Cheap, close, quick: try one of these Labor Day vacations

Kerry Lester

“Hey! How was your summer?”

This phrase – repeated hundreds, possibly thousands of times by Villanova students within the first few days of classes – usually elicits one of a few responses.

Some have had fantastic voyages to faraway lands, others worked like dogs and some simply sat around the house collecting dust and nagged by their mothers for a three month stretch.

I always find that no matter where I’ve gone, what I’ve done or who I’ve seen during the previous summer months, as a new fall semester begins, my sense of relaxation disappears. Papers, tests, bills, fights with friends or professors all slowly eat away at that easygoing person I once was.

Now, there’s no way to transport myself completely back to Margaritaville. But, there are some weekend getaways for any type of Villanova student that can ease a bit of tension, a weekend at a time.

The History Buff: If you’re a history buff, there’s no better place to go to school than Philly.

A ticket from the Villanova train station can take you to Center City and back for $7.50. Independence Hall, the Declaration House, the First Post Office, First Bank of the United States and, of course, the Liberty Bell can all be seen for free.

A trip to the Visitor’s Center at Third and Chestnut Streets can give you more detailed information about daily programs and activities.

Hungry afterwards? Stop at City Tavern on Second and Walnut streets, where the founding fathers used to kick back after a hard day’s work.

The Shopaholic: Whether you’re Jackie O. or Jean Simmons, there’s no better place to shop than New York.

Taking the Amtrak from Center City to New York’s Penn Station takes less than an hour and a half and costs between $40 and $50. Just think – the whole trip costs you 1/10 of a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s.

The Sports Nut: If you’re a sports nut, why not go to the Mecca of all stadiums while baseball’s still in season? The Red Sox face the Yankees Aug. 29-31, the Chicago White Sox Sept. 12-14 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Sept. 15-18. The infamous “Green Monster” is something every sports fan should see in person. And for those Cubs fans from Chicago, Fenway Park is a home away from home.

Looking for something a little closer to ‘Nova? The annual Army/Navy game will take place on Dec. 6 this year at the Lincoln Financial Field, also home to the Eagles.

The Wild Child: Dying to get something pierced, tattooed or altered? You don’t have to look much farther than South Street in Philly. Infinite Body Piercing on 626 South Fourth Street pierces and tattoos anything and everything safely and relatively inexpensively.

Feeling eccentric but not that dangerous? Tuesday nights at the Pontiac Grille have “punk rock karaoke”, 304 South Street. And, Greasywaitress Vintage on 701 South Third Street sells some sweet vintage threads.

These trips can’t take away the occasional stress you’ll encounter in this passing semester. But maybe, they can help you find that one last shaker of summer salt.

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