This semester, Lycoming College introduced an exciting opportunity to its students: open bus trips.
An open bus trip presents Lyco students with free transportation to a city without a school-ordained itinerary. Previously, students were offered trips to cities through certain classes, but an open bus trip has no set plan. This means there are infinite experiences to be had and places to explore in cities like New York and Washington D.C. — all the school asks is a $20 deposit, which is returned to you when you board the bus.
I’ve been to New York City before, but only briefly, which was why I was excited when the school announced the open bus trip to the Big Apple. In the days leading up to the trip, my friends and I tried to plan out what we would do when we got there. In the end, we decided to have no plan at all, opting instead to explore Times Square and just see wherever we ended up.
The first places we went to were M&M World and Hershey’s Chocolate World, which were across the street from one another. I imagine they have an intense rivalry. (If they do, I have to side with M&M’s. Though Hershey’s did give me a Brookside Chocolate sample…) Both stores were fun, colorful, and reminded me of being a kid.
Another nostalgic store we went to was the Disney Store. From Star Wars to Toy Story, the whole store was full of adorable merchandise and friendly workers. I took a picture of Lisa with Stitch from Lilo and Stitch because their colors matched, and a picture of Tori with Lotso from Toy Story 3. (Tori wasn’t that thrilled, since he was kind of evil and all. But he really does smell like strawberries!)
Lisa with Stitch and Tori with Lotso
After the Disney store and a trip to Forever 21, we were all getting hungry. We chose to eat at a random restaurant called Wasabi, which sold bento boxes, sushi, and ramen. I got chicken ramen and a matcha flavored bubble tea. Bubble tea is a flavored milk tea with chewy tapioca balls at the bottom. If you’ve never tried it, change that immediately — it’s one of my all-time favorite drinks.
Across the street from Wasabi was Midtown Comics. This store was a nerd’s paradise, selling comics, art books, figurines, and t-shirts from dozens of different fandoms. I appreciated the books they had from shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Steven Universe, which I bought a comic book from. If you visit New York City, I recommend stopping by Midtown Comics so you can geek out like I did.
After the day ended, we found a café called Europa and had some coffee and lemon bars. On the walk back to the bus, I smiled the whole way, happy with our exploration of Times Square. Content, I fell asleep on the way back to Lycoming, glad for the opportunity.
Lycoming College offers many exciting opportunities to students inside and outside of the classroom. Learn more about the programs Lycoming offers to see if it's the right fit for you!