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This past Friday, classrooms and lecture halls were left empty as fall break was in full swing. Instead of studying the day away, I decided to take a break from the hectic midterm season to recharge, so my girlfriend and I packed the car and headed to Philadelphia.

Neither of us had ever been to Philly before, but because of Baltimore’s close proximity to other large, bustling metropolises, we chose to spend the day exploring a new city and culture.

Our trip began at Independence Hall, the building where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and adopted. The structure sits within the Independence National Historical Park, making it the first national park I’ve been to.

We then crossed the street and entered the museum that contains the famous Liberty Bell. It was an exhilarating morning experiencing Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, both of which hold much historical significance.

Because we were playing the role of basic tourists, we deemed it imperative to experience an actual Philly cheesesteak. So, we headed to Sonny’s for lunch and refueled on some cheesesteaks and mozzarella sticks.

After the late lunch, we headed to Love Park to play the role of a basic tourist couple. The park was beautiful, and of course, we snapped some pictures under the LOVE sign.

We headed to the Philadelphia Art Museum to end our day. I hadn’t realized a few of Picasso’s, Monet’s, and Van Gogh’s works were housed here, so I immediately became excited to explore the museum after arriving. Examining the detail and thoughtfulness these artists put into their work was incredibly inspiring in a way I had never felt before. Here’s yours truly in front of Picasso’s “Three Musicians.”

I’m glad I gave myself a much needed break, for I will always remember this spontaneous trip to Philadelphia. Remember, it’s perfectly okay to put the books away and recharge by having some fun!

–KH