Tag Archives: meeting up with according to mags and family

Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia – Day 2

I’m checking in at a decent hour tonight so I can finally get some sleep on this trip. Plus we’re supposed to lose electricity and water at the hotel for a few hours tomorrow so we’re clearing out of the room early in the morning. That said, I will totally be hanging out the sign I fashioned for the housekeeping department … since my room didn’t come equipped with one.


Perhaps this post should be called Ellie Mae Clampett Goes to Philadelphia.

We got a late start today. I’ll blame it on the rain. (Yeah, yeah) All nine of us … my parents, my kids, myself, and the four-man According to Mags band … met up at Casa Betsy Ross. (She probably didn’t call it that. But she totally should have.) And, honestly, I think it was my very favorite part of the Philadelphia portion of the trip so far. The whole experience was pretty interesting. That entrepreneurial woman was widowed (and by “widowed” I think it means she killed two husbands) twice before she was thirty. Then, she married a third time to a man with whom she would enjoy several decades. (I’m guessing she finally found someone who put the seat down and knew how to answer the question “Does this hoop skirt make me look fat?”)


We actually met “Betsy” at her house today. Darling woman. Completely unflappable. She’s still “living” in 1776. … Oh, but I wanted so much to tell her who shot JR.

We also took in Independence Hall, most famous for serving as the place where both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were debated and adopted. After seeing the place today, I picture a team of SNL-type writers sitting around the table smoking cigarettes, eating take-out and telling fart jokes until the wee hours of the morning. And then going home and telling their wives “what a hard ass Old Man Jefferson was” at the office that day. I’m probably at least half right, don’t you think?

After that, we went to The Bourse at Independence Hall food court for a fast lunch. (It was raining a good bit by then.) And I had something there that would hardly sell me on the whole concept of a Philly cheesesteak. But it’s probably partly my fault because, besides being from the land of amazing cuisine, (1) I opted for the chicken cheesesteak and (2) I omitted the peppers. Whatever. It wasn’t so good. I’ll try again tomorrow.

And it was following my delicious lunch that we had to bid farewell to our visiting friends. As Mel said on her Facebook page, it’s too bad the kids didn’t get along at all. (wink)


I should explain that we said “Make a crazy face!” And, apparently, CRAZY means THUG to Dean.


We then went to the Franklin Institute where, amongst many other things, my kids gave the local weather report. Journalism was my college major so I totally made them do it. And you can tell if you look at Dean’s face. (He smiled in the other pictures, but I thought the scowl was funnier.)


And I took this cool panoramic picture with my iPhone. Yes, I’m sure you people have been knowing how to do it since, like, 2010. But for me it’s new … and exciting. SO JUST ENJOY IT!

We walked for hours this evening, grabbed a little dinner here and a few beers there and just basically soaked in the city. And I want to compliment Philadelphia on its thriving performing arts presence. There are so many musicals, plays, operas and other concerts being presented right now that I was truly taken aback. Who cares about your stupid cheesesteaks? I outstretch my hand in friendship for having a community that can support the amount of productions I saw up and down Broad Street this evening.

Bravo, Philadelphia, Bravo. 

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To read about the trip so far …

ODNT Takes Manhattan Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3

Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia Day 1


Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia – Day 1

So we took a train from New York to Philadelphia today.

And by “took a train” I mean … misunderstood what time it was actually leaving Penn station, left our hotel WAY later than we should have, got royally separated while in two different cabs, went to the wrong part of the train station, miscommunicated who was waiting for whom and where, cursed a little under my breath probably within earshot of my kids, argued with Penn Station employees that we were actually going as fast we could and hoisted fully-packed suitcases over my head to jump on the train (mind the gap!) as it was literally starting to pull away.

I boarded at 12:04pm. The departure time was 12:05pm. Technically, we were a minute early.

(gasping for air)

But we got to Philadelphia and the fun began. Because we arranged a little surprise. And by “we” I mean my wonderful friend, Mel. Our girls have been dying to meet in person. Soooo … since I was spending a few days in Philadelphia with my family and she just so happened to have been driving through the area with her family to visit her parents in Boston … we planned a little rendezvous.

It was adorable really. When we each pointed out the girls (previously only pen pals and FaceTime buddies) to each other in the hotel lobby, they immediately ran into each other’s arms for a hug that lasted for about the next three hours. (I’m completely serious.) They walked arm-in-arm all afternoon. (Mel really tells it best here.)


I guess the apples really don’t fall far, huh?

Once together, we went straight to eat at the Reading Terminal Market.


I should mention that there was a cheese shop there.


I should also mention that there was a punching bag of cheese as big as three heads hanging from the ceiling. Here. In Philadelphia. Where Rocky was filmed. There’s just gotta be a joke in there somewhere.

After we finished eating, we all walked over to see the Liberty Bell, which was pretty darned impressive.


Umm, the bell’s back behind there somewhere.

(Spoiler alert: I’m not done talking about the Liberty Bell here at ODNT just yet.)


Then, for the next few hours, we all just caught up with each other.

We ate. We drank. And we pretty much never stopped talking except to take breaths between sentences when absolutely necessary. All nine of us. We’ll be getting together tomorrow for more Philly-style fun. But I don’t know this city like I know NYC. So maybe you guys can help me.

What are the must-do/must-see/must-eat spots here in Philadelphia?

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To read about the trip so far …

ODNT Takes Manhattan Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3