So. I did promise a real entry with pictures of Philly!
So. Friday around noon we headed up to Philadelphia from Baltimore, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, which I hadn’t yet actually listened to! It was quite appropriate, driving through Pennsylvania and seeing all the old buildings while listening to Hamilton sing about the civil war. So that was fun, and I definitely see why my husband loves Hamilton so much! (I also really want to read My Dear Hamilton now….)
Our first stop was Baldwin’s Book Barn. I mentioned this place on my Top Ten Libraries or Bookstores I want to visit, partly because I knew we were going to Philly soon and it was actually doable! It was pretty incredible. It’s a giant old barn, with four floors of used books. Lots of first editions, signed books, rare stuff. The stairs are narrow, and ceilings low – there were several rooms my husband couldn’t stand up straight in, and one stairwell he had to bend nearly double to go through! We picked up two books, one on sewing for my husband and one called How to Read Novels Like a Professor for me.
From Baldwin’s we drove in and checked into our hotel, which was a really nice hotel, actually. We then got dinner before going to the concert that was the whole reason for the trip, VNV Nation at Union Station. The space was really neat – we found a spot on a ledge near the rear of the balcony, we had a good view but weren’t down in the crush, and we could sit. All things that were important to me. I like VNV, but not as much as Alex does. This was my first VNV concert, and his third! I was very lucky and managed to NOT get a migraine out of the concert, so that was fantastic. It was really fun, and he played three songs from previous albums that I knew and really loved. One of the songs was one that meant a lot to Alex and I while he was in the military, so that was pretty special. They were also selling a certain style of shirt that Alex really wanted, as his shirt in that style is wearing out and getting a little small. So he was very excited to get a replacement.
Saturday was our day for tourist-y things! First we walked over to City Hall and admired the architecture and statues. Google kindly filtered one of the photos I took and made it look really neat. I also had a moment, looking up at a statue of a dude riding a horse, where I discovered the horse was very much a stallion. (Loving care in that sculpture, man.) There’s a lot of neat sculpture built into City Hall, and I took a TON of pictures of it. Not sure you want to see all of them, though!
Next we drove over to Independence Park, since we needed to move the car anyway. (Parking downtown sucks, man!) We walked around and saw The Liberty Bell and the remains of The President’s House, which was the third Presidential Mansion, according to Wiki. I was impressed that a LOT of the exhibit addressed the slaves that lived there. It’s good that we don’t forget that even in the North slavery existed. We didn’t actually go over to Independence Hall, just took pictures. (That’s the photo on the left.)
After Independence Park, we walked up to the Poe House several blocks away. Philly is – an interesting city. There’s weird sculptures everywhere, and they have some DEDICATED graffiti artists – one of these pictures shows graffiti on the smokestacks of an old factory building!
I actually forgot to take any pictures of the inside of the Poe House, but I took several of the outside. There was also a big mural of Poe on a neighboring rowhouse! The Poe House in Philly is much bigger than the tiny cramped one here in Baltimore. Now we just need to get to the museum in Richmond!
After the Poe House, we walked back to Independence Park, passing by Franklin Square, which had a carousel and mini-golf and what looks like a giant fountain in the summer. It was currently drained and strung with lights, and probably looks pretty cool in the dark.
Once we retrieved the car, we headed back to the hotel. We’d planned on hitting up Reading Terminal for dinner, but my feet were BEAT. It was a good decision, because it started raining shortly after we got back to the hotel. I had some fun taking artsy photos of raindrops on our hotel window with the Philly lights behind them! We ordered in Chinese for dinner and watched several hours of the Holiday Baking Championship on The Food Network and just generally had a cozy evening.
We did make it to Reading Terminal for brunch the next day. I didn’t take any pictures, but that place is really neat. And one of the bakeries whose name I cannot remember now makes THE MOST AMAZING flourless monster cookies. SO. GOOD.
Once we ate, we headed back south to come home – kind of! We actually stopped off at a friend’s in Baltimore and played board games for the rest of the afternoon, and got home pretty late in the evening. It was really a fantastic weekend, and oh man, I have missed traveling SO MUCH. We have a trip to Pittsburgh and Toronto planned for this summer, and I can’t wait!