I’ve realized that blogging serves a very important purpose–it allows me to remember things I’ve done. It sounds simple, but really, it is quite important. For example, I didn’t write a blog post for the third day we spent in D.C. And I don’t remember the details as well as I’d like. Which is upsetting. For example, I know we went to the National Gallery for a while, but I don’t remember specific things I liked about it–and I know they were many. I know we went out for dinner, but I don’t remember what I had, aside from the fact that it was some kind of fish with some kind of foam on it. I know I took lots of pictures, but as I never plugged any of them into a post, I don’t remember the specifics. And so, I continue to blog about my travels, even when I can’t or don’t do so directly on my phone, directly from said travels.
All of that being said…ahem…
My husband and I spent this past weekend in Philadelphia. We went to go to the flower show, but ended up also having dinner with a friend of mine (who I was shocked to discover I’d not seen in YEARS); we also made it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (which I can’t believe I’ve never visited). We started out with a valiant plan–we’d leave IMMEDIATELY after work, make it down there before five, spend the evening at the museum, hit the flower show on Saturday before drinks with said friend and a nice dinner. We forgot to factor in one thing–Friday rush hour traffic.
I stupidly thought that everyone would be leaving the city at this time, rendering the road in front of us blissfully empty but the lanes to our left mind-bogglingly clogged. How wrong I was. All of the lanes were mind-bogglingly clogged–ours included. It took us 2.5 hours to make the 50 mile trip; we checked in to the hotel after 6:30pm, rendering our Friday night museum plan completely void. But, fortunately, said friend was available for dinner that night, and we had a fantastic time. Though note to self–never allow the husband to go out for dinner anywhere when he’s THAT hungry. We went to a very reasonably priced BBQ-esque place, and ended up spending way too much, as the starving husband ordered half the menu.
After sleeping in on Saturday morning, we made our way to the art museum from our hotel located behind city hall–if they look close together on a map or even on the skyline, they are NOT–we took a cab for the return trip. But the museum itself was amazing. I’ve never been to a museum like that–though, to be fair, most of the museums I’ve been do have been various Smithsonian run establishments (which, again to be fair, are deservedly impressive in their own right). Aside from the amazing (but temporary) Picasso exhibit, this was less a museum of art and more a museum of culture–the second floor was a maze of the best of eastern and western culture, set up in a series of rooms complete with period furniture, lighting, and accessories. Entire temples and chapels were installed exactly as they once stood in all parts of the world. It was beyond anything that I could have hoped for. At one point I actually thought–screw going to Europe. I’ll just come back here.
The added bonus–the museum was empty. Note the picture to the left–there’s no one else there. For rooms and rooms, my husband and I roamed alone, with only the occasional security guard for company. This was because EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE CITY WAS AT THE FLOWER SHOW. I’d write more about it, but really it can all be summed up with this: it would have been really beautiful if not for the thousands of people milling about. Large masses of people are typically not very picturesque, not even when surrounded by thousands of plants and flowers. But I managed to get a few good shots–see below. Next year I will either not go at all, or go on a week day.
That night we went to Parc for dinner, as per the suggestion of my ever-wise uncle (whom I’ve not seen in real life in WAY more than two years–it has been maybe eight or nine? Thank god for facebook!) We had an amazing meal–my husband couldn’t decided if he was more thrilled with the fries or the steak smothered in herb butter (butter and steak–his two favorite things), and I was in heaven with a dish of seared scallops over black lentils in a wild mushroom sauce (which, to be fair, must have contained at least some butter, and did in fact contain a few pieces of thick cut bacon). Best dinner ever.
The given purpose of the mini-trip was to go to the flower show–the actual purpose was to get away from our life for a while and have fun. And we achieved both goals–the latter more so than the former. I think all couples need to do this sort of thing from time to time, on whatever scale they can manage. We simply went to the nearest metropolitan area. The nearest campground or the farthest, most exotic island, the most obscure small town–all would work equally well, and at some point I hope to visit each of those…and then some.