Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Staycation '08

Well - this was the first time in the history of my 20 years at XPN, where I took two weeks (back-to-back) off from work. I quickly learned, upon telling others of my plan to simply chill etc - that I was taking a 'staycation' ... seems that's a phrase used more and more in this $4 a gallon gas world, but I had never heard of it!

Anyway - I'm into week two of my staycation and wanted to drop an update on how it's been going; one word: GREAT! :)

The staycation started with an overdue amount of chill time with John ... which really gave us a chance to just enjoy ourselves. We caught up on some DVDs, hung out in the city and basically enjoyed that first weekend.

Another cool element of this break was the fact that I could meet up with John for lunch (sadly he isn't on vacation this time 'round). Last Tuesday night we took the ferry across the river and caught Radiohead at the Center ... what a great show!

Later that week we went to the opening of Spamalot at the Academy of Music - now, even though the production has been around for some time, I really hadn't read much about the content; so I wasn't sure what to expect ... what I got was more than I set out for!

The production is truly hilarious - some great wordplay, wonderful physical comedy and a trunk of prop gags! The audience was right there with the cast and it made for a great evening that actually brought me to tears of laughter a few times!

The traveling production is in Philadelphia through the end of the month - so for those who still haven't seen Spamalot - now's a great chance!

As mentioned in the previous post - the following day we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and spent a few hours simply exploring the vast halls and exhibits. We cut over to the Pearlman Museum and, upon entering, realized we only had 30 minutes to view the exhibits - however as mentioned in my vlog below - we were able to see everything and still get out before the doors were locked at 5pm.

After that - we spent some time sitting in Logan Square - - if the last time you've been through the Square was back when it was a sea of bums and litter, you need to go again.

Originally called "Northwest Square," the park had a somewhat gruesome history as a site of public executions and burial plots until the early Nineteenth Century. Once that stopped, they renamed Logan Square after Philadelphia statesman James Logan.

It used to be full of large paulownia trees but back in 2005, those trees were removed since city planners felt that they had reached the end of their life span and had become an eyesore. They will be replaced with similar trees as part of a larger plan to improve the space - but in a way I love the clean visual look the Square has now.

This is a birds-eye view of it back with the trees (and bums!):

And here's a view of Logan Square today:

Sitting in the Square - watching children play in the majestic fountain and seeing the Philadelphia skyline from a totally new perspective (for me) was relaxing and made me actually feel like I was in a different city for a moment. We capped off that day with burgers and such at Fado Restaurant over at 15/Locust!

Saturday was a simply stunning day in Rittenhouse Square - complete with a wonderful spread of healthy foods, a oversized blanket and great conversation, we wound up stretched out under the trees for over 7 hours!

Sunday was brunch with friends in Old City at Continental, followed by a trip to AKA Music - where I found some sweet musical selections!

More on that purchase shortly - now it's time for lunch as my Staycation 2008 continues!

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