Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My Annual Trip to Philadelphia, PA

Arriving in Philadelphia yesterday morning - I always believe in letting someone else do the driving.  Lots of White Heads in the bus.  Check out the Philadelphia skyline in the distance.  Returning home to my former home!

My visit to the Philadelphia Flower Show was a success!  The flower show was all right.  This year it had a Hawaiian theme.  Lots of color, delightful smells, and beautiful music and lost of crowds too.

Even though the flower show was crowded there seemed to be more room to move around.  At previous flower shows I felt like I was part of a lava flow, moving with the crowd.  This year I actually saw the floor.  Also there were plenty of benches for the weary to rest their feet.

No need for me to rest my feet though.  I moved through the crowds quickly, taking my photos and occasional videos.  This is the first time I've attended the flower show solo which actually turned out to be pretty good.  I could move around as fast as I wanted to and go where I wanted to without trying to keep track of my slower, plodding companions.  I move fast.  I'll take future trips by myself.  Lesson learned.

Me at the Philadelphia Flower Show 2012 - photo taken by a stranger (blurred)

One thing I won't do in the future is take extra cameras.  This time, just in case I needed them, I took my Canon SLR camera as well as my Flip video camera. Guess what?  I took all my pictures and videos on my iPhone!  I didn't take ONE PICTURE OR VIDEO with my other equipment.  Wow. I'm not loading myself down with extra unneeded equipment in the future.  That will make my future trips much easier.  I love my iPhone! I love traveling light!  I move fast!

Color at the Philadelphia Flower Show 20122

After making the rounds of the flower show I left the convention center to meet my long-time friend and former c-worker Don for lunch at Woody's on 13th Street.  I get to Woodys and pull a "George Bush"(remember his famous trip to China when he tried to open up those large red doors as he was exiting the stage only to be stymied?  That was me yesterday.  I looked as foolish as Georgie Boy did then)  and try to open the door and it was locked! A couple of gay guys who were dawdling outside this famous Philadelphia gay bar/restaurant told me that Woody's was closed and wouldn't open until next week.  Okay, Plan B in effect.

I called Don on his cell phone but of course he had his cell phone turned off.  I went to the corner of 13th and Walnut which is where I thought Don got off his bus.  On there way there I saw Don rounding the corner.  Don and I used to work together back in the 80's on this very block.  Now we meet this way on the street for a reunion once a year.

Don suggested a little hole in the wall restaurant a block down the street.  I was a little apprehensive because I had never been in this restaurant before but my fears quickly proved to be unfounded.  I forgot that I was in The Big City, not Gayberry (aka Rehoboth Beach, DE) where almost ALL of the restaurants serve good, reasonably priced food, even the "holes in the wall."  No overpriced Tourist Trap Restaurants in Philly today.  Oh how I was spoiled all those years I worked and lived in Philadelphia.

My friend Don "on the street" in Philadelphia

I ordered Chicken Quesadilla.  The only other place where I have had a good Chicken Quesadilla before was the Brickside Grille in Eagleview, PA.  I've ordered it several times down here in Gayberry at these pseudo Mexican restaurants but what I get is a overpriced wrap of tasteless cheese and rubbery chicken.  Note to Rehoboth area restaurant owners:  A WRAP IS NOT A QUESADILLA! 

The Chicken Quesadilla I had yesterday was prepared properly which is gently friend tortilla, quartered, with TENDER chicken delicately flavored with Mexican cheese.  The so-called "Mexican" tourist traps restaurants in Gayberry should learn how to properly prepared Mexican food but I guess they figure they don't have too since they can fool the touristas.  But I digress from my Philadelphia Trip.  Don and I had a great lunch!

Don and I at lunch yesterday at the "Hole in the Wall" luncheonette which is way better than most Rehoboth restaurants!
After lunch, Don and I parted and I took off for the ten block walk to our former home on 24th and Naudain Streets.  Walking down Walnut Street I saw an Apple store.  I meant to stop in just to take a look at this new way of retailing.  I WAS AMAZED!  I was so impressed.  In fact, I was so impressed that I made a purchase (more about this in a future blog posting.)  In my previous paragraph I was talking about how our overpriced Tourist Trap Restaurants here in Gayberry could learn a thing or two from Philadelphia restaurants, our retailers could really learn something BIG TIME from the way Apple retail stores do business.  I can't emphasize how impressed I was with my Experience in the Apple store.  Of course it helps that I had a cutie waiting on my too.  I am a sucker (no pun intended) for cuties.

