Christmas Village at Love Park

I wanted to wait until tomorrow to make this post so that I could say, "omg only five days until Christmas!" rather than "six," because five is a beautifully rounded number. Alas, I'll be on a plane tomorrow and thus unable to post. Over the past few weeks I've been swept away by essays, presentations, and assessments, but now I'm ecstatic to say that I'm finally done, and I've successfully (knock on wood) completed my first semester of college!

High school passed by just like that, and people had told me to expect college to pass by even quicker, but I never expected time to fly like this! There are still so many things I said I would do since the beginning of the year that I never got around to (meet ups, postcards, dimsum...). When I found out about Philly's Christmas Village at Love Park through Zubin, I decided that I was going to go now even though it was in the middle of exam week, though to be fair, I took my exams at the very beginning and very end, so I still had plenty of time to study. Aaaaand if I wanted to go to the Christmas Village at all, I'd really have to go now, because it'd probably be down by the time I got back from winter break.

I've always wanted to spend a white Christmas in New York City walking down the streets with a rich, warm drink in my hand while lights sparkled around me with a festive buzz in the air. Bridget's photos of the Christmas market in Edinburgh only amplified my holiday wanderlust.

Usually I spend Christmas in China or Taiwan, and all we have over there are plastic wreaths and pitifully spray-painted snow. So to me, going to Philly's Christmas Village was a big deal. People have told me not to get too excited about the Christmas Village at Love Park, but it was really hard not to be. The vibe I got was "it's cool, but not as cool as you think."

I invited Heather to come with me because we had been wanting to have a photo day. Good thing too, because I would never have made it to Love Park without her; it's not hard to find--I just have a hopeless sense of direction. When we arrived, I wasn't even sure we had arrived.

I was expecting to see a whole village bustling with life as people frantically shopped for Christmas presents, but it was quite mellow actually. It may be because it was forecasted to rain, which it did, but I wasn't going to let a little bit of rain stop me. I don't like crowds anyway.

#christmas village at love park with @heatheremeraldnope
A photo posted by Auderoy (@auderoy) on

The one thing that could have really made this trip so much better was if I was allowed to take pictures. Many of the vendors were artisans, and these creatives don't like having their work photographed, I presume so that their work won't be copied. I find no logic in this (okay I do, but I'm bitter), because photography is free advertising, and who has the time or skills to make those little trinkets themselves?

There was one shop I completely fell in love with called Christmas from Germany. I could have stayed in that shop all day taking pictures and ogling over the beauty! There was one Noah's ark ornament that opened up at the middle to reveal the animals in the ark. I wanted to buy it so badly! Unfortunately, I can't find it online to show you its awesomeness, but other things that caught my eye were the pyramids, nutcrackers, and schwibbogens. FYI, the pictures online don't do the shop justice.

Forget New York, take me to Germany!

Since we couldn't take any pictures, Heather and I decided to be tourists and fool around. Much attract.

And now for a quick list of some things to come:

Is there anything you'd like to hear more about from me? Special requests? I'm open to suggestions (or leave them in the comments below)! (Actually, I more like need suggestions if I plan on doing backwards blogmas). #TBWednesday to the Christmas movies post suggested by Cindy. (I'd like to add Rise of the Guardians to that list.) (Let's take a moment to acknowledge how my blog has... evolved.)

Some of these ideas have been incubating for months now. I'm just sticking them here so that you guys can hold me accountable. After all, winter break will probably be the most free time I'll have for awhile.
Much excite! Stay tuned!

This is why I love college: classes are semester long, so winter and summer breaks are actual breaks! As a former IB candidate, this revelation is heaven-sent (for those of you unfamiliar with the IB program, classes are two-years long, which is quite a bit longer than one semester).

Hopefully by now everyone's kickin' it. I'll be in Taiwan determined to have one of my best winter breaks yet. Now as a college student, I've started to appreciate all the little things like food and toilet paper, so I'll be easily amused. Even just doing nothing all break would be a nice change of pace, though I'd like to include blogging and independent reading into my Nothing Itinerary.

My winter break will only be sixteen days, because I'll be returning to campus early for winter break swim training, but some time during that time I'll be in Florida with the team for our training trip. It'll be nice to feel some warmth! I'll keep you guys updated. So what are your plans for the holidays?

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PS: Need Christmas advent calendars to make or Christmas music videos to watch?