Philadelphia. A city of history, pretzels, cheese-steaks, and brotherly love. Food > the Liberty Bell (at least for this trip) 🙂 Since I was fortunate enough to visit Philly as a child (and made all the obligatory touristy/educational trips), I left this excursion up to running and wandering.
This is Alex. She is amazing. She also happens to be a fashion designer for Ralph Lauren. No big deal. And yes, if I could race in Sperry’s I would.
As I said, this trip was mainly made for the purpose of running the Broad Street 10-Miler, but when my roommate and friend Lindsay decided to join, we were able to do a bit more exploring and check off another city on the east coast bucket list.
Started the morning with a nice juice and probably the only hope of vegetables I would get all weekend. I was able to snag it for a mere $5, which is a steal in comparison to what most juices go for. Oh New York City and your outrageous prices.
^^ quick look at city hall
Once we arrived in the city, Alex and I picked up our race bibs at the Philadelphia Convention Center, which I have to say was underwhelming. From there, it was a short walk to the Rittenhouse Square where we found ourselves amidst a weekend street festival (definitely made up for the lackluster bib pickup).
Just look at all the people up there ^^ There was BBQ, free photo booths, and swag giveaways (if you are into the cheap sunglasses and drink koozies). From sushi burritos to cupcakes, cannolis to green juice, one could have been in foodie heaven. Of course I opted for more of the free sample route, but everything looked divine.
A trip to Philly is never complete without a trip to Reading Terminal Market. I am 99% sure I went here when I was in elementary school and refused to try the famous cheese-steak. Of course, that was during a time where I avoided all types of Mexican food and mint chip ice cream. For those who don’t know me, those two items are now very high on my top 10 favorite foods list.
Anyways, Lindsay and I met up with my friend Mia (who by the way crushed her Boston marathon with a time of 3:25!!) who is graduating from UPenn this year and knows all the good spots to visit in the market. She led us around and let us know which spots were touristy favorites and which spots were the real deal. Since we couldn’t taste-test every item, I’ll have to leave the final decision up to you all.
I did come away with a few samples of nut butter (duh…I can’t stay away) and a good ‘ol Philly pretzel. Folks, Philly pretzels put New York to shame. There’s no way you want to have one of those stale looking things on the side of the road if you can have one of these. Leave the street carts to the uber-tourists (who don’t know any different) 😉
Everyone knows there is a hot debate about who has the best cheese-steaks in Philly — Pat’s or Gino’s. I’m not quite sure and may never know unless I line up all the contenders and sample it all. But, seeing as that didn’t happen this weekend, let’s work with what I did discover.
In Reading Terminal, there’s a debate about who has the best sandwich – Dinic’s or Herschel’s. Everyone from out of town heads straight for Dinics (known for best sandwich in America), but supposedly Herschel’s East Side Deli is where you want to go for “the best” sandwich (according to her boyfriend). Needless to say, if it doesn’t have the best best sandwich, it sure does have a better waiting time 🙂
Next up is Beiler’s Doughnuts. These are “the” thing to get and boy was it worth it. Even better if you can see them rolling and stuffing the doughnuts while you wait in line. What’s better than that is if you can get one hot off the press.
The masters of the doughnuts in action ^^
^^ carbo-loading on doughnuts because all carbs are the same, right? (or just because the 3:25 marathoner told me so) 🙂
Who knew there was so much wonderful street art and murals in the city? A look at Philly portrayed on a parking lot wall, as seen on our walk from the city to UPenn campus.
Taking a nice stroll through the picturesque campus. This is Ben and he resides right in the center of the square. Apparently the students (and maybe staff) tried to change the university name to Franklin University but obviously that plan failed.
Later in the afternoon Lindsay and I took another walk down to the river bank and strolled along the water. She had read about the “boardwalk” (pictured above) and while it wasn’t at all what we were expecting, it was nice to be out and about. It even made the instagram feed, so it was definitely worth enough.
Turns out all that city wandering had us walking close to 13 miles on Saturday! Probably not the best idea prior to a race, nor eating soft pretzels and gooey doughnuts, both falling in line with “what not to do/try before race day” but then life is about living in the moment and I can’t say it hurt too much on race day. Part 2 and racing fun to come soon…
~~ Visit Philadelphia ~
Rittenhouse Square (May – Rittenhouse Festival)
Philly LOVE Sign
Reading Terminal Market
~ Herschel’s East Side Deli ~ Dinic’s ~ D. Bassett Ice Cream ~ Philly Pretzel ~ Beiler’s Doughnuts ~
Philadelphia City Hall
Walk along the Schuylkill River
Benjamin Franklin Museum
“Teach me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I”ll learn.” – Benjamin Franklin