Let's Connect!


Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Oldest Restaurant in Philly

On our trip to Philadelphia, we planned several visits to specific restaurants. One of the places I wanted to eat at was Philly's oldest restaurant, City Tavern. Opened in 1773, it has been a tavern, a restaurant, a meeting house, a place to house prisoners of war, a Army headquarters and celebration venue. 

City Tavern Philadelphia

Now you can relive the Colonial times in an authentic tavern, with 3 floors, metal goblets, wait staff in period costume and traditional dishes. If you're looking about the city where everything is located, you can easily walk to City Tavern. You'll be welcomed warmly and be served huge portions. In fact, you may balk at the prices, but each dish can easily serve two people.  

We had a buy one get one free coupon that I picked up at the Visitor Center, so we saved over $20 on our meal. Dinner is at least $10 more per plate, so if you're trying to save money, opt for lunch.

This was our splurge meal. We also have breakfast before we left for the day, so that wasn't an extra cost factor. 

The bar area is also really beautiful and quaint, with top shelf alcohol and cozy, high-backed booths. It seems a bit like a home bar, but better. They even have a board with drinks on special for the day.

You start your meal off with a drink (they have iced tea and sodas available) and a bread plate. You get two different kinds of bread and Thomas Jefferson's favorite sweet potato biscuits, which were quite good and nutty. Definitely try those if you don't have a nut allergy. 

I was starving, so I also wanted an appetizer. I knew the mushroom toast was for me as soon as I saw it on the menu. If you love mushrooms, you have to try it. The mushrooms are sauteed, put on toast and covered in Bernaise sauce. Heaven! 

I chose the rabbit for my entree and it was enough to feed two or three people. It's basically a leg of braised rabbit and a ton of veggies put over a huge bed of egg noodles. It was delicious, but also way too much for one person to eat, so you'll be taking part of it home in a box. The table next to us also ordered this and the fried tofu (made to the specifications of a letter from Benjamin Franklin) and both said their food was fantastic. I didn't even know they had tofu then, but apparently it was such a hit that they kept this on the menu.

Eric, who really doesn't love pork, ordered the applewood-smoked pork chop. The meat took up half the (not small) plate and the other half was heaped with sauerkraut. He said both were great, but his was also too much to finish, especially since we wanted to save room for dessert. My title picture shows the large selection of desserts. Some are year-round options and some are seasonal.

Eric got all excited about Martha Washington's chocolate mousse cake, as it is made with the original recipe. I've had a lot of meh chocolate cakes in general, but this was light and fluffy and the perfect amount of chocolate and I would have eaten a whole second piece if it was on the table. I'm glad we didn't get tart that I originally wanted. I loved Martha Washington more in that moment.

The wait staff were all super friendly and I loved the outfits. This is exactly my kind of place, even though you have to go downstairs into a whole separate dining area to use the restroom and the stairs squeak a bit and make it sound like someone's walking behind you. That seems to be something you'd expect from a place this old though, so if that freaks you out and the restaurant isn't busy enough for other diners to be downstairs, ask a dining companion to come with you.

So, if you're in Philadelphia and want an excellent meal that's a bit of a splurge, this is the place to do it. Hit up the Visitor Center for a coupon (it's on a postcard for the restaurant) to get your free entree. Then you can save that money for one of their cookbooks or a souvenir to take home from Philly. 

Check them out online: website | Facebook | Twitter

Do you have a favorite historical restaurant from your hometown or your travels?

Disclaimer: I did not get paid to write this review or get a free meal (except through that coupon). I just genuinely enjoyed my experience there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

So Much Harry Potter Cosplay

Since July, we've done a bunch of fun Harry Potter-related stuff. We went to Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia to take part in their new, revamped and renamed HP festival, called Witches and Wizards Weekend. We also attended Wizard School at the Franklin Institute. This past week was my birthday, so I had an early Yule Ball for myself at home, in preparation for our Harry Potter Alliance chapter's Yule Ball, which was fantastic. 

I figured I'd share some of my photos of all the awesome Harry Potter cosplay and fun.

Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
This was a (mostly) 2-day event. There was a nighttime pub crawl on Friday and then a full-day on Saturday with activities, shopping, food, and fun seeing all the cosplays. I saw this magical school hate and I had to have it for my witch outfits. Only $10. Of course, it only comes in the one size.

This lady wins all the awards for creativity...and that baby was adorable!

Quidditch represent!
Eric bought ALL the flair. For those wondering, the giant buttons say "Keep Calm and Carry a Wand" and "Make Magic, Not War"

Franklin Institute - Philadelphia
This was a 21+ event put on at a science center, so therewerea lot of really cool science-y magic things, and this lecture on Nicholas Flamel.

Ha! This actually led into a room with a train.
We made "magic" wands and then recreated these at home with our own materials.

Yule Ball birthday party
Everyone dressed up and we made wands and played games and chatted about Harry Potter. This was my very Ravenclaw look.

My friend Stephanie wins for most creative costume. She came as Christmas Dobby. 

HPA Yule Ball
So, I can't sew, but I still try (for some reason) and came up with this offset cloak for Eric to wear and show off his Hufflepuff-y-ness. It was good if you didn't look too hard at it, but it was a fun look.

I went with a more Ravenclaw look with a giant puffy tulle skirt that I sewed lights into. This is super easy to do and everyone thinks it looks professional and amazing. I got so many compliments on my "dress". 

I'll post more of our adventures of in Philadelphia soon, including more of the Franklin Institute, which I highly recommend for just a regular day of educational fun.

Have you done any fun costumed stuff lately?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Finding The Best Ways To See Australia

Traveling to Australia is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, the size of the place makes it easy to find new things to do for each day of your stay. On the other, though, this same benefit can also make your life very hard while you’re away, taking a lot of time to move between each of the things you’d like to enjoy.

map of Australia
Image Credit
To make this whole process easier for you, this post will be taking you through some of the best ways to see this massive country, giving you the chance to take in as much as possible while on your adventure.

By Sky

While it isn’t the cheapest form of transport in the world, it would be wrong to talk about Australia without covering the opportunity you have to spend some time in a helicopter. With vast areas of land to cover, this sort of vehicle can be perfect for anyone who wants to see more of this place. Some trips will cover large distances, taking you from one place to another. If you want to do some pure sightseeing, though, you can also find examples which will only take you a short distance, but give you a lot of time in the air.

Taking A Tour

Of course, not everything can be appreciated from the sky, though, and there are loads of reasons to look towards the idea of a tour instead. Having someone with a lot of knowledge to guide you when you’re exploring a new country can be a great route to go down. Tours can be found just about anywhere in the world. You have options ranging from wildlife hikes to historical interest walks, and they all have their own joy to offer.

Borrowing A Vehicle

Being able to cover large distances without having to rely on public transport is something which a lot of people lack when they go on vacation. In a place like Australia, though, you need to be able to get from A to B, and this is best achieved with an hire car. You can find loads of companies offering these sorts of services around the web, with the examples you find when you get to your hotel often being some of the cheapest you’ll come across.

Move In Numbers

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about how you move when you’re taking on something like travel. Being with a large group of people can make this whole process a lot easier. This enables you to take it in turns at the wheel, will make the whole effort cheaper, and will make it easier to deal with situations like finding yourselves lost. Of course, though, you may have to make compromises on what you see when taking this approach.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of seeing as much of Australia as possible. A lot of people work towards goals like this, only to struggle when it comes to making sure that they make the most of their break.
Pin It button on image hover