Saturday, 6 December 2014

NY Diary Blog: Philadelphia Window Unveiling!



We woke up on Saturday morning 5.45AM after less than 4 hours sleep. Thank God Lindsay had stayed up all night with us packing else we would never have made it. We were catching a flight again so we went for minimal makeup after a wakeup bath and dragged our weary asses downstairs to the hotel lobby to meet Donnie and Lindsay. 

Donnie was already sat there, looking like she was going to die. Which isn’t me being rude, that’s how we all looked. Like vampires with pale skin and red eyes. We sat down at the table with her to wait for Lindsay and she said “Heeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” in her NY accent. We chatted for a bit until Lindsay arrived with all her bags. I swear, even when we are just going shopping and not working, Lindsay carries around at least 2 huge handbags full of files and makeup and god knows what. So as you can imagine, as we were travelling and catching a lot of trains and planes she had LOADS of bags with her. We were laughing because her suitcase for a two day trip was bigger than our suitcases packed to go abroad for 10 days! I was like “WHAT have you got in there?” and Lindsay was like “Uhh, I don’t even KNOW.”

We grabbed a coffee from the bucks in the hotel and by then our car was already outside waiting for us. The driver put our bags in the boot and then left Lindsay to drive the car. 

The drive to the airport was B E A uuuuutifullll!!!! Rose and I couldn’t get ENOUGH of taking photos and filming on our cameras and phones out of the car windows. It was still snowing very very lightly, tiny little flakes flying really slowly, drifting in the breeze and then dissolving onto the concrete. The houses we drove past in Pittsburgh were GORGEOUS, each one a totally individual house, the polar opposite to the many crowded uniform houses from where I grew up. We admired each quaint little wooden house, each a different colour; one blue, one yellow, all with little porches with rocking chairs, ornaments and almost all of them with an American flag hung proudly outside. In the frosty weather too, which was freezing but with a clear sky, the sun shining so brightly through the wintery spike trees, the whole place looked gorgeous. I really felt as though I was on holiday, as I just sat back in the car with my coffee, taking in this completely new scenery.

We turned the radio up and Blank Space by Taylor Swift came on and we were all singing along. I love how relaxed it is working with Lindsay and Donnie, it just feels like one big girls trip. We weren’t supposed to be speaking publicly as much at Philly, in fact, there was no stage, we were just to help unveil the windows and to host a meet and greet. So Rose and I weren’t stressed at all, just tired, and sipped on our coffees and work up slowly, chatting with the girls. When the car would stop at the traffic lights Lindsay would file her nails and flip her hair and turn around and check on us. Driving through Pittsburgh was a far cry from the driving we had experienced in New York so Rose and I just kicked back for about an hour.




We got to the airport and had to do the usual boring stuff, checking in our luggage and getting our boarding passes. Once all the queueing and waiting and dragging our suitcases was over we went and sat down at a little airport restaurant to eat breakfast. Rose had a bagel and I cannot for the life of me remember what Lindsay had, but she shared it with me. Eventually, we got up and boarded the plane. I think we were some of the last to board, but that’s great for me. I hate the claustraphobic feeling of sitting in a sit while loads and loads of people file down the aisle and you know if you wanted to get out and walk around you can’t. So walking on and just sitting down in our seats right before take off was a breeze.

