OK, so I’ve been writing about how men should start stepping up to the plate and planning a little bit more of the trips in the families. It’s a great thing to do as it really is rewarding, with the added benefit of putting a big smile on your spouse or significant other’s face. It’s a home run through and through, so why not decide to give it a shot??
It was time to put my money where my mouth is and plan a little Weekend Escape away from the kids with my wife, Vera. She didn’t really know anything about it until right before we left…I could NOT get away with her not packing anything at all. She was super excited to find out. The goal for me was to maximize our time away and to go to someplace close by that’s easy to get to. I came up with Philly. Yes, I know, Philly maybe has some rough edges, but it’s actually great city. Tons of history and really great food, all about a 2 hour drive away from NYC. It was perfect combination, so I went for it.
Once I set the dates, I was all about booking to hotel. I wanted something to be nice yet not too pricey since this was just a weekend away just to get away. There was no real “need” or reason other than to just get away, so I wanted to be budget conscious. After looking around, I found a great spot, the Homewood Suites by Hilton – Philadelphia City Avenue.
This was a highly rated hotel just on the outskirts of the downtown area, so you can be in the city but not in the craziness when it comes time to turn in. It was in a really nice part of town that I’ve never been too. I liked it a lot. Philadelphia International Airport and the 30th Street Amtrak Station are a short drive away and the hotel is five miles west of downtown, home of historic sites such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Please Touch Museum, and the Philadelphia Zoo.
So, we had a good spot to lay our heads. It was now time to do some planning. I wanted to mix up some good eats with some good sights. This was about seeing and experiencing, not about lounging around. I deciding one one of the first things I wanted to do was to take a Duck Tour. If you are not familiar, it’s a really cool way to see a city. It’s a bus tour that’s a little special. The bus is also a boat, so at one point on the tour, you hit the local waterways to see the city from a totally different perspective. It was really cool and you got to see so many great spots and learn of each place’s significance and historic or local relevance. It was great and our tour guide was hilarious. It was a great intro and gave us some ideas about what we wanted to see and do during the weekend.
Once the tour ended, after about 2 hours, we were dropped off right in the heart of the historic downtown. It was time to soak in some history and learn how important Philly was in the founded of our great nation! We visited the very impressive National Constitution Center, and it was great. The National Constitution Center is an interactive museum, national town hall, and more located steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Historic Philadelphia. The exhibitions, live performances, rare artifacts, and hands-on activities were really informative and brought to life the amazing vision the Founding Fathers had for our great nation. Awesome, truly.
While we were there, we also visited Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center. Again, pretty amazing and really well done. It was impressive and informative and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. All of the exhibits really were well maintained and really set up in a way to make history very interesting, informative, and interactive. We couldn’t get enough and the time really seemed to fly right by. It was the perfect day…and just about time for dinner. Part two of my Philly experience will be tomorrow where I’ll be talking food, baby!
After a wonderful dinner and some time walking around enjoying the city, it was time to turn in. We had a great studio with small kitchen and sitting area, perfect for two. The complimentary wi-fi was awesome for this blogging couple and soon it was off to bed at Homewood Suites by Hilton.
Morning came it was time to start the day with a full hot breakfast, all included in stay. That’s a win and a great way to wake up!! It was off to see more of the city and we were feeling good! It was nice to get away and Vera really appreciated my setting it all up. My Weekend Escape Travel MANager plan was working like a charm. I was a hero, or at least I did something pretty good. However you want to look at it…it was pretty darn cool.
Day two involved spending more time seeing and experiencing the city, it’s flavor, and it’s landmarks. We loved local landmarks like the Irish Immigrant Memorial and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (hello Rocky statue). We also drove around everywhere, walking neighborhoods like South Philly to check out the art scene and the “old school” Philly the city is known for. It was great and we really enjoyed it. It’s so close to NYC, but still very different. From the shops to the restaurants, the history to the cheesesteaks and the cheesesteaks (did I mention cheesesteaks), to the historic row houses and that famous Philly “edge,” the city was a great escape and a tailor-made weekend escape. The City of Brotherly Love…we were feeling it.
The weekend was a big success and I scored some fantastic husband and man points, for sure. Plus, it was just a great experience for us as a married couple with a hectic work and family life. It’s something I think we all need if we are lucky enough to be able to do it (i.e. have babysitters, etc). I definitely think it’s worth giving it a shot.