A week with Stewie

4th of july kisses

So it wasn't exactly a full week, but it has more of a ring to it, don't you think? Anyway, our wonderful friend Megan came to visit us last Tuesday and stayed through Saturday, so she was able to celebrate both my birthday and Independence Day with us!

Tuesday was mainly a settling day. I picked her up at Suburban Station (she took the train into Center City from the airport), we purchased some lunch for her, ran errands, went past the Comcast Center to see the 5x high definition gigantic screen, the usual. We also took Megan up to the steps of the Museum of Art after it got dark. Unfortunately our view was impeded by the construction of the stage for 4th of July festivities. We also saw rollerbladers going down the steps backwards. I was impressed.

The next morning, I woke up to a wonderful virtual birthday card made by my handsome husband. He is so sweet! Megan and I set off, me to work and Megan to Old City to see the historic side of Philadelphia. Megan surprised me at work when I got off at 4 p.m. We picked up some pretzels before walking home and watching The Bachelorette until it was time for bible study. Fun girl bonding time! Ian met us there since he had to pick up my angel food cake accompanied by a surprise of beautiful purple spider mums. It was a lovely birthday, and we had a great discussion at bible study. I really appreciate the teaching we get through Tenth, and that's one thing we will miss when we leave here (but we're very excited to come back!). On the way home, we stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some dinner. Megan took some funny photos of Ian and I post-food.

checking for food particles
checking Ian's teeth for food particles.

Thursday I gave Megan a tour of Penn's campus, then we came home to get all dressed up for our reservation at Fork for my belated birthday dinner. The food was good, and the atmosphere was fantastic!

birthday dessert @ fork
eating dessert.

After dinner, we went to Independence Mall and witnessed the marriage of Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. Not the real ones, of course, but the historical re-enactors.

ian & anna before pops on philadelphia
Ian and I before the wedding. (the photo of all 3 of us is on Stewie's camera. I NEED IT!)
ben franklin & betsy ross exchange vows
don't they make a cute couple?

After the wedding, we stayed for Pops on Philadelphia — a concert by the Philadelphia Pops orchestra. It was wonderful to listen to Aaron Copeland's "Hoedown" from Rodeo (Beef. It's what's for dinner.) and "Fanfare for the Common Man" while sitting in front of Independence Hall. Cheesy as it sounds, I just felt so happy to be American and celebrating Independence Day Eve. I've never really experienced the holiday while feeling so much pride in our heritage.

listening to pops on philadelphia
laying on the lawn while taking in the music.
this view + aaron copeland = patriotic
our view of Independence Hall.

To celebrate the 4th of July the next day, we wandered around Rittenhouse Square and Walnut Street for some shopping.

getting our pigeons in a row
pigeons bathing in the fountain at Rittenhouse.
ian & anna @ rittenhouse square
me and Ian in Rittenhouse.

We then took Stewie for her first authentic cheesesteak, this time trying Sonny's on Market Street.

sonny's cheesesteaks
the sign. you don't see the line, which is out the door.
skeptical of the whiz
Ian skeptical about the Whiz.

We concluded Sonny's is better than Pat's, and Whiz really is where it's at.

Next, we wandered around to Christchurch, Penn's Landing, and toured a few historic buildings. One was Carpenter's Hall, the home of the oldest trade guild in America, which is for architects and builders (still in existence!). They have a secret book with pricing and designs, and when a member dies they reclaim the book from the widow.

flowers in front of carpenter's hall
Ian took this lovely artistic photo of Carpenter's Hall.

After exploring this beautiful area of the city, we headed back for the Party on the Parkway, where we partook in funnel cakes. Ian can't resist it.

party on the parkway
the Parkway was packed.

After the shindig, they cleared the parkway for the parade. We went back down to watch some of it while we waited for dinner to finish in the slow cooker.

ben shows off his new ring
Ben shows off his new ring and Betsy looks pretty.
a little drum major
a cute little drum line kid.

We watched the rest of the parade on TV as our window doesn't overlook the Parkway. This resulted in the discovery of why the parade was moving so slowly: each entry stopped in front of the museum and performed for the TV cameras. So we actually saw a lot more by watching on TV. After dinner and Wii bowling, we headed back down for the John Legend concert and fireworks in the drizzle. We'd never heard of John Legend before this event despite his five Grammys. We were impressed, and I wouldn't mind listening to him again!

john legend at the art museum
the concert venue.
ewww, girl germs.
apparently I have cooties.
it's the fourth!
excited it's the 4th!

The fireworks were great too! What a beautiful setting!

fireworks behind the art museum
a philly fourth of july
up close. there was lots of smoke.

Megan, thanks so much for choosing to spend your vacation with us! We had a great week with you, and I look forward to seeing you again!