Saturday, February 21, 2009

Philadelphia Trip Report

As eveyone knows, Kurt and I went to Philadedlphia for his bday over Valentine's Day weekend. Below is the trip report and link to pics from that trip! :).

Day one--Thursday

Flight to Philly was pretty short. It only took about 59 minutes of air time to get there. The end of the flight was a little bumpy because of a wind storm in Philly, but it was fine. (which after the fact was somewhat freaky because that night around after we landed, a plane crashed in Buffalo, NY, from windy/icy conditions). Got there and our luggage came out right away. We then grabbed a taxi to the Omni. Love the hotel to pieces (although this as shortlived because of a bad experience later in the trip). We are Omni Reward Card members, and they upgraded our room since it is Kurt’s bday. It is soooo nice. They left dessert for two in our room with a bday card. Our room’s bed is really comfy, and has a flat screen TV, couch, desk, and other kewl stuff. We have views on two sides of our room into Independence Park, and can see Independence Hall from our room. I love it. Anyway, the first night, we basically got here and explored the hotel, then went to bed. We were both pretty tired from work and then the travel.

Day Two--Friday

Slept in, and grabbed the orange juice, coke and newspaper that was left outside our door FREE. Part of the Omni Loyalty Program. Chilled and watched the news, then got ready and headed out to Independence Park. We did a lot of walking today, and saw Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court, Physick House, Betsy Ross House, and the US Mint.
Independence Hall
Independence Hall was VERY kewl. It had the area where the first Congress was, the first Senate, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and where the first Supreme Court held sessions.
Liberty Bell
The Liberty Bell was very kewl to see in person as well. It was smaller than I anticipated for some reason though......The museum leading up to it was really informative and since I am not a history buff like Kurt, I learned a LOT.

Quaker House
Stopped into an actual Quaker house too, and it was really interesting. They do not have a "leader" in their house. They are all considered equals. Anyway, this house we went to was one of the oldest in the area. The seating was all original, from the 1700s.

Philly Love
Franklin Court was where Ben Franklin's house "used" to be. It was all about him, and it had this ADORABLE movie at the end about a mouse called Amos that I loved.

Physick's House
The Physick House was a very old mansion that housed the first surgeon in the US, who also invented soda pop. The guy who did this tour was very friendly and seemed to really love the house and it's history.

The Betsey Ross House was neat too. Her grave was there, as well as her history. And, the US Mint was kewl to go to. We got to see money being made, and a museum with a lot of money history stuff. Had dinner at an Indian Place called CafĂ© Spice. Had lunch at a place called Cosi, which was awesome. I wish we had the place near the office. Awesome tuna melt. My legs are killing me now……….We were on our feet about 7 hours today. Almost nothing involved sitting down today, LOL.

Day Three--Saturday

Masonic Temple
Started with a tour of the Masonic Temple Tour where the free Masons meet. This place was GORGEOUS and the tour was really informative, although nobody filled me in on the "secrets" of the Masons, which I really wanted to know, haha.

We then headed to the Franklin Institute museum where we saw an Imax movie on caves, a 3-D movie about bugs and walked the museum. This museum itself was kinda lame, but the movies were kewl. I think it is more a museum for kids, I think we went to the wrong one by accident.

Masonic Temple
Off to the Mutter museum about medical oddities. This place was SUPER kewl. I could not believe some of the stuff they had in there. Prob not a place to take the kids.....And no cameras allowed, so boo on that.

Sher and Kurty
Dinner with Sher and Patrick at Moriarty’s for Valentine's Day. It was awesome to meet them (this was Kurt's friend from high school). Kurt got slightly, OK a lot, trashed, but hey, it's OK! We were not driving, LOL. Had lunch at an Irish pub as well called Mace's Crossing Pub, and the place had AWESOME food. I had a tuna melt and cajun fries. The place was SO small, a total hole in the wall, but I loved it.

Day Four--Sunday

Heather and I
Had brunch with Heather at The Continental. The place was super cute, and the food was really yummy with interesting meals and way too big portions. It was awesome to finally meet Heather in person. She is super funny, smart, and so easy to talk to and be around. So much so that we had dinner with Heather at Raw, her fav sushi place, and went to her place to hang out afterwards. The food at Raw was INCREDIBLE. I always say Crave tops my list of sushi places, but this place is a CLOSE second. Plus, it is more laidback then Crave. The Capitol Roll i got was amazing. Earlier in the day, we got a massage at Topper’s in Rittenhouse. it was nice to relax, but the massage itself was average. I am used to my therapist here, or Rebecca, and most people just do not use enough pressure for me.

Went to the Anthropology and Archaeology museum at Penn. This place was really kewl as well. I loved the Egyptian portions, and the African special exhibit.

