Spent a fast, chilly weekend in Philly with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania studying genealogy. Arrived on a beautiful Friday evening and everything was amazingly peaceful downtown. It was the weekend before St. Patrick's Day and I was expecting more revelry, but everyone seemed to be waiting for the actual date. No complaints from me! Traffic flowed without a hitch, people smiled, the sunset was breathtaking, dinner was lovely...must've been that gorgeous full moon. And how I love a room with a view! We had spacious accommodations at Embassy Suites, which boasted some of friendliest staff I've met.
We hit the ground running Saturday morning. Ancestry.com had a full day planned for us. We met at the Philadelphia Convention Center. The facilitators were informed, passionate fellow researchers, and their presentations and storytelling kept the sessions lively. During our lunch break, most of us dashed next door to the Reading Terminal Market, a public market with more stands than you can imagine featuring every conceivable kind of meat, seafood, produce, baked goods, flower and gift shops, restaurants and more. Lines snaked through every aisle, but the vendors kept them moving. The event organizers were smart. Just before food comas set in during the afternoon session, they shifted to contests and raffles, and gave away some coveted prizes. It was fun meeting so many people trying to knock down brick walls in their family searches.
Had dinner on the waterfront at an old faithful, the Rusty Scupper. I don't believe I'd actually visited a Rusty Scupper since Senior Prom night, but it was still fun. The appetizers were creative and the food was OK, but the view was amazing.
Spent a relaxing evening in the hotel, catching up on some writing. And sleep. Took advantage of a late checkout on Sunday morning for a little extra beauty rest, then dashed to a restaurant we'd been dying to try. Talula's Garden in Washington Square did not disappoint. The decor was vibrant and chic, the atmosphere cozy and confident. Service was wonderful, attentive but not overbearing. And the food? Definitely worth the wait! Fresh ingredients and artful combinations made the meal sing. The menu changes frequently, but if you see the mini biscuits and smoky bacon on the menu, indulge.