Tag Archives: travel

The Happiest of Birthdays for a Very Special Grandma

5 Mar

No, I haven’t disappeared from the internet.  I’ve spent the last few days with my family, celebrating the 80th birthday of my wonderful Grandma.  I grew up in Southern California, but my family has long dispersed throughout the country.  Our chances to see one another are few and very very very far between.  Upon hearing that a surprise 80th birthday party was in the works, the Beez family eagerly packed up for the trip!

Flying with kids is not easy.  It’s not so bad when they are tiny infants and don’t do anything but sleep, eat and poop.  The worst flight we had was when Baby Beez was about 18 months old, walking and full of energy, and we were too foolish to get her her own seat.  She spent the whole flight squirming and screaming.  Once the kid is walking age, get them their own seat.  Sure, you can keep them on your lap til their 2, but it will be awful and you will hate everything.  It’s nice to be out of that time where forgetting something at home is a total crisis.  I still need to bring diapers and sippy cups and everything, but if I forget something, replacements are usually easy enough to pick up or I can improvise.  It’s nice to be out of that zone where forgetting a bottle or a binkie or whatever means complete crisis.

This isn’t to say that flying with a toddler is a joy. It’s certainly not.  But it has toned down from complete torture to annoying inconvenience, and future travels look to get better and better.

Grandma was shocked by all the excited guests. She and Grandpa were crying so many happy tears.

We had her party at The Castaway, a restaurant high up in the hills surrounding Burbank.  They serve a generous, delicious buffet style bunch, with bottomless mimosas to boot! I have a taste for the fine things as well as life’s basic pleasures.  Few things can make me happier than a plate full of mini corndogs and a glass of green champagne (for St. Pat’s of course)

The more refined offerings on the menu included osso buco and oysters on the half shell.  They were all delicious, and the variety of options is perfect for a party.

One of The Castaway’s signature features is its beautiful view.  It was a little cloudy when we arrived, but it cleared up beautifully.

And we took the opportunity to gather together for family photos.

Baby Beez stole my iPhone for a bit, and showed off her artistic side.  She knows how to activate Siri, but all she keeps telling Siri is “iPhone,” and then Siri keeps directing her to the online Apple Store.  Baby Beez is better with the camera than with the Siri.

Grandma and Grandpa were so happy to see all their beloved family and friends.  It was so sad to have to part ways at the end of the weekend, not knowing when we’ll gather back together, but it was wonderful getting to spend a little time together.

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Greetings from Charlottesville!

4 Jan

I’m at the University of Virginia for the week, attending trial college so that I can kick my trial skills up a notch.  I’ve made a few trips away from Baby Beez before, but she is such a momma’s girl, and she’s so verbal, that I know this trip is going to be a hard one. She’s going to be asking for me a lot, and a toddler doesn’t really understand what it means for mommy to be gone “all week.”

The classes don’t start til tomorrow, so I’ve got tonight to relax. I rolled in around 5:30, and I’ve already chowed down on way too much thai food takeout, am watching a show on vh1 classic about 80s hair bands, and in a few minutes I’m going to go to the workout room and get a little exercise in.

It’s stunning how, now that Baby Beez is a toddler, the day-to-day time and effort of her care and attention has become a regular part of my life.  For example, it takes nearly 2 hours every morning for me to get the both of us ready and out the door.  Tomorrow it’s going to take a whopping 20 minutes for me to get ready.  It’s nice, but so strange.

Ok, that’s all I really have to say today. I need to go get on an elliptical while I’ve got the chance.

40 Before 40: Call for Ideas

25 Oct

My 30 before 30 list will be drawing to a close in less than a month.  I have accomplished many of the things on the list.  There are a few I won’t get around to, but I’m not worried about it.  The point was to get myself to get around to actually DOING things I have been wanting to do.  Stressing myself over crossing everything off a to-do list isn’t the way to go.

