Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vacation Days 6 & 7 - New Jersey & Rehearsal Dinner

We didn't have firmed up plans for Thursday. We thought of Atlantic City but there was a big boardwalk fire and we weren't sure where it was. Plus driving in NJ was a little intimidating at first because in the area we were in you cannot do left turns! Cousin Maureen suggested the little town of Mount Holly with quaint little shops and restaurants.

We had lunch at the Robin's nest and did some shopping at a boutique, Christmas store, QUILT STORE, and a couple others. On Friday we ventured a little farther and tried to find a mall using my phone - obviously a misunderstanding of the address because it dumped us in the ghetto of Trenton. Eventually we were back on the road and found the mall where I saw this (below) peanut butter store. You can have any kind of peanut butter sandwich, smoothie, etc.

Friday night was the rehearsal. Let to right, Rory (brother of groom and the best man), Kevin (the groom), Caitlyn (the beautiful bride), and Elizabeth (bride's sister and maid-of-honor). In this photo the priest is signing the license and making sure everything is correct.

The rehearsal night dinner was hosted by the groom's mother (Cousin Maureen) and her Hank. Here's a bride's maid, the bride, and Hank.

Maureen with Hank's parent's Carl and Peg.

Hank with the groom Kevin.

Best man & brother Rory with his girlfriend Jackie.

Couple views of the venue. It's not a restaurant but a venue for catered events. The food was really good.

Tomorrow, the wedding!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vacation Day 5 - Philly to New Jersey

On Wednesday we went to Terme Di Aroma day spa for facials and massages. Mom deserved after being dragged around the city for days. I deserved it for doing the same but with a broken toe. They did a very nice job and would recommend. Then we stopped at a small, private boutique (where you have to make an appointment) and I bought a necklace to wear with my dress for the wedding. the necklace I brought broke :(  Mom bought an awesome purse. The designs in the "store" were very unique. Then it was back to the inn and a long cab ride to New Jersey.

We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Westampton New Jersey. The first day there we didn't have a car so we rested and ate at the sports bar attached to the hotel (yucky). I loved the chandelier in the lobby.

Me in the elevator. I don't remember why I took a photo of myself in the elevator. Probably because we had no transportation or plans so I was entertaining myself.

Vacation Day 4 - Train Trip to Delaware

Me with my hair up and sunscreen on ready to start the day. (Actually I was photographing the sore spot created on my nose by my glasses.)

The art deco train station in Philadelphia. Much more efficient and easier than airports.

Relief mural in train station.

The seats were much more comfortable than an airplane. Unnerving that there is no seatbelts though. When we got to Wilmington we were picked up by a tour guide who dropped us off at Winterthur gardens and museum for a few hours (owned by the DuPont's).

 A selection of photos from Winterthur - I took way too many

After Winterthur she took us to the town of New Castle because it's on my genealogy research over and over but that was back in the early 1700's or late 1600's so I didn't find any kin. Notice the black spot on this historical house - it is an emblem to note that the house is insured so, back in the day, the fire brigade would show up to help if there was fire.

The oldest house in New Castle called the Dutch House.

Backyard of Dutch house and it smelled divine.

 Another historic house but notice the "busy body" on this one. It's in the upper middle window. Basically a low tech way to see is at your front door.
Then we went back to Wilmington to catch the train and had about an hour to kill. This replica ship is on the waterfront.

I mentioned the Old Swede's church in Wilmington to our tour guide, because I have "people" who are supposed to have been buried there a long time ago so she took us by to see the church and burial area.

When we returned to Philly we went to a restaurant on the waterfront then called it a night,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vacation Day 3 - Philly & New Jersey

Nice start of the day!

First stop - the Liberty Bell! Truth be told, I was itching to see the bell from the moment we landed. It was very hard to wait until day 3. It was very moving.

And there's Independence Hall. We didn't get the inside tour - save that for another trip. I do hope to come back to Philadelphia sometime and visit the museums. The city is polluted with them! lol

Mom wanted a ride via horse carriage since the sound system and the view on the double decker bus wasn't so hot on the lower level.

Love the houses.

So many nice flower boxes too. Philly was much greener than I expected.

Saying goodbye to our horse.

A cement and tile park across the street from Reading Terminal Market.

It's ALL candy. It's the only inside photo I took of the market but it was awesome.

Nachos at Hard Rock so I could buy a shot glass for a work friend.

Organ inside Christ Church

That night Cousin Maureen and her Hank came and got us and took us to a restaurant in New Jersey called The Library 2. Food was good and company even better. Amazing how you can cross into different states so quickly and easily - in Florida we have to drive about 8 hours just to cross the state line! Me and Cousin Maureen (below).

After dinner we had a quick trip to Audubon to Hank and Maureen's house. I spied this HUGE sunflower across the street. Hank is standing by it so you can tell just how tall it really is.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vacation Day 2 - Some Sightseeing

Day two started with one of those double decker bus/trolley tours where you can jump off and on at any stop for the day. The buses have a tour guide. We got a late start and had to finish early to make it to our boat trip. We decided to make the Betsy Ross house our stop since it wasn't as busy as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. There was no time for the museums but Philadelphia sure has a lot of them - we decided museums would be a trip of their own,.

 After spending time touring around the City and the Betsy Ross house we decided to have a slice nearby. The paper plate under it is full size but is dwarfed by the huge slice. We could have shared one.

After a short rest we headed to the Schuykill River banks so a 2 hour ride from Walnut street on the Schuykill River to Walnut street on the Delaware (Penn's Landing area). It was a very informative ride because the Schuykill used to be so polluted that planes flying overhead could smell it. The banks have been updated to a very nice recreation path for bikers, walkers, runners, etc. It's always interesting to see a city from it's rivers.

This is the old water works plant. It hasn't been used for that in a very long time and has been through several transformations since that time.

The Philly skyline from the Schuykill side. Notice that square looking area on top of the tallest building? That is filled with water to stabilize the building because it's narrow and light. The water adds weight.

The USS New Jersey on the Delaware side moored in Camden. They use it as an event venue. We saw lots of large boats in the shipyards that were in different stages of decommission. One was the USS John F Kennedy.

The Philadelphia skyline from the Delaware - had to shoot toward the sun, sorry.

When we left the boat we hailed a cab and went to Chinatown for dinner. I just love the friendship gates.

The best wonton soup noodles ever! (The first restaurant we stopped at advertised seafood and had aquariums in the window with live fish, lobsters, and FROGS! We kept moving - I am used to live lobsters waiting to be dinner but not frogs.)

Dinner was very yummy but again, we should have shared. We talked to the couple sitting next to us. They were from Hersey and she worked for Hersey's. She said she gets all the free chocolate she can eat. I asked her how much she pays to work there ;)

The menu - actually it's only half the menu. The other half was in English.

Didn't mean to upload this one but since it's here. This is me in the morning waiting to leave for the day.

Neighborhood Muscovy

Broke Wing So, back in March a mama Muscovy showed up with 14 ducklings in the pond across the street. These ponds are retention pond...