Or so you would think. But I was literally seated by the passenger from HELL. He’s sat on the aisle seat, I’m in the middle and Rose is by the window. (I prefer to sit nearer the aisle.) And he turns to me and introduces himself which I think is a little weird, most people on planes just politely ignore each other but I thought, hey maybe this is an American thing, maybe British people are just overly hostile. But this guy, he won’t leave me alone! He starts asking me these seriously strange questions, including; “What do your road surfaces look like in England” (??????) and my favourite line; “So… did you grow up in poverty?” (???!!!!!!!!!????????) This man proceeded to get his phone out and show me various photos of road surfaces asking me in England what the exact chemical compound of the road surfaces were. I tried to give my best answer, telling him that English roads are a lot smaller than American ones because America has bigger cars, that it’s made of tarmac and we have a lot of roundabouts compared to America, but my best efforts were not good enough, he really needed to know what chemical compounds were in the road surfaces. Rose was watching this awkward exchange continue from her seat and decided to bail out early before he started talking to her. She very loudly said “I’m going to sleep now Rosie I’m reallllllllyyy tired” and closed her eyes. But I KNEW she was awake and listening to every word because as I glanced over at her, I could see her mouth twitching as she tried not to laugh. However, as the man continued to go through every photo on his phone (I was concerned as to what photos might appear) and he went through his sisters wedding in extensive detail, Donnie, Lindsay (who were in front of us) and Rose had fallen asleep. Great.

To make matters worse our flight was delayed. The plane couldn’t take off due to snow  or frost or something being on the plane so the plane had to have a chemical put on it to defrost it (at least…. that it what I gathered as to what was going on, but they man next to me didn’t even stop for flight announcements.) we didn’t take off until about 35 minutes behind schedule and then our flight was delayed further, so we were going to get to Philly later than planned. However, we still had plenty of time until the window unveiling, so it wasn’t too much of a problem, just that I had to spend more time discussing the ins and outs of different types of tarmac. :/

After some time in the air I was looking out of the window thinking how crazy it was that we were on our way to a place that I didn’t have an inkling about. Other than, if given the opportunity, I should grab a Philly Cheese Steak. I was gazing out looking at the miniture scenery below when something suddenly dawned on me. I grabbed Rose, waking her from her slumber and said “Rose! Is this West Philadelphia where The Fresh Prince was born and raised?” It made Lindsay and Donnie chuckle. Rose was like “Yeah! That’s Philadelphia, but we’re not in West Philly” and I settled down, feeling more confident that I knew something else about the area.

Finally, we landed.  We got off the plane, which hadn’t been very crowded at all, and met up with Before You Exit to grab our luggage off the conveyor belt. We were chatting to them and then our car service rang us saying they were outside so we left the band telling them we’d see them later and headed outside. Omg it was such a beautiful day. Sun so bright, air so frosty, perfect. Our car was there and the driver grabbed our luggage straight away and we hopped in. Lindsay always has her sunglasses on as soon as she steps into sunlight so she’s wearing these gorgeous huge glamorous things. She grabs these other sunglasses out of one of her (many) bags and says “Here do you want these?” and hands me another paid of sunglasses that are her sisters. I popped them on as Lindsay handed us all gum, which we needed after nodding off on the plane! Donnie says “I wanna take a car selfie!” and we all pose for her photo.


We rock up to Macy’s way later than scheduled but like I said, with plenty of time. The place was huge and gorgeous! For some reason I expected it to be smaller in Philly but it most certainly wasn’t. Lindsay walked us straight to the lifts, chauffeuring us to our dressing rooms, which are next door to Before You Exits, so we can pop out and see them walking round, practising their songs before their show. Lindsay asks us if we need another coffee, and after such little hours of sleep we both nod yes. There are food platters already waiting on the table for us, healthy stuff I requested like carrots and hummus dip and fruit, but also cheese and crackers and sandwiches so we tuck in, and soon Lindsay arrives back with a coffee. We all sit down and hang out for a bit. Looking back writing this, I think that we were so so well looked after by Lindsay, always giving us gum and water and coffee and food. Obviously at the time we were always so grateful! But writing it now, it makes me happy how lovely everyone at Macy’s are to work with!

We didn’t have time for a makeup artist as we were running late so Rose and I started topping up our own makeup so we looked a bit fresher after the plane. The air con in planes always dries my skin out so terribly!! I was just coating on some mascara as a security guard pops his head round the door telling us it’s nearly time to get ready. A slick of lipgloss and a brush of the hair and, of course, a final trip to the toilet and we were ready!

