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This past week I set out for my first November Project Road Trip!  3 cities/tribes, 5 days, 538 miles and a gazillion burpees.  My #traverbal partner in crime, Meghan and I started the trip on Monday with our home tribe in Boston.  Mondays in Boston are what we call destination decks.  The leaders choose a different location in the city each week where we run, do a short workout (usually a deck) and then run home. This week was at Nashua Street Park where we did a 16 min circuit of burpees, push-ups, planks and v-sits. The worst part is ALWAYS the burpees!!

Photo credits to Bojan Mandaric

Photo credits to Bojan Mandaric

Tuesday morning I got up bright and early to go spin before hitting the road. I’m not a huge fan of spin, but it’s good cross training for runners, so that’s why I do it. I had a male trainer for the first time and I have to say, I may need to re-evaluate my feelings about spin. Maybe I really just hated the cheerleader vibe from the female trainers and not the actual spin class itself.  Either way, I was happy to get in a workout before sitting in the car all day.

Wednesday morning we joined November Project Philadelphia at the bottom of the Art Museum steps for stop #2 on our #traverbal road trip. One of NP’s motto’s is #recruiteveryone, and because I’m from the Philly area, I managed to recruit 2 of my jersey friends in addition to my brother and his girlfriend (they may even come back after I’m gone!) The workout consisted of suicides up the famous rocky steps (insert Gonna Fly Now music), then, in groups of 10 people, we had to complete a total of 1000 situps, 1000 push-ups, 500 squats and 500 burpees (my favorite, see above). We then did a final set of suicides, followed by the group photo complete with a photo bomb from Shorti (can you find him)?

Photo credits to Suzanne Allaire

Photo credits to Suzanne Allaire

After breakfast with my peeps, Katy (Meghan’s friend) and I tried to give Meghan the true Philly experience since this was her first trip here. We were already at the art museum, so of course we needed to get the obligatory Rocky photo. We then headed to the 
LOVE statue
, followed by a walk through Independence Hall and Elfreth’s Alley (American’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street).

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By then it was time for lunch, so naturally we had to get some REAL Philly cheesesteaks.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that a cheesesteak anywhere other than Philadelphia is a Philly cheesesteak…it is NOT!!! Most tourists head to Pat’s or Geno’s, but my fave is Jim’s. We had to go authentic all the way, one wiz with. In Philadelphia that translates to one cheesesteak with cheese wiz and fried onions. I haven’t had one in probably 15 years, and it was just as good as I remembered. Our next stop was Philadelphia’s Magic Garden on South Street, which may have been the highlight of the Philly portion of our trip. I had never heard of this place before, but I highly recommend a visit for anyone in the area. It’s essentially an outdoor mosaic sculpture garden smack dab in the middle of the city. I took a lot of pictures, but it’s really hard to do it justice through photos. It was certainly well worth the $7 admission.

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Our day wound down with a quick trip to the Italian Market including stops at Isgro’s pastries for cannoli’s and Di Bruno Bros. for some cheese tasting. Then is was time for happy hour! We headed to Cooperage Wine and Whiskey in Society Hill. I had a delicious black cherry cider, but they tons of beer and cocktail choices (for those who are in to that). It was a perfect spot for happy hour, you could even stop in for drinks before a show. We closed out the night at the new Independence Beer Garden. The location (Independence Hall) and atmosphere is fabulous, but the service left a little something to be desired. Granted they had just opened that day, but our waitress was more focused on chatting with her friends than actually serving customers. They did have life-size Jenga and a bocce ball court though which totally made up for the poor service. If I still lived in Philly, I’m pretty sure you would find me enjoying a glass of wine, in an Adirondack chair in front of one of the fire pits for the entire summer.

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When in Philly, brunch at Reading Terminal Market is always a must. I recommend going on any day other than Sunday so you can get some delicious Amish baked goods. (And as I’m writing this post it’s definitely making me realize why Philadelphia is one of the fattest cities in America!) Our last stop before heading to NYC was Wawa of course. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with Wawa. I mean I have a Shorti hoagie that I take with me almost everywhere I go (see NP Philly photo above).  I can get everything I miss about Jersey in one place: shorti hoagies, soft pretzels, peanut chews, tasty-kakes and red straws (more about my straw obsession in another post). #wawaforever

The final stop on our #traverbal road trip was NYC. This November Project tribe does their destination deck on Friday’s, so we headed across the East River to Brooklyn for our last workout. The run across the Brooklyn Bridge was amazing, the views really can’t be beat. It was a quick workout including leg throws, hoisties, sharks and minnows and you guessed it…MORE BURPEES! I hated burpees before this trip, but now I OFFICIALLY hate burpees!

Photo credits to Paul Leak

Photo credits to Paul Leak

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Meghan is from NY and I lived there for 5+ years, so we wanted to do something that neither of us had done before. We decided to check out the High Line. It’s a 1ish mile park built on a section of the former elevated West Side railway. It runs from Gaansevoort Street to 30th Street. It’s definitely an attraction for both NYers and tourists alike. There are benches to sit and eat and grassy areas to sit and read a book or just relax.

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The highlight for both of us (besides of course the original purpose of the trip) was definitely seeing Once on Broadway. I’d seen the show in Boston, but wanted to see it in NYC, one because I’d met one of the cast members previously and wanted to see her perform and two because shows are always better on Broadway! I happen to know one of the stage managers, so we were able to get the star treatment. We were invited on stage before the show for a drink and got an up close and personal view of the cast during their pre-show jam session. After the show, we were invited back on stage for a tour and got to meet the amazing cast. We also got an autographed copy of our playbills and got to exit through the stage door! It was kind of like we were famous! If you ever get the chance to see it, I guarantee you’ll love it. You may not get the red carpet treatment when you go, but you will never forget the experience. The talent of the cast is phenomenal and the music, I think, speaks to everyone!

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The night ended at an old irish pub, O’hara’s. It’s located just steps away from ground zero and has become a mecca for firemen across the country. There were patches stapled to the wall from all over. I asked my brother, a NJ Firefighter, if he’d ever been there and he told me that he had and that his patch was hanging in there amongst the hundreds of others. I came across this article afterwards and I had no idea of the significance of the place, but I’m so glad we went in.

After a week of #traverbaling, I’m exhausted, but Meghan and I are still friends, so I call that a success!  We had some great workouts, ate delicious food, saw some amazing things and met some great people along the way.  I leave you now with my top 10 hashtags from our east coast journey: #meaghatwins #traverbal #nobailmoneyneeded #bufanomeetsbalboa #shortiwillbthere #meaghatwinsandkaty #instantfriends #ihashtaggedtheshitoutofthis #wesurvivedthepolarvortex #burpeehell

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