Philly Favourites

Over these last two weeks Autumn seems to have made it’s first appearance in Philadelphia, greeting us with a chill in the air, crinkled brown and orange leaves at our feet, and pumpkins decorating the front stoops of houses as Halloween draws closer.  Last weekend we thought winter had arrived as temperatures suddenly dropped, causing outrage as I reluctantly pulled out my winter coat and boots from the depths of my wardrobe.  I didn’t handle the transition well, thankfully Ian interrupted my wallowing and cheered me up with bowling and a very American night out that consisted of a mechanical bull and country music, it’s going to be an expensive winter.

Thankfully the weather realised it’s error and is now hovering around a warm 19 degrees C, so I’m not complaining (yet).  At the moment it feels like everyone on the internet is banging on about how much Autumn is their favourite season while posting a continuous stream of pretty photos to back this up, however as much as I’m looking forward to being reunited with my fluffy dressing gown and scented candles, I’m already wondering when the light mornings and long evenings are going to reappear.  I am however looking forward to updating my winter wardrobe with layers of jumpers and roll neck tops AND eating stodgy food, ain’t nobody got time for salad in the winter.

Anyway, it’s time for my second instalment of Philly favourites, shall we?

1.Spruce Street Harbor Park

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This beer garden was one of our favourite spots this summer, we enjoyed many a tipple here looking out over the Delaware River Waterfront, as well as engaging in some serious competition against each other on the arcade games. Within the park were hammocks strung between the trees big enough for two people to relax in, there were also many different games within the accompanying arcade as well as bowls, table tennis, and bean bag toss (LOVE this game), there was also multiple food vans, including Federal Doughnuts which is THE place for fried chicken.  If you were feeling a bit more adventurous there was a roller skating rink nearby as well as a place to hire kayaks and foot-pedal swan boats, here was where we witnessed surf board yoga, which for someone who loses their balance as they’re stood still, looked insane.  As the sun goes down the park would light up with fairy lights looking very pretty and romantic, however it was also a good place to hang out during the day to read/draw/people watch.  Unfortunately if you’re reading this looking for somewhere new to visit this park is now closed until next summer,  however the skating rink will re-open this winter as an ice skating rink for Winterfest from November 27th 2015.

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2. Longwood Gardens

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As a girl who is not that into gardening or flowers I really loved this place, it is actually beautiful.  The grounds feature 11,000 different types of plants which make up a world of different gardens, my favourites being the Italian Water Garden, the entrance of the main conservatory and the giant lily pads that are outside during the summer. Unfortunately they do not permit weddings here (I checked), but if they did,  my goodness.  We also got talking to one of the guides who told us a few interesting facts, there was one flower that transformed from male to female over night, meaning it totally changed in appearance and ended up looking like an entirely different flower (firstly, who knew flowers could even have genders…), the big lily pads you can see in the photos below are so thin you could puncture them with your finger however are strong enough to hold the weight of a child, there was also some plants that curled down on contact to avoid being eaten by animals, I was quite fascinated.  We went for lunch in the ‘Fine Dining Room’, the food was really good especially the mushroom soup which Ian was recommended by a friend, how do you get soup to taste so good?? However, for me it was the delicious warm bread they served us before our meal that won me over, it was a thing of dreams.  We visited the gardens during the Summer, at the moment all the Autumn flowers will be show which I’m sure are just as beautiful, they also do ‘A Longwood Christmas’ which runs from the end of November to January giving us a good excuse to return.

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3. Bowling

Bowling is our new ‘thing’, we have started going most weeks and I’m enjoying it, it’s a nice thing to do midweek and gets me out the house (I know, I’m such an old lady).  I’m really not very good at it but I will mention the one time I scored 125 points beating Ian, which was of course my ultimate goal, it may have only been by one point but a winner is a winner! This was also the first time I have ever scored more than 80 points, it hasn’t happened since but the skills are in there somewhere.  Since then however, Ian has upped his game, scoring a whopping 185 last time we played so my glory days are well and truly over.  However thinking about it, I do have a lot of time to practice so watch this space.

4. Occasionette

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This is my new favourite shop, it is basically Etsy all under one roof, and what’s not to love about that? Be warned, you will want everything, you will buy everything, you will reason with yourself it is a ‘gift’ for someone else, you will keep said gift.  The store is full of amazing stationary items, cute and funny cards, really nice gift wrap, unique jewellery, hand made mugs and tea towels, and in the back of the shop is a different home section with some seriously drool worthy items that I could only ever dream of owning one day, but you could take photos of them. upload to Instagram and pretend, no one will ever know.

5. Philadelphia Magic Gardens

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I’ve mentioned this place in one my previous posts however I thought I would mention it again as it’s probably one of my favourite ‘arty’ places I have visited so far.  Even though I do enjoy art I’m not really big on traditional art museums and gallery’s but this place was a perfect alternative, it is just really interesting and different, I’ve never seen anywhere else like it.  Philadelphia Magic Gardens is an entire building and garden covered entirely in mosaic, consisting of tiles, bike wheels, glass bottles, mirrors and statues, it was created by famous artist Isaiah Zagar who has created many murals throughout Philadelphia and the world.  If you are interested in art or just fancy getting out for a few hours this is a good place to go, and it’s only $7 admission for adults. get yo’self there!

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