A Vacation to Remember – Part 1

Philadelphia is awesome. Our trip was fantastic. Unfortunately we only got to see a small part of the city during our short stay, but it was wonderful. As mentioned on a previous post, this was our all girls trip to Philly; Paige and I went with my mom and two sisters.

We arrived in the evening on Saturday (Aug 6) and decided to contact our hotel to see if they had a complimentary shuttle service from the airport. They had a shuttle, but it was not complimentary. I asked about a car seat for Paige, as we did not bring one. The man on the phone replied they had none to offer, but that Paige could just sit on my lap. I said “Isn’t that illegal?” He said “We don’t care, it’s your choice.” Hmmm.

We made it to the hotel exhausted and ready for something to eat. We opted not to venture around at 9 pm, so sat down in the lounge and waited. The menu was not great; it was small, offering standard pub food, but we ordered any way. I had a chicken burger and shoe string fries that I shared with Paige. She liked the fries more than I did. Our room was comfortable, albeit small and had only double beds, not queens. We were booked for 2 nights so we did not have to find another place and check out the next morning.

We slept in. I chuckled to myself when one of my sisters asked the night before if we needed to set an alarm. We all concurred that it wasn’t necessary as we were not in a hurry to see anything; I thought I should not advertise the fact that Paige suffices as a great alarm that does not have a snooze button! Luckily, she wasn’t the first one up. By the time we were all ready, at 11 am, we were starving and again didn’t want to wander aimlessly for a place to eat. However, breakfast at the restaurant in our hotel turned out to be a great deal. Our server, after surveying my mom with her 3 girls and granddaughter, mentioned that he also had 3 daughters, which meant he knew more about shoes than any man should. He then whispered to my mom that we should all help ourselves to the full buffet as he would only charge us $12/person, instead of $17. The server was even more generous when he brought my mom the bill – he charged her for one full buffet ($17) and one small buffet ($12).

We set off for the the Philadelphia Museum of Art after eating. Fortunately, our room was very air conditioned and cool; unfortunately this resulted in all of us, except my mom, over-dressing for the scorching hot sun and humid air outside. We learned our lesson that day as we melted while waiting in line on the steps of the Museum. We were under the impression that every Sunday was Pay What You Can at the Museum. Once inside, however, we realized it was only the first Sunday of every month; coincidently, it was the first Sunday of the month! The Museum was grand both in size and splendor. Even Paige enjoyed herself.

After the sweltering walk home, we were ready to look up other things to do, and wanted to get out of the heat. We decided to find a shopping center. I suggested trying the Free Library to see if they had computers we could use. Our hotel did not offer free Wifi for personal computers. But you could only use the library computers with a library card. An observant man using his laptop was kind enough to ask if he could look up something for us. We now had a destination. The Shops at Liberty Place were closing when we for there, but it was cool and I could feed Paige. Later, we found out the hotel had computers we could use in the “business center” to better plan for the rest of our days.

We had a delicious dinner at Square 1682. I wanted to eat somewhere that purchased its ingredients locally and this was the closet one to where we were standing when at the Shops. I had a scrumptious mushroom tart; Paige ate many mushroom pieces (I found more evidence in her diaper the next morning ;). And the Chef brought Paige a fresh chocolate chip cookie, which we subsequently ate because she had no interest in it.

On our way home, we stopped at four hotels to inquire about availability and cost. The first was booked solid. The next two were much more expensive, but the fourth turned out to be more than “just right”. The cost was the same, the beds were queens, there was a roof top pool, AND a kitchenette. It was perfect. I would recommend the Windsor Hotel in downtown Philly to anyone.

That evening, Paige and I decided to go swimming. It was good timing because there were 3 kids in the pool who not only loved Paige, but she very much enjoyed watching them splashing around. After having a cleansing shower, and putting Paige to bed, the rest of us made a unanimous decision: tomorrow was for shopping!

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