Adventure #8 : Philadelphia, Friday 8th to Monday 11th July 2016.
Our 2nd favorite city in the US
I’ve got a crush on Philadelphia! It’s one of the cities I have enjoyed the most during this trip. Even though Philly has a high amount of crime and is a big city, I felt surprisingly good here! We took a lot of time to ourselves to relax, we had great nights out with awesome people, but that doesn’t really make me like a city. What did it for me is the day Simone and I went to cruise the city on bicycles Aisling & Craig had lent us. I loved that day ! It just felt right to ride the bike around, I loved the university, I loved the center of the city, I loved the little streets on the way back home. I can’t wait to go back to Philadelphia !
THE 1ST NIGHT
[Simone :] After we had put our bags in the guest room, Aisling & Craig took us to South Philly district.
We went first to a nice Mexican bar where we had Tequila shots and tortilla chips. Then we went to a garage bar where we played a game we had never seen in our life! Lastly, we went to a dive bar before heading home because we were super tired.
THE 2ND NIGHT
This day was a day of total relaxing for us.
The bus trip had been quite taxing, and we had been moving a lot for a while, so it was really nice to be able to do nothing while Aisling and Craig were at work.
We went out around 8pm, when Maggie (another person related to Wos bar) joined us for a night out in Philadelphia. As the restaurant we wanted to go to was full, we went to Graffiti Bar to wait for a table. It was a pretty cool place, roofless and loud but cozy, that you access through a very tiny passage between two brick walls.
Then, when it was finally time, we had dinner in the interesting Charlie was a sinner.
Craig is a chef, so it was great to have his opinion on the food and to learn some anecdotes about it!
To finish the night, we had a drink at the bar Tatooed Mom and had a great and funny ride back. We had a great night !!
This was probably the funniest part of the day. We were already quite intoxicated from having drunk at Graffiti Bar and not having eaten a lot, and we had another drink at Tatooed Mom. This place is incredible. It is covered in graffitis and artistic doodles and other quite fascinating crap. What I loved best, of course, was to drink in an old bump car !!
When it was time to go back, we called an Uber and even though we were all in a tipsy mood, one of us (I won’t say who!) made it the funniest ride I have ever taken in my life !!!!
THE 3RD DAY : DISCOVERING THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
The next day, we couldn’t decently keep doing nothing during the day while being in this town. I also really wanted to see the University of Pennsylvania (Upenn for short).
Craig & Aisling were so nice that they let us take their bicycle to ride around the city !
It was really nice to ride on these huge roads, with car drivers being accommodating. (not like in Paris where they can’t wait to drive you over!!!!). We almost got lost a couple of times, but we finally made it to the University neighborhood.
It’s even more than a neighborhood, it’s a « university city » as the sign said. It was very calm and beautiful. I loved the brick buildings and the campus atmosphere, although it didn’t seem closed at all. I felt like I would love to study, work and live there for some time. …It just kind of felt right !
Back on the bikes, we went by the river trail that takes you everywhere you want in the city.
‘ROCKY’ (Or is it Freddy ?!)
We had a look at the water house and finally got to one of the most visited attractions in Philly: was it a museum ( well it is located there)? was it a statue about some American hero? C’mon you are almost there. Close your eyes, pretend you are running in the streets of Philadelphia followed by a cheering crowd. You still need to run over hundreds of steps and then… Yes ! You put your hands toward the sky and : “Rocky Rocky Rocky!!!!!!” (or, for some reason, « Freddy » if you’re Alice or born after 1990!)
Ok, I’m going to be painfully honest here and admit that I had NO idea what that was. By the way people were talking about it, I guessed it was about a pursuit, so I guessed it was a pursuit in a horror movie. As I’m not an adept of horror movies and that Simone had mentioned Freddy not long ago, it all mixed up in my head and I figured it was that (and had the whole scene of the pursuit streaming in my mind). Imagine my disappointment when I arrived there and realized how wrong I was!.
It was amazing to see how many people where in line to take a picture with the statue and how many people where running on the steps!!!!!!!
Philly Pretty city
Back on the road we got lost at a point. But we made our way to the historical part of town. There, we saw the Liberty Bell, passed trough Chinatown, and finally arrived at our ‘lunch’-stop.
The Independence Beer Garden was a fun place where we played giant checkers (also called draughts), I tasted the local philly cheese steak and watched the end of the euro 2016 final match. And there… wow… what can I say my dear french friends: you know how it ended!!!
But as a reminder for everyone who doesn’t follow Football (I will never call it ‘soccer’) : Portugal won against France 1 to 0.
After this delightful moment, we got back on the bikes to go home. The streets we took were absolutely amazing and I loved them. I could already see myself living there, it was beautiful ! We stumbled across these amazing street art walls that made us fall in love even more with this place!
BYE BYE Philadelphia
Once home at 8pm, we were all pretty tired so we watched TV with Aisling & Craig, until they went to bed. Then we discovered the crazy TV Reality show called « Naked and Afraid ». We were so shocked that anyone would have the idea to create/participate in that show that we watched that pretty late…!
The next day, Aisling drove us to the bus station. Time to go to Pittsburgh to see the Guns’n’Roses concert !