Once I hit the big 3-0, I’m going to start on a 40 before 40.  I will probably carry over a couple unfinished things from my 30 list (see: go for hot air balloon ride).  But since I’ll have 10 years to work on my 40 before 40 list, I plan to have several more grand goals.  One goal I have in mind is to hike up to Macchu Pichu with Mountain Lodges of Peru (this will also involve me learning how to hike, and learning to LIKE hiking, which are no small feats for me).  There will probably be several travel goals on there, and goals to take certain kinds of classes (I’d love to take some cooking classes, particularly a knife skills class).  Maybe I’d even like to set a goal of learning something other than just the most rudimentary photography skills.  Of course I will also set some goals related to my career, whether it involves publishing articles or benchmarks on building my own client base.

What Would You Have on your 40 Before 40 list?

Completely Gratuitous Photo of my Kid Helping with the Shopping. Because She is Cute.

My Pittsburgh Weekend

12 Aug

It’s technically still summer but this weekend has been a little cooler, and the stores are starting to stock up for Back to School.  I like summer but I love fall.  The beginning of autumn fills me with excitement for turtleneck sweaters, boots, and pumpkin spice everything.  It also fills me with regret.  Regret that another summer has gone by and I haven’t been able to do all the things I wanted.  Now it’s clear from my blog that I certainly get out and do a lot, it’s just that I set my hopes too high, and when the summer’s over, I feel like there is so much left undone.

I’ve spent too much time on airplanes the last few weeks, reading the airline magazine articles about “Spending a weekend in [Enter Hub City].”  Articles I’ve seen about Pittsburgh are always the great, but typical, spots– Mount Washington, Just Ducky Tour, etc.  So I’ve put together my own “Weekend in Pittsburgh” for the traveler who has already seen the major tourism spots, or the resident who just wants a blissful weekend.

Friday

The Cultural District is always a winner for a Friday Out.  I’d go out for a decadent dinner at Nine on Nine or Sonoma Grill and catch a Pittsburgh Public Theater show at the O’Reilly.  Afterward I’d take a stroll in the direction of Market Square and have drinks at Andy’s in the Fairmount, or maybe check out Perle, the new champagne bar.

Saturday

I would sleep in (what an indulgence!) and then spend a long, lazy afternoon in the Strip District.  I’d meet up with friends for a coffee at La Prima, and then we’d stroll up and down Penn Avenue,  stuffing ourselves with Banh Mi from Lucy, tacos from Reyna’s, cookies from the vendors outside PennMac, and mung bean pancakes.  I’d also make a stop at Farmer’s at Firehouse to check out the weekend’s offerings, and make sure to stop at the Pittsburgh Public Market to fill up a growler at East End Brewing.

After all that eating, oh boy would a nap be in order.

Once I was well rested, it would be time to venture down to PNC Park for a Pirates’ game.  And yes, Quaker Steak bbq wings and a beer are a must!

In the dugout!

If I had my druthers, it would be a 4pm game (with a WIN!), and then a band I like would be playing that night at Stage AE, so I could wander over and relax on the law, watch the boats go by, and enjoy the tunes.

Sunday

Sunday means one thing: BRUNCH.  There are so many amazing brunches in Pittsburgh that it is so hard to choose the “best.”  If I was feeling like a classic, decadent brunch I’d go for the Grand Concourse.  If I am feeling more modern and chic, Casbah is the choice.  And if I’m feeling whimsical, I’d go for Doublewide Grill.  I really have to say I was IMPRESSED with Bar Marco, and sampling their brunch selection is a must for me, so that would be my number one pick (today).

With all this eating, a long walk would be in order.  I’d strap Baby Beez in the beco carrier, and head over to Frick Park for a hike through the trails.  With any luck, we’d see chipmunks and birds, and the shady trees would keep us all cool.

WE LOVE THE TREES!

After our long, leisurely walk, it would be time for dinner (yes, all I think about is food).  I would want to haul out to Aspinwall for some Burgatory. They tweeted about their new key lime pie milkshake this week, and I can’t get it OUT OF MY HEAD!

Burgatory Key Lime Milkshake, from the Burgatory Twitter Feed

And after all that running about and madness, I admit I’d spend Sunday evening on the couch, regrouping, and catching up on the TV I missed during the week.

So that’s my weekend in Pittsburgh.  How would you spend your weekend in Pittsburgh?

Completely gratuitous photo of my friend, Krista, and Councilman Bill Peduto…wherein he pretends to devour a decorative cabbage. This is pretty much the best Pittsburgh photo ever.

