Streets of Philadelphia

Did you catch the Bruce Springsteen reference in my title? Heh.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. I must apologize to all my devoted followers! :) I’ve been extremely busy with work these past few months, which hasn’t left me much time or energy for fun (let alone blogging). But we are in the middle of redecorating our guest bedroom, so I hope to post about that soon.

Last week, Robby and I headed to Philadelphia for the Association of College and Research Libraries conference (I was presenting, and Robby tagged along for fun). We added on a few extra days for sightseeing and visiting Robby’s cousin George and his wife Chelsea down in Washington, D.C.

Our trip began on Saturday when we flew into Philadelphia and picked up a rental car at the airport. Robby has a Hertz gold membership, and we were excited to learn that Hertz had upgraded our compact car reservation…until we discovered that the “upgrade” was to a lime green VW Beetle! Robby wasn’t too sure about the car, especially since snow was forecasted for the week, but it was late at night so we decided to just go with it.

Our little Bug.

After checking into our hotel and getting a good night’s sleep, we hit the road for Washington, DC to visit George and Chelsea and see their beautiful new house. Robby and I had a great time catching up with them and their adorable “boxador” Brandy, and we spent Sunday night at their place.

We headed back to Philly on Monday, taking a side trip through the Amish country. It was amazing to see the horse-drawn buggies driving along the highway, as well as the farmers plowing their fields with horses! We also had fun shopping for homemade foods at Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Kitchen Kettle Village. I bought several jars of jam and some soft pretzel mix, and Robby chose some pickles.¬†After a long day of driving, we returned the rental car (thankfully, the weather stayed clear on Sunday and Monday, so we didn’t have to test the Bug’s snow-handling abilities!) and headed back to our hotel.

We spent Tuesday exploring Independence Hall, seeing the Liberty Bell, and hunting down cannoli at the Italian market. It was freezing cold, and we ended up having to buy Robby a ski hat so his ears didn’t get frostbite. :) Here are some pictures from our day:

George Washington sat in that very chair during the Constitutional Convention. I got chills being in the presence of so much history!

Sitting in the room where the first Congress met.

Robby in the first Senate chamber.

The Liberty Bell.

We spent Wednesday exploring the western side of Philadelphia, including City Hall, the Free Library (of course!), the Water Works, the Schuylkill River, the museums, and the sculptures:

Me and Rocky outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. :)

Ah, love...

That day, I started noticing librarians everywhere I went, and discovered that the city had rolled out its welcome mat for us:

Thanks, Philadelphia!

On Wednesday night, I switched gears into “conference” mode, which lasted until Saturday morning. The conference started with a rousing game called “battle decks,” in which people give impromptu presentations based on PowerPoint slides they’ve never seen before. It sounds pretty geeky (and it is!), but it was hilarious.

I won’t bore you with the arcane details of the conference, except to say that there were a ton of great sessions and I felt like I came away with many new ideas! I gave a poster session, which was nerve-wracking but exciting. I also thoroughly enjoyed the closing keynote, which was delivered by Clinton Kelly, the co-host of “What Not to Wear.” After the closing session, I went to Clinton’s book signing, where I got to meet him and shake his hand. He was very charming, and even complimented me on my shirt! It was kind of surreal.¬†While I was hobnobbing with librarians and TLC reality show hosts, Robby visited the U.S. Mint, Penn’s Landing, Elfreth’s Alley, and several cheesesteak vendors. :)

We finally headed home on Saturday night, weighed down by our Amish market purchases and about 20 pounds of conference vendor swag and brochures. It was a long trip home, and we were happy to finally make it home to one very excited bulldog.

All in all, we had a fantastic time in Philadelphia and would love to go back someday!

One thought on “Streets of Philadelphia”

  1. Fun! I would love to meet Clinton one day, he seems so nice. And you got a compliment? Fantastic :) Looks like you guys had a great trip. Where to next?

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