicating with another human you may or may not have previously known WITHOUT WORDS. Sometimes, a good dances makes me feel like time is both slower and faster than it really is, in the most glorious way possible.

I don’t feel the need to explain the last item of my list. Most everyone wants good, meaningful conversation!

My list is of things I’m both grateful for and of things I love. It gives me a good way to reflect on where I am in life by looking at some of the things, tangible and otherwise, that matter to me.

Happy Thursday!

Connection – Girls from around the World

NPR recently publically reached out to girls and women from around the world. Talk about a variety of perspective, cultural, and life experiences!

The one that touched me most deeply was Yalinesm – she fought for something that kills many peoples’ souls, rose above it, and used it to inspire and encourage her to do more and be more. She didn’t let other people define who she was, and she’s used her admittedly brutal past to look out for herself and others. She’s made the world a better place speaking up for the people she cares about.

The challenges and obstacles women and girls have previously (and continue) to face around the world at age 15!

Check out a smattering of these stories from around the world:

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/04/452891494/you-told-us-the-hardest-things-about-being-15-15girls

Let’s keep in mind as we go through our daily lives to look out for each other! ❤

Gratefulness In Rough Times

Don’t you love the moment music flows up your spine, tingling your brain, letting you know you are where you should be in life, time, and space?

Don’t you love the moment where you realize you are happy to be alive, in a safe space, and with access to basics and amenities?

We are truly blessed to have these moments because other people work hard and because we make our own contributions to keep our country and world running. Not everyone has these things though, so remember this and be grateful for the things and people you have as you move through rough times. Keep looking forward towards hope, help, and hard work. Keep learning. Keep being compassionate to others; it’s generally the hardest to do when you are going through rough times, but that’s when it’s most important to practice. How you act defines who you are. ❤

Expanding “Normal” Horizons

Autism. Extreme reactions at the end of the spectrum come to mind. Geniuses and social awkwardness. But that is NOT what defines autism.

Give yourself and Rosie King about 6 minutes to blow your mind about ‘Normal’ and how labels can hinder, and how when you take a few steps back and define things yourself, you can go so far.