Six Pack Sunday: Living Socially

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

I know a lot of big things happened this week.

Movember/No Shave November ended. I mourned the lost of beardy men all over. I had the best grilled cheese of my life. MTV’s Buckwild trailer premiered. News of Girl Meets World swept the internet. But, for me, there was something even more momentous that went down.

I Lived SO Socially.  In fact, I lived socially TWICE this weekend. Winter Winery Tour followed by a Brewery, Distillery, and Winery tour. Too cool, right?

There were highlights from both.

1. A Match Made in Heaven

Cheese and Chocolate: Wine's best friends!!

Cheese and Chocolate: Wine’s best friends!!

2. Road Wine

Ever think that you’d like wine a lot more if it tasted and smelled like apple pie and Christmas?

Both ALPINEY andddd Spicy!

Both ALPINEY andddd Spicy!

Alpine Spice, from Sand Castle Winery in Bucks County. Serve warm in the winter. Consider yourself educated. Get this wine.

3. New Friends

I made a few, but I don’t wanna start blogging about them without clearing the air. However, I did meet this one stud…. He was the strong, silent type, but I think he liked me.

Cute hat, right?

Cute hat, right?

4. Pasta Salad

Yeah, that doesn’t always sound like a highlight. In fact, at most silly picnics and potlucks, I don’t really get excited over pasta salad at all. But, if it’s oriental pasta salad…. all bets are off.

Feast your eyes on THIS!

Feast your eyes on THIS!

Making this, POST-HASTE!!

5. Whiskey Wednesday (or Sunday. Or every day.)

I don’t even like whiskey. 90% of the time, the sound of the word “whiskey” makes me feel like running away in fear. But what about when the words BEFORE whiskey are “Salted” and “Caramel”?

Yup, taking you home with me.

Yup, taking you home with me.

Here’s hoping there’s a boozy cider night in my VERY near future. Because I brought a bottle of this bad boy home with me. Courtesy of Philadelphia Distilling… CRAFT LIQUOR, Y’ALL!!


So, for some fancy beer guys, No Shave November is more than a fundraiser. It’s a lifestyle.

Here’s to one of the best beer beards I’ve seen in Philly, a la Yards Brewery.

Sweet, brah.

Sweet, brah.

Love it.

And, with the end of the semester looming quite menacingly on the horizon, it’s back to reality.

Oh goodness, it was just so nice to not be in a library for a weekend…..


Philadelphia Fears

Oh, Jessica, you did it again.

BBQ Cheddar Chickpea Burgers, made in a food processor, and smashed together with love.

Just like beef! (nothing like beef)

I’ll admit, my first attempt at the patty ended up as a mushy splat, but it was still tasty.  Today’s lunch patty, however, was more successful (and cohesive). And topped with caramelized onions and BBQ sauce, along with some Vermont Cheddar (I love ordering 4 slices of cheese at the deli counter) and served with some steamed vegetables made for a delightful midday meal.

But that’s not what I really wanna write about today.  Well, I did, I just wanna write more.

I’m a type-A person, when it comes to planning.  Maybe not when it comes to cleaning, or organizing my living space, but when it comes to planning, Type-A all the way!! And, when it comes to planning something as big as the next chapter in my life, and a big move 400 miles away from my current apartment and most of my buddies, it’s a little overwhelming.  Sure, there’s the basic concerns:

  • Where will I live?
  • How will I pay for city living/grad school?
  • Will there be a washer/dryer in my apartment?
  • Will I need a car?
  • What’s it going to be like studying again?!!?
  • Am I going to be shot?

But everyone faces those.  I’m a little more afraid of the parts of moving that only come up when you’re moving “back” to somewhere that you once called home.  Sure, downtown Philly was never actually my “home”, but it’s the city closest to my heart. And it’s chock-full of people that I once thought would be my BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!

AP English, anyone?

Looking at that photo (from 12th grade, I believe?) I see folks who have gotten married, folks that are living with their partners, folks that are probably inches away from being doctors, people I kissed, sleepover buddies, one that I went to college with, and several that I expected to stay in touch with forever.  And then I moved to North Carolina, and everything changed.  I changed.

I found my niche in North Carolina, in college and then again a year after college, and got comfortable.  But I didn’t maintain the friendships that I grew up with, while most of them spent weekends and holidays together, summers and spring breaks.

Since I’ve gotten the news about grad school, I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and excitement from family and friends.  But not just my NC buddies (who I love, and will miss dearly).  These long-lost friendships have started surfacing again, and making me question why I ever lost touch with these kind, funny, caring people in the first place.

Whatever, I know the answer to that. It’s inconvenient to juggle nearby friends with far, and it’s definitely not a one sided thing. I don’t blame anyone, as I know I certainly didn’t make much of an effort, but it’s still exciting to think that I may be “coming home” to a few built-in buddies in the area.  And while we’re not planning canned food drives or pep rallies, it’s still encouraging to know that they’ll have my back, because the other scary challenge is that whole “finding new friends” thing.

  • Will the Philly craft beer community be as welcoming and amazing as the one in the Triangle?
  • Will my classmates be friendly?
  • Will these old friends really want to rekindle, or is this just the politeness of PA that I know and love? (I bet all my Southern friends are rolling their eyes right now, imagining “Northern Hospitality”.)
  • Will I even have time to have friends in the midst of studying?
  • Will I be cool enough to fit into the big, hip city?
  • Will saying “big, hip city” make me uncool and immediately dissuade folks from wanting to interact with me? (Probably.)

I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.  All I can do is hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and buckle up for the ride….  Luckily, I’ve got my main squeeze waiting in Philly for me already, so he’ll be a pro by the time I get there.

In the MEANTIME, if YOU live in Philly and want to be my friend (or know someone awesome I should meet, or a neighborhood I should check out for apartments, or a great realtor, or a fantastic spot for craft beer, or any other hidden gems like that) TELL ME!! I’ll be moving up (likely) around mid-summer/July, but will definitely be visiting before then.  And I would love any/every bit of advice you have to give!

What’s the most recent “big change” you’ve made in your life?

Were you scared?  Did anything help?