A few weeks ago my wife and I were trying to plan a weekend getaway to celebrate our 40th anniversary.
Our first thoughts were either the Jersey Shore or the Pocono Mountains, but then after a bit of brainstorming, we decided to spend a weekend in Philadelphia.
We have been to Philly hundreds of times in our 40-year marriage, but we have never spent a night there. After all, why would we? We lived less than 30 minutes away.
But we thought this would give us a chance to better experience the city as true locals, and to give us a taste of what possibly living in the city would be like.
We just returned home, and all I can say is that the weekend far exceeded our already lofty expectations. Here’s a quick summary for anyone who is looking to waste five minutes of their day:
- We took the train into the city Friday afternoon; no car would be needed in the city.
- We stayed at a wonderful hotel, the Warwick, which is right in the heart of the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, our favorite part of the city.
- Friday night we got takeout from Hip City Veg and the legendary Di Bruno Brothers; both outstanding choices
- Saturday started off with a tasty sidewalk cafe breakfast at the iconic Metropolitan Bakery
- We then wandered the street of Philly, stopping at several open houses. We found one of the brownstones particularly appealing.
- Early afternoon, we stumbled across Jose Pistola’s Mexican restaurant, and my wife suggested chips and guac and a beer. Who could turn that down? And boy, did we hit the jackpot – the best guacamole we have ever had.
- We then went to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG), a mosaicked visionary art environment, gallery, and community arts center that preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic art environment and his public murals.
- Back to our hotel to refresh, and then a 30-minute walk to dinner at Buddakan, where we had one of the best dinners we have ever had.
- At that point, we had walked over 20,000 steps, over nine miles. So we opted to take Uber back to our hotel.
- Sunday morning we had brunch at Parc, which is right on Rittenhouse Square. My wife’s sister and her husband, and their daughter, joined us for the best brunch I have ever had.
- We then went to visit our niece and her husband who had just had their first baby a week ago. It was a wonderful way to end our weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.
I know there are many superlatives in that list, but they truly were that good. The only downside might be what the scale tells me tomorrow morning…
My wife and I have already made tentative plans to do this again next year for our anniversary.
And who knows; we might become city-dwellers yet…