Today’s post covers my trip from Montville, NJ to Philadelphia, PA; our 2nd day of exploring from Boston down to DC. If you missed my first post from this trip, you can read about our day in Boston here: Day in Boston.
First thing was first. We got up and drove from our hotel in Mahwah, NJ to Montville, NJ which wasn’t too far. The significance of stopping in Montville was to go see where Rob’s grandparents lived back when he was a toddler. This is their house now:
Then we thought it would be good to have breakfast at a Dunkin Donuts since they are based in New Jersey. However, we saw a bagel place and decided to do that instead, since bagels are supposed to be so much better up in that area.
Boonton Bagels and Gourmet Deli
520 Myrtle Ave
Boonton, NJ 07005
The bagels were noticeably better than what I have had in the south.
After breakfast, we beelined it to our hotel in Philly. We parked at our hotel (Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District) and walked towards the metro station. We stopped by the Reading Terminal Market, which was on almost every list of must does for Philly. It’s the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market that first opened in 1893! You will find everything from soul food to Asian to Philly steaks. All vendors are locally owned, family-run. This place is massive, and even if you’re not hungry, I highly recommend at least walking through.
We rode the metro out to Citizens Bank Park, which is on the outskirts of town. Coming out of the metro, you come out to a wide open parking lot for several sporting venues, including Lincoln Financial Field (Home of the Philadelphia Eagles) and Wells Fargo Center (Home of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Soul). You feel like you couldn’t be further from the downtown area. However, you have a great view of downtown from the park.
We really enjoyed the Philly’s park. I mean it’s not Fenway, but it had its own charm. The kid area included a Philly Phanatic rock wall as well as a climbing area with slide. As we walked around we saw a long line at Chickie’s & Pete’s so we stood there to see what all the rage was. It was something I’d never heard of; Crabfries. Once we got up to the upper level we found another Chickie’s & Pete’s where the line was much shorter so we plunked down $15 for a container of famous Crabfries, which is crinkle-cut French fries seasoned with Old Bay seasoning served with a cup of white cheese dipping sauce. Really good. Simply addictive, even when they are ice cold from the frigid winds.
After the game we rode the metro and then walked a good ways to Ishkabibble’s for a couple Philly Steaks and a GREMLIN (1/2 Grape and 1/2 Lemonade). Philly Steak was good quality meat and bread. Nothing wrong with it at all, but just wasn’t over the top amazing like we expected.
We felt like we couldn’t leave Philly without trying one of the more famous Philly steak places; either Geno’s or Pat’s, so we ended up walking over to the corner S 9th St and E Passyunk Ave where to 2 walk up restaurants sit face to face.
We walked by this place that neither words nor pictures do it justice. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens spans three city lots, which includes indoor galleries and a large outdoor labyrinth. The mosaics, which you can see from outside are made up of everything from kitchen tiles to bike wheels, Latin-American art to china plates.
We were not educated on how to order at Ishkabibble’s. I guess we just didn’t read that part of the sign or menu. However, at Pat’s it was in plain writing. We got a cheesesteak from Pat’s. Amazingly, it tasted exactly like the one from Ishkabibble’s. So lesson learned.
On our walk back we got educated on a few historical things, which you would expect being in “The Birthplace of America.” We walked passed Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. The congregation of Mother Bethel founded in 1794, which makes it is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal congregation in the nation. Outside the church they have a statue honoring the founder, Richard Allen.
Washington Square was a nice area that we walked through to get back to the hotel.
The next morning we got up and checked out of our hotel, but first we wanted to explore a little more of Philly.
The view of the cemetery we were seeing was of Christ Church Burial Ground. This is the resting place of Benjamin Franklin and family. You do have to pay to get in, but luckily you can see his grave from the sidewalk.
Right near the Liberty Bell, you will see the shell of the President’s House [524–30 Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] that was the 3rd Presidential Mansion. It housed George Washington (1790-1797) and John Adams (1797-1800).
You have to have a time ticket for Independence Hall, so we decided to for go that this time. It’s definitely on my list for next time.
We had breakfast at Luna Cafe. Great food. Cash only. Super hip spot to grab breakfast or lunch.
I noticed this Hoopskirt Factory, which is apparently now remodeled into Lofts. I just loved the building and the sign.
The last place we saw before making our way to Baltimore was Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the steps that Rocky trains on. We drove around the building. I was amazed how large the building was, but I got a few shots of the place. I’m adding this to my list for places to go to next time I’m there.
Here is my GPS of most of our time in Philly minus our trip to the Philly’s game.
Click the link below to see more pictures from our time in Philly.
My flickr account