Top 5 Reasons to Visit Philadelphia:1. The Aroma. You can walk around the city and in the same breath ravish the scent of Starbucks coffee, tainted sewer water from underground, cheese steak and human urine. I can't tell you how refreshing this is on a Sunday morning after drinking just way too much wine. But for some reason I keep going back. And I keep waking up on Sundays hungover when I'm there.
2. The People. While many international folks roam the street and historical sites are bombarded with Japanese tourists snapping thousands of pictures in every direction, you will not be able to ignore the mannerisms of certain Philadelphia people. I will say that I can now understand why some are just downright nasty: if I had to wake up each day and smell the aroma as described above, or walk around with missing teeth, or gold capped teeth or just rotten teeth like some of the regulars I passed many times downtown, I probably wouldn't be in such friendly spirits either. I'm sorry to ask you for directions, or need my car from valet parking which I paid for as a customer. I'm sorry to bother you for a cup of coffee even though it was you behind the Starbucks counter who asked me what you could get me that morning for breakfast. But to the stranger of a shuttle driver who kindly picked the four of us up while walking our millionth mile to find the USS New Jersey offering to drive us to the entrance an unknowing mile away in the cold wind that day, thank you for your hospitality. You made our weekend, and for that I love your wonderful city.
3. The Shopping. No matter where you go or what you're looking for, I promise you that shopping in Philly is an experience. But if you happen to miss its one main elite section with top New York City type boutiques and department stores, you must explore. I promise you that no one has experienced shopping until you've trekked through the downtown Super K-Mart or Ross's which are the only stores open early on a Sunday morning to look for underwear you may have forgotten to pack or a bathing suit for the hotel whirl pool because everyone else you came with brought their own. And you wouldn't believe the selection of bikini separates you might find in mid November season. And the sizes available. Oh. My. God.
4. History. This in a nut shell is something I'll simply admit that I probably don't appreciate like those who might refer to themselves as "history buffs" [loving sister-in-law's husband]. While I can appreciate that Ben Franklin invented the bifocals and fought against the eagle being our national symbol in favor of the turkey, to me he is simply the guy who ran outside like an idiot with a kite and a key in a lightening storm where he almost fried to smithereens.
5. Wine. Or beer. Or vodka. Which was nice. And to my sister-in-law and her husband I would like to say that while we had a great time touring [following behind you most of the way only to be distracted by my husband's [your brother's] loud flatulance], my most favorite part of our trip was sipping wine for hours on end in the evening telling stories we've never heard, bitching about ex-spouses, and laughing at people we didn't know.
To this, I'd like to cheer the almighty city of Philly. We will see you again very soon.