Seydisfjordur, Iceland

My favorite town that we came across in Iceland was Saydisfjordur. Most towns in Iceland are super small. The population of the whole country is only 330,000ish, and Seydisfjordur’s population is around 700. We heard the town was a must see though and since we didn’t think we’d be able to access the hike we really wanted to do due to ice (can’t even remember what it was- maybe Glymur Falls- which we later found out WAS accessible), we opted for the safe bet.

We headed into Seydisfjordur from the south and came across some amazing waterfalls along the way, not far outside of the town.

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There are so many waterfalls all over the place in Iceland. You can catch a glimpse in that image directly above of how many little streams run down the sides of the mountains. I’m sure the streams were plentiful as the snowmelt in the highlands was pouring down to the coast while we were there, but it was just so different to be in a country like Iceland.

We found a random parking lot in the town and again, second guessed whether or not we could park there or not. But as we noted everywhere, you can really just park anywhere and nobody seems to mind.

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We were greeted by these kayaks. They seemed so perfect sitting there with the buildings and mountains in the background.

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Seydisfjordur was super quirky. We also walked into somebody’s house accidentally. It was on the backside of a shop and I swore it was the front door of the shop, but it was really the back door of the house. The people acted like we should have known but there were no signs.

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Laura and I walked by two guys trying to take very posed pictures in these chairs. We stopped and chatted with them (they were from Wisconsin- holla!) and took like, 50 photos for them to get the picture perfect for them. It was so funny because Laura and I always feel so bad asking people to take our picture and these guys had no shame in asking us to take a million to get the perfect shot. We didn’t mind at all though and then they offered to take some of us. We let them take two and then we were done. My, how times have changed! My old vacation photos are like, 95% selfies and tripod pictures and now they’re 95% scenery.

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This next picture I saw on Instagram plenty of times (I plan trips off of Instagram now- it’s the best for finding hidden gems). I actually had no idea it was in Seydisfjordur because Laura and I completely slacked on planning, so when we turned the corner and I saw the colorful street leading up to the church, I was completely surprised. It was so picturesque!

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We only spent a half day in Seydisfjordur and really, that was all we needed. The town is small and quaint and offered us some nice down time for a bit. We also ate at an amazing restaurant where I took one super blurry picture of my food. It was the Nordic Restaurant at Hotel Aldan. Laura and I shared the sauteed kale and spinach and both got fish (I believe I got the cod with the buerre blanc sauce) and it was excellent. Also, take note of those prices. Food in Iceland is ridiculous. I’ll discuss the cost of things in Iceland in a later post!

Other Iceland Posts:

Borgarvirki, Iceland
Fosslaug and Bruarfoss, Iceland
The Time I Went to an Eye Doctor in Iceland
Gjain, Iceland

Other Travel Posts:

Short Stop in Richmond, VA24 Hours in Philadelphia
Four Night Camping Adventure in Vermont

Gjain, Iceland

Alrighty, well, I’ve talked about some of my other favorite places in Iceland so far, but Gjain was another one that topped the list for me!

I read about Gjain long before we got to Iceland and we weren’t sure it would be doable. A few places we really wanted to go were still snowed it when we went in May and we heard it may be hard to get to Gjain, especially with out tiny little car that was definitely not a 4WD (and by 4WD, they mean like, big Jeep cars, not just any 4WD).

Since Laura and I like to be adventurous and test our limits, we decided to head out to Gjain anyway. It took us awhile to figure out where we needed to be and I wish I could provide some insight, but I have no clue anymore how we got there. I do know that there are two sides to enter Gjain from (which we didn’t realize), and I have no clue if one is better than the other, nor do I know which side we entered from anymore.

When we arrived to the “parking,” we saw one other car there and a big, long dirt road. We spent a long time contemplating if we should drive down the road or walk the couple miles there, or if we were really even allowed to park where we stopped our car. (“Allowed” is relative in Iceland- people kind of just do whatever since it’s so desolate in most places.) Eventually, we decided not to risk our car and just walk to Gjain.

The walk was long and lonely. One car passed us on the way and we secretly hoped he was going to offer us a ride because we would have been all about hitchhiking at that time. I wish I remembered how long this hike was exactly, but I want to say it was about 2 miles. That’s a short hike, but it felt pretty long in the middle of nowhere, especially because we weren’t actually even sure if we were going to the right place or not.