Apple Cutie

After "submitting" at the Apple Store I headed down to our former home, taking pictures all along the way.  Our old house looks great from the street.  I was tempted to knock on the door and ask for a tour of our old home.  However I was running out of time so I couldn't spend too much time around the old stomping grounds.  My bus was scheduled to leave at 4 pm and it was already 3 pm. I didn't want to miss my bus!

Rittenhouse Square (on the way "home" yesterday) I used to walk this every day when I lived and worked in Philly!

I had about fifteen blocks to make in a half hour.  Huffing and puffing with aching legs, I made it and caught my bus on time but I am paying the price now. I am sore all over.  I feel like someone "tuned me up."

Our former home in center city Philly - we moved in 1980 but the doors are still red!

Walking around Philly yesterday I'm surprised that I worked and lived over thirty years in that  crowded, noisy and dirty environment.  Maybe it was because I was young and had other "priorities."  I was on The Prowl in those days.  Young, handsome, successful, I had it ALL baby! And I am proud to say I didn't waste any time either.  The crowds, noise and dirt were minor distractions back then, now I couldn't take it.

Broad Street, Philadelphia High Noon - Across the street from the bank where I used to work - I can't believe I dealt with this EVERY DAY for YEARS!

I'm glad I made my trip to Philly yesterday but I'm also glad I'm back home.  I am just too comfortable here at Casa Tipton-Kelly.  I enjoyed my trip but taking this trip also has reinforced my love for where I live now.  Every now and then one has to take a trip away from the comforts of home just to appreciate what one has at home.  And believe me, I DO APPRECIATE WHAT I HAVE!

This is what Bill LOVES!  Actually he doesn't, that's why he stayed home. 

It was good to see Bill waiting for me in the dark at the Delaware Tech campus in Georgetown.  I had a long day, I was exhausted but I am glad I made the trip.  I was home again.

Home in Delaware at the end of a long day


anne marie in philly said...

glad you had a nice time. I guess if I lived in the city I would hate the noise; but going into town from the burbs every so often ain't so bad.

nitewrit said...


It doesn't look all that dirty in your pictures. I was in Philly with Noelle in January. It is a nice walkers city and it was fun when I lived there forty years ago, but I don't miss it anymore.


Mark said...

Ron, I'm with you on this one. The older I get, the more quiet I need. There was a time when I would have loved to live in Philly. Now, I want to live on a Farm.
I'm glad that you had a good time and it's nice that you got to see your old home.

Ron said...

Anne Marie,

I plan to visit Philly again soon. I like the visits. Wouldn't want to live there full time though.

Ron said...


I worked in center city from 1965 to 1994. I lived in center city from 1969 to 1980. Believe me, it is MUCH dirtier. It's not my imagination.

Ron said...


I lived in center city Philly the exact right time of my life, when I was young and full of energy. I need peace and quiet now. Maybe an occasional visit but I love the wide open vistas of coastal southern Delaware. This is the right time of my life for living where I do now.

Amanda said...

Ron, between reading and work, I don't stop by too often to check my favorite blogs. I have never been to Philadelphia but it seems very nice, believe me, much better than Los Angeles.

Ron said...


Good to hear from you! I thought you dropped me from your favortie blogs. :) Yes, Philadelphia is very nice. I always felt at home in Philadelphia. Many fond memories.

Scott said...

I've never been to a flower show, but I have been to Philly a time or two. My strongest memory is chasing down a thief who broke into my first partner's car and took my knapsack while we were admiring the liberty bell.

Ron said...


I"m sorry you had that bad experience during your Philadelphia visit. Unfortunately some of our inner city denizens know who the out of town visitors are. Bill and I had something similar happen to us when we visited Charleston, South Carolina some years ago. I guess our out of state license plates (New Jersey at that time) gave us away as suckers. We came back to our car parked along one of the main city streets and we saw this black guy trying to break into our car! He ran when he saw us. That will always be my memory of my one and only visit to Charleston, South Carolina.

Ur-spo said...

You did a splendid job; I felt like I was there with you.

Ron said...

Thank you Dr. Spo. You are the kindest man. That is why you are so popular.