Dinner Out on the Town


El Limon can be found at 845 W. Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr. I highly recommend it!

Just when I was about to give up hope that I would find a good and authentic restaurant that reminded me of home before I graduated, I found the most delicious place I’ve been to on our section of Lancaster Ave. this weekend. With six months to spare, I found El Limon, a Mexican Taqueria just a seven minute walk away from campus. During my first year, I was pretty homesick. I missed my family, friends, home, and of course the local food! The town of Bryn Mawr has some pretty diverse choices for a dinner out with friends with everything from Indian, sushi, Chinese, pizza, pub fare, and (almost) everything in between. Bryn Mawr was missing a yummy Mexican restaurant. We used to have a Qdoba and Ardmore has a Chipote, but those can’t compare!

IMG_8343Funnily enough, I found one in Edinburgh, Scotland before we had one here! El Limon is a local chain with a handful of other locations in the area. According to some internet research, the Bryn Mawr location opened up in July and it has stellar reviews from people online, and my opinion is no different. One of my best friends and I went on Friday evening.

When we arrived, it was starting to get busy, but it wasn’t too crowded yet. The staff were all very welcoming and our waitress was so friendly. The menu offered a little bit of everything and I saw many familiar items from home. By the time our meals came, the whole restaurant was bustling.

IMG_8344All of the prices were incredibly reasonable, an almost rare quality in this area, and the portions were more than enough. I got the carnitas enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and my friend ordered nachos with steak on top. We were both very content and full by the end of our visit. I only wish El Limon had been around the last three and a half years! It would have been a little taste of home without the long flight 🙂 I’d certainly give it two thumbs up and will be going back soon!


Having a World Heritage City at my Doorstep

Not only is Philadelphia known as the City of Brotherly Love, but as of this week, it is also the United States’ first and only city to be named a World Heritage City by UNESCO. Two-hundred and fifty cities worldwide currently hold the title and the addition of Philadelphia is expected to bring increased tourism and business to the city. So what is it like to have such a historic city at my doorstep? I have enjoyed exploring different parts of the area the last three years, and through my adventures, I have come up with a list of my five favorite and must see spots.

1. Reading Terminal Market

DSCF7173If you are a foodie, and even if you aren’t, your trip to Philadelphia will not be complete without a visit to Reading Terminal Market. Located at 12th and Arch streets, the indoor market originally opened in 1892 is full of stalls boasting nearly every kind of food imaginable. From lunchmeat to cannoli and everything in between, it is sure to please. Because it is such a draw for tourists and locals alike, it can get incredibly crowded, so be prepared for some lines at the more popular stalls. It’s 100% worth it though!


Delectable offerings from Termini Bros

The crowds certainly add to the experience, but if you prefer a less hectic time in the market, I have found it to be less crowded Sunday mornings and early Friday afternoons. Two shops I definitely recommend stopping by are Termini Bros. Bakery for a cannoli and Hatville Deli for a Sweet Lebanon Bologna sandwich.


2. Independence Mall


Freshman year me seeing the Liberty Bell for the first time

Located about a twenty minute walk from Reading Terminal Market is Independence Mall in Old City. The area is home to some of the most historic spots in the country. You can’t leave Philly without touring Independence Hall and seeing the Liberty Bell. While you are in this part of the city, you can also visit the National Constitution Center, see Benjamin Franklin’s grave, and walk through the house it is believed Betsy Ross lived in when she sewed the American Flag.

3. The Franklin Institute

149278_4667981219520_23908163_nAbout a fifteen minute walk from Suburban Station in Center City is the Franklin Institute. While the main science museum is better suited for a younger crowd, there is still plenty for adults to enjoy in the exhibits. Additionally, it houses an IMAX theater with neat documentaries and occasionally, current movies. My favorite thing about the Franklin Institute however is their visiting exhibit offerings. In one of my blogs I talked about my experience in their more recent exhibit, The Art of the Brick, and I have also been lucky enough to see a traveling exhibit on The Titanic and Pompeii as well. They were all incredible, making the real artifacts and such rich history available for us to see without leaving Philadelphia. In the Spring, an exhibit called “The Science Behind Pixar” is opening and I am eager to see it!

