Every year at the beginning of May, when the first crystal clear Spring days ripen with the endless possibilities of summer, my daughter has an in-service day from school. The weekday break from the school routine give us an opportunity to take a day trip.
This year, we took a day trip to Philadelphia and visited the following places:
The Rodin Museum
This modest-sized museum contains the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris.
Originally opened in 1929 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Rodin Museum was recently renovated, and re-landscaped. The removal of many older trees and overgrown shrubbery revealed a hidden gem in the city and brightened the formal french gardens which are now sunny and bright.
The museum is usually not too crowded and there is suggested fee, but payment is optional. Plus they provide free use of an iPod with descriptions and history of the sculptures.
This museum is easy to visit and good for those who might want to enjoy top notch art without spending huge amounts of time or money. It’s a great stop to fit in a busy day.
For more information:
2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
We have been to Han Dynasty before in the Old City, but we could not resist going back yet another time; specifically to get more of the hot and spicy Dan Dan noodles.
Seasoned with Szechuan Peppercorns, the noodles pack a nutty addictive flavor that makes you want to keep eating them even as your mouth sears with heat.
Other favorites which we also got were marinated cucumbers and pork seared with tofu, which included pencil thin pieces of pork that were amazingly crispy on the outside and yet juicy inside.
This place is still a favorite and the best Chinese food in the city. They also have other locations outside of center city. We have been to the Manayunk location and the food there was just as top notch as this location.
As a note, Han Dynasty was named one of the Top 50 Chinese Restaurants in America by CNN and voted "Best of Philly" for Chinese Restaurant not in Chinatown by Philadelphia magazine.
Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross House
After lunch, we walked into the Betsy Ross House and past the Liberty Bell.
The Liberty Bell is now in an enclosed pavilion across from Independence Hall. The building itself is open all year.
The lines were long and the field next to it was crowded, and it was such a beautiful day that we decided to skip the long lines and spy the Liberty Bell through a glass window towards the front.
The view of Independence Hall across the street is impressive and it’s amazing to see a piece of our nation’s history coexisting with a modern city environment.
On our way out of town, we stopped at Trader Joe’s. I recently became a Trader Joe’s fan after my neighbor started bringing me treats from their store in New Jersey. Trader Joe’s specializes in organic food and has better prices than a lot of other gourmet grocery stores.
Trader Joe’s whole bean coffee selections are diverse and flavorful, and they stock a huge variety of healthy snacks.
We like the place so much we even moved our car so we could park in the ample-sized parking lot out back and load up with more goodies than we could carry!
Locations outside of Pennsylvania also sell craft beer. Unfortunately there are no Trader Joe’s very close to Harrisburg, but lately there have been rumblings about lobbying for a Trader Joe’s in Carlisle. Fans like me are hoping management hears our pleas and opens a Central Pennsylvania location soon.