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After a long walk, we arrived to a “parking lot” and saw 2 or 3 cars and figured we must be close. We also took note of the other small cars that managed to drive the road just fine. We kept walking and saw this view:

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FOUND IT! It was so amazing to walk down such barren land and then come to this magical green area in the middle of nowhere. Iceland never ceased to amaze me! We had to walk down a pretty steep set of natural stairs to get down into the valley.

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It actually ended up feeling pretty warm down in the valley once we were protected from all the wind. We had a little picnic and relaxed for awhile, but only stayed about 1.5 hours since we had to walk back (uphill) and still continue exploring everything Iceland had to offer.

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The deep blue glacial water is so pretty. I loved it when we caught glimpses of the deep blues.

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In the photo below, take note of the photographer to the left of Laura. It looks like a small stream running by Laura, but it was much larger than it looks and she was actually standing at the top of a little waterfall that he was photographing.

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We were hoping to catch a ride with a photographer who was there, but after chatting for awhile, he didn’t offer us a ride and Laura and I were too shy to ask if he could take us back. He passed us halfway through our walk back. Laura and I decided it was karma for passing up a hitchhiker in northern Iceland.

Other Iceland Posts:

Borgarvirki, Iceland
Fosslaug and Bruarfoss, Iceland
The Time I Went to an Eye Doctor in Iceland

Other Travel Posts:

Short Stop in Richmond, VA
Four Night Camping Adventure in Vermont
24 Hours in Philadelphia

 

Weekend Recap

Does anybody notice a theme here? I seem to only been updating on Mondays! I think about sitting down to blog a few times a week but then… life happens!

Tuesday was an internship day last week, Wednesday was a short work day, and Thursday was an internship day. So I’ll start with Thursday since nothing happened the other two days!

THURSDAY

Around 11am, I left our sister hospital and went to my hospital (main campus). As soon as I got there, daycare called to say Jackson was running a fever. I left right away to go pick him up. I gave him Motrin as soon as we got home and he improved a ton!

When my mom got home from work, we went to run some errands. I returned pants to Kohl’s and got Jackson some pants and long sleeves (I only have summer clothes in his size since Charleston is so hot and it was so cool on Thursday morning!). We went to Target to grab a few things and then to Costco to stock up on some food.

As soon as we got home, I headed downtown since my friend, Jessie, was in Atlanta for the evening from South Korea. I haven’t seen her in so long but it was so nice to see her! She knows Jon from elementary school and is married to Jon’s best friend from childhood and we love them! Her husband is working out in South Korea for three years and they just got there. So, very nice to see her! And it was a beautiful night. We sat outside and had dinner and then walked around Piedmont Park. It’s been so long since I’ve really been downtown to hang out, especially now that Kassie moved out of that area.

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That kale salad was incredibly good!

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FRIDAY

Jon was here on Friday! He came in town on Thursday night since Charleston was evacuating for the storm and he figured he might as well come be with us! Jon actually ended up covering some cases in the Atlanta territory (at the hospital he also worked at as an x-ray tech before taking this job), so it was just me and my bub!

I took Jackson to the pediatrician in the morning for his 18 month check up. Poor boy hated it! He was so upset about being there and he got so nervous when anybody walked in the room!

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The blurry bottom of the photo is because my screen protector is broken, haha. Need to buy a new one.

I stopped to get coffee on my way home since I knew I’d have some time to sit and relax for a bit while Jackson napped. Jackson took a good nap when we got home and I worked on a paper for school. I basically spent all afternoon working on a paper since Jon got home around the same time. I ran out to the gym in the afternoon and then spent the evening just hanging out with Jon.

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At 9pm, Jackson woke up screaming his head off. It continued until 2am. SO frustrating. We had been giving him Motrin and Tylenol all day and it shouldn’t have worn off by then, but we gave more (we alternated it). I think he just got overly tired and would not calm down. We finally gave him Benadryl at 1am and put him in the car and he calmed down as soon as we got in the car. Finally, at 2am, he was sound asleep so Jon and I got to go to bed too!

