Posts Tagged With: Maggiano’s

We Almost Missed Our Train to Philly

2/20/14
You probably don’t know this about me but I’m either early or late. I’m rarely ever on time. My mother knows this about me and thus usually forces me to be anywhere from 1-2 hrs early for planes and trains.

I woke up at 7:30am and our train wasn’t leaving until 10:30am. In my mind that left 2 hrs to get ready, 30 mins to travel there, and 30 mins to wait. Somehow that didn’t work out. It was 9:45 and I was struggling to find a bag I needed. I found it and we ran out of the house to the subway. My mother was pissed at me. I kept mumbling I told you not to book an early train. I don’t do mornings. We run down the subway stairs and catch the packed train waiting to leave the station. We got on much to the annoyance of the people standing already. We waited and waited and waited and waited. The train wasn’t leaving the station. My mother kept shooting me dirty looks while I prayed for the doors to close. In my head I was picturing a repeat of my MET fiasco where it took 2 hrs to get uptown. I kept looking at my phone for the time. What the hell was going on? We were going to miss our train and it would be all my fault. The train doors finally closed at 10:05. The train ride should take 20-30 mins. We were screwed. By some miracle we got to Penn Station at 10:17. We had made it! I didn’t majorly screw us up.

Our train was on time and we took seats in the quiet car. The lady behind me spent the entire ride sneezing and coughing on me. To quote Jimmy Fallon’s character Sara, “ew!” I used the train ride to text, respond to work emails, and plan a video my friends and I will be filming next week.

We arrived in Philly around noon. We got out of 30th st station and we could immediately tell something was wrong. A street was blocked off with caution tape. There were police, fireman, and a huge crowd. There were more sirens in the distance. I took a picture because my friends and co-workers tease that I bring horrible events to places I go (war, revolution, bombings, natural disasters, etc). I sent it them and really figured it was just a bad fender bender, but no one was hurt because their was no ambulance, sense of urgency, flames, etc. We boarded Septa and headed to our hotel. A large transvestite fell on me when the train lurched. I smiled at the thought how normal that was when my non city friends would have freaked. I’m just glad I wasn’t crushed. They were the size of a football player.

We got off the train and were very confused. The entrance for our hotel was gone. We remembered a side entrance that was rarely used and headed there. That entrance was now the main entrance while they undergo restaurant renovation. We checked in and were happily surprised to find out that our room was ready despite being 4 hrs early and we had been upgraded due to my mom’s birthday. Our room was located on the 32nd floor, who is considered one of the club floors. The club lounge was located on 31. We headed to the lounge first only to find out it is only open on weekday mornings until 10:30am. It had a beautiful view though. Lots of different chairs to sit in. We headed back down to our room which was the exact same room as last time just 10 flights up. The room had two double beds, flat screen tv, desk, mini bar, Keurig, and a bathroom with a tub. The view is lovely from the room and it is very quiet.

We were hungry so we headed to Reading Terminal Market. We picked up a mini King Cake, a brioche roll, garlic crostinis, and an M&M cookie. I ate the roll in 10 seconds. I also got a christmas rubber ducky to add to my collection. We headed to an expensive thrift store so my mother could buy herself something nice as a birthday present to herself. Every time we go to this store they are closed. We arrive and they are closed again. However, this time there is a worker on his cell and he refuses to open up. Great work ethic! That annoyed my mom so we decided to move on. We did a lot of shopping. We went to Dollar General, Buffalo Exchange, Payless, H&M, Claire’s, and the shops at Liberty Place. We got free tea at Liberty Place from Tazo. We were going to go to Federal Doughnuts to see what the hype was about, but it looked like it was going to pour. We started to walk back to the area outside Reading Terminal. We did more shopping! I went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below.

At 4:45pm we headed back to Reading Terminal for discounted cookies. The problem was their dough wasn’t delivered on time so they didn’t have many cookies. My mom got a bunch, but I just got two. We headed across the street to Maggiano’s for dinner. We were so surprised that the place was almost empty. It’s usually swamped so much so that you face a 2 hour wait if you don’t make a reservation in advance. They sat us in a booth. We knew what we wanted to eat right away. We ordered fried zucchini and two margherita flatbreads (1/2 price for happy hour). They brought us out hot rolls. My mom ate most of the zucchini and some of the flatbread. I downed my food. All of a sudden the waiter, Edward, came out with cookies, a strawberry, and two candles for my mom. So sweet and awesome. I had put in my Open Table reservation that it was my mom’s birthday, but I totally doubted anything would be done. She was so surprised. I ordered an apple crostada and went in search of the waiter to sneakily give my credit card to so I could pay for dinner, but I couldn’t find him. Meanwhile, the couple in the booth next to us were having a bad night. The guy sat in cherries and the girl spent the whole time crying into her menu, then a tissue, and then her alfredo. We asked them to pack up the cookies and the remaining pieces of flatbread. We got matches for future candle lighting.

