I’ve been to Philadelphia once before, and the impression of the “City of Brotherly Love” I left with was that there was very little love in the city at all. I remember beautiful architecture and inspiring stories of our Founding Fathers, but the locals I met were mostly rude. Because of that visit a few years ago, I wasn’t exactly eager to go back; we added it to our itinerary more out of obligation than anticipation.
Thank God for obligation – and second chances.
Thanks to a light work schedule, we had ample time to explore the city last week. We also had a VIP access pass from the local tourism organization, which offered us free access to just about every major attraction in town. We put on our tourist hats, slathered ourselves in sunscreen, and set off to soak up as much as we could.
I remembered why I love to travel.
I got to roam, read, taste, and touch things new and old. I rode the train, watched the people, and hailed a cab. We slurped noodles in Chinatown, ate pizza on South Street, and came to a unanimous decision that cheesteak is not actually the best food this town has to offer.
What made me happy this week was the pulse of a city, and the art of this city. It made me feel alive, the way being inside a breathing city always does.
What made me even happier was seeing the way that life fueled the people I love the most. I have always loved the sights, sounds, and scents of a city, and I love them all even more knowing that my husband and kids get it.
They get me.
And there is, perhaps, no greater happiness than that.