Adrian blog readers! (Rocky reference, will explain later, I swear…) Matt and I are about at the end of our trip to Philadelphia, and though I usually wait until I’m home to blog trip wrap ups, the torrential downpour outside is keeping us tucked away in the hotel tonight. The weather has been out of control here (and by out of control I mean awful, cold, and full of sideways rain), but nonetheless, we found some time between conference presentations and 35 mile an hour rainy winds to explore the City of Brotherly Love. (If you really don’t care about our trip, no hurt feelings, sniff sniff, but scroll to the bottom for the giveaway winner.)
We flew out of Houston, and I was so happy that we flew Continental because it meant we got to use The President’s Club, woo hoo! Matt and I use Hotwire to book a lot of our flights, and since we hadn’t flown Continental in a while, I toootally forgot we had this little President’s Club perk thanks to our Amex. Airports are not my favorite places in the world, but these cushy chairs and free breakfast/coffee/booze/wireless make them delightfully more bearable!
Wednesday after checking into both the hotel and the conference (we had to pick up our nerd alert badges), we explored the city and found a hot little dinner spot. The Continental is a restaurant and martini bar with a retro-hip feel that apparently lots of Philadelphians find quite cool, and we would have to agree. It was yummy, and our favorite dish of the night was this Crispy Calamari Salad. Chopped greens, carrots, tomatoes, sprouts, and calamari, in a soy ginger dressing. Oh.my.gah.it.was.so.good.I.cannot.even.explain.it. I will no doubt crave this salad for the rest of my life.
Thursday morning Matt and I headed out for the conference bright and freaking early. (My husband has to be early to everything, which does not sit well with this always-running-late-kind-of-girl.) He insisted on wearing his badge as we walked downtown, pegging him as a total tourist. I preferred the taking pictures everywhere we go pegging method :)
After several very interesting presentations (cough, cough, not really), we headed to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch. We kind of stumbled on this place, and I am SO glad we did. It was awe-some. (So awesome, I had to hyphenate awesome.) There were hundreds of local merchants selling baked goods, meats, poultry, seafood, produce, flowers, Amish specialties, cookware, and every type of cuisine you could imagine. We snagged a spot at the Down Home Diner and split a fried egg burger. Gotta get in healthy poultry even on the road ;) I also picked up some dark chocolate covered raisins from of the vendors. (Raisins = healthy, right?!)
Friday morning we sketched out on the conference, and took a double decker bus tour of the city. I know, I know, it’s a touristy thing to do, but we were tourists, so it was a must (and a good way to see the city.) Matt and I’s favorite stop on the tour was the Philadelphia Art Museum, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the art. The steps leading up to the museum are the famous Rocky steps (cue “Eye of the Tiger” please.) Here we are posing with Sylvester, who clearly needs to work on his abs a little more.
Total sidenote: a few summers ago when we were in Rome, my brother did his best Rocky impression at the top of the Spanish Steps (shown here.) At that time, I had no idea what he was referring to because I’d never actually seen the movie Rocky. After being married to Matt for nine months, I have been forced to watch Rocky 950 times and now get the reference :)
Me at the top of the real Rocky steps. I think I injected too much of a drill team “high V” into my Rocky impression. The popped knee doesn’t look very authentic either :)
Matt and I at the top…Yo Adrian! PS: please notice that my nostrils are flared in this picture because I was so out of breath from the run up the steps. It was seriously pathetic. Half way up the steps, I had to pause for air. When we got back to the bus, a seemingly sweet, white haired man commented on my failure to make it all the way up the steps without stopping. “You didn’t even make it all the way up before stopping sweetie.” Well thanks gramps for pointing out to the whole dang bus that I’m an out-of-shape-fatty. You rock.
Speaking of fatty…we later stopped off in south Philly for an “authentic” Philly cheesesteak from Geno’s. (So “authentic” it was $8.25. Pssh, authentic my butt.) I didn’t really see the big fuss, but Matt really wanted to try one, so when in
After the lunch disappointment, we visited Ralph’s in South Philly, which is the oldest family run Italian restaurant in the United States, for a cannolli and coffee. I’d never actually had a cannolli before, and though I despise ricotta cheese, it was pretty good. And this place was pretty authentic, so it was a legit first experience in my book. (PS: I know it looks like all we did on this trip was eat and go to our nerd conference, but just FYI, Matt and I split meals when we’re out of town. I failed to mention that in my State Fair post, and about ten of my friends later questioned my appetite, as well as my cholesterol.)
Next big stop of the day, Independence Hall. I know its where our founding fathers laid the groundwork for our country (and I am forever grateful, seriously I am), but at this point in the rainy day, I hit my breaking point. I was over it. Historied out, rained out, toured out, and walked out. I proceeded to whine, complain, and be annoying till we got inside. Nooooot one of my better moments. We also saw the Liberty Bell on this stop and took a tour of the hall behind us, which was cool to see. At the end of the tour, I asked if we were going to see the Declaration of Independence. Matt laughed at me in embarrassment, and said, “No honey, it’s in Washington DC.” Oh yeah, oopsie… :)
All in all, our trip to Philly was a success. A soggy success, but a success nonetheless. Our presentation went well and we were able to get in some good sightseeing and some yummy food. But now, for the part of the post most of you tuned in for…the giveaway winner…drumroll please…
And the winner is…Summer Wind! Woo hoo, congratulations, random.org should be your new BFF :) Email me your mailing address at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get your new Kate Spade lovely shipped out to you. Congrats girl!
To all those who didn’t win, dry your tears, I have a feeling there are more giveaways in Smart and Sassy’s future. This one was too fun not to do another! So now that you’ve read way more than you probably cared to about my time in Philadelphia (why do my posts always end up being way longer than I anticipate?) tell me, what was your weekend like? I can’t wait to hear! Lots of love to you all!