4. Mural Arts Tour

11169849_10204069915250172_3851509967860972026_nLast April through Admissions I had the privilege of going on a Mural Arts tour around Center City with a group of admitted students and their families. Being the world’s largest collection of outdoor art, I highly recommend taking a tour of your own. The Mural Arts Program offers both public and private walking, trolley, and train tours of some of the city’s most beloved pieces. Each year over 2,000 artists participate in the project, beautifying neighborhoods and acting as service agents for their communities.

5. Eastern State Penitentiary

11998852_10204953305094366_8564617447348600066_nEastern State Penitentiary was #127 on my bucket list for senior year and I can finally say I’ve been there! While it wasn’t quite what I expected, I still think it should be on the attraction list of anybody who is visiting because of it’s incredible and eerie history. If you visit in the Fall and before Halloween, you’ll even be able to participate in “Terror Behind the Walls” which is a haunted house that takes place in the penitentiary… talk about scary! The rest of the year however, the empty cells and crumbling walls create a stark experience for visitors learning about the people who lived there, most notably Al Capone. About a ten minute drive from Suburban Station, it’s definitely a worth while excursion while in the area.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of my favorite local spots! I still have a very important Philadelphia stop to complete before I graduate and that is tasting a famous cheesesteak from both Pat’s and Geno’s. Look for that in a blog to come!



Leaving One Home and Finding Another

bmc 4 yrs ago copy 2Facebook has a neat (albeit kind of creepy) feature called “On This Day”. The app runs on the site and each day, memories of pictures, posts, or statuses show up on your feed reminding users of what they were up to on that day for as long as they have had an account. To my surprise, my reminder for today was a check-in at Philadelphia International Airport. I say “to my surprise” because I simply cannot believe it was four years ago that I visited Bryn Mawr for the first time. It’s already been four years since I left home for a college visit and found the place that would soon become my second one.


A photo of Senior Row I took on my first visit to Bryn Mawr, November 11, 2011

A couple weekends ago, the Admissions Office hosted its 2015 Travel Scholars. Since the Travel Scholar program is how I was able to visit BMC during my senior year of high school, I could not help but feel nostalgic. Bryn Mawr’s generosity afforded me the opportunity to visit, and I owe where I am today in large part to that experience. Spending time with this year’s scholars brought back my own memories of what it was like to see and experience Bryn Mawr for the first time. One of my favorite things about being a tour guide is seeing the same look of awe and wonder on the prospective students’ faces that I had when I toured for the first time.

When I left El Paso four years ago today to visit BMC, I was scared, nervous, excited, and every emotion in between. While I had traveled by myself before, I had never lived anywhere by myself, away from family, friends, and the familiarity and comfort of home. I remember pulling up to the Admissions Office in a Blue Bus and walking in with my backpack, suitcase, and sleeping bag not sure of what to expect. I had no idea the opportunities in store for me, or the happiness being a member of the community would would bring to me.

My hosts took me to get dinner, and every person we saw on the way to the dining hall went out of their way to welcome me, ask me how I was doing, and ask me if they could answer any questions. I wasn’t even a student and I felt like I was part of the community within twenty minutes of arriving on campus. After spending the night in a dorm common room, the following day I was able to sit in on two classes. I was impressed by how invested the students were in their discussions, and how the professors made it a priority to make sure every voice in the class was heard. I knew then that socially and academically, Bryn Mawr was where I wanted to be.


Convocation 2015

Four years ago today, I started a journey and chapter of my life that will be coming to a close in six short months when I graduate. During my time at Bryn Mawr I have been encouraged, supported, pushed, loved, cared for, and advocated for by friends, professors, mentors, and each and every person I have met along the way. I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone, I have worked harder than I ever could have imagined, and I have learned the true value of a Bryn Mawr education with each of the ups and downs that come with it. As the days get shorter and chillier and as we move closer to the craziness of the Holidays, I am reminded of how quickly this semester and year will go by. Before I know it, it will be May and my time at this special place will come to a close. I came to Bryn Mawr thinking I was leaving my home, but I ended up gaining a second home among its gothic arches, cloisters, and cherry blossoms. For this, and for the people and places that have helped shape me into the woman I am today, I am forever grateful.

Update (11/11/15): This is what Facebook reminded me of today. Interviewing on 11/11/11 at 11:11? I don’t think that was a coincidence 🙂

11:11 copy