The first day of spring every day is kind of a big deal in the Northeast. Therefore, it’s kind of a big deal on campus. Sure, the weather’s nice and it means Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are finally out of mind. (For those of you who don’t know who Punxsutawney Phil is, educate yourselves on Pennsylvania culture.) But more than all of that, the first day of spring means free Rita’s water ice. (For those of you who don’t know what water ice is, figure it out and then get some. And yes, it is indeed pronounced “wooder ice” in Philadelphia. Deal with it. My mother, after growing up in the city, will certainly correct you if you say otherwise.)
With a Rita’s right off campus, on the corner of 15th and Cecil B, it becomes the most-flocked-to destination on this given day. About a month and a half ago, I decided to look up the first day of spring. Upon seeing it was on a Tuesday, I was pretty bummed. Tuesdays are my jam-packed days: class all morning, work all afternoon, and then a night class to cap it all off. There was no way I’d get to Rita’s.
Thankfully, a few of the Owl Ambassadors with night classes looked up on the website that our North Philly location wouldn’t close until 9pm, and we could still get there after our classes ended at 8pm. My class let out about twenty minutes early, so I walked across campus to the Rita’s and wasn’t shocked to see the line stretching down the block and around the corner.
I saw my friend Ryan, who was at about the halfway point and said the wait hadn’t been terrible, so I walked to the back of the line where I had perfect timing to meet my friends Rachel and Emily after their hockey game, though we hadn’t planned it at all. After waiting for about half an hour, we finally got our water ice and found a picnic table to sit down, enjoying the first day of spring. Sure, I settled for vanilla instead of my usual chocolate or cherry, but it’s still water ice. And it’s still delicious, and even more delicious after a long day of working and taking classes.
Sure, we’ve had nicer days this spring than today. But, to me, you can’t have Rita’s until the first day of spring. So today means summer’s around the corner…and a lot more water ice is still to be had. Thank goodness they accept Diamond Dollars.