Monday, March 23, 2020

September 2019 Trip to Philadelphia: Day 2

Back in this blog post, I described the first day of my two-day trip to Philadelphia back at the end of September 2019. So, if you have not already, check it out. This post documents my second day, which was Monday, September 30, 2019.

Leaving my beautiful centrally-located hotel, The Bellevue, at 7:45 AM, I strolled to Di Bruno Bros. for a pain au chocolat and cappuccino breakfast. I decided to eat at a table outside, which was nice. I adore dining al fresco.

My coffee and croissant were delicious. My favorite kind of breakfast ahead of a day of sightseeing is a favorite ritual of mine while away, so I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Next, I went back inside Di Bruno Bros. and purchased Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma Classico

The shopping continued at the Reading Terminal Market. First, I bought the cranberry pistachio biscotti that I love from Termini Bros. I turned around and ordered dark chocolate vanilla buttercreams for my sister; milk and dark chocolate coconut clusters as well as milk chocolate cherry cordials for my parents; and dark chocolate champagne truffles for me to try at Mueller Chocolate Co. Then, I wandered around this amazing indoor market a bit, checking out so many of the stalls. On the other side, I purchased a small package of Milk Chocolate Raisins at Sweet As Fudge Candy Shoppe.

I walked a bit past my hotel to Shakespeare & Co. I wandered around this wonderful bookstore. At their cafe, I picked up a pain aux raisins, which I had a taste of on this trip, but saved for both breakfast and lunch the next day. This particular pasty reminds me of my travels in Italy and France.

I returned to my hotel room where I freshened up and packed. In my room, a little bit of the local morning news and the Today show kept me entertained. I don't watch TV and it is nice every once in awhile. At 10:15, I checked out of the hotel and had my bag stowed. I adore the crystal chandeliers of this ornate hotel.

Walking towards my next stop, the Rodin Museum, I came across a few pieces of sculpture as there is so much public art in Philadelphia. First was the LOVE sculpture. 

Also at LOVE Park, this sculpture was new and the letters were movable. The heart was covered by country flags.

As I was walking along the Parkway, I made sure that I stopped in front of the AMOR scultpure.

I had visited Philadelphia's Rodin Museum at least a couple times before, but have not been in awhile. It is a small art museum and sculpture garden full of the wonderful works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

This is one of Rodin's most famous sculptures, The Thinker.

This is the building behind that gate.

This is The Kiss.

I thought that I would share some bust portraits and other sculpture.

This is The Burghers of Calais...

These works of art are so expressive. I highly recommend visiting this amazing collection. Also, an intimate museum, you can do it in about an hour, which is nice since you can museum-hop in this Art Museum neighborhood!

Afterwards, I discovered a highly-rated sandwich place nearby, Christie's Deli, on Yelp. I ordered a grilled chicken club on white toast and grabbed a small bag of Ripples chips to go. I walked all the way back to Rittenhouse Square to picnic on a bench. On the way, I grabbed a row of mini soft pretzels. Rows of soft pretzels are a Philadelphia tradition. The bottle of water was complimentary in my hotel room.

My lunch was delicious. I only managed to eat one mini pretzel at that time though. And I will definitely order from that deli again.

Clothing shopping was next! At Talbots, I bought a couple pieces of clothing. I browsed both the Walnut and Chestnut locations of H&M. I also wandered around Ann Taylor. I picked up an item at Victoria's Secret. 

Over on Chestnut Street, I was quickly in and out of MAC for an eyeshadow refill. My winter scent candle, Hot Cocoa & Cream, was picked up at Bath & Body Works in The Shops at Liberty Place. Stuck in the suburbs without a car, it is easier to walk to retail stores in the city.

Then, my perfect dessert was a chocolate chunk cookie from Insomnia Cookies. It was still warm from the oven. Delicious.

After retrieving my heavy bulging bag at the hotel, I walked back beside City Hall, bought a subway ticket, and hopped on the subway a single stop to the west. I arrived at the train station early and posted about my trip on Instagram until my train was due to arrive. [Follow me @theitaliagal.] Organizing myself, the cards and gifts were stored in my tote handbag. 

On the train, I read a book and wrote out my sister's birthday card and my parents' thank you card.

My parents and the family dog, Minnie, picked me up at the local train station. My mom delighted in the "haystacks" and my dad appreciated the cherry cordials. I gave them my sister's card and chocolates since she is more likely to visit them than me.

At home, I definitely had a salad for dinner. Just a bit of balance. Then, some chocolate-covered raisins were enjoyed for dessert. In addition to gifts, I always bring home a few treats as souvenirs. 

It was such a fantastic trip... I hit so many of my favorite places and they bought me so much joy! I went on a day trip to Philadelphia in February, so please stay tuned for that blog post!

Monday, November 18, 2019

September 2019 Trip to Philadelphia: Day 1

I took a trip to one of my favorite cities, Philadelphia, and spent 24 hours there from Sunday, September 29, 2019 to Monday, September 30, 2019. This was my fourth trip there this calendar year and I am so grateful. I plan to share my latest getaway with you over two blog posts.

As always, I took Amtrak. The train arrived on time at both stations. Exiting 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, I hopped on the subway for one stop (from 30th Street to 15th Street). 

A bit too early to check in to my hotel, I stopped into the nearby Sephora real quick. They were out of my signature NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita, but they had the blush, so I purchased that. I browsed the first floor of Nordstrom Rack, but didn't buy anything.

On this trip, I chose my favorite hotel, the beautiful BellevueThis is one of their crystal chandeliers. I was always looking up whenever I walked by!

This is the view looking out of the door of my room.

An upgrade for me, I selected a room with a city view. 

You can see one of the city's many murals.

I checked into my lovely room and unpacked a little. 

There was a mini fridge in the space in between the two windows..

I do not watch TV at home, but it nice to catch a bit of the Today show in the morning while away.

Next, I shopped at nearby L'Occitane. I purchased an almond shower oil refill and a new product, Shea Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil.

After that, two cards, a thank you one for my parents and a birthday card for my sister, were picked up at Paper Source.

I walked to Macy's and browsed the Anne Klein clothing. Then, I crossed Market Street and grabbed a chocolate chip cookie for $1 at Famous 4th Street Cookie Co. in the Reading Terminal Market. I crossed Market Street again and quickly browsed the home department of TJMaxx just before the store closed at 6.

I strolled over to the nearby Zavino, a wine bar and pizzeria that I have been to a couple of times before. 

I sat at the bar and ordered a half glass of Sangiovese and the Diavolo pizza. Having loved their Margherita pizza once before, the Diavolo was delicious as well. I also ordered a half glass of Barbera Blend.

The large windows of the place were open and tables and chairs lined the sidewalk. Just like the other restaurants on two other street corners. Since I love the idea of dining alfresco, I adored this setup.

Then, I stopped at Gran Caffe L'Aquila and ordered a small fondente gelato. I strolled the streets towards my hotel, savoring the decadent dessert.

I stood on the median of Broad Street and snapped these photos of City Hall and the Avenue of the Arts.

Back in the room, I took pictures of my view at night.

I also savored my chocolate chip cookie and it was delicious.

Stores close earlier on Sunday, so I did get back in early. The thing is that I truly do like staying overnight in order to start the next day early. Without a two-hour train ride first, I get to have breakfast at breakfast time in the city. That is so worth it.

Stay tuned for my Day 2!