It’s been 13 years since my first and only trip to Philadelphia. I had just graduated high school and my patents took me on a road trip to the East Coast for what would likely be our last family vacation. (Not that we took many of these. Our only other vacation was to the Smokey Mountains and Dollywood. My parents. World travelers they are not.)
We only spent a night in Philly and all I remember is seeing the Liberty Bell and we have zero pics to prove it so this trip was basically my first time exploring the city of brotherly love.
First up on the “must-do” list was eat a real Philly cheesesteak sandwich. We walked a couple of blocks to Old City and found a no-frills place called Sonny’s. The weather was gorgeous so we grabbed a table outside and watched as people walked up and down the street and into the bar next door. After dinner, we walked down to a soda/ice cream parlor called The Franklin Fountain. You know it must be good when there’s a half hour wait and a line out the door. Just as I was ordering our chocolate shake (for him) and The Stock Market Crunch (for me), we caught a glimpse of lightening so we took our order to go and high-tailed it back to our hotel before the storms rolled in.
Saturday morning I had to be up at the crack of dawn, and considering the time change, let’s just say it was WAY too early to be up on a Saturday for me. But, this was my first speaking engagement and I was co-presenting with the global brand manager of my favorite chocolate company, so I wanted to make sure I brought my A game. Surprisingly, I wasn’t the least bit nervous of getting up and talking to a group of about 60 women. In fact, I rather enjoyed it and only wish we would’ve had a bit more time to get to all of the questions. Afterward, I hung around for a couple of more sessions and chatted with my panel partner, talking shop. I walked away feeling completely inspired by the conversations and even though I was there to GIVE knowledge, I think I came away gaining a lot more.
Saturday evening, after a quick meal at City Tavern where the decor and wait staff are all dressed in period clothing, it was game time. As luck would have it, our beloved Cardinals were in town playing the Phillies, so we bought the cheapest tix we could find and headed down to the new Citizen’s Bank Park. Now, I’m a HUGE Cardinals fan and would never say a bad thing about Busch Stadium. BUT. The Phillies stadium? It is spectacular. Mostly because of the variety of food and drink you can get there. Usually, I only require some non-stale tortilla chips and warm nacho cheese with a few jalapenos to watch a ballgame, but this place had just about anything you could want. My favorite treat had to be the warm, cinnamon and sugar donuts from Federal Donuts. Baby D loved them too. In fact, we loved them so much, we made sure to make a pitstop there before we left for the airport on Monday.
Anyway, back to the game. The night before, the Cardinals had lost so we were thrilled when the Cards won 5-0 and all of those runs were scored while we were at the stadium. The temps had dropped considerably from Friday so we weren’t able to last until the 7th inning stretch like we’d hoped, but it was still a great time and I’m glad we can cross another stadium off our list.
Sunday was still pretty chilly but we were determined to make the best of the crappy weather. We put our names in for brunch at a place called Farmicia, located in Old City. While we waited, we went on a hunt for coffee and found a quaint little place on a side street called Old City Coffee. (I highly recommend the almond flavored latte.) By the time we got back to the restaurant, our table was ready. Hubs had the breakfast quesadilla and I had the jumbo lump crab omelet, while baby D slept. (Thank goodness.)
We spent the rest of the day walking off our brunch. Between trips back to the hotel to feed/change the baby, we explored the city on foot. We took a (free) tour of Independence Hall, checked out the Liberty Bell visitor center, walked around Washington Square, ate cheesesteaks at Pat’s (we drove), took a carriage ride near Independence Hall, walked down South Street and over to Penn’s Landing. Eventually we made our way back to Old City again and had dinner/drinks at Pizzicato. (Calamari, Quattro Formaggi pizza and beers.) We spent the rest of the night watching the news about the Boston bomber capturing, along with the rest of the country.
Monday it was back to Old City Coffee for our caffeine fix, mailed some post cards from the very first US post office where Benjamin Franklin was head postmaster, took a short drive to Federal Donuts for those delicious warm, cinnamon sugar donuts, a quick stop at Target for some extra formula, and then a trip to IKEA because I simply can’t resist stopping anytime I see that big blue and yellow sign. Finally, the time came to return home.
So that was our trip to Philly. And though I wish the weather would’ve been a tad bit warmer, it was still a pretty incredible trip in a beautiful city with a ton of American history. And best of all, we saw everything we wanted to see while pushing around a baby stroller and a very active and verbal 10 month old.