Wednesday, July 23, 2008

City Of Brotherly Love: Being Tourists

The drive from DC to Philly was less than 3 hours. Except for the occasional traffic at toll booths, we sped along. We passed by Baltimore and Delaware, and next thing we knew, we were in downtown Philly! It had been a while since my last visit to Philly (it was Christmas Day a couple of years ago - I remember frigid and empty) and while Luke's past jobs had taken him to Philly, he never really visited as a tourist. It was hott (yes, 2 ts), but we were very happy to be there!

The Reading Terminal Market is a great place to shop and food watch! Opened in 1893, this lively market has over 80 merchants offering fresh produce, meats, fish, groceries, flowers, baked goods, crafts, books, clothing, and specialty and ethnic foods. The market does not take long to visit, especially if you are not there to shop or to eat. Regardless, I had lots of fun walking around and looking at food. The market has all sorts of food vendors, from Thai to Indian. We didn't stay for lunch, but did treat ourselves to a soft pretzel from an Amish vendor. It was only $2, much cheaper than Auntie Anne's!

The Old City is where all the educational touristy attractions are located. Of course we walked around the area. Did I mention it was unbelievably hot? Yi-Hsin bought us a round of ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts. We did not get tickets to go inside the main part of Independence Hall, but visited Congress Hall and Old City Hall. We also saw the Liberty Bell.

While waiting for the tour to start, I used the brick wall as the backdrop and snapped some pictures of K+Y. They turned out well!

Then we walked to Elfreth's Alley, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the country, dating back to the early 1700s. All the houses on the alley are well maintained and particularly charming. I really liked all the flowers and the bright colors of the houses. I am sure these houses are expensive now since the alley is a National Historic Landmark. However, back in the old days, the homes were lived by everyday people who built and sustained the City of Philadelphia.

I thought the Love Park would be a lot bigger, but pretty much the picture of me and Luke shows it all. We were there for merely 10 minutes, but saw 2 wedding parties taking pictures. Popular! I can see why - it's a pretty place with a fountain. However, there were tons of skateboarders! There is a sign that specifically indicates no skateboarding too. I guess rules aren't heavily enforced in Philly? With all the skateboarding, we didn't feel like staying for too long.

We made it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art after a very long walk. From there, we saw the famous Rocky Statue and skyline. There was a line of people waiting to get their pictures taken with Rocky. Everyone did the same pose; it was funny. My brother and I got our pictures taken too. :) Oh yes, while there, we saw at least 3 wedding parties. Ever heard of originality, people?! ;)

It was a day full of walking under the hot sun. By the time we got in the car to drive to my brother's, we were sweaty and sticky (and Yi-Hsin's feet were not happy with her (or her shoes) at all). Luke and I made a mental note to get K+Y a good pair of sandals soon.

Not pictured here are our dim sum lunch at Chinatown, a stop at Rite Aid for band-aids, and our mango/berry gelato that helped us cool off. All very important part of our trip, but didn't get an opportunity to photograph.

It was a fun day and we saw lots of stuff! Again, thanks K+Y for walking around with us! See, now you know how we vacation! :)

Coming up next, Luke and I go to Longwood Gardens!

Related post: City Of Brotherly Love: The Beginning

3 comments:

  1. cool oh! good post and good pics! we definitely visited a lot of places in those few short hours. we totally ran out of gas after the art museum. a big thanks for Yi-Hsin for toughing it out and walking all over the place with us.

    all in all, I'm not sure I like or dislike Philly any more or less than before this. but I do know we had a great road trip!

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  2. Thanks! Those collages took me FOREVER. I really like them though.

    I agree with Rocky Road, Philly is nothing to write home about, but for some reason, it was still a nice weekend trip.

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  3. yeah, pics are very nice oh! Reading market was neat. Can't believe i used to walk by that place all the time and never bothered to step inside. Amish pretzels rule!!

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