Wednesday, February 22, 2012

25, Philadelphia, and the National Trial Competition

YAY!  I nearly have a life again!  First of all, thanks to all my loved ones supporting me these last couple months.  So far, 2012 has been a tough one and I have appreciated all of the prayers and cheerleading on my behalf.

I’m officially FINISHED competing in the National Trial Competition and, if I do say so myself, I had a very good run!

In Philadelphia last weekend, it worked out that I did 2 trials (it's just the luck of the draw if your team does Plaintiff of Defendant and since I only to defense, I only had to do two [grueling] trials.) and they went swimmingly!

Honestly, I felt VERY confident down there in the courtrooms at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center and I hope to one day haunt that building on the regular as a big shot lawyer :)

Here is my team at our hotel, after a string of successful trials.  Our team ended up advancing to the Regional Championship, so we are very proud.

I got to know waaaaaay more about my teammates than I ever wanted to know, but we really had a blast in Philly.

PLUS, it was my birthday!  And every restaurant we went to, we milked it for all of the free desserts we could handle!

In addition to local restaurants, we also made trips multiple times a day to the Reading Terminal Market.  I’m telling you folks, this place is INCREDIBLE!  It’s about 20 times the size of the Grand Central Station Market in NYC (no joke!) and we ate our way through the entire place!

For my birthday I enjoyed some red velvet and pumpkin chai whoopee pies (a Pennsylvania favorite) from this awesome little bakery booth called the Flying Money.  Plus a raspberry crumble bar, plus a peanut butter cake truffle (AMAAAAZING), plus a chewy coconut macaroon cookie, plus cupcakes…  Yeah, that good.  Or bad.


Among our good eats at the Market, we visited Tommy Dinic's for their famous roast pork sandwiches—as seen on Man vs. Food!  Here’s the little store:

And the meat

And the seriously delicious sandwich, including slow roasted pork, broccoli rabe, extra sharp provolone, and hot peppers.

I finished mine in about 190 seconds; everyone was thoroughly impressed.

I also ate crepes at the French booth (twice) and got Indian food once, including a lovely pomegranate lasse to drink, I bought a whole container of butterscotch peanut butter (yum!), lots of fresh bread and produce, and all that’s just from the market alone!  We also had legit Philly soft pretzels with spicy mustard that a suspicious little old Italian Philly lawyer man brought us all at the courthouse, 2 trips to McCormick & Schmicks (thank you, per diam), went to a legit Chinese place in Chinatown (including an order of the “House Special Duck”), and need I go on?

We also got a chance to do some shopping and touring nearby, including JFK Park with the LOVE sign:

Yes, smaller than you may have imagined.  But still nice.  Plus there’s lots of food trucks in this park!

I fell in love with the store Lush—seriously though, where has this store been all my life?

I got asked on a date by a suspicious character who may or may not have been homeless.  In his defense, I was sitting on the corner eating my macaroon at the time, looking rather homeless myself.  I said thanks but no thanks, if you’re wondering.  But he was rather persistent. 

We also were right by City Hall, which I believe housed the first U.S. Capitol.  Here we are walking under it.  Sebastian is making his, “I’m sad we lost” face while I am shamelessly making my “I’m GLAD we lost” face with Josh.

Load of fun & loads of food.  It was nice to be in competitive mode again and I had a great experience and a great birthday.

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