Vancouver Vacation

31 Jul

I initially planned to do separate posts about each activity that we did on vacation, but realized that would be the internet equivalent of cornering you and making you look at my family vacation slideshow. So I’m slapping all of this together in one post, mostly for myself (and because my mom would like to see all of this). I love to see other people’s travel photos, but also recognize that if I’m looking at those photos at work, it makes me want to punch them in the face, because I’m working and they’re not. So check out my vacation if you wish, or not. Warning…there are going to be a TON of posts BlogHer coming up soon, also several book posts, since I managed to catch up on my reading over the trip!

1. The lodgings: Bee and Thistle Guest House

I picked this place because of its high rating on TripAdvisor, and because I thought it would be fun to stay at a B&B. The Bee & Thistle is fabulous, I would never stay anywhere else in Vancouver. The Bee & Thistle first opened in 2010 for lodging during the Olympics, and its owners cut no corners transforming this Victorian home into a comfortable, well appointed guest house. Lynn and Michael, the innkeepers, are friendly and accommodating but not intrusive. They are happy to help with whatever you need, but also give you your privacy. The rooms are incredibly well stocked with fresh cookies each evening, snacks, toiletries, even a little web notebook to use during your stay.  DID YOU HEAR THAT? FRESH COOKIES IN YOUR ROOM EVERY DAY. The rooms are unique, and reasonably priced. We stayed in “Molly’s Room” which is the next to smallest room, but still had plenty of space and simply was lovely.

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The Bee & Thistle is a short drive from downtown, but there is ample parking if you rent a car. It is also within easy walking distance to the Commercial Drive district, and there is plenty of public transit (we rented a car to get the most “bang for our buck” time-wise, since our trip was so short).

Lynn is an amazing, talented chef, who prepared generous and delicious breakfasts for us each day of our stay.

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2.The Sights: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

So peaceful. So pretty.

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3. The Activities: Cycle City Bike Tour

I’m not a “bike person.” Part of this is because Pittsburgh is not bike friendly. It’s working on getting better, but the streets are still narrow and the drivers still aggressive. There are entirely too many instances of bicyclists being fatally injured on the streets of Pittsburgh. I’ll ride a bike from time to time on a car-free trail, but that’s it. Vancouver, by contrast, is extremely bike friendly. Most streets have dedicated bike trails, and many of those are even set off from the roadway with physical barriers. Bike commuting is commonplace, and Vancouver employers are increasingly offering showers and bike storage. If I lived in Vancouver, I could learn to love biking.

The Cycle City Bike tour was 4.5 hours long, and took us ALL over the city, including fantastic stretches along the sea wall and on the trails of Stanley Park. Not being a cyclist, my butt still hurts from the ride several days later, but I can say that I made it through the ride itself a-ok. This was a fantastic way to see the city, even if (like me) you’re not perfectly in shape.

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4. The Eats: Havana

In the Commercial Drive district of the city (and only a short walk from the Bee & Thistle), Havana is a perfect spot to share a pitcher of sangria and a bite on a breezy summer evening.

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5. The Activities: Grouse Mountain and Zip Line

WHEEEEEEEE!!!!

And for lunch– Pulled Pork poutine at the Grouse Mountain cafe (Even though poutine is a Motreal original, it is equally popular in Vancouver, and I just couldn’t say “no” to this treat).

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6. More Activities: Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cliffwalk

Beautiful view, but might not be the best activity if you (like me) get terribly motion sick. I call it “the bridge of dizzy’

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The interesting curved trees growing from the mountain wall.

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7. The Eats: Rodney’s Oyster House

My first oyster eating experience! I had ever eaten an oyster because I thought they would taste like slimy raw eggs. The waiter assured me this was not true. I took the plunge, and I tried them. Rodney’s specializes in oysters and all kinds of fresh seafood. We tried 2 different kinds of oysters from the Pacific Northwest and one from the East. I was happy to find that they do NOT taste like raw eggs, but rather taste like the ocean. It is a strange taste, but I could get used to it.

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8. The Eats: Japadog

For years, Vancouver had very strict limitations on food carts, allowing them only to sell a limited number of wares. In the mid-2000s, the carts started pushing the envelope, getting creative with their hotdogs so they still technically complied with the rules, but were also creative. The laws have since changed, and the Vancouver food truck movement is blossoming. There are even food truck food tours, which I’d love to take next time I am in town.