We got back to the room and were shocked to see two cupcakes and a card by the TV for my mom. The hotel had signed the card. We put a candle in the cupcake and she quickly made a wish. We settled in to watch the Olympics. She ate her cupcakes and I noshed on the leftovers.

Advertisements
Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating and Shopping in Philly

8/16/13
My mom and I caught a 2:10pm Amtrak train to Philly. We picked the quiet car and chose a two seater with a window. However, we chose seats that faced the wrong direction. I hate that!! I get motion sick. This meant I couldn’t read. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. I closed my eyes and listened to music.

We pulled into Philadelphia 30th st station around 3:45pm. We crossed the street and caught the train into the heart of Philly. We took the train to 13th st and walked the half a block to our hotel. We were going to try the Loews Hotel for the first time. Every time we come to Philly we either stay at the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing or the Hyatt Bellevue. The lobby was really elegant. We were checked in right away. The lady at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. They had free lemonade by check in. On our way to the elevator we noticed the giant vault door. We took the elevators to 22. We got upgraded to a deluxe double. We asked for a room away from the elevators and the ice machine and they actually listened to us. We had room 2212. Right away I noticed they left us gifts. There was a note welcoming us, a snow globe, and a mini LOVE sign. What a lovely touch! The room had a nice view of the bridge and the city. The decor was modern, but classy. The bathroom could easily fit two people at the same time. The shower was also roomy. They even gave us cotton balls and Q-Tips. They gave us two ropes made of silk and terry cloth. There was even a magnifying mirror. The windows seemed to be sound proof and the ceilings were pretty high. There was a coffee machine with coffee from Emeril. Everywhere I looked there were outlets. Finally a hotel that has a lot of outlets and in sensible places. The room had a flat screen tv with 63 channels. We dropped our stuff off and went out to shop.

We went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below. We then dashed to Reading Terminal Market to catch our favorite cookies on sale. We wound up getting 7 cookies and a marshmallow cup from the Pennsylvania General Store. My mom got a blueberry fritter from the Amish. We then went back to Burlington. We also did Claire’s and Pay Half.

We had 6pm reservations at Maggiano’s but I called and pushed it back to 6:15pm because we got stuck on line at Pay Half. The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there. We got the slowest waiter. We ordered a flatbread pizza, fried zucchini, and an apple crostada. I had the flatbread, which was yummy as usual. My mom had the fried zucchini. They usually give us 8 pieces of zucchini. We got about 5. I had one piece and it was good as usual. My mom had the bread and thought it was delicious. The apple crostada came and it was perfect. My mom had the ice cream that was on top. Dinner was great.

We went back to shopping. We hit K Mart and Walgreens. We then headed back to the hotel to drop our bags off. Since it was still light out and we wanted to walk off our dinner we decided to walk around the Rittenhouse Square area. We window shopped at several closed stores. We stopped in H&M and Insomnia Cookies. At 9pm everything shut down so we walked back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and ate our cookies. They never fail to disappoint. They are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever had. I had my chocolate dipped butterscotch cookie and my regular butterscotch cookie. My mom had her butterscotch cookie and her turtle cookie. We tried to watch TV, but the batteries in the clicker died. We called down and they sent a guy up with a new remote. We settled in and eventually went to bed.
20130817-003459.jpg20130817-003558.jpg20130817-003617.jpg20130817-003810.jpg20130817-003820.jpg20130817-003901.jpg20130817-003910.jpg20130817-003953.jpg20130817-004020.jpg20130817-004222.jpg20130817-004238.jpg20130817-004603.jpg20130817-201049.jpg20130817-201120.jpg20130817-201153.jpg20130817-203249.jpg20130817-203345.jpg20130817-203547.jpg20130817-203634.jpg20130817-203702.jpg20130817-203735.jpg20130817-204506.jpg20130817-204536.jpg20130817-204759.jpg20130817-204909.jpg20130817-204936.jpg20130817-205007.jpg20130817-205054.jpg20130817-205127.jpg

20130817-205211.jpg

20130817-205236.jpg

20130817-205410.jpg

20130919-000346.jpg

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plymouth

We walked over to PF Chang’s from our hotel. This was the meeting point for our bus to Plymouth. My mom and I boarded the bus and sat in the front. The driver seemed nice and told us about a great Cupcake place called Cupcake Charlie’s. We couldn’t wait to try it.

