Philadelphia – Without the Flyers

President’s Day weekend found me in your city: Philadelphia. My school takes a four day weekend then and I so desperately wanted to see my best friend and come back to where I didn’t have to defend my Philadelphia Flyers love, so I went.

I’ve been twice before this trip (as far as I can remember) and both times prior involved hockey. The first was my inaugural NHL game where the Flyers won against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was thrilling and I remember being unable to eat or even sit for most of the game because I was so excited. The second trip was later that season when I attended the Flyers Fight for Lives Carnival. That was also wracked with excitement and mild nerves as I had my picture taken with Claude Giroux, Mike Richards, and Darroll Powe. There was also just the fun of being at the Wells Fargo Center and seeing all the fans congregate for such a good cause.

This trip had a lack of hockey. Both games played were on the road (both losses, but I’ll get back to that later) and ticket prices were a bit steep for me. My friend and I watched the games, but even then, this trip felt odd.

I spent Friday doing some sight-seeing as I’d never gotten to do before. I saw the Liberty Bell.

Liberty Bell

Which I could have sworn was supposed to be much, much bigger. It was a little underwhelming, but I’m not much of a history person (especially not American history which was overdone in school). Independence Hall came next.

Independence Hall

Which I hadn’t been excited about, but since it required a guided tour to even see the rooms, was a much cooler experience. If, whether you’re local or not, you haven’t done this, I’d recommend it. The information provided was interesting. For example, I don’t think I’d really realized that The Declaration of Independence was a supreme act of treason against England and that if the war had not worked out in our favor, those who signed it would have been tried and probably executed.

Our forefathers were not wimps.

On a recommendation from some acquaintances online (we Flyers fans have to find each other), I ate at Reading Terminal Market.

Reading Terminal Market

Russian Dressing

Which was an experience in itself as I’d never heard of or had Russian dressing. It wasn’t bad. I also had creamed chipped beef on this trip (another thing that was unfamiliar) and decided that Northerners cannot complain about grits being weird. Creamed chipped beef is barely palatable. Sorry.

I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and didn’t run up the stairs like Rocky. I watched some very young, energetic kids run up and down. I hope you guys (locals) know what an amazing museum you have. Even the architecture of the building is dramatic and impressive. I hung out in the Impressionists mostly.

Then I had to head to the train station to meet my friend when she got off of work. I was at Market East Station, waiting for the right train (also jealous of your public transportation) when a guy was asking those standing if they had ever taken the express train. He asked me, and I said I wasn’t local. He asked where I was from and I said Chicago. Then, with a smile, he asked how I liked Philly. I told him, “I like your hockey team better than ours.”

I got a high five for that.

I don’t know if I would ever live in Philadelphia. It’s still far away from my family who I miss being up here in Northern Illinois already. I often felt very Southern when I’d smile at the cashiers and clerks I interacted with and would get no response (not even a little smile). But I have to say, you have a great city. Even without the Flyers (though it did feel a little wrong).

By the way, the moment I left on the airplane and was flying back to the Midwest, was the game against the New York Islanders and Giroux scored a goal. So, you’re welcome. That was apparently all my doing.

Next week: Book Review!!

all photos in article (exception featured image) are my own.