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9. Cuppa Joe: Turk’s Coffee

Our innkeepers and food tour guide both agreed that Turk’s makes the best coffee in Vancouver, and being right around the corner from our B&B, we had to check it out.  My latte was indeed tasty, but I was even more impressed with the casual ambiance.

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The final verdict: This was a phenomenal vacation. It was just a long weekend, but it felt like much more. Vancouver is extremely accessible and tourist friendly. The people are kind, and the city clean. Admittedly, the prices are kind of high, and the sales tax in Vancouver is exorbitant, so a long weekend here will make your credit card cry (but that’s why we’re there for a few days, instead of for weeks, right?)

Oh Canada!

29 Jul

Mr. Beez and I have been having a simply lovely time on our Vancouver holiday! We have done SO much in 3 short days that it’s unbelievable. All yinz are going to have to suffer through a bunch of Vancouver pics for a while.

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Vancouver ahoy!

The airport is attractive and clean. All in all, Vancouver is a lot like Pittsburgh in terms of the city’s “feel”, except they’re doing a smidge better with certain environmental and livability issues (but I’d venture a guess that their homelessness challenges are more significant than those in Pittsburgh).

We started our first day in Vancouver with a visit to Granville Island Public Market. It is similar to Reading Terminal Market in Philly, or Pike Place Market in Seattle, except I think in Vancouver the local-to-tourist ratio is much higher.

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I had to be careful not to chow down too eagerly, because we had a Gastown Food Tour (led by Vancouver Food Tours) scheduled for the evening. We have had a really fun weekend, but Mr. Beez and I agree this was the most fun event of the weekend. Gastown is Vancouver’s historic but funky district, filled with innovative and trendy bars and restaurants. Food and fun are serious business in Gastown.

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Gastown’s famous steam clock.

The tour leader was incredibly knowledgeable about the fun trivia of the neighborhood, and was also an articulate foodie. The tour encompassed four restaurants, each with a different take on drinks and small bites. Our tour leader was both just plain fun to hang out with, and was also good about leading conversation about the food and drink.

The first stop was at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar. They served 3 different microbrews, and small plates of chili and lobster mac & cheese. The food and drink were solid, and this would be a great place for happy hour or a meal if you work nearby. It didn’t have the kind of quirky individual personality I usually look for, so while I wouldn’t steer you away from it, it would not be my first pick for a bite in this very eclectic neighborhood.

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The second stop was the Pourhouse, which is a pre-Prohibition style bar and restaurant. We were served the Jefferson County cocktail, which was citrusy, with a little kick to it. Just my taste! They also served us Scotch Eggs and Devils on Horseback, both of which were prepared to perfection. The Pourhouse was my favorite stop on the tour, and I’ll be sure to take a visit back here the next time I’m in town.

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The third stop was the most innovative and interesting, and was Mr. Beez’ favorite on the tour. Judas Goat specializes in Spanish wines and tapas, but considering the MINISCULE and completely open cooking area they have, their tasty dishes are extra-impressive. We tasted 2 kinds of sherry at Judas Goat. While sherry isn’t my first choice of drinks, it was neat to step a little out of my comfort zone. Mr. Beez ended up really liking the sherry, so this was a great stop for him.
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Our final stop was Salt which, like Judas Goat, is tucked away in a little alley, which makes it feel secret and exclusive. We tasted 3 wines at Salt, paired with cheeses and cured meats. SO YUM.
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There are many food tour companies in Vancouver, and this tour was on the pricier end of the spectrum. However, I thought the tour was well worth the money. The quantity of food and drink is perfect, the small bites aren’t really that “small” and are spaced well, so that you finish the tour feeling full, like you just had a big dinner. The variety of drinks is a welcome mix, and is enough alcohol to make you a little more chatty, but certainly not too much. The tour guide did a great job of facilitating introductions and conversation, so that we all felt like comfortable friends by the evening’s end. Mr. Beez and I both say: Two Thumbs Up!!

VACATION!

26 Jul

We’re not going to the beach this time, but this picture just screams VACATION!

