3 Exciting Spring Events in Philly

This year, I made a goal to attend at least three different Philly events each season in order to learn a little bit more about my city. So far, I went to the Center City Restaurant Week back in January and the Philadelphia Auto Show (actually twice, per my young nephew’s request) in February. Thus, my winter events are basically covered. Now onto fun springtime events! I have a few in mind that I found on a list of the 50 Biggest Events via Visit Philly:

Philadelphia Flower Show (March 5 through 13)

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Philadelphia Flower Show (Image: VisitPhilly.com)

I love flowers and the Flower Show is definitely full of them! This is the 188th year of the event and this year’s theme is “Explore America: 100 Years of the National Park Service.” So each exhibit area will feature a popular park like the Yellowstone National Park and even the local Valley Forge State Park. Click here for ticket and time information.

The Science Behind Pixar at The Franklin Institute (March 12 through September 5)

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Pixar Exhibit at the Franklin Institute (Image: VisitPhilly.com)

You all know I love art but you may not know that I am a big Toy Story fan. Yes, I saw all three and will see Toy Story 4 when it comes out. In the meantime, I can get my fix visiting the Franklin Institute and checking out this exhibit. It will discuss the scientific and technical aspect of the Pixar process (claymation, set designs, etc). Here’s more info if you want to visit!

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) (April 8 through April 23)

My artsy people – this is for us! A huge celebration of arts from the Delaware River Waterfront to Broad street – live performances, theatrics and visual arts galore. I’m telling you, this is huge and it gets pretty packed quick! Get more info about tickets and dates here on their site.

These are just a few of many events happening over here. If you would like to take a trip to Philadelphia, don’t forget to grab a free water ice from Rita’s on March 20th. 😉

Enjoy!

 

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Summertime Motivation: Philly Trails

Hello everyone!!! Geez, I can’t believe it’s been a little over a month since the last post! Summertime is always a busy season for me and I am sure it is for you as well. I appreciate all of you who follow the blog, especially the newbies during my mini hiatus. 🙂

During the past few months, I’m noticing that more and more people have FitBits. If you have been stuck under a rock, a FitBit is a fitness tracker for tracking steps, calories, heartrate, sleep and much more. So what’s with the FitBit craze? Maybe…

  • The curiosity of the number of steps taken per day?
  • The weight loss effects?
  • The motivation of exercise?
  • The “friendly” competition it features?

Well, all of the above appeals to me!
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Water Ice: The Philly Treat

“Water ice? You mean, Italian ice?”

“Water ice? Isn’t ice made from water?”

“Water ice? Oh you mean an Icee/Gelato/Snocone?”

No, no, no my friends! Water ice is it’s own entity.

I get this reaction from so many visitors and tourists. Every summer, this special treat comes around to the enjoyment of Philadelphian’s taste buds. Water ice is essentially (for the sake of comparison) a soft version of Italian ice. Not ice with flavoring on top like a Snocone. Not in a watery state like an Icee or Slushie. Not in an extra creamy texture as a Gelato. And it is not just ice made from water.

Simply, water ice.
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Welcome May + First Friday!

Hello May

2015 is going so fast – summer is around the corner!

Today is also Avengers day for movie and comic buffs out there. I’m an Avengers fan but I’ll spare my comments and hype over it since there are plenty of posts about it today. Continue reading

Philly’s Center City Restaurant Week!

I love this time of year – Center City Restaurant Week is here!!

Center City Restaurant Week is a two-week food venture in Philadelphia. It used to be one week but popularity grew and pushed it to two weeks. There are about 100+ restaurants in downtown Philly that offers lunch and dinner courses for discounted flat rates. A three-course lunch is $20 and a three or four course dinner (minus drinks) is $35 per person.

Over the years, I would go to the “regular” places like Ruth’s Chris and Varalli. “Regular” to me is the regular food I eat – American and Italian fare. This year, I’m aiming for something different – which is the whole point of the event anyway!