We left the dressing room and lined up with the rest of the talent in the corridor, waiting for Lisa (The Philly Macy’s organiser) to radio up to say we were ready to come down. Santa Clause was waiting there along with some other people and security guards down the corridor. We chatted with Before You Exit, asking them if they’d ever been to England. I think it was Connor who said he had been and he didn’t understand why us English people have brown sauce. Then everyone asked us what it was and we’re like “It’s brown sauce!” and they were saying “but what does it TASTE like” and do you know how hard it is to describe the taste of brown sauce to someone?! Rose did a pretty good job but I stood there useless. “What does brown sauce taste like?” Is one if those mind-fuck questions like “Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?” Before You Exit told us they would be touring Europe and England next year so we said maybe we would see them perform then. By the end of our American trip, Rose and I had seen them perform three times, one in Pittsburgh at Light Up Night, once at the Philadelphia Macy’s Window Unveiling and then a final time at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Plus we were listening to their songs in the hotel and in all the cars! We were becoming quite the fans! Plus they were really lovely boys! 

Lisa radio’d up to say they were ready to unveil the windows and we all got into this massive lift and went downstairs. Then we all waited in a line, each waiting to go outside where the crowd was waiting for the windows to be unveiled. There was a lady outside presenting who was apparently a presenter from E! Television. Unlike the previous event, Rose and I hadn’t learned a script and didn’t know what she would ask us, but we knew it would be the usual things like “What do you love about Christmas?” and other festive questions.

Lindsay told us to walk on and we stood with the presenter and listened to her questions. While she was talking I glanced around and saw loads of our fans right in the front row waving at us and Rose and I waved back. I saw a lot of people I recognised from meeting in our first Macy’s Meet and Greet in New Jersey. 

After our little bit chatting on the microphone, Before You Exit and Santa Clause came and then a football mascot for a Philly football team. When we were all on stage we counted down to unveil the windows and the curtains were open. I remember thinking at the time, Omg, that was our second window unveiling over, this is all going so quickly!!

Then we got rushed back in ready for the Meet and Greet to start on time. Lindsay snapped photos while we chatted to everybody and it was really nice seeing fans we already knew from comments and tweets and also seeing them at New Jersey! It was also amazing to meet to many people we’d never seen before. I kept asking people where they were from and loads of them said Philadelphia and I just thought, well that’s cool, they’re in Philly watching our videos and now we’re in Philly meeting them! Lots of people were from abroad but were in Philly to study so I assume they have a really good University there! We met one person who really stood out in my mind, who was a Mum. Her daughter had wanted to see us but couldn’t attend because she ended up in hospital, so the Mum came to get a photo and we signed some stuff and made a video for her. (Another really sweet viewer who didn’t know this Mum helped her film a video on her awesome camera to make sure she had amazing footage to take home to her daughter, which made my heart swell) So that whole experience was really touching and I was glad this girl had such an awesome Mum that she took time out of her schedule to get some footage for her daughter.

We also saw a few older fans who were a married lesbian couple, which is always awesome, a few gay guys a few straight guys and an all-round mix of great people!! It was fun!



When the line had finally ended we had to go upstairs quickly. Even though our Meet and Greet is over the shop is still open and we have to get out of the way of people buying their Christmas presents! We ran to the lift and went upstairs to our dressing rooms.

