Benjamin Franklin Bridge

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Last Saturday we were wandering around Penn’s Landing, admiring the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from afar, and then we decided we should probably walk across it.

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From Penn’s Landing, it takes a lot longer to get to the entrance of the bridge than you might think. And that long time feels like an extra long time when you’re in the summer sun.

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We almost abandoned the mission when the pedestrian walkway was closed on one side of the bridge, which meant getting to the other side via this dodgy pedestrian tunnel.

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But we pushed through, made it to the other side, and started the walk across the bridge duly aware of our own risk.

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We almost immediately dumped the idea of walking all the way across the bridge into Camden, New Jersey, because we couldn’t think of one thing we wanted to do there.

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We were also hungry and sweaty – there was no need to subject Camden to that.

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But we still remained committed to at least half of the bridge.

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The BFB opened for cars in 1926, and at that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

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It lost that status three years later thanks to the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.

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But Detroit ruining everything aside, the BFB is still a feat of engineering and testament to American work ethic and all that good stuff.

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The view is pretty cool, too, so the bridge is also kind of a testament to Philadelphia.

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We walked to the halfway point of the bridge, then headed back towards Old City.

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Philadelphia is pretty good at summertime. And bridges.

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Elfreth’s Alley

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I hadn’t heard of Elfreth’s Alley until a colleague of mine mentioned it about a month ago. It’s the oldest residential street in the United States – it has been occupied since 1702, and the current standing houses all date back to between 1728 and 1836.

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DH and I stumbled across the street accidentally – we were actually looking for the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (which turns out to be about four blocks further west).

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It’s a quaint street for sure, but it felt weird to linger since the houses are all still occupied.

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There is a museum, though. Does anyone know if it’s worthwhile?

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If not, then I at least hope to visit Elfreth’s Alley again next year when they have their annual fete day. It’s basically an open house – the one day of the year when the residents open up their homes to tourists.

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Alternatively, I could just buy one of them. The former old-timey bakery, now a plush residential home, went on the market this summer for $795,000.

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Glamour

When I was in South Carolina with my extended family recently, we gathered in my grandmother’s living room to watch some home videos of my grandparents when they were first married. There was no sound on the video, and we all instinctively hushed when my grandmother showed up on screen. She was just so impossibly glamorous (and Grandpa was pretty suave, too). We watched tape of them in vacation homes, on the shores of Lake Michigan, in their living room on Christmas morning, at their kids’ birthday parties, and they looked absolutely put-together in every single shot.

There’s just something about decades past that seems so much more glamorous than the present (although it should be said that my Grandma is pretty stylish to this day).

On our last day in Martha’s Vineyard with our friends a few weekends ago, we stopped for soft serve ice cream that turned out to be way messier than we had anticipated (I blame the sun and the wind).

But maybe there’s hope that one day future generations will see pictures of me inhaling my food and making a mess and they’ll get all quiet out of respect and they’ll think: “Gosh, she was just so beautiful and confident!”

I mean, just look at these glamorous ladies!

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And now this glamorous lady is squatting at the water to wash her hands and arms and feet, which are all covered in sticky melted soft serve.

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See, glamour!

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Martha’s Vineyard

It’s going to be tough for Summer 2014 to top the weekend we just had on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Everything you’ve heard about Martha’s Vineyard is true: the Kennedys own land there, the Obamas visit annually, and it is just breathtakingly beautiful. But the number one thing we were excited about was visiting our dear friends from our Germany days:

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This reunion was particularly sweet – our friends are expecting a baby, and it felt so special to catch up with them, reminisce about our time in Germany, and dream about the future. Their little one is pretty much guaranteed to be amazing.

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And yes, the scenery was also fantastic.

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I love Philadelphia. But you know what I also love? Peace and quiet. Martha’s Vineyard wore all our city stress away, so we were left with great views and great company.

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We spent two full days on the island, and visited the beach three times. The water was pristine. The beach practically empty. We saw a seal!

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DH’s dream is to have a modest vacation home somewhere near the water (west coast, east coast, lake, pond, whatever), and then invite friends to come every weekend. Our weekend in Martha’s Vineyard was the embodiment of that, plus other people did all the cooking. Dream!

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One word of advice when vacationing with friends: choosing the right friends is key. I love our Germany friends. We’re all comfortable enough with each other to say “Hey! I need a nap and some alone time. See you in an hour!” And then after the nap we all go get ice cream together (more on Martha’s Vineyard ice cream later). Plus, the nap means that you get to stay up late chatting around the kitchen table, sometimes even as late as 10pm! This was a very nap-heavy, relaxed weekend getaway.

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Well, relaxed and also zany. We are who we are:

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A++

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Outtakes at the Rosenbach

I’m working on uploading some pics from our recent travels and adventures. In the meantime, here are some leftovers from our visit to the Rosenbach Museum and Library last month. Many thanks to Rosenbach for providing such a safe space for going wild.

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As you were.

 

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A Tale of Two Beaches

Today I’m thankful for my family and their adorable dogs, for restorative beaches, for beachy paperbacks, and for a husband who who sends me funny text messages and plays scrabble with me while I’m on hold with US Airways for the umpteenth stupid hour. I’d be pretty dumb not to realize that I have it pretty good.

The Isle of Palms, South Carolina:

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

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1926 – 2014

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