Since I’m learning French and have a goal of visiting France one day soon, I’m thinking of going to one or both of these French restaurants – Bistro St. Tropez and Bistrot La Minette. I like what they have to offer and I saw great Yelp reviews for both. Plus, I can test my French skills while ordering. 😉

I did begin my Restaurant Week venture at an American Restaurant, Devon Seafood Grill. I went to lunch with friends this past Sunday. The place was very relaxed and I loved the low lighting and outside view. The service was excellent as well (Thanks Lance!). Only minor issue I had was sharing bench seats with the other guests. There is a long bench seat against the wall towards the windows and three tables share the bench. There weren’t any problems with other guests, it just seems to lack some space/privacy in that seating area. However, the bench was comfy. 🙂

Now for the food: While seated, they offered cinnamon rolls and biscuits to wear off our hunger. I got both and a cup of La Colombe coffee which was GREAT and well needed (since I had a caffeine withdrawl headache due to lack of coffee all weekend). Would you believe my headache instantly vanished?! I’m officially addicted to caffeine. *womp, womp*

I took a look at the special Restaurant Week menu and decided to try the Caesar Salad, Blackened Mahi with Sweet Potato Hash + Crawfish Butter and Mixed Berries for dessert (not pictured because I was full and took it home). Everything was fantastic – taste, texture, temperature!!

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Caesar Salad - Very good start to my meal 🙂

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Blackened Mahi - Yum!

Devon also had an extensive martini and wine list – and a special deal going on for bottles of wine!

If anyone live in or is traveling to Philadelphia, the Restaurant Week is January 18-23 and January 25-30. No Saturdays, unfortunately. I would suggest booking for a table in advance as it is quicker to be seated. But walk-ins are usually welcome! Come check out the restaurants and its menus here! 😄

Philly: The Second Best Place to Shop in the WORLD?!

Whoa! Who knew that would be announced?

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Screenshot via Condé Nast Traveler - Philadelphia is Second-Best

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was listed as the second best place to shop in the world between #1 Barcelona, Spain and #3 Hong Kong, according to a Condé Nast reader survey. Reading Terminal Market and the 3rd Street shops were top on the lists of places to shop.

Frankly, when I saw that headline I was taken aback. I guess it’s the whole “I’m-used-to-Philly-because-I-lived-here-all-my-life” thing. I do like to shop here in Philly, however I love shopping in New York. Surprisingly to me, New York was #24 on the Best Shopping Cities list. One of my favorite places to shop is Earrings Plaza in Manhattan for some quick and cheap accessories. 😍

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Granted, there is a great highlight to shopping in Philly compared to other places. I love the perk of buying clothes and shoes without the extra taxes on it. If I see a sweater for $24.99, better believe I am paying $24.99 for that sweater. Take advantage of this perk in some of the cool shopping areas in Philly:

Old City has the vintage shops and trendy boutiques for the hipsters out there. There are many small shops in this area and it gives a shopper that cozy feeling. Try visiting a museum or doing a tour along the way via walking, segway, trolley or horse and buggy! From the Liberty Bell to the National Constitution Center, you will learn more about the history of Philadelphia and America after your shopping trip. ☺

Reading Terminal Market has all kinds of foodstuffs to please anyone. A few friends of mine went there on a whim and visited a restaurant that sold Gator Soup (yes, alligator). The Gator Soup was approved by those foodies – they said it tastes like beef stew. You can be the judge of that! The market also have plenty of bakeries, American fare (especially cheesesteaks), produce markets and international foods.

• Not too far is the Gallery at Market East (also known as The Gallery) which has everything inside. It’s one of the more popular, “normal” malls for individuals and families alike. Plus, it is connected to different public transportation routes so accessibility is very easy here. Don’t forget to get your Auntie Anne’s pretzel before you leave!

South Street is another area full of stores and restaurants that stay open late. It is literally around the corner from Penn’s Landing and the Camden, NJ view. South Street shopping begins around 2nd Street and the main strip ends around 11th, with spurts of stores afterward. There’s definitely something for every adult – wouldn’t really say it’s the greatest “family-friendly” area because of the risqué stores (you’ll know them when you see them lol). Other than that, a shopper can find some great clothes and accessories from the small boutiques within this strip.

Rittenhouse Square is a great area to shop – more of the high end stores live here. Boyd’s, Lacoste, Nordstrom Rack, The Liberty Place mall and more stores all around. Walking in this area makes you feel a little special. If you have the money, stop inside one of these shops and find your next outfit for the weekend. If you don’t have the money, grab a latte from La Colombe or Starbucks and window shop! Lol

After considering this list, Philly is worth being second best for shopping. There is a plethora of stores all over and not just from the ones listed. What a great honor!