That header line is certainly not true! Being a true blue New Yorker, I wasn’t sure how much I would like Philly and I’m surprised to say, that I liked it. A lot! There’s a certain serene feeling to it, a charm and friendliness from a bygone era and an artistic vibe that I definitely didn’t expect. I thought New York had the arts covered but the artsy vibe in Philly feels more like the early 90’s New York than New York does now. When everything was still gritty and done for the pure love of the art and not commercialism. Granted, I’ll never love anything more than I do my own city, but Philadelphia was quite a nice surprise for us.
We hit Philly to visit friends of ours and we’ve been loving the feel. It helps to have amazing friends that are so fun and culturally aware of things. They took us to the best places like Green Eggs Cafe in Northern Liberties and even though there was a wait, it was worth it, the food was that amazing! http://greeneggscafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Philly-Spring-2015-Menu.pdf.
The food was fresh and so rich and delicious. We ordered the kitchen sink which tasted like a hot smothered in gravy filled with biscuits and potatoes southern breakfast. Our friends ordered the chicken and waffle dish, which I turned down because I don’t like mixing my savory with my sweets, and boy did I kick myself for that decision! That chicken was incredible– so tasty, juicy yet still crispy… I kept looking at my husband’s dish but that grinch barely spared one spoonful with me. I’ll let you salivate over these pictures. Yum!
The first day we spent in Philly was gorgeous and sunny, the remaining days were drizzly and rainy but we made the best of it and still had a great time. In the 4-5 days we were there, we packed in so much fun! We went to the Please Touch Museum which was beautiful and so much fun for the kids! It was extremely interactive and included everything from a fun with water area called river adventures, a carousel, a space station where you can propel your own rockets, city scape- an area where kids can simulate work professions such as construction or simulate food shopping at a supermarket and more. You can easily spend the whole day there with your kid but we spent half a rainy afternoon there with good friends and our kids.
Belles & Sebastian
We visited the Adventure Aquarium which is in Camden, NJ- just right across the river from Philly and we had a lot of fun, particularly because we met up with one of my older, close friend from childhood and it was so nice to be able to catch up with her and see how big her kids have grown. My son is a natural people person who loves other kids, so of course he gravitated towards her sons and wanted to be on top of them right off the bat. Isn’t it weird when you haven’t seen someone in years and when you see them, it’s like you guys never missed a beat and you pick up conversations easily? It always amazes me when that happens. I certainly believe in lifelong friendships (though I haven’t had a lot of luck in that department) and responding to the vibes people emit. I love when things just click, and sure enough–even when I haven’t seen this friend in years, things automatically drop back into place when I do see her! Ok, forgive my rant. FOCUS!
The aquarium was a little run down but so much fun for the kids. I especially, liked two areas: the hippo haven which featured 2 hippos from the African Nile called Buttons and Genny. These two (big) little ladies were adorable! Mammoth in size and weight but so agile and delicate on their feet, it was fascinating to watch them glide through the tank and interact with other animals from their natural habitat. I also loved, the Jellyfish tank (so peaceful) and the SHARK tunnel-which my son was scared of but was so cool!
Hippo Haven- Adventure Aquarium
We also visited the Philadelphia zoo! It’s one of the first zoos built and one of the nicest. I’ve never before seen a mesh walkway built above ground and basically over the zoo for animals to roam overhead, so it was a sight to see a tiger and monkeys (in separate tunnel overpasses) walk above you. It’s incredible, and you get a birds eye view of these magnificent animals right above you!
And last but not least, we hit up Sesame Place! The main reason for this trip. My son watches Sesame Street so we knew he’d recognize some of the characters and he loves to dance along to songs and music–so the musical shows they had during the day at the park was so much fun for him. We also got on rides and watched the musical parade.
As working parents, it’s always hard feeling like you don’t spend enough time with your kid(s). My husband and I both work 40 hours a week each, and even though we have my mother-in-law watching our son 3 days a week since my husband’s days off are during the week, we both feel we don’t spend enough time with our son-or as much as we would like. So vacation is an especially luxurious time for us since we get to spend 24/7 with our kid, and even though he’s little, he knows the difference and revels in seeing us still there when he wakes up from naps, and being able to snuggle with us during the day and having a lot of outdoor adventures! At the end of vacation, he definitely gets separation anxiety from being away from us and we get the working parent’s guilt back full force. I guess that’s why during that off time, we value it so much and try to make it as much fun as possible and squeeze in tons of family naps, snuggles and kisses. When we were thinking about a fun place to visit that wouldn’t be too far from New York City and my kid could have a blast in, we thought Sesame Place. At 15 months, we wanted him to be able to do activities, and us do them alongside him–that’s why Philadelphia was the perfect place-we each got to do something fun we wanted. For the 5 days we were there we did soooo much stuff and spent time with GOOD friends, it was an amazing trip.
Stay tuned for the second part to the Philly trip–I have more photos galore!