I can’t believe it’s finally VACATION time!  It’s tricky to plan vacation when you’re a lawyer, because you’re responsible for projects and deadlines and you can’t just hand things off to other people.  You have to carefully carve out time, get things done ahead of time, and hope to heck things don’t blow up in your absence (thank goodness for a diligent secretary!)  I think things are going to be OK, and even though it’s inevitable that the first few days back in the office will be kookoobananas, I’m hoping that things will go smoothly in my week of absence.

Mr. Beez and I leave for Vancouver tomorrow morning! Our flight ridiculously leaves at 5:43 am, with a 2 hour layover in Chicago…but I just got a text message that our flight is delayed an hour so now I’m a nervous wreck that it will be delayed MORE and ruin our vacation :/
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

Do you have any idea how EASY it is to pack luggage when you don’t have to pack up for a kid? Hoo boy, it took me like 8.35 seconds and I had everything packed away. Easy peasy.  The ease of walking through an airport tomorrow without a screaming beastie is going to blow my mind.

Now I’ve got to go download a couple more books on my kindle for the trip, and get a couple hours of shuteye, before waking up at 3am. Yikes

Lazy Sunday.

15 Jul

Today Mr. Beez woke up with the baby, and let me sleep in.  I slept until 11:30, DO YOU KNOW HOW GOOD THAT FEELS?  Today we are hanging out around the house, regrouping from a busy week and weekend.  I’m watching Nashville, and feel like it’s full of references and humor that I’m just not getting.

Friday night, Baby Beez had a sleepover at her grandparents house, and Mr. Beez and I got to go out on the town.  We started out with a ridiculously gluttonous dinner at Ibiza.  I had a LivingSocial coupon for there (there are always Groupons, LivingSocial, and Restaurant.com coupons floating about for that place).  Upon eating plate after plate after plate of delicious tapas, I realized that these folks are totally winning at this game.  Sure, I paid $12 for a $25 coupon, but the lamb tapas plate was $24 alone, so I got a whopping half off one of our dishes. Whatever, it was GOOD.

We followed up that tasty meal with the Death Cab for Cutie concert that I had been looking forward to for AGES.  I really do love that band, and the show was great.  This was my first visit to Stage AE, and I was happy to find that the venue is big enough to attract big acts, but small enough that pretty much everywhere has a good view of the stage.  They also have enough concessions and restrooms that you don’t have to wait in long lines.  We’ll be making visits back there in early August for 311 (Mr. Beez’ pick), and October for Fiona Apple.

I even forced my musical tastes on my poor, unsuspecting child with this Death Cab onesie.

Yesterday afternoon we visited SouthSide Works Exposed, featuring musical acts, hula hoopers, and the I Made It! craft market.  We wandered about for a bit, but it was hot hot hot.  We weren’t in the market for any crafty things in particular, so we spent most of our time hanging out at the fountain.

Last night we also went to the drive-in to see Ted.

Ted was pretty funny.  It really IS like a live-action full length Family Guy.  The structure, style, and humor is all the same.  I run hot and cold with Family Guy.  I will watch it if it’s on, but the jokes grow tiresome to me pretty quickly, and it’s not like I go searching out the show on the TV lineup.  Ted was pretty much the same thing.  I enjoyed it, but it didn’t turn my world upside down.

The last 2 times we went to the drive in, Baby Beez has been find. Last night she decided to be a screaming banshee, so we spent a lot of the movie with the windows rolled up, hoping to limit the disturbance to the other attendees.  (we would have left due to her fuss, but it was a logistical impossibility to leave the movie while it was going on).  We didn’t stay for the 2nd movie, and of course as soon as we started to drive away, she conked out in the car.  Maybe we just have to go for a longer drive before getting to the drive-in, to get her to fall asleep in the car before we even get to the movie.

We’ve spent a good part of this weekend watching the TV coverage of Comic Con in San Diego.  At one point, Mr. Beez asked with sad-puppy eyes, “Do you think we could ever go?”  “SURE.” I answered.  I’m not much into all the comics and games, but there is plenty for the movie nerd side of me.  We started looking into what it would take to attend the 2013 con.  Booking a flight and hotel won’t be a problem, but it looks like getting the tickets to the convention is going to be tricky.  Apparently this year’s full-convention tickets sold out in 90 minutes. Yikes.  IF we can get tickets for next years Comic Con, it’ll be a good opportunity to drop Baby Beez off with my mom for the weekend, and let them have some quality time together.  Has anyone gone to Comic Con before? What was your experience with the event?

