What I did on my trip to Philadelphia

OK, so my trip to Philadelphia obviously involved a lot more than visiting the Reading Terminal Market, checking out 10 Arts by Eric Ripert and other good eats in the city of brotherly love, right?

I have to admit, I was very impressed with the lovely architecture all around the city.  Even 30th St Station is a gorgeous historic building…

In between conference #1 and conference #2, I was fortunate to spend time with the lovely Jen of My Kitchen Addiction.  She lives near Hershey, so you know where we *had* to go…

For those of you who don’t know the history of the town, here it is in a nutshell…

We did not go to the actual theme park (my choice!) but instead went to check out Hershey’s Chocolate World.

We took the (hokey but it has to be done) Chocolate Tour Ride, where according to the website,  “your tour begins in the tropical rain forest where cacao beans grow. As the beans are harvested, follow their journey across the ocean to America, where they are delivered to THE SWEETEST PLACE ON EARTH-Hershey, Pennsylvania. Then, engage your senses as the cocoa beans continue through a simulated HERSHEY’S Chocolate Factory. Here you will see, feel, and hear the processes that deliciously transform the beans into milk chocolate.”

Well and there were singing cows:

After the tour, you end up in the store (where else?!) where it seems everything is larger than life:

(no I did not buy the 5lb chocolate bar).

After all that excitement, we headed to the supermarket for a little shopping.  Anyone who knows me will know that I *love* supermarkets in other countries, especially when there are cool things like this hamburger cake for the 4th July. Uh huh.

And what’s this?  Cheese in a can. Or should that be “cheeze” in a can? Oh my.

I was blown away by the choice of (sugary) cereals…

And the cool retro packaging on the Utz chips.

And then I was asked, ever so politely by the store manager to stop taking photos. Even when I explained that I have a food blog (in retrospect, I guess I should have just said “food writer” since the word “blog” tends to elicit blank stares from much of the non-blogging population) and that I am simply interested in foods that are different from those in Canada, he respectfully asked that I refrain from taking any more photos.  Luckily for me, I have an accent – he actually said “Oh I hear that you have a little accent and that you’re not from around here” – or else I think he might have asked me to delete the pictures.

I *get* that maybe competition might sneak around and take photos of their competitors’ displays and prices but there was nothing secretive about me and my photos. I was clearly NOT up to no good.  This has only ever happened once before, in Laos last summer (where the security guard was mighty scary…) though I know my mum has been asked to stop taking photos in food stores in Sydney, Australia too.

Apart from helping me with my Kitchen Bootcamp submission for this month, Jen also seemed to magically produce goodies out of thin air at all hours of the day..

Gorgeous zucchini muffins…

Beautiful pasta primavera salad.

It was such a pleasure getting to know Jen (and Darron and Yellowodg!) and watching her at work in her kitchen.  Thanks again Jen!

Back in Philadelphia for  conference #2, I really did not have much time to do anything once the conference started but my friend and I managed to squeeze in a Big Bus double-decker tour of the city.  I love these types of tours since you get to hear a lot of information and cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time. Plus you are sitting which is important in the hot, humid weather Philly was experiencing.

(yes, it’s Le Penseur/ The Thinker)

And that would be Jeanne dArc/Joan of Arc…

(sadly I did not make it to the Renoir exhibit ad the Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Yes, yes, it’s the famous “Rocky” statue, near the “Rocky steps“!

Thanks for the memories, Philly. I hope I will be back sometime soon!

39 thoughts on “What I did on my trip to Philadelphia”

  1. Lovely recap of your trip!! I think you may have seen more of Philly than I have now (which is sad since I live so close!)… I may just have to go do some exploring in Philadelphia one of these days. It was so fun to have you come visit… We’ll definitely have to do it again sometime 🙂

  2. looks like you had a fantastic time and of course you “had” to go to Hershey Pennsylvania. What fun, thanks for the trip around the town. And I too was just recently “scolded” for taking photos at an ice cream store…..hmmmm

  3. Man, Philly is so much nicer than when I lived there in early ’80’s. Even 30th street station, which always had a gorgeous shell, was pretty seedy when I lived there and always made me think of movie Witness. Glad you had such a good time. And when I was in Hershey, we had NO time for chocolatey goodness. I really wanted to go to Hershey World, but we didn’t make it. I wanted to get samples! And go shopping. And see pools of melted chocolate being stirred. (My Willy Wonka fantasies…) Thanks for providing me with vicarious pleasure, as always.

  4. Oh my goodness, we’re taking the boys to Hershey next month and judging by your pictures, I think they’ll like it!

  5. What a fantastic trip you had! It is weird that he asked you not to take photographs, I don’t get it, I mean it’s a new world now when it comes to this kind of thing. The more people share your company’s image the better right? So weird!

    • Well, actually not when the person is horrified at the crazy sugary stuff that passes for “cereal”, no… But nothing against the supermarket – I was more just wanting to snap pics to remember how crazy some of them were!

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  7. *sighing* after reading that and seeing some of the exact same photos I have in my collection, I so want to be somewhere other than my desk at work!!

    Thanks for reliving some wonderful memories through Mardi eyes ……..BTW did we actually DO the Rocky steps?? or manage a visit to the Rodin Museum??

  8. Oooh, I’ve always wanted to visit the Hershey’s factory. ‘Course, it would help if I got to Philadelphia one day. I wonder if I can replicate that kiss-shaped lamp post to put in front of my house. No doubt, nobody would ever have trouble finding my house ever again. 😉

  9. It looks like you had a fun time (aside from the store manager asking you to stop taking photos. I agree with you, but I’m also a photo-taker too). I liked my trip to Philly too (it’s luckily a cheap and short bus ride away from NYC), but haven’t had the chance to check out Chocolate World. Thanks for the tour!

  10. I wanna go to Philadelphia too after reading this post! I think I will go there after my move to New York which will happen shortly. 🙂

  11. Yup. Have also been guilty of food tourism. If you really wanna take pictures you should come to the center part of the country. The words “I’m from Canada” could possibly get you a store tour and dinner out here.

  12. What a lovely recap of your trip to this beautiful city. I loved going through the entire post and simply loved the pictures capturing various facets of the city. I must say, you did a great job of sharing your experiences in a very simple yet interesting manner.


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