Philadelphia: Accommodation in the City Center

Philadelphia. Affectionately known as the City of Brotherly Love. It is the home of the Philly Cheese Steak … and of Rocky Balboa … and home of Benjamin Franklin. Believe it or not, this city was more important than New York during the days of the independence of the United States. Most important of all, Philadelphia is the home of the Independence Hall … the place where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution was signed. In many ways, Philadelphia is the birth place of the United States of America.

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We got into Philadelphia quite late. The sun was almost setting and we were quite lost. There were a lot of one way streets and the GPS did not work too well. The GPS we brought along were giving us wildly wrong locations because the city center were so full of tall buildings that the signals got mixed up.

It was quite stressful really because of the way the lanes gets changed. Once I inadvertently cut a huge SUV off and the driver pulled by my side challenging me to pull aside for a fight! Geez … I am just lost buddy. Good thing I did not maintain eye contact because there were four burly black guys … he he he … was so afraid they would pull a gun out or something!

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We managed to get a hotel right in downtown — just a couple of blocks away from the City Hall. The hotel is the Double Tree … which is more than we expected for less than $100 a night. Checking in was a breeze.

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For the first time ever, we got free cookies and very good ones at that too. And it felt warm too. (more…)

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Our 2008 Summer Vacation

This will be the mother of all series. Suanne and I sat down yesterday to plan this series and ended up with 64 blog entries. If we just blog one entry a day, it will take us until the end of summer to do this — rendering this more of a travel blog than a food blog.

Anyway, we’ll stick to the plan for now … we’ll put up 64 blog entries but could change our plans if we got bored with it or if you all foodies got tired of travel stuff. Here goes …

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This year we managed to get both Arkensen and Nanzaro to attend separate summer camps for 2 weeks. That frees Suanne and I to go for a vacation on our own and doing stuff we like to do. This means that we do not need to crack our head to find a theme park, endure “are we there yet?” questions … and this also means that we can do stuff like museums.

The last time Suanne and I had a vacation on our own was 14 years ago. We wanted to make the fullest use of our time together.

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Planning started in earnest a month before. We decided on a theme and that was to learn about American history and culture. We also wanted to visit a part of the country we had never been to before. We had two weeks in all which is a lot of time to cover a lot of area. (more…)

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