I wanted to recap our Philadelphia trip while the memories are fresh in my mind. When I found out that my friend Alli would be getting married in a town that is on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Phil and I decided to fly in early and spend some time checking out Philadelphia. I am so glad we made this decision as we had the BEST time in Philadelphia. I had spent about a day there for work 3 years ago and had a positive experience so I thought we would like it but we actually liked it even more than we thought we would. While we have no plans to leave the Midwest, we both left Philly thinking - we could totally live here.
We flew in on Friday morning and after checking into our room at the Westin (which was in a great location) we headed out to grab some lunch. We wanted to get seafood and thanks to Yelp, we found Luke's Lobster, which was minutes away from our hotel. This place was amazing! They have lobster, shrimp, and crab rolls. Phil had the crab roll and I had the lobster roll. I have never had a lobster roll because I've never encountered a place with gluten free bread, but this place had gluten free bread which was hands down the best gluten free bread I have ever had. I loved that the lobster salad did not have mayonnaise in it - it let the lobster meat really shine. If you like lobster or crab and find yourself in Philly, you have to check this place out!
After fueling up, we headed out to explore the city. We covered a lot of ground as according to the step counter ap on my phone, we walked 12 miles that day, 9 of which were miles walked in Philadelphia (we covered 3 miles that morning between walking to the train and around the airport in Minneapolis).
Philadelphia's roads are a grid system so it was extremely easy to navigate. We saw sites such as Elfreth's Alley, which the oldest residential street in the U.S. which dates back to 1736! It was so charming!
We stood in a long line to see the Liberty Bell.
And while in the viewing area of the Liberty Bell, we took in a gorgeous view of Independence Hall! Aren't those pastel flowers stunning? We had seen Independence Hall earlier in the day from a different vantage point but this view topped it!
We scoped out Reading Terminal Market as we were planning to eat lunch there the following day, and then we headed over to China town.
|You know you are in China town when there is a window display with roasted ducks!|
We had been walking around for 4+ hours at this point and our feet were screaming so we headed back to the hotel room to rest up for a bit before dinner. The concierge recommended an Italian place in the Rittenhouse Square area, which is the area where we were staying so we headed over there around 7.
Now this is where things get interesting! I was facing the wall and Phil was facing out into the dining area. I heard the host bringing someone up the stairs into our section and all of a sudden Phil's eyes got VERY BIG. He started mumbling something but I could not figure out what he was saying so I asked, "is someone famous here?" and he aggresively shook his head yes. I discretely turned around to see Sylvester Stallone at the table behind us!! It was the most surreal moment ever. I mean, you can't have more of an authentic Philly experience than seeing Rocky in the flesh! It turns out that Stallone was in town promoting his new Rocky movie. I so badly wanted to take his photo or ask to take a picture with him but Phil insisted that we let the man eat his meal in peace. So I obliged. I'll definitely never forget that experience, though, or the look on Phil's face when he saw him!!!
After dinner, it was a beautiful night so we walked over to Parc, which is an adorable French bistro where we sat on their patio and had a drink. We would also highly recommend this place as well as it was very charming and a great place for people watching as it faces Rittenhouse Square.
On Saturday morning we had a lazy morning which was nice as we were exhausted from our early flight and all the walking we did on Friday. We had an early lunch at Reading Terminal Market, which is another must see spot. I didn't take any photos but it's an area that is packed with restaurants and groceries stands where you can get fresh meat, fish, veggies, you name it. Phil had a cheese steak sandwich and I had some yummy Indian food. After that we started to walk down Ben Franklin Avenue towards the museum area of the city. It was a really pretty walk and in some ways it reminded me of the Champs Elysees in Paris.
|The museum at the end of the road is the Art Museum which features the stairs that Rocky ran up!|
After that we headed back to our car and made our way to Lambertville, NJ which was about 45 minutes away for Alli's wedding weekend festivities. I'll share about that next week but suffice it to say that we had an amazing time!!
Have you ever been to Philadelphia? Have you ever visited a city that you ended up liking way more than you expected?