Independence Day Family Weekend in Philadelphia
Philadelphia is like New York on Xanax. So much fun everywhere but a ton more chill.
I’ve been there so many times I’ve really lost count, if it isn’t blogging conferences, or half marathons, flower shows or just simply hanging out–I love Philadelphia. It was a no brainer to go for Independence Day weekend because why not visit the place where America first claimed their independence?!
We took the Amtrak down and we were there in less than 90 minutes. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard, right in Center City and steps away from all the fun.
We booked a package that included tickets to the Big Bus Tour and free breakfast. (They had me at Free Breakfast). The hotel was So beautiful (and spacious!!).
The first thing we did was drop our things and head to the Please Touch Museum. Separate post on all that fun coming soon!
Afterwards we headed out to the Hard Rock Cafe. I have been many times but it was the first time I took the whole family. The food was fantastic–we ate our fill. What I loved about the Hard Rock Cafe was that they had a full package for the kids–a coloring book AND crayons. Makes things so much easier on me and plus it saves me from having to give up my phone when they get restless. Since it was right down the block we walked back super easy and knocked out.
Day 2 – Independence Day
We woke up early–just kidding my youngest wakes up at the crack of dawn daily and this vacation was no exception.
We walked over to IHOP to grab some eats and it was really delicious. Sorry for the lack of makeup, I forgot my eyeliner–the one thing that makes me look alive. Lol. I quickly got some right after though!
Finally it was time to jump on the Big Bus. This was personally my first time on a Big Bus even though I’ve seen and waved to many at home and especially in Times Square. Since it was July 4th I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get the full experience because of the many parades and such downtown. I was assured that there would be minor detours. Unfortunately my gut was right on the money.
It’s started off innocently enough. Plenty of Philadelphia facts and “did you knows”. Then we started getting stopped by the police. No left turn here, can’t go straight, can’t turn right. We ended up on the outskirts of Philly without a clue on how we were getting back. Oy. Finally after an hour or roaming around we were able to get back on course but with very little major landmarks. I decided we’d try again later and hope for a better result.
After being dropped off way earlier than we expected and the rain beginning to fall we decided to take advantage of the indoor pool. The boys had so much fun which was great because they were restarting swimming lessons the very next week!
Later on in the evening we jumped back on the Big Bus with a tour guide that was so awful I’m pretty sure she will haunt me in my nightmares. Our objective was to get as close to Benjamin Franklin Parkway as possible so we could see the festival BEFORE the big concert.
The festival was really good! It reminded me of all the festivals in NYC lots of fried foods and lemonade. The familiar smell of roast corn and cheesesteaks everywhere you turned. Lots of corporate vendors were out in full force too.
We walked all the way back to the hotel–it turned out to be around 2 miles but the boys didn’t complain. We had dinner at the hotel and after the boys went to bed J and I were able to see the fireworks from the concert.
Day 3 – Homeward Bound
On Sunday morning we took advantage of our free breakfast. What I absolutely loved was a little nook that fit all of us but had a TV with Cartoon Network! Why can’t all restaurants be like this?!
We walked out a couple blocks away to the famous LOVE Park. The boys had a great time: but I will let the pics speak for themselves.
Afterwards we jumped BACK on the Big Bus (you can see how determined I am!) and finally we were able to see the beauty of the city in all its glory. It was long, but it was awesome. I wish I had more time to really jump off and on like I wanted to but I will save that for the next trip.
All of this Philly fun convinced me that I might want to give the Philadelphia Half Marathon a second go. It was my favorite half of 2014 and this time I can plan ahead and get a decent hotel. The race memory gives me happy feelings and I think that is reason enough to go back! Now this will be 3 weeks after my first marathon so I’m not expecting any crazy here but it would be a nice note to end my racing season on. We shall see!