From New York, With Love

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” ― Tom Wolfe

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More Brotherly Love

If you’re a fan of either food or chaos, then the Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philly is a must-visit. It’s packed to the gills with people shouting orders for cheesesteaks and fresh fish, and has treats to satisfy any appetite.

Sadly, the lone Vegetarian stand was shut down, which probably says a lot about the taste preferences of Philadelphians. So what’s a bleeding heart to do? I chose the only rational options.

I hugged a pig…

…and ate a cupcake for lunch. Well done on the Vegan baked goods, Flying Monkey!

On the way out, I snapped a photo of Carmen’s Cheesesteaks – easily the most packed stand in the building.

After Reading, we took a long stroll around downtown where I stopped every few blocks to admire the architecture.

Thanks for showing us a great time, Philly! Coming up tomorrow – upscale Vegan fare at Vedge!

The Streets of Philadelphia

Try to visit Philly and not sing this song to yourself several times along the way. It’s impossible. And if you haven’t seen the movie Philadelphia, do so immediately. It’s phenomenal and will guaranteed make you cry your eyes out, no matter how much of a tough guy you are.

So, on to the weekend. Jacque and I packed up her trusty Prius with sandwiches and suitcases and headed south to Philadelphia for a little sightseeing and soccer. The trip from Montreal is almost exactly 8 hours, but winding through the calming, green mountains of upstate New York, it doesn’t feel like a long drive. Philadelphia is a beautiful city packed with American history and phenomenal architecture – here’s a bit of what we saw:

Here’s Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were adopted.

This is the Liberty Bell center. We wanted to see the bell up close, but chose not to wait in the hour plus line to get in.

Instead, we visited Ben, and then headed towards the Art Museum to run up the steps like Rocky.

Along the way, we stopped at the Rodin Museum to see the thinking man.

We finally made it to the Art Museum and had some fun posing with Rocky and running up and down the stairs.

Here’s the view from the top. I spy a baby bump!

It was such a great, albeit gray, day. I took so many photos that I’ll be back tomorrow with more…you’ve got 3 days of Philly coming at you on le blog this week!

Lake Willoughby, Vermont

On Monday morning, in a fit of desire to get away for a night, we packed up the Subaru with camping gear and enough Quinoa and Oatmeal for a small family, and headed to Vermont. Destination – White Caps Campground on the shores of Lake Willoughby. We weren’t sure what to expect as this location was picked through about a 2 minute Google search for “Lake Camping Vermont”. The drive time was about right (2.5 Hours) and they had kayak rentals on the lake, so we called to reserve a spot and headed out.

What a tremendous surprise the trip turned out to be. For $25 we got a tent spot right near the lake and were just .5 mile down the road from hiking trails. Here is the view of the lake from across the Campground.

After setting up our small two-man tent and dropping our stuff, we headed out on the road towards the trailhead. Along the way, we stopped for some old-fashioned fun, as Preston taught me how to make really loud bird/duck sounds with a blade of grass.

Then we checked out the available trails and headed up into the woods.

I made it to the first lookout (about 25 minutes in) and then turned around – I needed some beach time, and Preston is a way more serious hiker than I am.

So, he set off alone and ended up completing 8 miles or so in about 2 hours…

While I walked my lazy bones back to camp, taking quite a long time as I stopped to photograph most of the trees and flowers that I passed.

The next day, we woke up and rented a tandem kayak (only $25 for 3 hours) and headed out onto the lake. The water was blue and beautiful, and we paddled almost to the other end of the lake, which ended up being about an 8 mile round trip. I wish I had my camera on the trip as we found a tree along the shoreline that had a rope swing hanging from it. We parked the kayak and Preston, at 39 years old, did the rope swing for the first time. Fantastic! There were also boards nailed into the tree that allowed me to climb about 20 feet to the top and jump off. So so so fun.

Thank you for an amazing overnight, Lake Willougby! I can’t wait to go back.