Father’s Day in Philly

17 Jun

We finished up our trip today in Philly with breakfast at Reading Terminal Market.  I feel like I lived there this weekend, but it was about 2 steps away from the hotel, and offered way better fare than stale Starbucks pound cake at the hotel, so it was a natural choice.

I had an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese from the deli. Yum!

Although not a traditional breakfast choice, Mr. Beez had a cajun alfredo.

I had a bite and really liked it.  Regular alfredo is usually too heavy for me, but the spices in this cajun alfredo gave it a little kick, so that you don’t feel like you have a brick in your stomach from eating a whole plate of butter and cream.

Next, we spent the lovely summer morning on a double decker bus tour!  Baby Beez LOVES buses, and squeals “BUUUUS! BEEP BEEP!” when she sees them go by, and then asks for “MORE! MORE!”  When I dropped her off at daycare the other day, three buses came down the street one after another, and she about exploded with excitement, so getting to ride in a double decker bus was a big deal for her!

The tour guide was funny and knowledgeable, and the tour was a great way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.  Afterward, we met my pal Atarah for lunch at Sidecar.  I was too busy catching up with Atarah and trying to keep the snarling, thrashing little beastie child under control (the gremlin instructions for toddlers include “do not bring into a restaurant”), so I didn’t take any food pictures. It’s a fun, laid back hipster-type brunch place.  The food was definitely good, and I appreciated that the brunch menu included salads and sandwiches alongside more traditional breakfast fare.

After lunch it was time to head back to the ‘burgh.  We did take one little detour out to the Weavers Way Co-Op.  Weavers Way was the host for the CCMA conference, and Mr. Beez was eager to check out their store.

The store is in a very charming residential neighborhood.  The store itself is in a very small building, so the products are virtually stacked floor to ceiling.  They had a lot of variety for such a small place.  Weavers Way also has a 2nd store, and a pet store, so they’ve had a lot of success.  We picked up some yogurt for Baby Beez (who was very excited to sit on a bench outside and eat it, while chattering to the dogs who passed by), and some delicious chocolate chip cookies to snack on for the ride home.

Then it was time to go home.  Goodbye Philly! Hope to see you again soon!

The City of Brotherly Love

16 Jun

I’ve had a BUSY week, and I was itching for a vacation.  I had a list of things I had to accomplish at work on Friday, and when I wrapped them up around 3:15, it was all SCHOOOOOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMAH!

Except it’s really just out until Monday.

Mr. Beez arrived here on Wednesday to attend the CCMA conference, and Baby Beez and I arrived here last night to spend a weekend visiting friends, and eating thirty thousand calories a day of Philadelphia’s finest vittles.  We are staying at the Marriott, which is directly across the street from the Reading Terminal Market. PERFECT!

We got in late last night (around 9:30) and I was starved.  We went for a short walk, and discovered More Than Just Ice Cream.  I was so hungry that I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE PICTURES OF MY FOOD!  Oh the humanity! Anyway, I had a grilled cheese with tomato and sweet potato fries. There wasn’t anything fancy about my order, but it was definitely solid.  I ordered Mac and Cheese for Baby Beez.  She was being a pain, refusing to sit and wanting to destroy everything, so I ate more of her meal than she did, and it was definitely good.   Mr. Beez had stir fry and it was full of a huge variety of fresh veggies and tofu.  They don’t mess around with fancy plating techniques or exotic flavor combinations–this is basic, delicious, comfort food.  I, of course, could not pass up the ice cream. I had a cone of chocolate marshmallow and cookie dough, and all I can say is YUM.  I wish I lived in Philly, I would hang out at this place all the time.

Today was a day chock FULL of adventure.  Even though Baby Beez didn’t go to bed until nearly midnight, she still woke up right at 6, howling for a cup of milk.  When we went to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast, she was, shall I say, a “piece of work.”