SATURDAY

I was on call from 7a-11a and thankfully, I did not get called in! I couldn’t have handled it after our Friday night! I planned on working out in the morning if I didn’t get called in, but no way. We all slept until 8am and then just hung out at home until I left at 10am to go to work. I worked 11a-7p and came home and hung out since I wanted to get in bed early.

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SUNDAY

Much of the same as Saturday! I didn’t get called in at 7am, so I ran to the grocery store before work and then got ready and headed out to work 11a-7p. I went Laura’s once I got off work to check on her cats. I was there for awhile feeding them and changing out their water and scooping the litter box. I stopped by Newk’s for a sandwich and then got home and relaxed with Jon for a little while.

MONDAY

Today! I got to go to the gym first thing in the morning! Woohoo! My morning gym sessions are what I miss most about Charleston! I actually tried to go to CrossFit at 7:45, but it was closed today (the owners are stranded in some other state post-competition because flights aren’t coming into Atlanta, and I guess nobody else ran the classes). Instead, I headed down to LA Fitness. It was so empty in there! I wasn’t really feeling a workout at all this morning, but once I got started, I got into it.

I came home and joined my boys for some breakfast. We had to take quick showers after and head back to the pediatrician for a shot for Jackson since we postponed it on Friday because of his fever.

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In the waiting room.

During my bub’s nap time, Jon and I started planning France! I’m super excited about our trip together but wish we had another two or three days at least! We’re going Alsace, the Alps, Burgundy, and Paris. It’ll be a jam packed trip but I love that, so it’s fine!

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I sat down now to do schoolwork (don’t tell Jon, haha). The storm is just getting here and the wind is picking up, so I assume we’ll be spending our afternoon at home. I’m supposed to intern tomorrow, so we’ll see how the weather is and if daycare is open or not! My poor boy is super fussy from his shot and probably from not eating all weekend so it’s a rough afternoon around here…

 

 

Weekend Recap

Well, BUSY week last week. I’ve neglected the blog a little bit because I was so busy solo-Mommin’ last week and trying to stay on top of school. I did make it to the doctor for my stomach but have an appointment with GI later this month, if I go. My issues aren’t nearly as bad as last weekend but I’m still not back to normal at all. It’s really frustrating since I’m nauseous almost constantly and nothing sits right.

Jackson and I got into a little groove with work, daycare pick ups, dinner, and homework last week. It wasn’t so bad and I’m staying ahead of schoolwork, but it’ll be nice to have company this week too.

FRIDAY

I had to work on Friday until 3. I stopped by the gym to sign back up for a membership and then got home right after Jon and Jackson. Jon left early on Friday, so he was here to get Jackson from daycare. It was so nice to have them home when I got home!

After Jackson went to bed, Jon and I went to a little outdoor shops area. We decided to grab some dinner since we were both hungry. I ended up accidentally ordering fried chicken (I thought it was grilled), but it was so good! The mac n’ cheese was so good too! Unfortunately, with my stomach issues, I totally paid for it.

SATURDAY

We got up on Saturday and hung out with my parents for a bit. I headed out to the gym for a little while while Jon ran some errands with Jackson. I got home in time to shower and grab a bite to eat before Jon and I put Jackson down for a nap and headed out the door! (Note: We can have a life again because we have live-in babysitters again!)

Jon and I went to the outlets in Woodstock to exchange a shirt that I had bought, except this outlet mall didn’t have the same shirts. I grabbed a few more basics for my internship (I can wear them with jeans- just tanks and cardigans) and then we stopped at Chipotle (did not agree with my stomach) before heading downtown for the Gator game.

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Gotta get that Ghirardelli hot chocolate when you can!

We met up with Andrew and his girlfriend, Liz, at Fado in Buckhead. It was so packed! I enjoyed people watching, but man, did I feel old. All these styles are coming back in (bodysuits, leotards, Adidas shelltop shoes, overalls, high waisted shorts) and I am so not a fan of the look. Thankfully, I’m 31 now and don’t need to look cool, so I can stick to my Target v-necks. The game was so incredibly long and I don’t like football (hence the reason I was checking out the current trends on all the young girls).

