I like being at home. But I also really, really like staying in hotels. Two nights is ideal, but really one night with a soaking tub, room service and a huge bed — yes! I’m actually planning my next hotel stay in my head right now. What can I say, I like what I like.
So many people are way into travel. Crave it. I think if I could afford to do it more and had a partner (husband, person…) to travel with, maybe it would be a different story. But here I am: single, work in non-profit and I have to admit, I am fairly lazy when it comes to travel. (That last part just occurred to me recently.) I have traveled to France a handful of times but my best friend Lia lives there and when I go to visit, she makes everything so easy. It’s like she’s my hotel, interpreter and concierge all in one. I arrive with some lists of things I’d like to do (last two trips were pretty food-focused after I started cooking a lot) and we just figure out when to venture out and when to chill. I like that balance, I don’t want to run the entire time I’m away. And when you’re with very close friends, you can just sort of be.
My bedroom view in Burgundy
Lia and me, Beaune. Kathleen taking the photo. Lifelong friends.
Other than Paris, the cities I have traveled to the most are New Orleans and Philadelphia. Both remind me a bit of Baltimore and that’s mainly because of the friendly people and both have a bit of working class vibe. And while New Orleans is truly like no other place, it feels approachable and the people are easy going. More on NOLA in a future blog post which has been in my drafts folder for a few years now.
I’ve traveled to Philadelphia four times in the last three years – twice for work, twice for fun. I decided on my most recent trip last month, I really, really like Philly. I think I said it out loud (to no one in particular) as I sat enjoying a martini outside at Parc. It’s a good size and feel for me. Not too big and not too sleepy. And, this may not matter to you, but you don’t have to drive over any huge bridges to get there. As much as I’d like to go to the Eastern Shore one weekend, the Bay Bridge is way too high, it MOVES and people drive too fast. No. And, anything nearing three hours and I just wish I’d stayed home. I sometimes take the train, but with COVID, and not really using ride sharing services right now, I decided to drive this time. And, I’m glad I did. Mostly because I could take back roads on the way home and that felt so good.
Happy hour, indeed.
On this last trip, I stayed at Roost, near Rittenhouse Square. Since there is not a lot of traditional hotel room service (which I love) being offered right now, I thought this was worth a try, something different. Roost is kind of a combination apartment/hotel. There are three locations in Philadelphia and I stayed in the one in Rittenhouse. There is someone at the front desk 24/7 and the apartments (various layouts) are fully furnished, have kitchens with cookware, silverware, plates, glasses, a lovely coffee setup via La Colombe, a washer/dryer in the apartment and lots more. I liked it a lot because I could walk to DiBruno & Sons down the street for ingredients to make myself a little breakfast, snacks, etc., then also walk to lunch or dinner. I also walked to the farmers market on Saturday, too — what a nice market. I picked up fresh vegetables, herbs to go with the things I bought to make dinner. There is also a parking lot right (literally) next door, which as $30, much less than hotel valet parking in the area. It is also pet-friendly. Highly recommend staying here, great location, setup, plus it felt private but also safe. Loved it.
On this trip, I tried had some lovely meals out . . .
Steak frites at Parc
Roasted asparagus at Via Locusta
Lox bagel at Chestnut Street Hot Bagels
Best focaccia I’ve ever had at Via Locusta
On my prior visits, I had some fantastic meals and experiences, too . . .
Charlie Was A Sinner
Termini Bros at Reading Market
Pearl’s Oyster Bar at Reading Market
Beiler’s Doughnuts at Reading Market
The amazing Four Seasons bed
The view into Jean George at the Four Seasons
THE TUB! Four Seasons
I can’t wait to get back to Philly. It’s my new favorite city.