Where has this month gone? November has just flown by, right? A few weeks back, Mr. Fiancé decided he wanted to visit a friend in Philly to ask him to be in our wedding. Knowing I had friends in Philly and D.C. (thanks #BiSC!) and that Terra lived only a few hours away in Virginia, I began planning how I could make it work to see my friends, too. So our little getaway in November turned into a long weekend tour consisting of visiting friends in Philadelphia, Virginia & DC, all for about a day and a half each. Here is Part 1: Philly.
We went to Geno’s because you can’t be a tourist in Philadelphia and not try the famous Philly Cheese Steak. Why is this sandwich a must? I am really not sure, I wasn’t impressed. I learned that to make it the traditional way, you must use Cheesewiz. Umm, excuse me, what? Gross. That stuff is processed fake nastiness. I’ll pass and take the provolone, please. The sandwich was not all it was hyped up to be, but not as greasy as I expected. We walked the entire day from Geno’s to the City Center, around town and practically back again.
On our adventure, we passed little neighborhoods; some I felt more safe in than others. Trash, bums, broken windows and graffiti littered the streets everywhere. I noticed European style outdoor food markets with beautiful colorful fresh fruit and specialty meat shops, that made me miss Italy. One place had live chickens; when I realized it wasn’t a pet shop, I ran away flailing and shrieking. We noticed a burning trash can in the street. Apparently, we also visited Gotham City.
I insisted on seeing Love Park, which, for some unknown reason I kept calling Love Field. Maybe I thought it sounded like a baseball field, or Strawberry Field? But whatever you call it, it was so much smaller than I expected! Mr. Fiancé and I did some sight-seeing on our own and found this cute area with game board pieces as art statues from Sorry! Monopoly and Chess. We made our way through the tents of #occupywallstreet to the Liberty Bell and stumbled upon the National Constitution Center. I read about Katz Vs. United States and fascinated that even though that was in the ’60’s, the same privacy principle exists today, if not more-so; but that is a discussion for another post. It is amazing the amount of history that exists in Philly and much of the east coast, compared to Chicago. Finally, we met up with Tara for an absolutely delicious dinner at Dandelion and celebrated 11.11.11 at a local bar. It was wonderful to see her and catch up!
Don’t mind my phone, it doesn’t work properly obviously as it thought it was partly sunny at 11 o’clock at night. But how cool is that picture? It shows the time, the date and where I was! I had watched the clock like a hawk all morning, and then it came and went so fast, I missed it. I was only able to make one Epic-Big-Mega-Must-Make-It-Count Wish at night. Did you make the ultimate wish when the clock struck 11:11??
The following day, on Saturday, Mr. Fiancé’s friend took us to Philadelphia Brewery Company where we got to take a tour of the grounds. Not only was it something different from sight-seeing, we got to see beer actually being made. They were brewing while we were on the tour, so we got to see various phases in the process as well as taste beer straight off the conveyor belt. How cool is that?! I don’t think you can get beer any more fresh than that! Cheers.
Overall, I liked visiting, but I didn’t really like Philly. Unfortunately, it is not a city for me and I will not be rushing back to anytime soon. We said our goodbyes to our hosts and had our first Amtrak experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it. We watched a movie, read our books and were able to sit comfortably in our seats. Knowing that Terra was only 5 hours away, there was no way I was traveling to this part of the country without getting to see her. The time flew by faster on the train than it has on any 5 hour plane ride I’ve been on, it was significantly more spacious and comfortable than a plane or bus and a lot cheaper than flying. Not to mention, it was on time! I know that Amtrak goes through Chicago, but there are less destinations nearby. The east coast is lucky to have a train system that is so easy to use, convenient and cost efficient. It reminded me of the train system in Europe, and how it is used as a frequent mode of transportation.
I felt like all I did was eat and drink my way through Philly (and the weekend for that matter) but there is more of that to come! Stay tuned…