Friday, August 29, 2014

Exploring the City of Brotherly Love

Visit Philadelphia

Picking back up on my vacation recap, after NYC, Christina and I took a train to Philadelphia. Within an hour and a half ride, we arrived in the City of Brotherly Love and again decided to do our sightseeing via tour. We went with the The Big Bus Company Philadelphia two-day hop-on-hop-off bus. For $32 and we able to see all of the sites from the Rocky Steps, to the Betsy Ross House, to Antiques Row.

Philadelphia City Hall Love Statue - Philadelphia Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Rocky Steps Pennsylvania Station Philadelphia church

Philadelphia really is beautiful. It's a great mix of history, lush landscapes, and a big city fit perfectly into a small area. Christina and I were surprised at how small, though. Coming from NYC where there is so much, so spread out, it was cool to be in an easy-to-navigate setting. You can realistically hit all of the major attractions in one full day but, because of the 1D concert, we split it into one and a half.

Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn's Landing - Philadelphia Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn's Landing - Philadelphia Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn's Landing - Philly

One of my favorite things about the trip was the pop-up Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn's Landing. Only around for the summer, the area right on the Delaware River Waterfront is transformed into a magical setting full of hammocks and lights everywhere. We got there too late for food, but had planned to kick back with burgers and beers and enjoy the riveride breeze. Even without the concessions, it was a cool park to explore. Hopefully this is something they continue each summer!

One last tip - if you travel to Philly stay at the amazing Courtyard Marriott Philadelphia Downtown. We were super impressed. It was an old, restored building right across the street from City Hall. The perfect central location. Plus the staff was incredibly friendly. When we'd see them outside of the hotel, walking down the street, they'd remember and greet us. City of Brotherly Love for sure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One Direction: Where We Are Tour

This the face of a psychopath. Take a good hard look and avoid her on the street. OK I'm not actually crazy. But that's how much I love One Direction, and Harry Styles. Enough to travel across the country to see 1D in Philly! I didn't wear that shirt to the concert, although I would've fit in with the other teenagers in homemade tops.

One Direction's Biggest Fan

After months of planning with Christina the big day finally arrived and we confidently took our seats in a stadium filled with underage girls - plus some moms and dads.

Then this happened... Harry Styles, WWA TourHarry Styles, WWA US Tour
I mean, even with the horrible hair and scarves I still love him.

Harry Styles and Zayn Malik,  WWA Tour Niall Horan, WWA Tour Liam Payne, WWA Tour Louis Tomlinson, WWA Tour Zayn Malik, WWA Tour

Honestly, a lot of people make fun on my obsession, and I get it. I'm 31 and love a boy band. I wasn't like this when Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC were popular. But I can't help myself. Their songs are catchy as hell, each member has an incredible voice (they don't lip sync), the guys are adorable, they go out of their way for their fans, they put on a great show, AND they have fun and don't take themselves too seriously. Enough reasons to make you a fan? It was enough to draw Christina in. She was indifferent before and now is just as obsessed as me. Naill's number one fan fo sho!


One Direction, WWA Tour Philadelphia

Monday, August 25, 2014

This Week on Join the Gossip...

Last week my computer battery died and I was unable to post my One Direction and Philly recaps. But it's good to go now so be sure to come back Wednesday for some 1D action, and Friday for Philly fun!

Until then, here's a little sneak peek at what's in store for you...

Harry Styles, WWA Tour in Philadelphia
Must-See Philly Attractions

And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out my NYC recap!

Happy Monday

Say hello to this week's Featured Blogger, Tela of Sweet Southern T:

Tela, like her blog name, is super sweet. Def check out her blog!


Your turn! Join the Monday Morning Gossip fun with my co-host Kimberlee of I Have a Degree in This and myself. Here's how it works:

1. Blog about your gossip - all topics accepted so why not link up?!
2. Include the badge (below) in your post and/or link back to our blogs. If you do not oblige, your post will be deleted.
3. Add your link to the list below.
4. Please only submit ONE link to the link-up. Additional links will be deleted.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two Days in NYC

This was my FIRST time in New York City and I only had two days to take in everything that the Big Apple has to offer. If you're like me, you want to see it all! Navigating through the huge concrete jungle is probably impossible without some sort of tour, so we opted for the NYC Gray Line All Loops bus tour. For $64 we had hop-on-hop-off access to a double decker bus that took us through Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn, and The Bronx, plus a nighttime tour. Well worth the money! We were able to see everything that we wanted, as well as get a feel for the layout of the city.

The cons of the bus tour are that the staff aren't super knowledgeable and the busses ran late a lot, but really for the price, it's not that big of a deal.

Planning an August trip to the city isn't the smartest, in that it's really humid and gets pretty hot. Luckily for us, it was a mild week of mid-80s temps. We actually experienced a light rain on our second day which was nice and saved us from baking in the sun. Unfortunately though, by the time we took the night tour it was pouring and we had to squeeze into the enclosed level of the bus. Although we missed the glow of the city lights, it was kind of hilarious getting drenched as we drove through Brooklyn (photo evidence below).

The Empire State Building Central Park, NYC Sailboats in Central Park Central Park Statue of Liberty Bethesda Fountain, Central Park Central Park View from Top of The Rock Brooklyn Bridge, NYCrainy bus tour in NYC
Catholic church in NYC Uptown New York City Harlem, NYC

Cool spots worth checking out:
-Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel - drinks are pricey but the view is priceless. Casual setting where you're not pressured to keep buying beverages.
-momofuku milk bar - get the crack pie. You're welcome.
-The Boathouse Central Park - book a reservation in advance and expect a hefty bill, but it's worth the view. You can eat on the patio right on a pond. Plus the location is next to the adorable remote control sailboats you always see on TV/in the movies.
-Top of the Rock - Empire State Building is more popular, but here you have the same great view, plus Central Park. It's cheaper and I hear less crowded.

My suggestions for traveling to NYC with only two days:
-Book a hop-on-hop-off tour
-Take the FREE Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty.
-Research what you want to see/do beforehand
-Plan where you'd like to eat and know what neighborhoods the restaurants are in
-Have lots of singles handy to tip tour guides, and most importantly, buy subway tickets