As most of you know I was living in Philadelphia for a couple months. However, Philadelphia did not come close to what I expected it to be. I was hoping to grab the experience of “big city life” and understand what it feels like to live in the constant hustle and bustle of a sleepless city. But, I ended up living in a small suburb of Philly, called Manayunk. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a great little town, tons of bars and cute little shops line the streets , including the shoe store that I was working at. And I loved my friends that I was living with which just so happened to be two people I rode with over the summer, Matt and Chris.
But I think it was the cold that drove me away the most. I love running, hiking, biking, and golf, and all of those things you need very warm weather for. So after about a month of so of working I decided I was going to move, especially after finding out I was scheduled to work around Christmas. I felt bad leaving the store after they put time into training me but I knew I would never miss Christmas for some retail job. And I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on my grandmother’s famous lasagna.
My boss wasn’t too happy when I told her I was leaving but lucky for her they were about to enter their slow season so it wasn’t going to be too hard on the store.
A few days before Christmas I was able to hitch a ride back towards Erie with one of my best friends from college, Cody. It wasn’t too difficult to fit everything I owned into his car. After all, I didn’t have a bed so I was still sleeping on my thermarest from Bike & Build. To give you an idea of how I lived this is what my bedroom looked like.
And this is all I had with me to take home, nothing more than a suitcase and a couple backpacks.
I arrived home on Christmas Eve which is also my Dad’s Birthday. Without him knowing I planned to surprise him. I had called him a couple days prior and said I would spending Christmas at a friend’s house in Philly and would probably be home sometime in mid January once I could get a few days off work. He completely believed everything. That evening my mom left to “go shopping” and picked me up from my friend’s place.
I slowly walked through the house to the living room where I saw my father watching television. I stepped in front of him, “Happy Birthday, Dad.”
“Holy Shit!” he jumped back in surprise. I was worried he was going to have a heart attack he was so shocked. He got up and gave me a giant hug. “What are you doing here?”
I informed him of my plan of moving home and he was very pleased that I was home to spend Christmas with him.
It was a very Merry Christmas in the LaFata household this year!