ジャねこ] (theinfamousj) wrote,

Couchadelphia (Part 4)

Wherein I walk far too much in Philadelphia.

Olivia left to go to a meeting at ungodly-in-the-morning, or at least that is how it felt to me. Really, it was more like 7 am. Her leaving finally registered at 9 am, when I woke up and looked outside. I was warm and snuggly in my blankets, and loathe to leave my warm cocoon, but eventually did evacuate because the bladder insisted.

After that, I served myself an incredibly delicious slice of apple pie, which I later found out was baked from scratch by none other than Olivia. Along with the slice of pie, I made myself a cup of apple cinnamon tea. My most delicious breakfast was spent looking out the window (there was still precipitation making drips into the puddles on the sidewalk), catching up on emails, and sending out CouchSurfing messages so I could meet up with the Couchadelphia folks.

I really wanted to see the Money in Motion tour event being hosted by Darryl. I double checked the weather forecast and again out the window. The tiny driplets of rain didn't seem terrible, and according to the weather, this was the best weather I was going to get all weekend. Because of this, I decided to walk down to the Federal Reserve Bank.

I figured that it couldn't take more than two hours to walk from West Philly {In west Philadelphia, born and raised ...} to Old Town, so I prepared myself to leave at 10-ish am. And so I did. Leaving my sunglasses, headbuds, and warm snuggly hat behind. Moves I later regretted.

I walked east, and had just crossed through UPenn when my phone rang. It was Olivia. We agreed to meet exactly where I was standing, and then go to the exhibit together. After that, our plan was to go to Reading Terminal Market, and then part ways.

As it happened, rather than going to the Federal Reserve Bank, I spotted this

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For those who cannot read Tiny, it says "United States Mint". Even though I had it written on my phone that we were supposed to meet a the Federal Reserve Bank, there was a sign for the US Mint that was the only sign I could see due to my direction of approach. Also, both happen to be located at the exact same intersection. And, both have to do with money.

So, Olivia and I went into the Mint instead. Getting in was rather easy. Show a driver's license. Let them x-ray your cell phone and your umbrella. Done!

From there, we walked down an educational hallway, not stopping at all to actually look at the text. From the headlines, most of it was about commemorative medal creation and the important work an engraving artist actually does. What was really exciting, though, was that we were then able to look down into the rooms where they produce pennies. I'm not sure if the Philadelphia Mint does any other coins (none of that was explained in the signs, at least not by the headlines), but there were pennies being produced while we watched. Pennies, and some other, much smaller, copper coin. I suspect these are mini-pennies for the mini-penny bracelet they had for sale in the gift shop.

After that, we did go to the Reading Terminal Market, where I approached

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for the Egg and Cheese Sandwich that I have been fondly reminiscing about ever since I was in Philadelphia, barely more than a year ago. To say it made me

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(happy) would be an understatement. Yum!

Olivia picked up a delicious spinach pie, which had a similar effect on her.

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The Reading Terminal Market is like an indoor flea market, except for food. It is ridiculously crowded, jumbled, and has very little rhyme or reason. Colors, smells, neon signs, non-neon signs, and delicious products assault you from every direction. But, you should only stay away if you have a negative experience with overstimulation.

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(A view down an aisle in Reading Terminal Market. Olivia on cell phone.)

After lunch, we parted ways. Olivia had to head home to do things. I, mean time, walked back toward the US Mint. I really wanted to see the Money in Motion exhibit, and by this point we'd figured out what had happened and where it really was located. However, there was another event that was already scheduled for CouchSurfing participation: the Betsy Ross House. Since I was still going to be in Philadelphia for a few more days, and since I had yet to meet any other CouchSurfers, I went ahead to the event. Both were located in similar places.

Once at the House, I was quickly able to find the other CouchSurfers. It turns out that they were sporting foam hands or feet stickers on their hearts so that we could tell that one another were CouchSurfers. I received a green hand for my outerwear (coat) and a pink foot for my regular inner wear (shirt). I also grabbed a blue foot and drew a black tar heel on it.

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The Betsy Ross House was cool. I learned a lot of interesting historic facts from our tour guide. We had a lovely gentleman who was dressed in period clothing and took us throughout the house. We also got to meet Betsy Ross, the reenactor. What I was most amazed with was her outer-most dress thing. It looked quite sensible and like something I should like to wear.

After that, I was kindly driven to Darryl's house where I helped prepare for the Welcome Reception, which was to be held at his house. I prepared all the vegetables, dip, cheese, and salami.

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After that, quite a few of us had already congregated at his house and while we were thinking about going to Walk the Ben Franklin Bridge, we decided to skip it. It is a bridge that we could walk over at some other point. And then Darryl got a phone call: 40 people were at the bridge. 40 people?!?? We had 15 (at most, I didn't actually count) at the Betsy Ross house.

After bridge walking was First Friday, and a bunch of those of us who were at the house did, in fact, decide to go to that. We managed to see two galleries. In the first, there was an amazing exhibit of items made from bent and connected glass rods, which looked like stir rods. There was also an incredibly impressive display of the most beautiful jewelery I'd ever seen. If only I had the funds to purchase ...

We met the artist of the jewelery display, and he explained his thought process behind the pieces (golden proportions), as well as how some of the pieces were made (coating quartz crystal with titanium).

The second gallery was decidedly less awesome. The paintings didn't speak to any of us.

After that, we wandered too much in search of a bank.

Finally, we returned to Darryl's to find the party in full swing. Grabbed food. Grabbed a drink. And then went downstairs and snagged a seat on the couch to attend a House Concert. It was pretty neat. After that, a dance party started rocking, but similarly I was rocking something ... a giant headache. So I found Darryl who provided me with Ibu. As I was wondering if I could find a quiet location to wait for the Ibu to kick in, someone needed a ride to CVS. So, since I was sober, I drove her and we brought Sergio along for navigation skills. I managed to parallel park a car that wasn't mine inside a big city, and bought two sticks of chapstik. {Don't leave home without it.}

I returned to the party. Chatted a bit with a former NCian (from Boone, NC, who coincidentally has crossed paths with kazeldya8's husband), and then found that Marie was headed home. I walked with her to her car and then caught a ride back to Olivia's apartment.

Getting the key to her apartment was much, much easier than I anticipated, and I let myself in to find all the lights off.

I tried to be courteous about the lights and went to the bathroom. While in the bathroom, I heard the front door open. I came out to find Jen's boyfriend in the living room with the living room light on. He and I chatted while I checked emails and recharged my cell phone.

After he went to bed, I grabbed myself some water (after all that walking, I needed it), and went and washed my laundry: shirt, socks, pants, undies. All are clean and are now hanging up, drying, in various places around the house. My umbrella, also, has been liberated from duty, and is in the bath tub, drying.

After that, I sat down to write this entry while drinking my water. As soon as I press "Post," I am off to bed. 'Tis cold along these outside walls.

On tomorrow's agenda:
*/ Italian Market Tour
The Italian Market is supposed to be as fantastic as the Reading Terminal Market.
*/ Yard's Brewing Company
*/ Architecture Tour
*/ International Pillow Fight Day
*/ Dinner in China Town
*/ Dancing
*/ See Star
*/ Hang out with the NC contingent, as we will all be here by then.
Tags: couchadelphia, couchsurfing, travel
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