Monday, November 2, 2009

Best Weekend Ever?

Man oh man. Is it just me, or do the weekends just keep getting better and better?! As I had mentioned in my last post, I spent this past weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. And let me tell you, it was THE place to be. There was just SO much going on . . . everything from the World Series, to Pearl Jam playing the last shows EVER in the Spectrum, to Obama visiting, to Halloween, to an Eagles game on Sunday. Holy moly, there was a lot going on!

My flight got into Philly around 9:00 Friday night and I made my way straight to our hotel. Wilson had tickets to the PJ show that night as well, but sadly I couldn't find a flight that would get me there in time, thanks to my school schedule. Thus, he was on his own for the show. I was a little bit bummed, but it was fine. I got to the hotel by around 9:30 p.m., changed into my PJs and sprawled out on the super comfy hotel bed. Considering how crappy I was feeling (thanks to my stupid sinus infection which was, of course, only made worse by the flight--hello severe ear and sinus pain/pressure), this was probably for the best. I fell asleep with the television on, and awoke to Wilson petting my head at around 12:30 a.m. We caught up for a little while and then hit the sack, excited for the big day ahead of us.

The next morning, we took our time getting ready, and eventually headed out to a restaurant I REALLY wanted to get brunch at. As lame as this is, I had seen it mentioned in the American Way magazine found in the seat back pocket of my American Airlines flight to Chi-town a couple weeks earlier! But seriously, I am so glad I trusted that magazine because the place was just AWESOME. It's called Jones, and it is seriously the cutest place ever. I highly recommend you check it out if you are ever in Philly. It's just a really fun, lively place. They serve some seriously awesome comfort food dishes, and I just love the decor. Check out this photo taken from the restaurant's web page:

We were seated very quickly right next to a cozy fireplace, and were served by a friendly waiter dressed up as Lady Gaga (all of the servers were wearing costumes--loved it!). In addition to the monkey bread that Jones is known for, they also had a special pumpkin bread available as a starter. Um, yes please? We couldn't resist, and holy crap, I am glad we didn't! That stuff was DELICIOUS! Wilson went for a yummy looking huevos rancheros entree and I decided on a turkey sausage, spinach and cheddar omelet served with tater tots. The food was seriously awesome. I will definitely go back there whenever I'm next in Philly!

Next up, we went on a nice, long walk to a movie theater that was showing Paranormal Activity. It WAS Halloween after all, and we knew we had to do SOMETHING to celebrate the holiday! Okay, fine. The truth is I REALLY wanted to see the movie, but was too afraid to go by myself! Luckily, Wilson agreed to go while we were in Philly so that I could see it! :) Anyway, it was just as freaky as I'd hoped, and definitely set the mood for the holiday (and gave us a lot to talk about to boot)!! When it was over, Wilson and I headed back to a cozy coffee shop we'd passed on the way to the theater and enjoyed a little late afternoon caffeine fix. The best part about this place (other than the delicious coffees) was that the windows were wide open (it was unseasonably warm on Saturday), and we could watch all of the dressed up kiddos walking by with their loot :) Some of the costumes were just ADORABLE!

After our coffee break, we headed towards South Philly, passing oodles and oodles more trick-or-treating kids on the way. It was so much fun to see everyone out and all dressed up that the walk FLEW by. Before we knew it we were at Tony Luke's, anxious to devour some REAL cheese steaks. We knew we'd made the right decision about where to get our cheese steaks* when we saw the long, long line. Luckily we had plenty of time before the concert started to wait it out. When we finally got our grub and took our first bites, it was like heaven on a hoagie. Holy goodness, that was some good stuff! My mouth is watering now, just thinking about it! See for yourselves:

We ate our massive cheese steaks as we walked to the Spectrum for the last show ever before the place would be demolished. We got slightly wet on the way, as the weather turned a bit uncooperative . . . but it didn't dampen our spirits any. We knew we had an epic Pearl Jam concert to look forward to . . . and epic, it was. The boys were in rare form, playing songs they rarely (if ever) play, and just having a blast. They played for 3 1/2 hours straight! It was just an INCREDIBLE night that we were very lucky to be able to experience. The only downside to the show was that I COMPLETELY lost my voice, singing and cheering my lungs off for my favorite band EVER. I just had nothing left by the end of the show. Oh well, it was well worth it!

