I had the best weekend ever!! When you become a parent the days of sleeping in and getting up to go where ever your little heart desires quickly disappears. Being a parent you don’t sleep in for 12 hours or go on exotic vacations with your spouse or friends. Now, it’s a bit different- snoozing in for 4 hours is a long lost dream and vacations have to be planned accordingly as you’re now traveling with little ones. During the summer we, as a family, visited Philadelphia for one day and had passed by a few places we wanted to visit in Philly, but were unable to due to not fully planning anything else, but the Philadelphia Zoo.
One of the places we passed by was the Eastern State Penitentiary and I was sad that would be something else we had to miss. Eastern State Penitentiary was the world’s first true “penitentiary,” which held some of the most memorable criminals; Al Capone, Morris “The Rabbi” Bolber, William Francis “Slick Willie” Sutton and a few others. The prison which is now closed has day tours where you can walk through, but also during the fall season the prison turns into a massive haunted house and that was something I just had to see.
We decided that we were going to make it a couples weekend trip away from the kids and head to Philadelphia. Thanks to help of Visit Philly we were given access to over 20 sites and attractions in the city, which included 4 people. Since we had places we wanted to visit and a schedule of where to go now, next we had to figure out where to stay.
Staying at the Sonesta Hotel
As you remember during our one day visit to Philadelphia (video here) we ended up staying at the Sonesta Hotel and liked it so much we decided to stay there again. When we went the outdoor pool was open and that view was unbelievable! That was just an extra happy addition because we do usually look for a pool. The next thing on my list when looking for a hotel is free-wifi, which they had. We are the type of people who read reviews and the reviews were great. Sonesta was clean, the beds were heaven, I loved the shower, they had free fitness center, and an eye-catching art gallery. Only upside was that there’s no free breakfast, as many hotels have and they don’t offer any free parking for customers. With all the positives and it being in the center of a lot of the places we wanted to visit we decided to stay there again.
Where to eat in Philadelphia
When we arrived we were immediately hungry and again reading reviews on Village Whiskey we decided to head there, which was a 10 minute walk from Sonesta. At first I wasn’t thrilled because if I don’t see steak I’m immediately turned off. I got my drink and was set, until Boytoy (my spouse) made me try the “Beef Short Ribs with French Fries” and I don’t even want to talk about it because I’m going to get sad. It was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life, it easily has taken first place to any of my mother’s meals. Now that says a lot! The boyfriend got his “Herb Cherry Tomatoes Pickles” which was not bad coming for someone who hates pickles. Village Whiskey was so good we decided to go there again for appetizers the next day.
Another spot we snacked at was P.S & Co, which again wasn’t my choice because it was a vegan and gluten free restaurant and ‘HELLO! I like my meat!’ But you guys, I tried the mushroom pizza from my friend Once Upon A Vow and WOW! It was actually delicious. So delicious I got one for myself too! Then you know I love plants–all their greenery and a good decor, this place was made for picture perfect moments.
The Magic Gardens
Earlier this year Daniela visited The Magic Gardens last year and I was in awe at all the gorgeous art work that was displayed in ever inch if the garden. It was something I knew I had to experience for myself and did. The space is filled with nontraditional materials such as folk art statues, found objects, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles, hand-made tiles, and thousands of glittering mirrors. Seriously, just jaw-dropping. I was upset Ziana wasn’t able to see it since she loves art.
The Mutter Museum
Since we were able to fit in a museum we decided to hit up The Mutter Museum. The museum displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a nineteenth-century “cabinet museum” setting. It was shocking to see the beauty of the human body in all it’s forms and appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease. I was upset I couldn’t record or take photos of the skulls and disformities, but that just leaves it up to you to make the trip!
Eastern State Penitentiary
Saving the best for the last, the reason we made this Philly trip, The Eastern State Penitentiary. How was the nighttime haunted house? FUN! This is my second year doing a haunted house and I’m obsessed. At first I wanted to cancel the whole trip because it’s in a prison, an actual prison where people died, they housed some crazy murders and I was freaking out. But I put on those big girl panties and decided to go through with it. I even took a step further and out a glow necklace on to have the actors touch me and pull me away. Best decision ever! I ‘m a true horror enthusiast and the bloodier it is the more I love it. I even have a great horror scream that would frighten the whole block. The makeup, the ambiance, the actors were all incredible and gave that eerie feel, but I wasn’t terrified. For having 6 attractions they seemed to all be rushed and I thought I was going to be there for at least a good hour, even more. I loved how I was able to interact with the actors, but there could’ve been a lot more actors in each section. I also would’ve loved more torture from the actors such as chasing and grabbing. Yes, I’m a bit diabolical. One out of ten, I would give it a solid 7.