We are Jaz & Theo! We a wedding photography team in El Paso, here to serve our couples and photographers. We enjoy traveling, making friends, wearing cute outfits (including hats), and snuggling together often.
This was our first weekend vacation that we had to fly to! What?! We had been planning it for a few months in advance because we tend to be like dutiful scouts and prepare as much as we can. I (Jaz) tend to over prepare for vacations buy making an itinerary and extra stuff to eat, see, and do if we can. Most of the vacations that I plan never go exactly how the itinerary was laid out, sometimes for the better some times for the worst. But this was definitely the shortest trip I had ever planned, just a little over 48 hours! Plus this also has to be one of the coldest trips I have taken. I tend to not like to go to places when they are cold because things open later and close later and more than half the day you tend to spend outside in the cold. I prefer warm weather all the time but if you ask Theo he would say he prefers the cold. He thinks he should live somewhere cold just because of his fair complexion. Traveling in the cold is also not fun for your wallet since you have to pack almost an entire suitcase full of coats, thermals, huge boots and layers! They take up bunch of space fast.
Theo, my mom, and I drove to the Tucson Airport in the early morning before the sun had come up. We got there around 5:00 on Friday January 20, 2017. We had a short layover in the Atlanta Airport, where we enjoy the small tram ride to our connecting flight and met up with my dad from his trip to Florida. Poor Theo looks like a pack mule whenever we go some place he always insists he carry more than half the bags.
We made it to Philadelphia around 16:00 and took a taxi to our hotel, the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. After we checked in it was already 19:00 so we went to the LDS Philadelphia Temple for a session
Then went to a little restaurant called Urban Farmer Philadelphia. It’s more on the expensive side but was some of the best food I have ever tasted. All their ingredients are farm-to-table and very fresh. The baby scallops were to die for. Theo could care less for seafood but he got to share with my dad three amazing steaks that I got to taste. The craziest thing happened while we were in the middle of our meal and the fire alarm went off but by accident! So we were well treated by the staff for the incident. I posted it to Instagram Live and many people thought that was just part of the theme! Nope! Just crazy unexpected.
We only had to walk a few minutes back to our hotel and we loved the sight of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul but we loved walking around the LDS Philadelphia Temple more. It was also inauguration day, when Donald Trump became president so there was much talk about that while we were traveling.
On Saturday we woke up to find out the streets near us were blocked off for the woman’s march, making it had to get an Uber. We were not expecting that but we still made it to the Liberty Bell when it opened. It was packed even in the cold! Can’t imagine what it’s like in the summer.
We walked across the street to Independence Hall and wished the 5 minute tour lasted an hour.
The architecture was phenomenal, the glass chandelier was fun and not was we were expecting. The Temple was modeled to look very similar in all the rooms to Independence Hall and it was fun seeing what they incorporated. We walked through the buildings next door and got stuck talking to the tour guide for about half an hour about things. We then meandered to the Second Bank of the U.S. and looked at the portrait gallery that is held there.
Look how cute the inside of this bank was!
We soon got hungry and walked to a very good Philly Cheese Steak restaurant with very few and small tables called Sonny’s Famous Steaks. The meat was very well prepared. After this encounter Theo wanted to try all the other Philly Cheese Steaks but none that we tried were as good.
We had heard of this small old-fashioned ice cream parlor just a few small stores over called The Franklin Fountain. We fell in love with this charming well-kept antique ice cream shop and enjoyed the ice cream just as much. We found it odd they were served in what looked like Chinese food take-out-containers but who can complain when you have great ice cream?!
We tried to quickly walk through Chirst Church where Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and many others went to church but we must be very easy to talk to because the visitor/tour guide there started telling us his life story for about 20 minutes.
Next was the Betsy Ross House and it was so quant but the most awkward and cumbersome place we have ever been in. The stairs where the worst! There was even a Betsy Ross impersonator that actually makes wool flags! Betsy Ross had a hard life and I do not envy her at all!
We walked a few blocks over to look at the historic Elfreth’s Alley and they still had the cutest Christmas decorations still up! We think they are so cute but I would hate to live somewhere people are always outside your front door.
The United States Post Office is now a Printing Press like Benjamin Franklin had and Theo bought an old fashioned printed Declaration of Independence!
The Chemical Heritage Museum was fun but we kind of glossed over most of it and we were getting worn down. We tried to make it to the Carpenters’ Historic Hall but it was already closed by 16:00 and the Military Museum was closed for repairs. Theo enjoys military museums and was really disappointed.
We walked a long way to Reading Terminal Market for dinner. This is one of the most unique stores I have ever been to. It’s a giant building with lots of little farmers market with many small restaurants inside. We thought they were kidding when we saw that they close at 18:00 because that’s dinnertime and the entire place is food sellers and restaurants but yes they do indeed close that early! We had an hour though to look around and eat. My dad choose a Cajun place and got jambalaya and some other amazing food. Theo tried Alligator for the first time! We gave our left over food to some homeless people outside the building. My mom found this Amish chocolate stand and got amazing chocolate turtles there. We enjoyed Reading so much we got asked to leave when they closed.
A few blocks away was the City Hall and it looked amazing in the dark fog with all it’s lights shining through. The Love Statue was there in the park next to City Hall called Dilworth Park. There was even an ice skating rink up! How fun.
We got in an Uber and took us back to the Franklin Fountain to meet up with my dad’s old friend from his mission to Spain. She and her husband came and ate ice cream with us and they live in New Jersey. We then finally went into the shop next door called Shane Confectionary, an antique candy store that was darling.
On Sunday we went to church and luckily it wasn’t that hard to find since it was next to the temple, which was less than a block from our hotel. After we walked to the Barnes Foundation, which is a very well put together art museum, we all enjoyed it so much we spent over an hour there.
Next we toured Eastern State Penitentiary and it was more fascinating than expected but also didn’t go into as much detail as I would have liked.
We found this great sandwich place close by that we all thoroughly enjoyed and they had gluten free options. We wanted to go to the Rodin Museum but it was closed so we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Theo had to get some photos with the Rocky Statue and even run up all the steps leading to the museum! It was a blast.
We wish we had more time for the Philadelphia Museum of Art but we spend an hour al least looking at the sections we did want to see. Many famous art works, my favorite were the Monet’s. We walked to China Town and got our first Rolled Ice Cream. Not bad but I the ice cream was more ice than I normally like.
My dad and I ate some sushi then we walked to Reading Terminal for Theo and my mom to eat. We then went to the Franklin Museum by way of an Uber and read everything there for about 40 minutes. We then had an hour to spend at the Constitution Center but by then everything was closed. We retired to the hotel early so we could get some rest from our sore feet.
Monday we had some time so we went to the Philadelphia Mint. This was Theo’s favorite by far since he likes to collect money. We read everything and spent over an hour there. Then we had to make it to our flight and that was our very short Philadelphia trip. Hope you guys have the chance to explore this amazing city and learn some history.