Our East Coast Adventure: Philadelphia
Where did we last leave off on the recap of our adventure? Oh yes, our road trip to Philadelphia! On Monday afternoon, we picked up our rental car and left NYC. As we were driving through New Jersey, Sarah remembered that Princeton University wasn’t far off from the highway, so we decided to make a quick detour and check out yet another Ivy League school.
I have to admit: I thought Princeton was so much more beautiful than Harvard. Of course, Harvard was founded almost 100 years before and I’m glad we went there, but the actual buildings and the grounds around Princeton were absolutely stunning. There were so many gardens, it smelled like flowers almost everywhere we went… and it seemed to be a LOT bigger. We walked for over an hour and barely covered a quarter of it (if that).
The Grounds at Princeton University
We walked by the Princeton University Chapel, which Martin Luther King Jr. gave a sermon at in 1960. Unfortunately, because it was Memorial Day, we couldn’t go inside but it was still beautiful to see.
Princeton University Chapel
We also stood outside Nassau Hall for a while, which is chock-full of history, and just read the plaques from all the graduating classes. (Of course, this lady photobombed every single picture we took, lol.)
Nassau Hall at Princeton University
And then the heat got to be too much, so we went back to the car and continued on our way. We got to Philadelphia around 4pm and drove up to the Ritz Carlton, who was gracious enough to host us during this last leg of our trip. Their location in Philadelphia is in the old Girard Trust Building, which was a bank that was constructed in 1907-08! How cool is that?
The Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia
The view from our room was stunning. It’s next to City Hall (tower seen below) and central to everything. And after sleeping on a cot while being sick in NYC, I can’t deny that it was nice to have a comfier home base for two days.
The View from the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia
Philadelphia City Hall
We were both wiped from getting terrible sleeps the night before, so our entire night consisted of eating dinner and going to bed early. We originally tried to go to El Vez, but the wait was crazy so the hostess suggested Jose Pistalos… and let me tell you: this was the beginning of the end for us. All the food we ate in Philly was SO GOOD. We started to eat like it was our job.
Roasted Chicken Tacos at Jose Pistolas
The next morning was one of the first days where we didn’t have to wake up early, so we slept in then went for brunch at Green Eggs Cafe. There, we decided to split two dishes: something sweet and something savoury. Can you guess which of the two was our favourite? I don’t normally like sweet stuff for breakfast, but they do it right! If you’re in the mood for a sweet breakfast, this is the place to go.
Tiramisu French Toast at Green Eggs Cafe
After brunch, we did some sight-seeing. We walked by Independence Hall, which is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.
We waited in line to see the Liberty Bell, which is the most iconic symbol of American independence.
We also toured the US Mint, where you’re not allowed to take any pictures. We dorked out over designing coins and watching the production line in the factory. I’ve been to the US Mint in Denver, too, so that’s two I can cross off the list! (Maybe I should go see a Canadian Mint next, eh? There is one in Vancouver, after all…)
After all that walking in the heat (it was 32°C/90°F there), we headed over to Reading Terminal Market, where we grabbed dinner and dessert. I ate my very first Philly Cheesesteak (doesn’t look like much but it was so good!) and then we grabbed donuts from Beiler’s Bakery. <– OH. EM. GEE. That was legitimately the best donut I’ve ever eaten… and they were only $0.95/each! (We may have eaten two.)
My First Philly Cheesesteak
Key Lime Donut from Beiler’s Bakery
And we finished the day off with a quick stop at LOVE Park, then went back to our hotel to get some sleep before a long day of driving.
My Favourite Thing About the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia: A Tub with a View
All-in-all, it was a pretty quick trip to Philadelphia… but we were so impressed by the food that I’m pretty sure we’ll have a hard time not stopping in on our drive back to NYC tomorrow! We didn’t get to do everything you guys suggested (i.e. no Rocky stairs for us) but we had a great time there and would love to go back – especially for the food. Did I mention we loved the food in Philly? Ha!
Today is our last day in DC, before we fly home to Vancouver tomorrow. I can’t believe our trip has come to an end… I’ll share the final recap (spoiler: DC is my favourite city), plus some of the numbers on Monday. Until then, I hope you guys have a great weekend! xo