Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spending the Day in the City of Brotherly Love

Hello my Lovelies and Gents,

The Biggest Loser finale is on tonight...so I have a little less than an hour to write this post...so let's get started. (grr....I didn't make it...so now I must write on commercials)

Last Thursday I had a wonderful day.  One of my besties from college was in town for a wedding. I had not seen her since graduation...19 years ago. Now a fun fact is that we have special nicknames for each other. She calls me Bobo and I call her Bubba.

We didn't have definitive plans, only that we would be hanging out. Her family was switching hotels during the day and since I had a little bit of a drive I would pick her up at 10am. That meant I got to sleep in. YEAH!

I knew it was going to be cold, but I had NO idea how cold. When I left the house at 8:30 it was 20 degrees. Brrrr...I was prepared though. I had on tights, knee socks, jeans, running shirt, sweatshirt, scarf, mittens, and my coat. I would have normally added my fur-lined boots, but we were going to be walking and that means that I needed my sneakers.

I had some breakfast headed out. Before I could get on the road I needed to stop for something warm to drink. I couldn't decide what I wanted so I went with an old comfort drink. I had a Vanilla Chai Tea Latte.

While I was on the way I got a text that they were switching hotels. My first thought was: yeah! It's so much closer to 95 for me and I know the area. My second thought was: Crap! I'm wearing a sweatshirt and ripped jeans to the Omni! 

I had been advised to park in the parking garage around the corner from them. By the time I got it was mostly full, but I did find a spot up on level J. I took the stairs down and was all of the way down to D when I questioned whether or not I had locked my car...so back up I went...and then down again. A nice little workout there.

I was so excited to see Bubba. I have only seen her Christmas newsletters and had not met her husband and kids. She looks exactly like she did in college. Only with kids. haha. They had come in from Michigan and had driven to Hershey, PA the day before. They took the tour of the chocolate factory and I've gotta say that I was super uber jealous. I would have met them for that. I have never done that tour. I am not sure that you could get me to leave though. I asked her daughters what they got me. The response was cute: "Nothing, we didn't know you." I told them I was kidding, but they gave me the smallest bag of mini rolos ever. haha. Too cute.

*side note on the above picture, I LOVE that I could actually hang with Bubba's tininess. I have a lot of tiny friends just like me, but for the most part the Former Fat Girl was not as tiny as them.

We decided that as Syracuse girls we would brave the cold. Our first stop was a visit to see the Liberty Bell. I had seen it a couple of years ago while I was in the city to get a copy of my birth certificate. It was going to be nice to share it with a friend...and actually read all of the facts about it. I sort of only glanced last time.

It's a little sad how much we take for granted. I will let you in on a little secret. Every morning in my daily prayers I thank God that I was born in America and during this time. I am extremely thankful every day that I have as many rights as I do as a woman. The Liberty Bell represents Liberty and Freedom. People came from all over just to see glimpses of it when it toured the country. Would that happen today? Maybe, but I doubt to that extent.

We crossed the street to the Independence Visitor Center. We were checking out tickets for Independence Hall. They had a cool gift shop and we checked it out. They also have a very nice concession area (with Starbucks). And there are a couple statues to have fun with.

 They told us that you don't need timed tickets for January and February as they are the slowest months. So we ran to get some lunch. Okay, not so much run, as walk briskly the 6 blocks to the Reading Terminal Market.

Bubba lives in an area where the only places to eat are chains. She was happy to be in Philly to check out all of the neat places to eat. She loved the Reading Terminal Market. It was funny when we walked in. She said it reminded her of a a movie scene. Still riding my Hallmark Christmas movie marathon high I assumed she meant like a love story on Lifetime. Nope, it reminded her of chase scenes. haha. Oh I'm such a girl.

We walked around and she found a mediterranean stall and I went back to my breakfast stall. I originally wanted french toast, but I was soooo hungry by then that I got an egg, cheese and pork roll sandwich.  It was yummy and felt good in my belly.

Before we left I found some fudge. I hadn't gotten any in a long time. So I bought two small squares. I got a vanilla caramel and a chocolate raspberry. We also went into the little kitchen gadget shop. I picked up another tea infuser that I can take on my travels now without worrying about losing my Mickey one. Yeah!

We decided to skip Independence Hall and go visit the U.S. Mint. It was still in that area so we walked the 8 blocks to it and went in. Sorry, no pictures were allowed.  I have to say though, that I wasn't super excited about this. Ironically, I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a video on how the currency system came about and then how the first coins were made. Back in the 1700's it took 3 years to make 1 million coins. Today it takes 30 minutes.

Then we went upstairs for our self tour. We got to see the process of making coins from the artistry to the actual molding of the coins. It was pretty cool. I loved hearing a little girl behind us say "It takes so long to make one coin and we spend it so easily." so true.

After the Mint we took another walk to the oldest residential street in the country, Elfreth's Alley. It's one cute block. I wanted to move in. There was still ice and snow so it was pretty, plus there were still Christmas wreaths up.

By now we were a little on the cold side. So we decided to go back to the Visitor Center for some hot chocolate and souvenirs.

It was such a fun day. I loved catching up with Bubba. And I loved walking around my city with her. I felt good. I would have even walked up the stairs back to my car, but I couldn't find them. I had to enter the garage through a different door and it led straight to the elevator. Oh well. I calculated that we walked 3 miles in the freezing bitter cold. I could afford the elevator. I'm proud of us Orange girls.

Before I go I will tell you that I struggled with my water intake. I carried a bottle of water around, but I didn't drink it. I was too paranoid about the bathroom situation. I just didn't want to get caught in a bad potty situation.

Have a Blessed Night

Pledges for the Polar Plunge for Delaware Special Olympics can be made here (it's still open):


AND I have signed up for Run for Autism again :-)


****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.


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