Philly Recap

Back in mid-July (seems so long ago!) we had the chance to go to Philadelphia for a five day trip. Kris was there for work, attending the American Association of Law Libraries annual conference. In the past, this conference has taken us to Seattle and Kris went to San Antonio last year, so we try and turn it into a fun trip. It’s not as fun as a real vacation since Kris has to work, but I’m getting used to exploring cities on by my lonesome. Plus, we couldn’t pass up the chance to see Philadelphia together. Our first date was to see a watch party of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Philly was HOT. The temp index was in the mid-90s. I don’t do well when it gets that hot, but I tried my best. I usually ended up in the hotel during the hottest parts of the day. Luckily, there was a Keeping up with the Kardashians marathon going on.

Day one we tried to hit up a lot of things since this was one of two days we’d both be able to see things together. We checked in to the hotel and then hit the streets to go see the Mutter Museum, the museum of medical oddities. They don’t allow any pictures, but suffice it to say it was disturbing! I have a pretty strong stomach, but the heat combined with travel and then being confronted with medical oddities made me feel a little nauseous. It was very interesting, though, and worth checking out, especially if you dig science.

Isn’t Kris short? This skeleton was one of the medical oddities. There were a lot of skeletons and preserved fetuses. Consider yourself warned.


After that, we hustled across the downtown to get to the Liberty Bell. Apparently, it underwhelmed this history nerd.


We then crossed the street to see Independence Hall. The urge to watch National Treasure was strong!  We did the short tour and got to see where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Cool and also free.


The next day, since Kris was conferencing all day, I checked out the Museum of Art. You know—Rocky steps! I left early and climbed the steps before the museum opened, but even in the early morning I was sweating profusely. I half ran them, half walked them.


spent a long time wandering around the museum and snapping pics. Amazing collection.

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Highly recommend, even if you aren’t super into art museums.

Also pictured: City Hall, the Rocky statute (which is hidden away from the Museum of Art like a redheaded stepchild) and Independence Hall from the outside.

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I also checked out the Magic Gardens. It was unassumingly tucked into a regular looking neighborhood, but the inside was quite amazing. Makes me miss art class!

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I also took a very tourist-y Duck tour where they drive you around to see the sights on land and then we took a quick boat ride in the Delaware. It was a good afternoon pick to avoid the heat, but not a must do. I did learn that whenever a new building goes up in Philly, a certain percentage of the construction budget must be donated to the arts, which explains why Philadelphia has so many statues and art. Hint hint, Madison.

We also (maybe because we were a bit tipsy) stomped around in the fountain by Love Park.

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On our last day, we went to Eastern State Penitentiary. It was an old prison designed like the spokes of a wheel, with prisoners being separated from each other as a way of rehabilitation. So, basically solitary confinement for each prisoner. The prison was closed in 1971 and it became very run down after that. Now it is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. There were a few high school classes touring when we went through, in fact. The Penitentiary has a haunted house that would be amazing, I bet. The place was creepy enough during daylight.

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So creepy. I’d go back to Philly for two things: the haunted house and the food!  Oh, yes, food recap up next.

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