Our first stop was Plimoth Plantation. The first area was about the Native Americans. There were hollowed out canoes and wigwams. They had actors inside that were making blankets and other items. We walked further and came to the wall and entrance to the settlement. It was like immediately stepping back in time. There were all the hatched houses. There were men and women walking around in costume. There were animals wandering around. Some homes you could look around and some had actors completing chores in them. Some of the actors were building a roof for a house. Some were taking care of the animals. Others were farming. The homes were in a long row. It was informative and a lot of fun. You could even see the spot where they originally landed all the way out in the distance. We saw the meeting house and the canons on top of the meeting house. We went into a workshop where the actors were making furniture.

There’s a cafeteria and two gift shops. I did a press a penny and bought several things at the gift stores. We even bought fudge. I enjoyed the stores they were a step above many I have been to. We boarded the bus and were headed to see the Mayflower. The bus driver took us to the town of Plymouth which has the famous Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, and a bunch of shops.

We did Cupcake Charlie’s first. Turns out they were about to be on an episode of Cupcake Wars with Duff as the guest judge. I got a cookies n cream one or something similar to that. My mom got a red velvet one. They were amazing! Some of the best cupcakes we’ve ever had. So we bought more to bring back with us. Next we headed to Plymouth Rock. We took pictures and heard a local tell us that the local teen males like to try to pee on the rock at night. Lovely. After that I bought a ticket to go on the Mayflower II. Why II? The first one disappeared and no one knows where it is. So they built a replica of it. I was able to walk around on deck and below deck. Such a tiny space for so many passengers! Glad I wasn’t a Pilgrim. After that we found first street, which is the first street in America. We also found the creek that the pilgrims used to use. We went into several tourist shops and I bought a black and white Mayflower shirt that was on super sale. There were statues commemorating the pilgrims and the Native Americans. We used the public restroom near the Mayflower and got back on the bus.

We then were brought to the National Monument to the Forefathers. It’s 81 ft tall and has the names of the pilgrims on it. It also shows an image of the Mayflower Compact. There’s a section for liberty, morality, law, and education. It was pretty interesting to look at. Once the photo opportunity was over it was back on the bus. The bus driver asked where he could drop everyone back in Boston. We told him we wanted to get off right where he picked us up since we were going to go to Maggiano’s for dinner.

The tour was great and so was dinner. We got fried zucchini and pasta to share. The restaurant wasn’t busy and the waiter offered us a free meal to go. We declined because we didn’t have a fridge at our hotel. We then went to see Make Way for Ducklings and Cheers.

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Plymouth, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston, Plymouth, and Salem Trip Plan

My mom and I traveled to Boston, Plymouth, and Salem in June of 2010. We had both been to Boston and Salem before. However, this was our first time in Plymouth. To view our trip plan please click below. Unlike my other trip plans the times aren’t exact, but the days are.

Trip Plan

 

Massachusetts Postcards

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, History, Plymouth, Salem, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston, Lexington, and Concord Trip Plan

Please click below to view my trip plan for Boston, Lexington, and Concord. We were away from April 25th-April 29th 2013.

Trip Plan

To learn more about the sites I visited:

Boston Tea Party Museum

Park Street Church

Granary Burying Ground

Museum of Fine Arts

Hancock-Clarke House

Buckman Tavern

Old North Bridge

Old South Meeting House

Old State House

Faneuil Hall

Quincy Market

Bunker Hill

Old North Church

Paul Revere’s House

Boston Common

Make Way for Ducklings

 

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Lexington and Concord, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lexington and Concord

April 27 2013

We woke up early so we could catch a train to Alewife Station. From Alewife Station we would have to catch a bus to Lexington. The bus is only once an hour so we didn’t want to miss it. We arrived at Alewife Station and had 40 minutes to wait. My mom got a muffin at Dunkin Donuts in the station and I used the ladies room, which was surprisingly super clean. Our bus finally arrived and we had the pleasure of traveling with a very drunk annoying man.

About 20 mins later we were let off at the Lexington Visitors Center. We purchased our Liberty Ride tickets. Then we immediately took off for the 11am Hancock Clarke House Tour. We walked for a bit and didn’t see it. So we turned back and went to the visitors center. Turns out we were on the right block, but had to walk past about 11 houses to find it.

