philly for the fourth
I hope everyone had a great long weekend, celebrating the holiday or not!
My weekend was pretty great. I had a nice long weekend as my office was also closed on Friday, so the holiday festivities began Thursday night after work.
On Thursday night, I met up with two girlfriends (J and N) at a bar near Penn Station. That is where I encountered that annoying, doucheroo who took up the whole end of the bar area with is doucheroo friend. Anyway, we only stayed for one drink before we were to meet up with our Hostess-with-the-mostest for the night through Saturday morning. A pleasant train ride out to Princeton, NJ was followed up with a tour of “my future home”.
To say that Hostess’ home was beautiful is a huge understatement. Four bedrooms, four baths, gorgeous furnishings, an unbelievable master bedroom suite, awesome kitchen with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, stereo/music wired throughout home and backyard, office overlooking backyard, big sunroom overlooking backyard, huge windows and sky-lights throughout the house, three patio areas with tables/chairs to dine, in-ground pool with Jacuzzi, enormous back yard…I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, that I would move in the house today. As is.
I chose the “small” bedroom as Hostess described it, “there’s a small bedroom on the left at the top of the stairs.” Small? Sure, it was definitely smaller than the other two guest bedrooms, but it sure as hell wasn’t that small.
Thursday night was just sitting around on the patio off the kitchen eating pizza and drinking wine. On Friday morning, Hostess and J went food shopping for the pool party. They came back with a car literally full of food. Holy crap! Hostess was expecting about 25 people to come in/out all afternoon, but bought enough food for twice that. We spent the morning prepping food and setting up the pool area.
Then the people started to come…it wound up being mostly moms with their kids. It was very suburban-like. But it was cool. It reminded me of when I was growing up. And it didn’t freak me out, or rather annoy me, like it would have 10 years ago. I think I ate/drank my weight in food and beer. Then after the pool party, we cleaned up (the house and ourselves) and headed to another home for more food and margaritas. I ate so much, I made myself sick.
On Saturday morning, I rolled my fat ass out of bed and Hostess drove me to the train station so I could catch the Amtrak. With just a little bit of effort of me barreling my way against people traffic through two cars, I found St. Elmo. Luckily, no one had taken the seat next to him on a pretty full train, so we were able to sit together. The ride was quick into Philly and in no time we were checking in early at our hotel.
After freshening up in the room, we set out to see Philly. We headed east out of our hotel and were a bit surprised that the streets in Center City were not that busy on a Saturday around 11am. We didn’t finally run into crowds of people until we came upon Independence Hall/Liberty Bell area. We did not wait in line for the Liberty Bell (the line was ridic), but instead walked on to Penn’s Landing by the river and enjoyed the sun and water views. Eventually, we found a place to eat in Olde City and had ourselves Philly cheesesteaks (with provolone, not cheese wiz) and beer. Walked around some more, then went back to the hotel for a late afternoon shower and nap. (It was hot and I sweat like a beast, so I have to shower a couple of times a day in the summer. TMI, I know).
After resting up, we headed a few blocks south to Rittenhouse Square to find someplace for dinner. It’s a cute little area and there are restaurants with open air seating that look out to the park. We found a place and enjoyed a very lovely meal. Post-dinner, we wandered into a bar and threw back some beer.
On Sunday and possible thunderstorms in the forecast, we decided to do the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While we got some pics taken by the Rocky Balboa statue, we did not run up the stairs in Rocky fashion. With the 99% humidity, I think we would have dropped dead. But the museum was great. I, of course, got reprimanded for using the flash when I took some pictures. It would not be a museum visit for me if I didn’t get yelled at for something (I’ve gotten reprimanded at every single museum I have set foot in).
After the museum, we walked over to Eastern State Penitentiary. I’m not necessarily a fan of touring old dilapidated prisons, but this one is supposed to be haunted and I so want to see a ghost. I took a crazy amount of pictures in all the crumbling cells I passed. I stuck my eye up to all the peepholes I came across, whether or not I thought I could see in them or not. I still have yet to go through my pictures on my computer to see if I *caught* anything, but I’m thinking I didn’t. Boo! As in “boo hiss”, I didn’t see a ghost, not “Boo!” Casper the friendly ghost Boo.
That night for dinner we headed back to Rittenhouse Square. I know, kinda boring, but it was close and I was hungry and cranky. Another delicious dinner and then we hung out in the Square watching crazy younguns *tightrope* walk.
On Monday the plan was to chill out for the morning and then hit up the “Party on the Parkway” for the afternoon, scout out a primo fireworks viewing spot in the evening and then watch pretty sparkly lights fill up the sky. It was a hot day, but luckily a bit overcast so the sun wasn’t intense. We walked through the POTP, but after one lap back and forth, opted to pick a spot to set down grab some food. We found a nice shaded spot under a tree and hung out for a while. Eventually, I needed a restroom and there was a Starbucks a few blocks away. Across from the Starbucks was a Whole Foods, which gave us the brilliant idea to buy picnic grub there instead of relying on greasy festival food.
With food in tow, we headed back to an open baseball field area which we believed would provide a great vantage point for the fireworks. We set up our picnic, ate like little piggies, and waited and waited and waited for the fireworks. The fireworks didn’t go off until about 10:40PM. We got to the open field around 5PM. And we’d been outside since around noon. That’s a mighty long time. And to boot, I couldn’t get a damn connection on my phone nearly the whole time at the POTP and at the baseball field.
We caught a morning Amtrak train back to NYC and from the train station I went straight to work while St. Elmo took our luggage back to my apartment and he then went to work.
It was a really great weekend. From hanging with girlfriends in a gorgeous home and poolside to hanging with the boy in the City of Brotherly Love. It’s good to be home, but man, am I still tired!