I took Friday as a personal day. I committed to the kids that I would leave the Blackberry at home and we'd take the weekend to do stuff that we'd talked about doing, but schedules or weather prevented.
*Note - I cannot believe I forgot my camera, so these pictures are courtesy of Flickr*
Friday - We took the Patco train into Philly and walked through Center City by Jefferson Hospital - it was a gorgeous spring day. It was our plan to go to Reading Terminal - a nifty farmer's market that is near City Hall:
For those who aren't familiar with Philadelphia, City Hall is either incredibly beautiful and baroque or ugly as hell. On the top of the watch tower (which has been restored to its original color - that's why it's much brighter than the main part of the building). A statue of William Penn sits on top of the tower. He has one hand down to his side and the other is held out in front of him. Picture below courtesy of Paul Everett on Flickr:
*funny local note - if you're driving toward City Hall from the Art Museum area, it looks suspiciously like Mr Penn is, um, excited. You have to get quite close to City Hall to see it's his hand. It's been a running joke for a long time in this area.
Anyway, I digress. We strolled to Reading Terminal:
The market is a wonderful mixture of Pennsylvania Dutch, Italian, Korean, Greek, French and Mexican vendors (I'm sure I'm only touching on a third):
The market, as always, was bustling:
We stopped by my favorite cheese store - Downtown Cheese. DiBruno's is the most highly rated and well known cheese store in the city - but to me - Downtown meets my needs and I just love the folks that work there, they love what they do - are happy to take you through a 'cheese journey' and happily recommend pairings and give plenty of samples!
I bought a cumin scented Gouda and a Monteviore that had black truffles and anchovy ribbons through out - WoW!! We also went to the produce stand and picked up a couple of pieces of fruit to pair with the cheese later. There are so many choices for lunch, it wound up being too many. It was a little too crowded for the kids so they opted to leave and head to Caribou Cafe for lunch - frankly, it's just because they LOVE it there:
These pictures are courtesy of Caribou's website; it's a beautiful and very authentic bistro. We started with Potato Leek Bisque. The kids had steak frites and I had a duck breast with ligonberry sauce with a potato Lyonnaise and because it was a day off, I enjoyed a Chimay red beer with my lunch. Yummm. It was pricey, but the conversation was relaxed and we really enjoyed ourselves. We skipped desert and walked up Walnut Street to Rittenhouse Square - a lovely part of the city. We shopped for clothes (for the kids) at Urban Outfitters and bought some toiletries at Lush. We then headed over to Samson and back down to Reading for one thing I forgot. All in all I think we walked 25 blocks! We stopped at a little place for gelato - I tried the basil and it was fabulous! By this time it was late afternoon and we were tuckered out.
Saturday - errands, haircuts and home made paninis for dinner. We watched "Across the Universe" on pay per view (no one felt much like moving).
Sunday - Matt decided he'd had enough of the "girls" and elected to stay home. Rachel and I headed out to the Art Museum to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum. The Art Museum is undergoing a face lift and I forgot my camera, so these pictures are courtesy of various photographers on Flickr:
Well, this was the last day of spring break for this area, and most of the schools in the area must have had an assignment to review and comment on this exhibit because the place was wall to wall teenagers. It took a half an hour to get in. But it's always worth it because I love this view of the museum:
There's a huge Calder mobile hanging in the lobby and a statue of Diana from the old NY Life building. Our favorite parts of the museum are the Asian galleries with it's tea building:
Picture courtesy ofEnglekins
There was a wonderful exhibit for Lee Miller, a woman who began her photographer just before World War II - her work was amazing. But the goal of the day was to see Frida:
Despite the crowds (it was on average 6-7 deep at each painting), it was an incredible show - the colors, the collection, getting to see everything up close. We just loved it - and we're going to play hooky and go back during the week.
To wrap up the day, we went together to Samosa for Indian food. Rachel and I love it; unfortunately, we're the only ones in the house that do, so it was a great excuse to go to what was one of my favorite places in the city. Unfortunately, Samosa ain't what it used to be. Most of the dishes, while flavorful, where difficult to distinguish from each other and everything was a bit overcooked. The day, and the meal, however was saved by the best palak paneer I've had for a long time and dynamite samosas. Great wrap up to the weekend!
Final note - I'm adjective happy - guess a good weekend will do that to me....;-)