we <3 philly

Last weekend, as part of our Penn State Reunion, Andrew and I spent the weekend with Marvin and Abigail, who live outside of Philadelphia.  Visiting them is always especially fun for me, as Marvin’s home town is actually MY ‘hometown’ (if I could call a place that, having moved more times than I can count and never spending more than a few years in one place–the only places I actually remember well enough are Doylestown, PA and Chesapeake, VA), and he and I would have graduated from the same high school, had I attended high school there. And, as Marvin and Abigail as also Penn Staters, I suppose it was our own little college reunion, too. WE ARE!

On Friday night, the took us to Stove and Tap, a fabulous restaurant in Lansdale. Marvin and I are HUGE foodies (seriously, on family meal outings we always sit within arms-length so we can trade bites) and where they take us to eat is always a highlight of a visit.  Stove and Tap did not disappoint; my meatloaf with bacon jam and blue cheese was ridiculous, Andrew’s fried chicken drizzled with honey (he made an exception on the ‘no-added-sugar’ thing) was a work of art, and Marvin’s smoked trout with gnocchi was literally melt-in-your-mouth.

The next morning, after a long run (I always come prepared as I’m an early riser), we set off on the train to Philly for the day.


Our first stop was Marvin’s office at Aramark, located in one of the city’s skyscrapers.  We didn’t even have to leave the train station, as the stop is in bottom of his building, certainly a perk in the winter, for sure.

After checking out his office and the awesome views from the 23rd floor, we walked across the way to the Reading Terminal Market, which is a mass of food vendor stalls.  It was very crowded, but we managed to take a lap before we each decided what we’d have for lunch.



Andrew and Abigail opted for some meat sandwiches, Marvin grabbed a greek salad and I chose a small mac and cheese and a ‘farmhouse’ salad from Hunger Burger.  The salad had hardboiled eggs, avocado, bacon and onion rings–so unique.


After lunch, we hopped back on the train to the Penn Museum, where Andrew wanted to check out some Middle Eastern artifacts.


The museum had some special events going on that day to celebrate the re-opening of their viewable artifact lab, where we were able to ask one of their conservators about how they clean and preserve the pieces.

We also jumped into a cuneiform class, where we were able to see and touch a 5,000 tablet inscribed with the ancient writing, and learn how to write our names on our own clay tablets.



After we finished up the museum, we hopped into our first Uber (!!!!) to head over to The Good King Tavern, a little French bar Abigail and Marvin liked.  We got some drinks and ordered a socca to share, which is a chickpea ‘crepe’ Andrew and I tried in Nice last summer.  We’d already decided to get cheesesteaks for dinner, but it took every ounce of willpower not to beg to stay there for dinner–it’s definitely somewhere Andrew and I would frequent if we lived in the area.


After our libations, we walked to South Street, where Abigail and I popped into a consignment shop and the boys checked out a shoe store selling used Jordans for astronomical prices–only in Philly.  We waited in a long line for cheesesteaks and Jim’s (not uncommon at some of the well-known locations) and were thankful for mild weather.






We all polished off our cheesesteaks in no time flat (so full, so good!), and Andrew insisted we find a water ice place he’d heard of, called John’s.  We’re both HUGE Rita’s fans (in fact, when we first started dating, I brought frozen Rita’s to his house as a treat), and Andrew was intrigued by its history. I begged off, sticking to my no-added-sugar commitment, and I was still very full from dinner.



We walked from there to the train station around 9 p.m., ready to take a load off.  Abigail caught us ‘resting our eyes’ for a few minutes on the way home.


On Sunday, after a quick uphill treadmill walk, we lazed around their apartment before meeting Marvin’s family for lunch in town.  I love that we know Marv’s family and they enjoy spending time with us!  They are fantastic, and I’m so glad Abigail has such great in-laws so close, since she’s far from home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking in the sunshine around Doylestown before Andrew and I headed home.  We’re already planning our next visit so we can eat more good Philly food, and help them move into their NEW HOUSE!

Shenanigans, part 6 or 7 or 8…

After the packers left and Andrew and I did some cleaning/rounding up around the house, we settled in at Jen & Dave’s to hang out before Jen came home from work.  Translation:  Andrew fell asleep and Dave and I watched a movie.  Defiance.  Daniel Craig is hot. In an older-man sort of way.

Jen was up for some shenanigans when she got home, so we headed down to Rita’s to meet Emily for some water ice.

Andrew wanted to make sure he said goodbye before we leave.  Emily introduced me to Mint Oreo Cream Ice–yummy!  I’m kind of a Rita’s “purist;”  I grew up on Rita’s back when there were no “Blendinis” or “Mistos” or cream ice.  Mango has always been my favorite (along with everyone else apparently; it’s there most popular flavor and is available every day) with plain chocolate (something I have yet to find at the Rita’s here) being a close second.  Anyway, back to being a purist.  I like my water ice plain or a gelati.  No mixing for me.  I splurged and got a gelati with vanilla custard.

Jen and Dave can be pretty goofy when they want to be.  That, and Jen was already up past her bedtime.

I look so pale.  And I want Emily’s hair.  She’s so beautiful!

And because Rita’s at 9:45 at night wasn’t enough sugar for our bloodstreams, Andrew got a craving for pizza.  We threw caution to the wind and headed to Little Caesars.  Sadly, they were closed.

Not to fear; we drove to Emily’s where we plopped down on the couch and turned the television on.  Has anyone ever heard of “Heartbreakers?”  Neither had we.  It was weird.

Emily prepped fruit for her early-morning drive and we said hello to Dan via phone:

Hi Dan!  We missed you last night!

Then, the inevitable happened:  Pizza was ordered.

It may not have been the best, but anything covered in cheese while hanging out with dear friends is just fine with me.

And you better believe my butt was on the treadmill this morning working it all off!

Movers are here loading up the truck and the basement is empty already.