We arrived late for the tour and my mom convinced the guy to let us on the tour. We watched a short film about the battles of Lexington and Concord. Our tour guide was in a costume and showed us the two levels of the house. She told us about the house and the activities that took place on the night when the regulars (the British) were coming. The tour was informative and I enjoyed it. My allergies were really bad and the tour guide and I felt like someone was sitting on our chest.

We raced to the Buckman Tavern to catch the 12pm tour. Our tour guide was in costume again. We were only shown the first floor of the tavern, which was about four rooms. Again we learned about the tavern in general, the owners, and the night’s activities. One of my favorite things were the window coverings. Each window covering showed you the view from that room in the 1700’s. We then went into the gift shop where I bought postcards.

We walked around Lexington to kill time. Everything in the town was boring and expensive. We went to the visitors center to pick up the Liberty Ride trolley. The trolley wound up being late.

We boarded the 1pm trolley and sat on the right side (the better side). All the important sites were pointed out to us. We saw where Paul Revere was captured, Louisa May Alcott’s house, Emerson’s house, etc. We pulled over at the Old North Bridge. We learned about the battle that took place. We were able to take pictures with the monuments and the bridge. It was surreal to be on the bridge. I had seen pictures and read about this bridge countless times.

We boarded the trolley again. I raised my hand to indicate that I wanted the trolley to stop at the Concord Museum. I wanted to see Revere’s lantern and then I was going to cross the street and do the Orchard House. However, they didn’t see my hand and drove right by the stop. They were supposed to stop even if I didn’t raise my hand. I WAS SO PISSED!!! They drove us back to the visitors center. I wanted to stay on and go back and do the Concord Museum. However, the trolley people were really mean and said we would be stranded there if we got off there. I wanted to get off at the Orchard House stop and cross the street to The Concord Museum. The bus would then pick up at the museum stop in 30 mins. They couldn’t understand that and pretty much insisted me didn’t do that. So much for their hop on hop off concept. I was livid!!! We spent a lot of money and didn’t get what we paid for. I stormed off down the street to wait for our bus to Alewife Station.

We waited at Panera. I was seething. I always make plans and we always accomplish them. Usually we not only accomplish them but we do more than what was planned. I really should not have listened to the tour people and just should have stayed on and did my own thing. GRRRR. 45 minutes later our bus showed up and we then took the train to Maggiano’s.

We arrived at Maggiano’s and they were packed!!! We were over 1.5 hrs early for our reservation. We were early because we didn’t do the Orchard House and Concord Museum. They promised they would seat us earlier despite the 1.5 hr wait they were telling people without a reservation. We were so hungry! The last I ate was a handful if saltines at like 8am. It was now 5pm. They seated us an hour later. They happened to seat us in the same booth we had the last time we were there. We immediate ordered fried zucchini and a flat bread. The zucchini was really good (like always) and the flatbread was delicious. I started to feel nauseous so we decided to take the dessert sampler to go.

We got back to the hotel and put on CSI. We had two apple cobblers, Creme brûlée, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and tiramisu. The cobblers were out of this world. I shared the chocolate cake and cheesecake with my mom they were really good when smushed together. My mom ate the tiramisu and most of the brûlée. It was our first time trying it and we both enjoyed it. What a great way to end a so so day.

20130505-235926.jpg

20130505-235949.jpg

20130506-000012.jpg

20130506-000042.jpg

20130506-201139.jpg

20130506-201156.jpg

20130506-201210.jpg

20130506-201236.jpg

20130506-201251.jpg

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Lexington and Concord, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philadelphia

I love Philly! It is in my top 3 cities in the world (NYC and Vegas are the other two). I’ve been going there since I was a little girl. We go about two or three times a year. Philly has great shops, restaurants, and sites. We have been to so many different restaurants and historical sites yet I still have a list of places I want to go to. Since I have been so many times I’m not going to post a travel journal instead I’m going to post reviews of all places I’ve been to. I’ll also do a top 10 post at some point. Below you will find some photos from over the years (more will appear in the other Philly posts) and a link to my postcards from Philly.

Postcards from Philadelphia on Picasa
Postcards from Philadelphia Post

Back in 1995-Liberty Bell

Back in 1995-Independence Hall

January 2012-Love Park/JFK Park

January 2012

March 2012-Top of City Hall

March 2012-Masonic Temple

March 2012-Penn Museum

1995-Betsy Ross House

Delilah’s at Reading Terminal Market-Bobby Flay had a Throwdown with her

University of Pennsylvania

Maggiano’s

Reading Terminal Market

1995-City Tavern

Philadelphia Pretzel

2010-Chinatown

2010-Penn’s Landing

2009-Outside the Real World Philadelphia House

Real World Philadelphia House

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Philadelphia, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.