A sample of things I knew about Philadelphia before visiting:
1. It’s always Sunny.
2. Up-to-no-good guys go around making trouble in the neighborhoods.
3. Tom Hanks dies of AIDS.
Now — from my limited experience — I can at least confirm the first is true. I’d also like to add blustery, cold, and full of one-way streets.
H and I packed in as much as we could in what we called our 36-hour Rumspringa.
We got to Philly about 10 a.m. Sunday morning, and headed straight to the Italian market for brunch at the popular Sabrina’s Cafe. The food was great, and the atmosphere was also so very charming — including homey coffee mugs.
Then it was straight to the Betsy Ross house for a little bit o’ history. After touring her humble abode and watching Betsy herself teach some little ones how to make stars (I guess stripes are self-explanatory), we needed to let out a bit of energy. To the Rocky steps — I mean Philadelphia Art Museum — we went. We met some friendly creatures outside, then headed inside to spend some time with Van Gogh, Monet, knights in shining armor, and so much more. Not to mention the architecture itself was a work of art.
In the afternoon, we headed to the hotel, parked the car, and regrouped before ending our day seeing the LOVE sign, doing a little window shopping, and relaxing with incredible burgers and craft beer.
We started at the Reading Terminal Market for breakfast: a ridiculously delicious Miller’s Twist pretzel and Dutch Amish-made breakfast wraps from Moses Smucker. I also picked up some Amish jams as souvenirs so I can start my PB&J diet (for myself and my budget) in style.
For the rest of the day, we had a decidedly more historical approach to the city. We took a peek at the Liberty Bell, toured the two-room Independence Hall, and spent some time at the National Constitution Center. We have a lot of museums here in the District, but I have to say, the NCC as I shall now call it, was one of the best I have seen. The content is basic — explaining our Constitution — but the approach is interactive, thoughtful, and, well, pretty.
The main circular exhibit — where you learn all about the governmental process and the different amendments — ends in a room filled with statues of all the men who ratified the Constitution. And while you can’t take photos in the rest of the place, this was ripe for… a lot of awkwardly posed selfies.
We ended our museum trip in a special feature exhibit all about the Prohibition, filled with instructions on how to do the Charleston, a line-up of famous era criminals, and other fun facts (Pabst made cheese! Mmmm). It was so good that all H and I wanted after was a stiff drink.
Instead, we visited Ben Franklin’s grave before walking back to the hotel. On our way out of town, we of course stopped for cheesesteaks. Although H is a vegetarian, so I was the only one to indulge — I got “wit Whiz.” And we chose Pat’s over Geno’s… for no real reason at all.
Overall, we really enjoyed Philly. The city was lovely, the architecture was wonderful (City Hall is a sight to behold), and the history was impressive. It was a quick drive, and we found our hotel room on Hotwire the night before, so it wasn’t too expensive either. AND we got home in time to watch The Bachelor.
Safe to say our Rumspringa was a serious success. Motown Philly, I hope to be back again.