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I was mad at Jon for throwing a fit when I asked him for a picture, so this was me pouting.
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He should have been happier because this picture turned out great!

It finally ended close to 7 and Jon and I had to go check on Laura’s cats. We did that and then went to grab ice cream. It was bedtime by the time we got home from doing all of that, so we basically went straight to bed when we got in.

SUNDAY

I headed to the gym again on Sunday morning. It’s so strange being in a gym with so many machines again! My gym here is probably 5 times the size of my Charleston gym and I was just so used to the simplicity of my Charleston gym. But I decided to try out some back machines and I definitely did get in a good back workout.

I came home and did some schoolwork while Jon hung out with Jackson. Jon had plans in the afternoon so it was just me and my bub!

Once Jackson was up from his nap, my mom and I took him to the park so he could run around. It’s so nice in Atlanta right now- such a welcomed change from Charleston! We had a good time at the park. We even attempted to go on a walk with Jackson, but toddler walks are impossible. We didn’t make it far!

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Watching the skateboarders with Grandma.

Jon got home before Jackson’s bedtime on Sunday, so we hung out around the house for a bit. I was in my pajamas and ready for bed, but Jon wanted ice cream again. I wasn’t feeling well so I knew I should have skipped the ice cream, but I can’t turn it down when we go out! Big mistake! I felt so horrible afterwards. Jon fell asleep as soon as we got home and I was up for an hour feeling like I wanted to die.

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Eating ice cream! Not at a club. Obviously. I’d do my hair for the club.

MONDAY

Labor Day! Also the day Jon had to leave again! Sad face. I skipped the gym in the morning because I wanted to maximize my time with Jon. We had breakfast with Jackson and then decided to go to a coffee shop to do some trip planning.

Everything was closed, so we got stuck at Panera. But we booked our October trip to FRANCE! Our plan had been Eastern Europe (roadtrip from Prague to Tatra Mountains to Budapest) but we slacked and missed the flights. Way too many Skymiles (it was 60,000 last time I looked) so we decided to go to France. I’ve been wanting to go anyway but was set on a fall trip in Eastern Europe since we loved Poland so much, but oh well! Next time! Our plan is to fly into Paris and roadtrip through Alsace and Burgundy and then go into the Alps. We may try to make it out to Normandy, but not sure if we’ll have time. And obviously, cap the trip with a few days in Paris.

We got home and Jon and I headed out almost immediately to go check on Laura’s cats again. We got home right before Jackson’s nap ended, so we hopped in bed in hopes of quick afternoon cat naps. Except my cat snuggled up on Jon and snored the whole time, so I never fell asleep.

Jon left immediately once Jackson was up, so Jackson and I had the evening to ourselves. I managed to get one discussion posting out of the way (took almost three hours with a toddler here). We cooked and had dinner and played outside and had baths.

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Trying to type my discussion with this kid.

My oldest sister, Tonie, came into town last night around 7pm. We hung out on the porch for awhile. She leaves today around three today. I have to intern, so I won’t get to see her much, but she’ll be back in a few days to stay longer.

Another week of interning and work, but I’m going to try and get some workouts in this week. At home and at the gym. I’ve been slacking on home workouts, but I guess with my stomach being such a problem, I’m just way less motivated. Even my workouts at the gym have been much easier than I’m used to.

Four Night Camping Adventure in Vermont

Back to mine and Gina’s trip recap!

On Saturday morning, Gina and I left Philly in the mid-morning after finishing our breakfast. It was about a six hour drive from Philly to our campsite, which we didn’t actually have booked yet. We actually had to find our campsite the morning we left on our phones (way harder than we were expecting), but we managed to find one that had availability. Our destination ended up being Half Moon Pond State Park near Lake Bomoseen.

We got to the park around 6pm, just in time to check-in. We really lucked out with our site. We didn’t get a spot on the water, but we could see it from our site and we were right next to the bathroom.

Gina and I set up the tent and built our fire for the night. We actually built some really good fires while we were camping. I was super impressed.

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The first day in Vermont, we decided to head out to Burlington since we wanted to hike the second day and go to Montreal on the third day. We stopped for breakfast in Shelburne at Rustic Roots but it didn’t really meet our expectations. It had come up on a bunch of Google searches for brunch in Burlington and we decided to stop early to avoid the Sunday church crowd, but meh. Not necessarily somewhere I’d go again.

