Penn Museum occupied a hefty portion of our day – a full four hours – which left me just delighted. It boggles my mind when people tell me they’ve never visited before, probably for the fact that so many parts of the museum make my jaw drop to the floor every time I visit.

Afterwards, it was time to fulfill my familial obligations while we were still in town. We drove north for a spell, up to Doylestown to drop by my grandfather’s house. He’s a very busy man these days, taking exercise classes every morning and practicing with a singing group in his free time. So I was fortunate to catch him during an off-hour. We sat down and caught up for a while, discussed our grand plans for the summer and what will come in the time after we arrive in Portland. That second part is a little more open-ended than the first for right now.

Bidding farewell, I dragged my companions along for a visit to the Main Line, a section of the Philadelphia suburbs that’s probably most famous for being home to a slew of rich, snobby, stuck-up people. I grew up on the Main Line, spent my whole life there before venturing away for college when I was 18. And if there’s any single reason that I’m packing up and moving across the country, it’s to experience something different from this. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t even begin to name all the wonderful people I’ve come to know in my time in this area – but a person should only stay in one place for so long. My life is for living, not shopping and driving BMWs, thank you very much.
Regardless, we drove to Berwyn to visit my mother, our dog and our three outrageously fat felines. Our visit was brief, only long enough for my eyes to start watering before I had to leave. We drove to West Chester, about ten miles away, where I experienced the same painful process of saying goodbye to my father and my younger brother, Gabe. He’s heading off to college in Florida this fall, and this is probably the last time I’ll see him – or any of these wonderful people – for quite a while.
I’m filled with joy for being able to undertake this fantastic task of spending a summer however I want. Likewise, I’m thrilled to experience life in a place I’ve never been before, far away from home. But the feeling is bittersweet, especially as we drive further and further away from the people I love the most in life.
This is part of growing up, of finding my way, and now is the time to do it. But I will keep these people close to my heart, no matter how far away from them I happen to be.


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