We gathered up our stuff and prepared to leave. We had to rush off because we had a train booked to take us to New York that we reallllllyy didn’t want to miss because there was no way we were going back to the airport and getting another plane. We all packed into the lift to go downstairs, Santa, security, Before You Exit and their crew and loads of Macy’s people. It was a huge lift, like, I’m pretty sure you could have put a load of cattle in that lift and there would be space and the lift would hold the weight, it was obviously this huge heavy duty lift. And we were all stood there and it was really cramped I was shoved in a corner with all my luggage and the lift goes down and we reach our floor, the ground and …. the door just doesn’t open. So we’re all just staring at the door, pressing the button for it to open and it is NOT opening. And a few people start to make jokes about not going home and I’m just panicking so badly, staring at the door waiting for it to open because I get claustrophobic SO badly. And Rose looks at me and I know she is just reading my mind because she knows exactly how and she just says “Look at me and breath - don’t panic” and I’m just looking from her to the door and her and to the door and then eventually (but not for a while!) the door opens, and I felt so relieved I almost cried a little. Seriously, I am so claustraphobic. It REALLY annoys me because life would be so much easier if I didn’t have it, and what really bugs me is that I never used to have it, I used to be fine. But as I’ve got older, it has got worse and worse. We stepped out of the lift into Macy’s and Lindsay rushed us outside, which was dark now, and into the fresh, night air and that felt soon good after being stuck in that hot crowded lift! Lindsay is trying to hail a taxi while Rose and I are just enjoying the fresh air and are stood there smiling. Rose is asking if I’m ok and I’m like “Uhhh yeah I’m great now I’m out that lift!” We turn around and see Lindsay running over to a cab and opening the door and we follow suit.

We get the cab to Philly train station and other than Macy’s, the train station was all we saw of Philly, so I guess that authentic Philly Cheese Steak will have to wait for another time.

The train station was a cool place and we didn’t have long to wait for our train. We dumped our luggage and went and sat up in first class, and Donnie went off and came back with a round of beers. We cracked them open and a wave of tiredness struck me, as I put my feet up and gulped down the beer. After no sleep and a full on day I was exhaustedddddd. I sat on my phone, deleting a load of old photos and videos so I would have loads of room to record and take loads of photos in New York. Rose and I held hands and looked out the window at the scenery, taking photos every once in a while. It was really pretty, the outside was so dark but not black, like a dark bluey-purpley with tonnes of twinkly lights shining. Gorgeous.

The train journey wasn’t long, maybe an hour or more, and we sat and chatted and drink and chilled until we arrived at Penn Station. We went for a quick wee and then stepped out the station to hail a cab… and my energy instantly changed. “This is more like it!!” I said to Lindsay and I definitely perked up, seeing New York again. Oh my god, it had only been three months since I’d last been there and man it felt great to be back. The smells, the people, the yellow cabs, the buzz, the noise, the dirt, I love it!!

Lindsay’s loving it because she loves New York and she’s smiling it me like “Yeaaaahhhhhhh? You glad you’re back?” and as she’s talking she’s doing that thing where she runs into the road and starts getting into a cab, and Rose and I are running after her, suitcases in tow. We hop in a cab and go straight to our hotel, The Omni Berkshire. 

The Omni is gorgeous! We check into our room and start to freshen up. I throw on a burgundy red dress from H&M with some heeled lace up boots and tights, and wrap around my new Calvin Klein coat from Macy’s. I added some red lipstick to brighten up my makeup, brushed my hair and we went outside to hail a cab. Rose was also wearing lipstick and looked beautiful. I was smiling at her in the cab asking if she  was ok. I know she was just as excited to be back in New York as I was.

Our cab was headed to Sons of Essex, a restaurant/bar Lindsay had recommended us. On the way the cab stopped to pick up Donnie and then we arrived. It was really thriving and we had to wait for a table and while we did that we stood in line to get into the bar, IDs ready. I didn’t even say a word, I was just stood in line, rifling through my handbag but the bouncer still winks at me and calls me a ‘pussy cat’ I literally have no idea why. The other day someone messaged me on Tumblr and asks if Rose gets a lot of people coming on to her and how do I deal with it. If someone comes on to either one of us, unless they are being rude, overly persistent or aggressive we just laugh it off and feel proud of the other for being a hottie that catches peoples eye. I noticed that Rose gets a LOT of attention in Britain but for some reason, the Americans like me. I have no idea why, especially as Rose has a stronger British accent, I feel.

