Posts Tagged With: Philly

Wawa Free Museum Days in Philly


When we traveled to Philly we discovered Wawa.  We do not have Wawa in our next of the woods so make things simple assume a Wawa is like a 7/11 type store.  We were impressed with what Wawa did in the city donating water to all of the people who came to hear the Pope last fall. Many, many, many pallets of bottled water lined the streets to be given to the people who attended.   Looks like they are giving back to Philly again this summer!

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Off to Pennsylvania!

We spent spring break this year checking out three potential colleges for my daughter.  We hit a couple last year and I am sure we will hit a couple next year.  Just trying to give her an idea of what might work for her.  This year my Dad volunteered to come along and help split up the driving as the furthest school was ten hours from home.  I wanted daughter to know just how far 10 hours away from home feels before she makes her decision. And I had just a month earlier earned almost 50,000 IHG points so we had lots of options for Holiday Inn type hotels for free.

I had three days off from work and we had schools scheduled for Monday through Wednesday for visits.  This gave us Saturday to drive and Sunday to do something interesting.  My Dad had the great idea to visit Gettysburg and we made our route to swing down that way before heading back up toward Philly.

Here is a quick recap of the Penn trip and I will post more in depth later on the good stuff!

Saturday rental  was car pickup in the morning.  I had a good price for the car which was a challenge over spring break by using a coupon I found on Mousesavers.  By the time you add a second driver the deal is less enticing but still less than what I would have paid with Costco’s free second driver bookings.  Also booking with the Southwest Airlines code will earn me 1,800 airline miles with a promotion they offered.

Saturday night in Chambersburg was 10,000 Marriott points at the Fairfield Inn and dinner was with a $25 TGI Fridays gift card. Breakfast was supposed to be at the hotel but ended up being fruit and a muffin.

Sunday spent the morning in Gettysburg where the national park is free.  Went from there to Valley Forge which is also free.  Spent the night in the Holiday Inn Express King of Prussia for 15,000 IHG points.  Dinner was Red Lobster with a $25 gift card to offset the pain of the bill.  A good hotel breakfast was free Monday morning for us.

Monday was a college visit and driving to Lancaster to set up for our next visit.  We spent the night in a Holiday Inn Express in the Rockvale Outlets for 25,000 points.  Dinner was at a smorgasbord board restaurant in Bird In Hand.  Dad had found a coupon in the Lancaster visitors magazine.  We hit a few antique shops and an Amish bakery.  Another decent free Holiday Inn breakfast Tuesday morning before we headed out for our visit.

Tuesday we drove to Grove City and spent the night in a B & B the night before our last visit.  Having to only pay for one nights lodging I wanted to spurge a little and give us some space after a few nights of family togetherness in one hotel room.  Dinner was at a local Italian place we walked to in town.  Great breakfast was included with our B&B stay so we skipped lunch on Wednesday on our drive back home.

My Mom is amazing at packing snacks and even lunch for Saturday so we never had to stop or purchase lunches on our trip.  That is a big cost savings since we really only purchased dinner each night with breakfast for free at the hotels.  Even driving back later Wednesday we chose not to stop for dinner and just ate some snacks she had packed.

It was a very fruitful spring break trip!  Daughter really liked two of the three schools.  She also realizes how far away a ten hour drive is.  We hopefully did not drive my Dad too crazy! Having hotel points lets us travel cheaper  and we even sampled shoofly pie for free in Lancaster at Dutch Haven!

Grove City

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I scour Groupon to save money on dining when we travel.  Really I save on dining to give us ice cream or late night dessert money as you can tell from reading some of my posts. One place caught my eye because it was not only near our Airbnb rental but it also had food I knew Daughter would like.

Fuel, Recharge Yourself.  They offer a full menu under 500 calories.  I didn’t really care, i just want delicious food.  We stopped in here Sunday after hearing Mass for dinner.  They offered outdoor seating and indoor.  We chose indoor by a window to watch the masses leave town.

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Insomnia Cookie

Our gracious Airbnb host took us on a quick orienting walk around the apartment block and he happened to point on Insomnia Cookie.  We sure were glad he did! Amazing!

What could be better than a late night snack of a hot cookie with cold melting ice cream on top of it?  And they deliver.  Since it was not our apartment and I was not sure we could buzz someone up we walked up the short two city blocks to Insomnia Cookie our last night.

Insomnia Cookie

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NY PD Pizza Philadelphia

When in New York we were big fans of the corner pizza joint. The slices are hot, huge and ready to go all hours!  We found a similar place in Center City Philadelphia.

Ny Pd Pizza

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Saturday Night Family Festival Pope Visit

Saturday we had spent a good chunk of the day at Independence Hall waiting to hear the Pope speak.  We had made no plans for the evening and figured we would laze around.  We tried to relax at the apartment, but it was not working. This great city to explore and continuous television coverage of the Pope’s visit prompted us to head out to the festival of families.

Pope Family

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Franklin Fountain How Long is Your Line?

I heard on our tour that Franklin Fountain is the place to have ice cream!  And I heard that we had to expect to wait in a long line and to bring cash only.   We were lucky that all the people in town for the Pope were not going for ice cream that day.  We had almost no wait when we walked into Franklin Fountain.

Franklin fount

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Two Dutch Girls and the Pope

Recently we headed off to Philly to see the Pope.  Yup, you read that right…  Daughter and I went to Philly to see the Pope. We are not Catholic but we are Christian. We live in the Midwest and are Dutch, nothing that screams I want to go see the Pope.

Way back to early summer Daughter has thrown out the idea of going to hear the Pope on his U.S. visit.  Again not Catholic so I told her no way to get tickets.  She heard he was going to be Washington D.C. and I told her she has school.  Then over Labor Day somehow she heard they were selling tickets online to some events in Philly.  I told her we could not afford them but to prove my point I would find out more information.

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