For our annual pick-an-interesting-city-in-the-US vacation, we chose Philadelphia. Why Philly you may ask? To eat authentic Philly cheese steaks, to join the millions of tourists who run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art's numerous steps like Rocky did, and to see the Liberty Bell.
Our flight to Philadelphia left at the ungodly time of 6:00 am. I am not a morning person, but somehow I managed to wake myself up at 3:00 am in time to leave for Sacramento. Apparently we should remember to check traffic reports when flying, because we almost missed our flight due to a single lane open on I-5 and an airport shuttle driver who moved herself and the shuttle, at a molasses like speed.
The flight to Houston International was a bit bumpy which left me and my sensitive stomach in knots. Our layover was about 18 seconds too long....that's how long we had until the plane to Philadelphia was going to leave without us. More turbulence and an empty stomach did not make my weary soul feel any better.
We arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport to be greeted by an airport that was falling apart. I immediately used the restroom and noticed that the restroom's ceilings had extensive water damage with peeling paint and mold. There were other disturbing things going on like moisture in between the window panes and various trash from Dunken Donuts and the like, laying around.
Luckily airports are just a temporary stop on a traveler's journey. We quickly found a cab and were on our way to the City of Brotherly Love. Unfortunately along with getting nauseous on airplanes, I get car sick as well. In fact I am a paranoid passenger in general. I often use my imaginary brake when riding with drivers whom I deem unsafe. Because of my paranoia, cab rides are pretty much the worst for me. This cab ride was no exception.
Everything that could possibly be wrong with a cab ride was wrong. The driver feathered the gas like no one's business. The car was a mess...a hot mess. The driver drove 80 mph in a 35 mph zone. He also blasted Lady Gaga's newest song, Edge of Glory and Katy Perry's ET. While I don't mind these songs, the mixture of questionable smells, gas feathering at atrocious speeds, humidity, and blaring female hip hop music, made me want to vomit even more.
Trying to occupy my mind, I gazed out the dirty window. When arriving in Philadelphia from the airport you are first greeted with a skyline of smoke stacks and a haze of smog looming above. If it weren't for the Lady Gaga blasting in my ears, I would of thought I had been transported back in time to the industrial revolution.
After the smoke stacks, you drive through the projects. Projects or not, I needed to get out of the cab with the quickness. Even Danny was uncomfortable with the cab ride. We finally arrived at The Alexander Inn which is located in the Center City area, to find a lovely historic building with air conditioning and a friendly inn keeper greeting us.
Our room was small but tidy and cool, which was all that I needed at that point. The bathroom had been renovated nicely. I appreciated the sign above the single ply toilet paper, explaining why such a lovely hotel would not use double ply.
On our walk to Little Italy Pizza I saw a girl wearing a shirt with the Liberty Bell on it. Underneath the cracked bell it said, "Philadelphia, people come here for the crack." I get the joke, however I thought to myself could this be true? I did just glance at a local newspaper that said something about how Philadelphia's well known nickname is Killadelphia....
|Half Margarita/ Half BBQ Chicken Ranch...|
with a ridiculous amount of Ranch
After dinner we decided that since we were vacationing and it felt like we were in the middle of the Amazon jungle, we deserved some ice cream.
|No loud radios in Little Italy.|
|Hers were more extreme.|
|Zebras On Acid|
While walking back to our hotel, we happened upon some beautiful neighborhoods. All the streets were lined with trees and all the homes are built with brick. This is what I had imagined Philadelphia to be like. Philadelphians were out running and walking their dogs enjoying the City of Brotherly Love not cowering in their air conditioned apartments, hiding from the city. I decided to give Killadelphia a second chance to impress me....and it did.
|She's a brick....house|
|Some of my favorite homes.|