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It was actually pretty chilly in the morning, but it was much needed after such a hot day in Philly! We mostly just walked around and explored. I bought a necklace that’s made out of the shells from bullets in the Cambodian killing grounds. I love it. Also, the guy at the store was talking to me for so long and when he walked away, I turned around and Gina was cracking up. I was so confused, but she had put her hat on top of my hat (that I was wearing) to try on necklaces, and the whole time I was talking to the guy, I was wearing two hats.

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Gina really wanted to go to a brewery in the afternoon, so we decided to go to Citizen Cider. I had a Cider House Mules (similar to a Moscow Mule) and it was so good! Gina got a flight of ciders and I really liked all of them, so I’d definitely recommend Citizen Cider!

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We decided to get back to our campsite since it was over an hour away and we still had to build our fire.

On Monday, we had planned on doing a bigger hike, but the weather wasn’t looking great. Gina really wanted to check out Woodstock, so we headed out there for breakfast at Mon Vert Café. I have no idea why, but I was expecting a bagel sandwich and instead, I got a regular sandwich. But the menu totally did not say that it was a bagel sandwich so it was my fault that I was kind of disappointed in my sandwich. It was still really good though. And my latte was delicious.

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We explored Woodstock a little bit and then headed to Sugarbush Farm. We had planned on doing a short hike in the afternoon, but I had a pretty bad headache and the weather was still a little iffy. The farm was pretty cute and it was interesting to learn all about maple syrup. Fun fact about me: I love maple syrup. I drink it in my coffee every day. We got to taste the different types of syrup and we did a little cheese tasting too. It was fun to try the cheddar that had been aged for different lengths of time.

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By the time we left, my headache was really bad. I’d been having headaches all week and I thought it was from doing something to my neck at the gym earlier that week, but Sunday was the first day that Motrin wasn’t even touching it. We decided to just go back to the campsite, where I fell asleep for a little while. I can’t remember if we did anything else that evening or not, but if we did, I didn’t take any pictures because I wasn’t feeling well and now I can’t remember. Oops!

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I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. I was nauseous from my headache and the pain was miserable. As soon as Gina woke up on Monday morning, I told her I wanted to go to the ER. I felt so ridiculous, but I didn’t want my migraine to ruin our trip and I’d had it for over 24 hours. I knew I could get some quick meds and feel better, so despite knowing that it would be an expensive fix, I still went. We went to Rutland Medical Center and their ER was great! It was pretty quick and we had a wonderful nurse and an awesome doctor.

Gina and I were hungry after leaving so we went to Speakeasy Café for bagels. The bagels were too dense for my liking, but the flavor was good (I got rosemary) and that was probably the best latte I got in Vermont. It was super good.

Since I was basically in my pajamas still, we headed back to the campsite to get ready for the day. We ended up hanging out at the campsite for a while, reading our books and napping. It was so nice to just sit and relax for the afternoon. We ended up going out to Manchester for the evening to get some dinner at Ponce Bistro. Our salads and sandwiches there were so good! It was such a nice evening to sit outside and eat too. Gina wanted some drinks, so we went to Gringo Jack’s and sat outside on the porch. The food there looked so good.

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We both woke up before our alarm clock and packed up our campsite on Monday morning. We did it surprisingly fast and even got the tent to fit back in the bag! We were so impressed with ourselves!

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Our original plan was to drive to Charlotteseville, VA, but we decided to go to Richmond instead since we didn’t want to go out of the way to make a stop for the night. We booked our AirBnB on the road again. Then of course, we had to stop in New York for bagels! We went to Lox of Bagels and Moor and holy moly, do they use a ton of cream cheese! Even too much for me and cream cheese is probably one of my favorite foods!

The drive was uneventful and we arrived to Richmond in the early evening! Stay tuned for Richmond, as I think this post is long enough!

24 Hours in Philadelphia

I recently went on a road trip with Gina to Philadelphia, Vermont, and Richmond. We were booking it all last minute and playing it by ear since we both had some personal things going on and didn’t want to pay for anything in advance, just in case.

