For my birthday this year, I really wanted to go away but due to personal things, I couldn’t and settled for some place local. Philadelphia felt like the best choice since it’s super close to New York and would still feel like a mini getaway. I found the most amazing house to stay at so I was really excited for that.
First stop was at Stripp’d Cold Pressed Juice for an acai bowl since I was starving. I think this was my first time trying an acai bowl and I was hooked. They’re so good and refreshing that it has become a new favorite of mine.
We explored Elfreth’s Alley and I loved seeing the old mixed with the new. I always find it so fascinating when cities are able to keep a part of history in this modern world. It was pretty cold though since we went in January so I’d like to come again when it’s warmer.
Afterwards, we went home to unwind and relax so we could enjoy the house and its rooftop views. It was such a bummer that it was the wintertime and too cold to really utilize the rooftop but hopefully we can book this place again in the future and make more use out of it. There aren’t any more photos of the night (though I wish I took some!) but we just waited for the rest of the group to arrive, had dinner, and played games/spent quality time together.
This was our most eventful day of the trip.
For lunch, we headed to Reading Terminal Market. It was so packed (like seriously packed) but I guess that’s to be expected on a weekend. There were so many food choices but we ended up with these pastrami sandwiches that were DELICIOUS. Way better than Katz imo. So so good. The only con is since we had such a large group, we weren’t able to eat together so if you’re looking to eat with your group, you might want to go to a restaurant instead.
We ended up at the Franklin Institute Museum for afternoon plans but I’d give this place a pass. I actually wanted to go to the Rodin museum but it was closed during the time we were there :(
After the museum, we went home to freshen up and change for the birthday dinner :) I was really craving oysters and seafood so I had booked a reservation at the Oyster House. They were one of the few places that took reservations for a large group without requiring a prix fixe menu or down payment to book. Trust me when I say finding a dinner spot for our large group was such a struggle… But I was super satisfied because those oysters were so good.
We ended the night having a small house party instead of going out to the club or bar because it’s just not my thing and I had a great time :)
Check out time was 11AM so we were ready to head out. It was sad saying bye to the house because I loved it so much and wish I could’ve stayed longer.
I booked a reservation at Zavino for lunch but I feel like the price didn’t justify the food so I’d suggest finding another place for brunch. Totally forgot to take any photos cause we were too hungry. There’s still so many places I want to try out in Philly so I’m definitely going to them next time.
After lunch, we all said our good byes and drove back home.
This birthday felt like a bunch of things but I’m just grateful to have been able to spend it with loved ones, travel elsewhere to explore and eat good food. The beginning of the year did not start the smoothest for me but amidst the chaos, I am unbelievably blessed and grateful for all that I have.