We got in and got a seat at a table, ordering drinks right away, the girls going for Moscow Mules and I had something really strong and citrussy. I tried to try something new every day in NY, I didn’t want to order the same old tried and tested things I drink and eat in England. I really wanted to EXPERIENCE the food you know? So I kept ordering these random drinks that caught my eye. And the food, oh the food. We couldn’t decide because there were so many good options we literally could NOT come to a decision. Then Lindsay has the bright idea of ordering a tonne of tiny dishes with all the food we wanted and sharing. Sharing plates! That’s what they were called. So, off the top of my head, I know we definitely ordered mussels, some kind of chicken wings with sauce, lobster on some sort of brioche rolls, mac and cheese with truffle mushrooms and I’m sureeeee there was more. Every single plate I tried tasted SOOO good. I kept putting each bite into my mouth and really enthusiastically going “MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM” and “YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM” with every chew. The drinks were starting to kick in and we ordered another round.

I looked around Sons of Essex and I fell in love. I may even love it more than Serendipity (yes, I really DID just type those words!!) It was dark, but had candles on the tables and low lighting about. There was a live DJ in a corner who was constantly mixing two really good songs together and creating new amazing super songs. He had a giant screen by him that was projecting music videos, and he was mixing the sexy Robin Thicke song with something else, so all you could see on the screen was really sexy naked women. I was squeezing Roses hand and winking at her haha and I was definitely getting drunk because I kept telling Lindsay and Donnie how much I loved this place. 











We ordered pizza and some chips and dip which I totally could not squeeze into my body no matter how hard I tried and we chatting away, I think one of the boys on the table across from us had caught Lindsay’s attention so we were laughing and chatting about that. The girls started telling us stories, they had so many good ones about playing lacrosse and sports and all this stuff from school that was obviously complete news to us so we were just sat there fascinated. I love hearing their stories, not only because they are funny, but it’s also twice as interesting because you get to hear all about a different culture and the little things they do that’s different from England, and I love it. But as the night rolled on, Donnie was talking and my mind started drifting. My head was getting really heavy and so were my eyes. I started thinking about how I really could not be bothered to take off all my makeup and brush my teeth and dig out my jim jams from my suitcase but then was internally debating with myself that, as much as I couldn’t be bothered to do all this, I HAD to, it was inevitable. I told Donnie that I was so sorry I wasn’t being rude but I just simply was crashing, and I could see Lindsay wiping her eyes because she was so tired from all her hard work at the event and lack of sleep too. 

We all hopped into the taxi, the outside being absolutely FREEZING, very different from Philly. As we opened the door of Sons of Essex to leave the wind cut through me like glass, it was INSANELY cold. We got out of the taxi one by one until Rose and I were dropped off just opposite our hotel. All we had to do was wait for the lights to change and we could cross the road, but just being stood there for those few minutes we were freezing. Rose was screaming “Fucking HELL it is cold!” my ears were burning it was so cold. We ran into the hotel and into the lift, heading up to our room. I got the room key out and rammed it into the door as quickly as humanly possible and we were sighing with relief as we threw our coats and shoes off.


After the washing and teeth brushing that I managed to get done before crawling into bed I had one final thought; oh my god, we are back in New York!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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24 comments

  1. It's SO cool to hear about this day in such detail after having been a part of it!! These posts are amazing I can't wait to read more about NY round 2!!

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  2. Woo I'm so glad you guys got to visit Philly even though it was only for a short time :) I'm actually a little surprised neither of you knew how big Philly was going to be haha we're the 2nd biggest city on the East Coast (after NYC) and the 5th biggest in the entire country. Hopefully, next time you two will have more time to check things out, I think you'd like it!

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  3. OMG Rosie I just love your travel blogs. I think you have found your true calling: travel the world with Rose and write about your adventures. Whatever you do in the future, please keep on writing - you have a wonderful conversational writing style that draws the reader in and keeps her interested. I can't wait for your New York blog. Thank you, Rosie.

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  4. Rose: FUCKING Hell it's cold!!! ��������
    Anyway , Rosie thank you so much for describing everything so well and I almost feel I lived the experience with you !!! It was so HUGELY AMAZING to see you again !!!