The morning we left, we got a late start since my sitter’s kids were sick and we were waiting to see if they were better that morning (Jackson had gotten them sick the week before, before I knew he was sick). I had also totally saved all of my packing for the last minute, so we had a ton to do the morning we left! But by 10:10, we were on the road to Philly!

We booked our AirBnB in the car that day, but we got pretty lucky and got a cheap place with parking in Northern Liberties.

I wish I could say we did a lot of sightseeing that day, but we didn’t have time. We did stop for coffee about 45 times, which caused us to stop and use the bathroom about 95 times. Since we got such a late start, we ended up avoiding DC rush hour by going up through Delaware. We thought it’d be a pretty drive, but there was nothing at all! We even ended up eating Wendy’s for dinner out of desperation!

We ended up arriving in Philly around 11:30pm. I slept pretty terribly since the AirBnB room we booked was a large, cold basement room and I just don’t sleep well in huge, open spaces like that.

We got up early on Friday morning so we could explore Philly all day. We walked over to Café La Maude for breakfast and y’all, it was hot. We both thought Philly would be much nicer than Charleston and Atlanta since it’s farther north, but no. We were dying and it was like, 8am. We beat the crowd to Café La Maude though and got to enjoy a nice window table. Gina and I split our meals and they were delicious. I had a Croque Madame and Gina had an omelet.

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After that, we decided to walk down the oldest residential street in the US, Elfreth’s Alley. It was so cute! It’s so crazy that people live in those houses too!

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We decided to go check out the Liberty Bell after that since Jessica, my old travel nurse buddy, was coming to meet up with us for the afternoon and she lived in Philly, so we knew she wouldn’t be interested in that! The Liberty Bell was way less impressive than I would have imagined (along the lines of Plymouth Rock, if anybody has seen that). But we loved that whole Old City neighborhood! We met up with Jessica right next to the Liberty Bell at La Colombe. The coffee was decent, but not my favorite.

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It was so good to see Jessica! I haven’t seen her since the summer of 2015, and that was just for a dinner when she drove through Atlanta. And she was like our own personal tour guide through Philly!

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We decided to walk over to the Reading Terminal Market since Gina really wanted to see it. We got a cinnamon roll and one of the places in there, but it was pretty packed so we weren’t in there long. We left and explored Center City and got some bubble tea in China Town, and then decided to Uber it out to the Philly Magic Gardens. The Magic Gardens were crazy. This guy just started making the whole garden and then the city wanted to tear it down, but they decided to protect the area.

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Jessica had to leave shortly after that, so we Ubered back to her car and then she took us on a little tour of downtown before dropping us off at the Museum of Art. I knew the Spring Garden Street Bridge nearby that had a good view of Philly, but even just climbing the steps at the museum provided a good view. We weren’t at the museum long (really just long enough to use their bathroom) before heading out to walk to the bridge.

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The Spring Garden Street Bridge actually was a cool view, but the bridge itself wasn’t very exciting so it was quick. Gina really wanted a Philly cheesesteak in Philly, so we headed over to John’s Roast Pork. We were told from everybody that this is the “real” local cheesesteak place to go to. I ate part of Gina’s cheesesteak but the meat was too stringy and I’m picky, so I wasn’t a fan, but Gina said it was the best she’s ever had.

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We had been waiting all day for it to cool off so we could walk the Ben Franklin Bridge. I’m a sucker for city views, so I’m the one who really wanted to do this. It was actually a pretty cool walk though. You walk above the road and it just felt kind of scary! We walked halfway and then decided to go check out a rooftop bar and head back to our AirBnB for an early night in bed.

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I can’t even remember what rooftop bar we went to, but it wasn’t anything worth mentioning. The view was neat, but you had to order your drinks at an indoor bar (think like, a wedding reception bar with a limited selection) and then just go stand outside trying to get a spot near the side. We also looked like hot messes after walking around all day and everybody else looked fancy. We really just listened to these people who were presumably on their first date get to know each other.

We headed back to our AirBnB, took showers, and packed to leave the next morning.

Our last stop in Philly was on Saturday morning at Honey’s Sit N Eat. Our breakfasts were pretty good and I had a really good latte, so that’s a win in my book.

After that, we finally headed out to Vermont!

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