Sunday, March 1, 2009


"That town smells like cheese steaks."
"That town is full of history!"
-Meredith and Angela; The Office

You know what? I think they're both right.

To celebrate the day of love, Noah and I headed to {where else
?} the City of Brotherly Love on Februrary 14.
Because we're all fancy pants these days, we boarded the luxury Chinatown bus bound for Philly and from that moment forward it was all Cooleyhighharmony stuck in my head. (And as I sang the words in my head, I paused to ask myself, "self? did BoyzIIMen really include, among the famous in Philly perks, all the Philly steaks you can eat?" substantiates that yes, in very fact, the Boyz were looking forward to all the town's signature sandwich they could handle. So much so that they gave that line to the sultry-voice guy.)

We wandered around Old City Philadelphia to visit all the must-sees, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. From there, we strolled down Elfreth's Alley, the oldest residential street in America. Get used to this view, people. Because one day when money is no object Noah is going to drink Naked juice with every meal and I will insist we own a home on this street.
On our walk back from Elfreth's, we passed this deliciously adorable pink bakery, Tartes. Decadent fruit tarts fresh from the oven at a quaint pink bakery on Valentine's Day? It was a no brainer.

We touched base with the Vests about getting together sometime over the next few days, and within three minutes of the phone call, we had an invitation to a dinner with their church friends and a place to stay in Philadelphia (our initial plan was to stay with some friends outside the city). Kurt and Dani were so welcoming and hospitable - we were well fed (this gal is gourmet, folks), enjoyed great conversation, revisited season one of A-Dev (how I have missed the Bluth family in my life) and every morning we had a little note with directions to our day's destination complete with train tokens. I know, you kind of want to move in with them, huh? Add in their wicked smarts and their cute home's proximity to the Pottery Barn outlet and you kind of want to be them.

Sunday morning we headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Art after church. But first it was this photo with the statue of the steps' most famous ascender and my quote from Baby Mama that Noah didn't recognize, which elicited a raised eyebrow and a slightly sour look.

The museum was incredible! Though Noah and I tend to absorb at slightly different paces and I had come down with a serious case of the shopping legs (shop - ping legz: a tired and weary state or condition of a man's legs most commonly brought on by long shopping expeditions with the opposite sex) by the time we made it to the very last exhibit. We were blown away by the museum, the collections and especially the elaborate rooms representative of different countries and regions. We saw Cezannes, Picassos, Van Goghs, Monets, Degases, Manets... a beautiful way to spend the day.

We spent the last day at City Hall and Reading Terminal Market where I literally skipped through the rows of inexpensive produce ($1 for FOUR orange bell peppers? $2 for two full bags of tomatoes? we've been eating salsa for two weeks.) and we finally chowed down on Philly cheese steaks.

I can see why one would include these in a classic early nineties hip hop track. For a further tour of Philly's finest, please enjoy.


Drae said...

Oh so much fun!! I love Philidelphia and I can honestly say, no one does a philly cheese steak like it's namesake. You know it's a good sandwhich when you eat it outside on a park bench and let all the drippings stream from the sandwhich to the ground because there's no stopping it anyway. Oh yeah! It's that good!! As always, I love reading about your adventures. Maybe one day we could meet up with you guys somewhere. Keep posting. I feel like we're still good friends. And that's how it should be.

koryn said...

What an awesome trip. Did I ever wail to you about the fact that we lived an hour outside of Philly, Jer worked there every day but sadly we never spent even a full day there!!!! What??? There was one attempt made but we were thwarted by terrible hotel issues and loss of clothing (long story). I am lovin' that you loved this city and that you had such a great time. Can I have a few of your friends? They all sound sooooo cool :)

Whitney Blake said...

What a fun trip! Lane and I both haven't been to Philly or NYC we might be calling on you and the vests to show us the ropes!! (: Great pics by the way.

candace said...

love the photos.
you really belong in that red coat

Allison and Noah Riley said...

Thank you, Candace! Do you love that it looks like I wore the same thing for three days - thanks to the outerwear? Would it also be ridiculous if I told you I considered taking another coat (knowing there would be photos after the fact, and I'd been in the coat in previous pictures) but then I realized it's V-Day and I best be wearing a red one? Yeah. I honestly put that much thought into it. Cool of me, I know. And super cool of me for admitting it now :).

Dani said...

Thanks again for letting us know you were in town! It was so fun having you stay. We'll be calling you next time we're in NYC.

lauren said...

as soon as i read your title, the very same boyz II men jam began playing in my head. over and over again.

looks like you two are having a blast. i'm a bit jealous. :)

Blake and Jenn said...

Can I just say I love reading your blog? You are so cute and your posts are hilarious! It sounds like you're adapting to big city life well. How is it out there?

Whitney said...

allison! i was seriously hoping you would comment on my music blog. i was waiting and waiting...but alas you did! i am so happy. i am totally purchasing all your suggestions! loved them. just finished doing the little trial run on itunes where you only get like a minute of the song. remember the episode when michael plays that james blunt song over and over again? i kind of felt that way. but i have purchased them! can't wait to see you too! i will call you with details.

Whitney said...

oh and ps- small world your sis was roommates with allegra at usu! we were trying to figure out if we knew any of the same people, but come to find out we have a connection through you! duh, i should have known, you are like SO popular! ;)