We had breakfast at Smucker’s Quality Meats.  They are an Amish shop that serves mostly sandwiches.  I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, which I tried to share with Baby Beez (she preferred to throw it on the ground).

Although the egg and cheese were standard issue, the bun was buttery, fluffy and delicious.

I know that scrapple has some die-hard fans, so I was excited to try it. I’m all for deep fried greasy meat dishes (see: my unflagging adoration of corn dogs) but I just could not like this.  It was much too greasy for me.  Maybe it would have gone better if I had ordered it inside a sandwich, so that the bread could absorb some grease, instead of as a side, but my first taste of scrapple won’t have me rushing back for more.

After breakfast, the beastie (and I) took much needed naps, and then met up with my dear pal Aubrey for a trip to Philly’s Please Touch Museum.  After our somewhat disappointing trip to Cleveland’s children’s museum, I was bracing myself for the unexpected, and not getting my hopes up too high about the museum.  Folks, I had nothing to worry about. This museum is phenomenal.  It is enormous, and beautiful, and creative, and all those things that make a kids’ museum perfect.  From what I saw, it does not have a nursery area, so this museum is best for kids aged 18mos-10 years, but we spent quite a long time there and (had we not grown weary) could have been there much longer.

Shoveling coal for the train in the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit.

I only managed to get pictures of Baby Beez in a few exhibits, because there was so much to do and she was having so much fun, that every time I went to take a picture, she’d dart off to the next activity before the shutter clicked.

Every kind of exhibit you could imagine for a kids museum, they pretty much have.  There is a car/garage exhibit, a rocket room, water tables, a rainforest music exhibit, a nursery rhyme exhibit, an Alice in Wonderland exhibit, and tons more.

As Baby Beez was getting worn out from all the playing, we made the carousel our last stop.  Baby Beez loved it.  She giggled as she went up and down, and gleefully waved at Aubrey as we passed by.  I was happy about the carousel, because it had more than just horses on it.  I always get excited to see a carousel filled with all kinds of animals, so I picked a pig for my oinky-pig baby to ride on.  They also had cats and rabbits and goats, but I think the pig was the best.  (My favorite carousels are the ones with dragons and tigers and bears and all kinds of animals.  When given the option, my favorite carousel animal is a chicken.)

After our museum adventure, more resting was definitely in order.  After some time, hunger crept in, and I snuck back over to Reading Terminal Market for a not-so-snack-sized snack from DiNiC’s.

MEATS

I had the brisket with sharp provolone and grilled sweet peppers.  Mr. Beez had a very satisfying DiNic’s roast beef sandwich earlier in the week, and he was eager to hear my thoughts on my sandwich.  All I could muster was “I WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH THIS SANDWICH.”  Yes. That good.  In fact, I’m thinking of sneaking back over there for another one before we leave tomorrow.  The meat and peppers and bread were all absolutely perfect.  I was a little disappointed during the first few bites that the provolone was cold, not melted.  But a few more chomps in, the tangy aftertaste from the sharp provolone set in, and it was delicious. Want more sandwich.

Later in the day we also took another walk around the City.  As we were about to head back to the hotel, I remembered that I read good remarks about Capogiro Gelato in the hotel’s magazine (which is probably the point of those magazines anyway), and since it was nearby, I wanted to go.

Like most gelato places, it’s pricey.  A small starts around $4.50.  The flavors of gelato are stronger than the flavor of ice cream, though, so a small serving goes a long way.  Mr. Beez and Baby Beez went for the Amish Sweet Cream gelato, which they both enjoyed.  I had Stratciatella (when it’s gelato, “chocolate chip” is just too commonplace a name) and Burnt Sugar.  The Burnt Sugar was very tasty, and tasted just like the caramelized top of a creme brulee.  I only wish that the gelato had little crunchy sugar bits mixed in, that would have made it amazing.

The gelato was quite good, but I have to admit that I prefer hard ice cream over gelato.  Maybe it’s because I hate hazelnuts and hazelnuts tend to sneak in to all the chocolate variations of gelato.  Or maybe it’s because gelato melts too fast for my taste.  In any event, if you really like gelato, you’ll probably enjoy Capogiro, but I’ll get my ice cream fix over at More than Just Ice Cream.