Last weekend was without a doubt the best Memorial Day Weekend of my life. A few weeks ago, the “big kids” surprised me and purchased their own plane tickets to come visit me in Pennsylvania.
We started something new during Christmas travels; we now depend on SEPTA and New Jersey Transit for train transportation to and from the airport. It’s awesome because instead of spending time on I95 or the New Jersey Turnpike, I can clean like a mad woman up until the very last moment. Katie texted me two stops early so there would be no risk that she’d have to wait in the rain at the train-stop.
Somehow I managed to stay awake long enough to pick Jeff and Justin up from Trenton Transit Station. I’d like to say it was an uneventful drive, but apparently my daughter and I have a different vocabulary when it comes to driving directions and we almost ended up headed to NYC instead of Philly.
Saturday was a kick back day, the kids went to the mall and played games while I prepared the meals that had been requested for the weekend menu. As always enchiladas were at the top of the list.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day and I was happy to wait for a few minutes for the train and take some pictures on the platform. I always laugh when I look at pictures of my kids and me. I’m so much shorter than them and they’re so much fairer than me it’s sometimes hard to see the family resemblance.
I probably shouldn’t have let Katie sit on the edge of the platform with her feet resting on the tracks, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture. Maybe it was my way of making up for not letting her eat dirt when she was little. (that’s a funny story)
Apparently my children are never too old to play complicated versions of Paddy Cake. They make me laugh out loud.
Our first destination was Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on South Street. It’s over 3,000 square feet of mosaic art and the walls are covered with shiny glass and mirrors from floor to ceiling, both inside and out.
The second floor was a perfect place to check text messages and send funny pictures.
I wonder what if the walls of the artist’s home are covered in tile and mirrors as well.
It was a great location for a mother and daughter picture.
The plan was to go to the Italian Market on South Street after the Magic Garden, the only problem was that I didn’t know the name of the market. The Italian Street Market is lined with shops and stores of all kinds. It’s like taking a step back in time to the days before grocery stores and malls.
We’d been there a couple of Christmases ago on a walking tour, but the only thing any of us could remember was that it was on South Street. (I can’t believe I’ve never written about it the walking tour)
I made up my mind that it was called the South Street Market and so that’s what we set off to find. After a mile and change, we reached the South Street Supermarket on the corner of South Street and something. It was pretty obvious we were in the wrong place. Everyone whipped out their smart phones and fired up Google.
Within a few minutes we discovered that the Magic Gardens is two blocks away from where we had intended to go. We were limited on time (lasagna was waiting for us at home) so I suggested we take cabs to the Italian Market. I was instantly overruled and the kids voted to continue our impromptu tour of the city and head toward the Gelato shop.
It was Justin’s first trip to Philly and he wanted to make the trip complete with a Philly Cheese Steak. We’re not sure why, but Yelp led us to Di Bruno Bros and there were no Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. On the plus side, they did have the gourmet cheese spread that we’d hoped to buy at a shop in the Italian Market. Score!
A few blocks later we stumbled across an authentic Philly Cheese Steak shop and the day trip was complete. It was a day where nothing went according to plan, but everything turned out just right.