Last Thursday I felt this sudden urge to go out of town this weekend. With such a last minute urge I couldn’t really go very far without shelling out some big bucks but fortunately I now live on the east coast so even without traveling very far I’ve got plenty of options!
Normally, my default is to go down to the city but since I spent New Year’s eve there I wanted to go somewhere different. Where to go, where to go…
I thought about going to Niagara Falls just so I can see it at night with all the pretty lights on, but I also wanted to see it while it was frozen over. Since it’s been warm here lately, it wasn’t frozen over so I decided against making a trip there just yet. I also thought about opening a map and just picking a random city, but given I had about a day to find a reasonably priced place to stay and the fact that I tend to go in a wormhole when researching something, I decided to reach out to a friend for suggestions. She suggested either Philadelphia or Rochester, both of which are about 3 hours away albeit in opposite directions. Well, I had never been to Philly so I decided to go there! Woohoo! Location picked!
After navigating the busy and confusing streets of Center City, I parked my car at the Loews Hotel, a pretty swanky, centrally located hotel that offered hot chocolate the night I checked in.
The first night I didn’t do anything exciting other than order an elk burger (I’ve never had elk!) and enjoy a free beer float sample from Bareburger. I don’t even have any pictures because I was talking to people at the time and I felt ashamed of my typical tendency to take a picture of everything. Besides, I didn’t want to end up on the Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food…
The next day though I was all sorts of ready!
Real talk though, I really took this picture because my hair looked all sorts of fly that day! See! Even this sign agreed with me!
I started the morning off at Plenty Cafe, a cozy and quiet cafe that I probably would have frequented had I lived in the area. The coffee was pretty freakin’ good and so was the food. (Also, did I mention my hair looked great that day? :P)
I had to check out of the hotel after breakfast and I guess it was so energy consuming that I was hungry again by the time I was done, so I decided to check out Reading Terminal Market (pronounced “Redding,” which I had no idea until I was corrected the previous night…).
After perusing the goods, purchasing an almond croissant and butterfinger flavored coffee, and then getting caught trying to take a picture of said uniquely flavored coffee (dang it!), I decided to burn off the calories and walked over to the Independence Hall.
Tickets are not required during this time of year (woohoo! I love freebies!!) so I got to enjoy a 30 minute tour of the original courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Assembly Room.
Within the vicinity of the Independence Hall was Washington Park and Jeweller’s Row.
I meandered aimlessly for a bit until I decided that it was time. Time to visit Rocky’s steps.
I’m not going to lie though, I was more interested in visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art than the fact that these steps were in a famous movie…:P
After exploring to my heart’s content I decided it was time to go home. The intent was to drive straight home from Philly but…I got hungry.
Belly and adventurous spirit now satisfied, it was time to go home.
I’m not sure what prompts me to go on these solo trips, that sudden urge to get away from it all, but I do know I always look forward to coming home. Weekends like this make me really grateful and appreciative of the circumstances that led me here to middle-of-no-where Binghamton in the first place. If it wasn’t for that random assignment in a city I had never even heard of, I would have never known that I would love it here so much. I would have never met the wonderful people that I now consider close friends, I likely would not have thought to make this change in career path, and I would not have really gotten to know myself and realized how much I enjoy being alone. So for the people who told me I would hate it here because there’s nothing to do and no one to do it with, you can go and love yourself. Because I feel pretty damn happy and blessed to be here.