Archaeology and Anthropology Museum
Oh, why I got pissed at the Omni. I scheduled massage appointments at the spa, Lux Spa and Salon. This was in the hotel. I then cancelled the appointment, because I decided to try a different place that was recommended to me. I cancelled the appointment FAR ini advance of the 24 hours notice required. On Sunday morning, I get this call from the spa asking where I was at. I told them I had cancelled my appointment. They proceed to argue with me about this, telling me I had not, etc. Kurt was right there and heard me do so. After about 10 minutes of being rude to me, they offered me appointments for later that day, but if I did not take them, I would be charged. So, i went downstairs to complain to hotel management. Well, the girl working the front desk, the "front desk manager", was rude and unprofessional. She was not the General Manager of the place, as he does not work weekends or something. Anyway, she was NO help, basically told me that there was nothing she could do, as the spa is separate from them and SOMEbody has to pay, and it was not going to be them. She told me to just dispute the charge with my credit card company. We were livid. I would have checked out, except we paid in advance with Expedia. Anyway, once we left, I called my credit card company and cancelled my card and they automatically too the charge off my account sinc it was still pending from the hotel. I could not believe how horrible I was treated by the front desk and the spa. **since we got back, i filed a complaint on the Omni site. That SAME day, I got an email from the hotel, the front desk manager girl. Of course, in her "I'm sorry" email, she was still being snotty and rude and telling me I was wrong. My guess is she got yelled at by corporate, because there is no way this girl would have voluntarily been nice to us. She offered me a free stay, and offered to take the spa charge off my card. I was like, it would have been nice if you did that WHEN I ASKED instead of after I complained to corporate. It would have made everything better. Now, I never want to stay at their hotel again. Lame, but I am glad it was taken care of.

Day Five--Monday

Checked out of hotel, headed to the National Constitution Center. Saw a show and toured the place. A lot of kewl legal stuff was there, which I liked. In one part, you could try on a Supreme Court Justice robe.

Elfrith's Alley
Went for a walk in Elfreth's Alley, which is one of the oldest streets in the country. The colors and buildings and road were really kewl...

Me, in a Boat
Went to the Seaport Museum on the water. This place was neat too, it had replicas of all kinda of older boats and yachts and such.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Went to the Eastern State Penetentiary. This may have been my fav part of the entire trip. The place was a photographer's dream, and the history and tour was incredible. but, it was COLD. No heat and all colder than outside. They did have hot chocolate half way through the tour, which warmed me up. Had lunch at Brownie’s Irish pub. After the prison tour, we walked through some shops in Phily, and I got to go into a 1154 Lill store for the first time! That was awesome, but I did not want to make Kurt suffer, so I did not buy anything. It is kinda a time consuming process and I did not want to rush.

Old Philadelphia Hospital
Stopped and saw the old Philadelphia Hospital, which I think is the oldest hospital in the US? Had dinner at airport, and then got home around 10:00 p.m.

Overall, this trip was great. I loved exploring a new US City, and it was very relaxing and low key. One odd thing was, people in Philly seemed surprised that we would pick there to travel to. I dont think people realize how BAD Detroit is. They were comparing Philly to Detroit, and I would say "HELLO, Detroit does not have spa, nice restaurant, and luxury store every block". Philly is so much nicer than Detroit. Anyway, I wish Detroit was as nice as Philly. It is sad that ou city cannot be as built up as other major cities in this country. It just shows how poorly run Detroit has been for a really, really longtime.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Best Parts of this Trip
1. Meeting Sher, Patrick and Heather
2. Eastern State Penitetiary
Worst Part of this Trip
1. Weather was kinda cold for parts of it, which was expected
2. Ordeal with the hotel
Here are the rest of my pics from the trip. Getting to use my camera for the weekend was so nice as well......I miss it!

By the Water


Brittany said...

It sounds like a great trip! I love your pictures, especially the one of the old Philadelphia hospital.

Katie said...

Woohoo! That sounds like such a fun time! (Except for the spa/hotel mishap... that sounds pretty awful...)
I love the pic of the penitentiary. Amazing.
I'm going to look at the rest on flickr now ;)

Nicole said...

What a great trip! Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic trip! I hope Kory enjoyed it as much as you did! :)

Cosi is delicious... and I'm super jealous that you got to meet Heather, and she got to meet YOU! :)

Heather said...

Wow, your pictures are amazing! I've never been to the penitentiary (although I had dinner across the street from it last night!), and I think I'm definitely going to have to check it out. They do a huge haunted house thing there around Halloween, and I almost went with Patrick but it was sold out for the night... which was fine by me since I don't handle scary stuff well.

I'm so so so glad you had such a great time here! It's no secret that I'm madly in love with Philly, and I think the people you talked to are nuts: Philly is a fantastic city to visit! It's not as overwhelming as Manhattan, but it's got great food, culture, history and personality. (I think the city should start paying me for my enthusiasm!)

Rachael said...

I have never been interested in seeing Philly before, but your pictures have shined a little light on it! The Anthropology and Archaeology museum sounds pretty neat!

Kelli said...

You have some pics of the building I work in :) (Right across the street from Independence Hall)!

I'm so glad you had a good experience here - makes me proud of my city (except for the Omni brats).

I wish we could have met up! Let me know if you ever come back!

Kelli said...

You have some pics of the building I work in :) (Right across the street from Independence Hall)!

I'm so glad you had a good experience here - makes me proud of my city (except for the Omni brats).

I wish we could have met up! Let me know if you ever come back!

Megan said...

Philly sounds like such a neat place to visit! Chris and I should plan a trip out. Thanks for sharing!

.................Nancy said...

Wow you make me want to visit Philly!!

MonkeyTalk said...

The pics are fabulous! I work across the street from The Anthropology and Archaeology museum at the football stadium. It was great seeing Philly through you photos. It brings a greater appreciation for the city I've called home for almost 30 years. If you ever come back I'd love to meet up!

Miss Thang said...

Looks like a blast...must add to my list of places to visit :)