Posted in North America, Travels, United States

Travels: It’s Hot in Philadelphia (Updated with a couple of pictures)

Happy holidays! School, finals, and work (and therefore hiatus) now over, and I’m back!

Time for tales from the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia, PA. Why here? When I went, I was tired of working and I was just about to start my graduate program, so I thought one last hurrah was in order. The Sibling had just moved to the East Coast at the time and I actually missed him, so we met in Philadelphia to have a twins’ trip. 

City Center

So, I had orientation for my graduate program one day, was dropped off at the airport at the end of orientation, and boarded my red-eye to Philadelphia, where I watched the same 3-minute Kevin Hart clip over and over for the entire flight. I landed in Philadelphia about 10:00, and took a train into the city. As soon as I walked up the stairs from the train station around noon, I realized that Philadelphia is HOT. Not just hot, but muggy.

I was still in my orientation clothes (business casual, in which I am very uncomfortable), and I started sweating. Like dripping down my face in my day-old makeup. Oh, and it was August, in case you’re wondering.

Art museum and Rocky Steps

Anyways, I showed up to my hotel dripping from the face, but still trying to look like I belonged there, because it looked like a fancy-shmancy place. The girl turned around to look for my room keys and I avoided eye contact and desperately looked around her desk for something to fan myself with. I didn’t find anything. I just snatched my keys and booked it up the elevator before I went all Wicked Witch of the West on her.

One hot shower later, I decided to explore while I waited for the Sibling. I walked a few blocks and found JFK Plaza with the famous LOVE sculpture. Besides the fountain and the sculpture, it’s a nice place to put on some dark sunglasses and people-watch. Or be a creeper. Whatever title you prefer.

Anyways, the Sibling met me back at the hotel, and he was hungry, so we hoofed it over to  the Reading Terminal Market. If you ever get a chance, check it out. You could probably spend all day eating in there. Also a nice place to buy groceries, if you are so inclined while you travel.

Pastrami sandwich from Hatville Deli counter

I don’t have any photos of the Reading Terminal Market because I spent all my time eating and people-watching, but I think it’s a great place to have a meal, especially if you’d like to try some Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies. UPDATE: I found the picture of my first pastrami sandwich. I had my first pastrami sandwich at the Hatville Deli counter — DELICIOUS! Service was super friendly also. The Sibling came back with a bag of delicious donuts from some other counter in the market, and we sat down and listened to a guy play video game theme songs and 90’s TV themes on his keyboard — some of the best entertainment I’ve experienced. Be sure to stop by Mueller Chocolate Co and try some of their treats. The name may sound familiar to foodies — Andrew Zimmern stopped by on his show to try their chocolate-covered onion. It’s exactly like it sounds.


Desperate to walk off the thousands of calories we just consumed, we walked from the market to the Philadelphia Museum of Art solely to see the famous Rocky Steps from the movie that I’ve actually never seen. I was INSANELY winded after the hike up those stairs. I didn’t even try to run. I watched a bunch of frat-boy-looking types race each other up the steps. The lead guy ended up crawling his way to the top. When you actually get to the top, be sure to turn around and take in a great view of the Philadelphia skyline.

The actual Rocky statue is to the side of the steps. Wait in a short line to take your picture.

A beer. Don’t remember the name.

That night we ended up at McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia. It was a short walk from our hotel, and dark, although that’s not unique to this bar. Even though it was crowded, we were seated quickly. The nice waitress suggested some beers for us, and quickly returned with our order and some fries because, of course, I was hungry again. We had a couple of beers each, then the Sibling supervised me as I stumbled back to the hotel. UPDATE: I found a picture of the beer I had at the Ale House. I don’t remember what the beer was or if I liked it, but I found the picture.

More on my time in Philadelphia coming up! What are your favorite things to see in Philadelphia?


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