Pale Blue

Monday, September 8, 2014

Philadelphia Farmer's Market

After our run in the morning to the Rocky Steps, we were hungry for some brunch! We decided to stroll through the Farmer's Market on the way. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was shining, and we had a great time weaving through the stalls and wishing we had a kitchen to cook all the fresh veggies in! 

 While we couldn't enjoy the produce, there were several fresh flower stands that we just couldn't pass up! Lauren scooped up a cute little jar filled with delicious smelling buds.

Our favorite stand was at the end of the row, "Happy Cat Farms", offering organic tea and seeds along with their normal produce. Needless to say, it caught my eye after noticing this guy and his amazing kitten shirt!

Our hotel was just a couple blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. There was also a beer garden right across from the Liberty Bell. It was a great place to sit and have a couple drinks. I also got to meet up there with an old friend who lives in Philly that I hadn't seen since grade school! It's so common now for friends to be spread across the country- or even the world. I think it's great when people offer to meet and catch up even when it's been many years!

One of the most memorable activities of the whole trip for me was our dinner at the Franklin Institute. The museum was rented out after-hours and we were able to explore the exhibits while enjoying some fancy drinks. Then we had an elegant dinner underneath a statue of Ben Franklin in the entranceway. The setup was gorgeous, but unfortunately I had only my iPhone. 

Philadelphia had so much to offer, and now I truly believe it is one of the most underrated cities in America! The city is rich in history, culture, and has a great nightlife scene. I will definitely be back again! I am so glad I got to meet so many great people from around the world at the conference, see Kathleen whom I hadn't seen in many years, and make some great memories with a group of amazing friends! 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rocky's Stomping Grounds

We FINALLY arrived at our final destination after several days of purely pleasure traveling- Philadelphia! We didn't hesitate in checking out the local nightlife. We'd heard a recommendation for a bar we had to try out, and we did. Thus our first stop was "Dirty Frank's". The bar was small but bursting with character. The original artwork would keep anyone busy just sitting and soaking it in for most of the night.

We tried out a couple other places as well. The area we were staying in (right near the Liberty Bell) was stuffed with small, hole in the wall bars that were filled with both interesting decor and people. We stayed a total of two weeks and still didn't get the chance to try them all! That was definitely one of the aspects we loved most about Philly- the abundance of small pubs that were seducing you in with the promise of a night of casual drinks and long conversation.

I apologize for the poor photo quality after this point- most of the week they just boarded us onto buses and drove us to our next destination without a clue- we had no idea what to expect! The anticipation made for genuine excitement upon arrival, however it often left me with no better than my iPhone for photo purposes...

Another highlight of the week was our trip to the Philly's Stadium- Citizen's' Bank Park! The team was traveling that week, however we had exclusive access to the Diamond Club level with food and drinks, and private access to the field, dugout, and locker room! Being a huge baseball fan, I wish we could have watched an actual game, however I was honored to have the experience of a once-in-a-lifetime view of the stadium's insides!

And of course, being in Philadelphia, some fellow avid runners and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make the famous run to the "Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art! On Sunday morning, we made the trek and found some other interesting pieces of art in themselves along the way near City Hall.

We found a square filled with life sized board game pieces! There were Sorry pieces, Bingo pieces, Dominoes, and Monopoly pieces!

We also passed the famous "LOVE" statue- representative of Philadelphia's nickname: "The City of Brotherly Love".

Finally we made it to the steps! It was gratifying to make it to the famous steps, and to look out and see scenes straight from the movie. Everyone had "Eye of the Tiger" running through their heads on the approach!!

We were also treated with a surprise ride on a huge yacht on which we had dinner and cruised up and down the Delaware River! Complete with drinks, a dance floor, and some casino tables. I used the opportunity to learn how to play Craps!

The shoreline had several old ships docked along the shoreline. They definitely weren't going to be heading out to sea again anytime soon, but they were still magnificent none the less!

The week was amazing and we experienced many events that we will all remember for years to come!