Philadelphia

Oh my, I am so far behind in posts.  Since the end of September we have visited Philadelphia, road tripped to Maine, attended local Halloween activities and spent two and a half weeks on the West coast visiting family (along with an adult only trip to Vegas).  When I arrived home, I had an awful head cold.  Along with working full time and trying to feel better, writing blog posts have taken a back seat.  I decided to finally finish a post about our trip to Philadelphia over a month after I started writing it.

At the end of September we headed North to Philadelphia for a weekend.  Neither of us had ever been and with all the history there it was always on our list to go.  We left on a Friday, late morning and took Amtrak from Union Station to 30th Street Station.  The trip was about 2 hours and it was very nice and relaxing.  Eilam watched videos and looked outside while I read and Brian played games on his phone or tablet.

 

We found hotel prices in the Downtown/City Center to be very expensive so we ended up staying at the Embassy Suites City Center.  It was under $200 and we knew it provided free breakfast and happy hour.  It was an older hotel in a decent location.  It was a one bedroom with hide-a-bed.

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View from our hotel.  You can see the Franklin Institute with the columns to the left and the building at the end of the long road in the distance is the Museum of Art.

Friday afternoon after checking in, we walked to the Terminal Square Market.  What a busy, bustling place.  It reminded us of Pike Place Market in Seattle.  It was fun to walk through and look at all the different booths and stands.  We saw the various Amish made goods and food.  We stopped and got some ice cream for Eilam and milkshakes for Brian and I.  After exploring the Market we walked over to Franklin Square as it had a carousel and playground.  I would probably skip this as we were not really impressed by either.

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Due to a late lunch and then big milkshake, we really weren’t hungry for dinner.  I ended up buying tickets to go up to One Liberty Observation deck.  It was a nice view to look out at all the city lights.  Benjamin Franklin’s shoes are on the ground floor with his head on the 57th floor.  As you walk by the shoes lightning strikes, which really scared Eilam.  I bought our tickets online beforehand to save money.  There is a shopping center right there as well with a Bloomingdale’s Outlet.  We had never been to one and we could have spent a LONG time there.

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The next day we woke to the fire alarm going off.  After getting dressed and grabbing my purse, we walked the 20 flights of stairs down to the ground level.  Multiple fire trucks and ambulances came.  After about 10 minutes we just decided to go find a Starbucks and start our day.  So after a quick breakfast we walked down to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.  We got in on the 9:30 tour of Independence Hall which was very informative.  Between March and December timed tickets are required and can be picked up at the Independence Visitor Center.  After the tour, we got in line for the Liberty Bell (no tickets required).  While the line looked long, it moved fairly quickly and was only for security to get into the building.  After checking the Bell out, we were ready to head back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the day.  We bought a day pass for the PHLASH bus.  So for $5 we could ride this bus around town which stops at most of the tourist destinations and our hotel was at a stop.  It was convenient and cut down on some walking.

After showering and getting into clean clothes we walked over to the Franklin Institute.   It was a fun museum.  There were a lot of interactive science and technology exhibits.  Eilam was a little young but he still enjoyed our time there.  After over an hour exploring the museum, we were getting hungry and you can’t go to Philadelphia without having a cheese-steak.  We walked over to Cleaver’s.  Brian got the 1 pound Cleaver and I went with the Effin Hot Steak.  Eilam got the chicken fingers and we also got the loaded fries.  HOLY TOO MUCH FOOD (but really good).  Then back to the hotel for a quick nap.

After nap, we took the PHLASH bus up the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Eilam and I ran up the stairs.  We passed on standing in line to get our picture taken with Rocky though.  It was a beautiful day and there were a lot of people out and about and a lot of traffic.  So we had to wait a while for the next bus.  When it arrived we took it down to the Old Town/Waterfront area.  The bus has business type hours, so we did have to walk back to the hotel when we were done.  Dinner was at a random place we walked by going back to the Embassy Suites.  It attracted our attention though because it served breakfast all day and Eilam loves his pancakes.

Sunday we took a taxi to Mixto for brunch.  A few years ago Brian and I hiked the Incan Trail to Machu Picchu and one of the other hikers in our group lives in Philadelphia.  After a nice meal and visit, he dropped us off at the train station for our midday train back to D.C.

Philadelphia was a great city to visit for the weekend.  There were plenty of kid friendly activities and it was a very easy city to get around in.  Overall, it was a very nice weekend getaway.

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