On Sunday, we lazed around the hotel room all morning until it was finally time to check out at noon. While I was getting ready, Wilson--being the sweet boyfriend he is--ran out and grabbed us breakfast (fresh coffee and blueberry/banana filled Belgian sugar waffles--yum!) from this amazing place called Bonte; then after we checked out, we headed out to explore the Independence Mall area and get a dose of history, since we're geeks like that. We got to see the Liberty Bell and toured Independence Hall and Congress Hall . . . and we spent a LONG time checking out the Dialogues with Darwin exhibit in the Philosophical Hall. I think we were both pretty into that exhibit--yep, total nerds! It was all very cool to see and a GREAT refresher in some of the American History that has slipped my memory since high school. I really do love historical sites like that . . . it's just so cool to be in the same places where historical events took place centuries ago! Fun :)

After we finished up with our history tours, we moved on to our last meal in Philly. We hit up the Reading Terminal Market in search of some grub.** Sadly, when we got to our intended restaurant, DiNic's Roast Beef and Pork, we discovered it was closed. But no worries, there were PLENTY of other yummy places to choose from. After wandering around a bit and checking out the options, we finally went with Hershel's East Side Deli, where we both ordered the most mammoth-sized corned beef sandwiches I have ever seen in my entire life. See Bonnie S.'s photo from yelp:

It was SO good, but there was just no hope of me finishing that thing. I made a valiant effort, and then we headed back to hotel to collect our things and head off in separate directions; I, back to Orlando . . . and Wilson, back to NYC.
Wilson was sweet enough to walk me to the train station to make sure I got off to the airport alright . . . and I tried my hardest not to sob as we said goodbye. It was rough. We'd had such a wonderful weekend together, it was really hard to see it come to an end. But at least we'd made some pretty awesome memories together that weekend. What more can you ask for out of a weekend, really? I'm just so glad I have someone to share the best things in life with . . . travelling, eating and running, of course! I am one lucky girl! :)

*Truth be told, most of our decisions about where to eat when visiting in other cities are made based upon where Man vs. Food filmed while in the city. This is true for Tony Luke's as well.

**Again, this decision was based on what we saw on Man vs. Food. We are so predictable . . .


Running and living said...

Wow, awesome weekend. And such a romantic story you guys make, meeting in Philly for the weekend. I am just loving this:)

The Laminator said...

Wait, wait, did I start off reading a running blog and end up reading a romance novel?

Anonymous said...

You fit a LOT into 2 days!!! Glad you guys got to see each other :)

Cracked up about where you found restaurant recommendations, ha! But hey! They turned out pretty good, right?? I don't see the problem... ;)

DelDean said...

Wow, making memories! awesome!!
From your post I'm trying to determine which you love more:
1. bf
2. PJ (tix both nights?...really, one nite not enuf?)
3. sloppy sandwiches overflowing with meat.

Well- whatever the order, it makes me smile and remember that I was once a 20-something and so in love with such things.

Marlene said...

What an awesome weekend! But seriously, all of those food pics are making me HUNGRY!

Marlene said...

What an awesome weekend! But seriously, all of those food pics are making me HUNGRY!

Rachel said...

How fun! Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Not going to lie--I was half expecting to scroll down and hear about a proposal or something. Glad you had a great time in Philly :-)

Spike said...

wow, what a great weekend. pumpkin bread...ummm yes please!

and a PJ concert at that, awesome.

X-Country2 said...

Awww, cute people warm my heart.

Anonymous said...

I find places to eat in new cities based on magazines and food shows on TV too!

That sounds like a really awesome weekend. I was jealous from your description!

Paul said...

Irish, I have seriously shown the photo of your sandwich to a dozen people. Amazing! It is just as well I do not live in the US of A as I may well be the size of a house.

And I love the Philly Cheese Steak too. On our one and only sojourn to Hawaii (on our honeymoon), my wife Fiona and I ate a version of this at a 'Jack in the Box.' I am sure they are not like THE REAL THING but we fell in love with them.

If only I could get them here.

Paul :-)

rUntoNamAste said...

I literally bit my screen looking at those sammies. I love that you guys are such foodies.

p.s. thanks so much for your kind words and support during my NYCM journey. I am super excited for your 2010 experience. I'll be on the side-lines cheering for you with a big ole Irish Cream sign :)