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  5. i enjoy reading all your story thank u for sharing it rosie...its perfect....

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  6. While I'm sitting in 65 degree temps in California, I could actually feel the cold in NYC as you described your experience. Great writing. Thank you and please continue to write. Didn't you mention a possible novel in your future. I'd buy it.

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  7. As always, well done Rosie! Thanks for sharing to us your experience and making us feel that we were also with you and Rose there in America. Btw, I always get excited every time you have a new post. Keep them coming!

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  8. How if you can write even though weekly England dairy!

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  9. Aw I love your blog! I really like the way you write in such detail I can easily imagine the situations. Also, the ending phrase was absolutely amazing! Love it, keep doing it because you are SO good! :)

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  10. The only thing missing from this blog was how amazing (Read: creepy) the window was! Can't wait to hear the behind the scenes action from all your time in NYC!

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  11. Good job making it through those 1st few days, because it all just sounds SO exhausting. Like I've said before, bless Lindsay. Just, you know, having nice attentive friends like that...that's nice. Wellp, I'm so glad to see that you had such a fun and memorable experience regardless of the blistering cold.

    Now if you'll please excuse me while i go google brown sauce.

    More please and thank youuuuu :)

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  12. I am in awe of your sagacious, attentive talent for writing, Rosie. Precious wittiness in your process. I truly enjoyed reading this post because I could feel the cutting cold. I could taste and smell the food and drinks, see the colours of the night and day, and hear the ambience noises. Best wishes to you and your loved Rose--from Utah, U.S.
    Ав

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  13. You knocked another entry out of the park, Rose. You write with so much detail. I feel like I was there with you. My fav parts are when you describe looks that Rose gives you when something happens. You both are so lucky to have each other. It's a perfect partnership.

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  14. love it! Thank you again Rosie. You and Rose are God's gift to each other.

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  15. While reading this im also freezing!!!! Great blog Rosie! Way to go! You're such an inspiration! I really admire your talent, i love reading your blogs. Keep it up!

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  16. this is so amzing Rosie ! i was so absorbed and i couldn't stop reading !! the way you write i s exceptioanlly special and i wouldn't mind if you wrote more of these ? as in on weekly basis !! that would be great yeh ?? and that book of yours I CANNOT wait to read it !! i already asked u about it on twitter and u said u couldn't tell me when u were gonna publish it but PLEASE do so as soon as possible !!

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  17. SO. MUCH. DETAIL. I love it! The guy on the plane sounds SUPER annoying! It always sucks when someone else just CANNOT get the hint that you do not want to talk, but at least you were polite! I wish I would have been able to make it over to Philly or Pittsburgh, I just live too far away and we're trying to save money for our wedding! Hopefully I will meet you and Rosie one day!

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  18. I could not stop smiling upon reading this. :) Not only are you a gorgeous woman, you are an amazing writer as well!! I cannot WAIT for you to have a book published. Keep doing what you do. :) Enjoy your Christmas!!

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  19. This article is really interesting & the photos are so great!
    Also the design of your whole blog is really pretty, girl! ♡
    I’m following you via gfc & look forward for your next post. You’re great – keep going!
    Adoorablee.blogspot.com ♡

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  20. Great place, wonderful food with modern ambiance and comfortable seating with plenty of room. It is now probably one of the best places in my list. Perfect food at events in New York, great decor and vibrant atmosphere.

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  21. Las amo chicas, en especial soy fan de Rose me encanta!! Me gusta leer sus blogs. Saludos desde Mexico

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  22. Your take on Pittsburgh reminds me just how beautiful it is living here. As a native, those things rub off at times. I hope Rose wasn't wearing that 412 top in Philly haha

    Glad you liked the U.S. You're welcome back to the Burgh always!

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  23. Please come to Snellville GA, or Atlanta! You guys are my absolute favorite YouTubers, and I would probably just fan girl and pass out repeatedly. Please visit Atlanta or Georgia! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

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