Friday, December 17, 2010

DC and Philly

Last week, in an attempt to fit in one last trip before trip-taking will be made impossible by either my growing belly or taking care of a newborn, Neill and I took advantage of one of his work trips and some Southwest vouchers and headed out east to visit friends and family, eat, walk, visit yarn shops, eat, sightsee, and eat some more.

We started in Washington DC, Neill's old stomping ground. When it comes to East Coast cities, New York City (which is undeniably fabulous) always gets all the praise, but Washington is such a neat place, full of history and diverse neighborhoods. Some neat things we saw were...


The Washington Monument by day (wouldn't you love your afternoon soccer game to take place right here, too??)


the Rothko Room in the Phillips Collection


Union Station (train stations are so cool)


Abe Lincoln! (The Washington Nationals hold races between 4 or 5 similarly outfitted presidents between innings. They are hilarious. Almost as hilarious as the Milwaukee Brewers' racing weenies.)


YARN! Fibre Space is a wonderful, wonderful place. I might consider moving just to be close to this shop.


the Washington Monument by night.

After a few days we boarded a train to Philadelphia, which was a huge treat for me, having never been there before. Seriously, people, I think Philadelphia might be the friendliest big city I've ever been to. Strangers on the street were nice, folks working in the subway stations/trains were nice (compared to San Francisco's they were saint-like), and during rush hour on the subway, a nice man gave me his seat, after which people all over the car started throwing themselves out of their seats to give them to strangers with kids, older people, etc. This explains why so many of the awesome people I know are from Philadelphia (e.g. half my knitting group, my cousin in-law and her boyfriend). The City of Brotherly Love indeed! We saw...


The Liberty Bell, of course.


Homes that appear to have been around since my state was still part of Mexico. (That always blows my mind when on the other side of the country. In California, "historical" is something from the 1950's.)


More yarn! And fabric!


The Wanamaker Organ, largest pipe organ in the world. Amazing.


...well, just pretend we didn't scarf down our cheesesteaks (w. Cheez Whiz) in less time than it took to retrieve my camera from my purse.

If only my Christmas shopping and baking had just done itself while we were gone...

19 comments:

Andrea said...

I love DC and you're right! When I moved to the midwest from California a couple years ago I was amazed at all the historical sites dating back more than two hundred years. I told my husband that in the town where I'm from the oldest historical home was built in 1915.

Ms. Kimba said...

I live just west of Philly about an hour...east coasters are friendly indeed...and I'm not saying that because I am one...I lived out west in Salt Lake in Utah and well....everyone stuck to themselves...needless to say I came home..haha

I am glad you got to see our wonderful side of the USA too

Cambria said...

This is totally off topic, but as I was reading through the post my 13-year old (who is very picky about knitting) saw your pattern for knitted ties and said very excitedly "if I had a knitted tie, I'd totally wear it!". So I bought the pattern :) Thanks for making a design cool enough for my picky jaded teen, lol.

Kitten said...

Wanamaker light show! <3 I've loved that since I was a child.

Brenda F. said...

You saw the wanamaker/macy's light show!!!! I've seen it every year since I was born! I'm so glad you got to see Philly! And I know you'll be back. Philly loves you too, Hil.

hibou said...

Oh, what a great trip! I have always had this unexplained fascination with Philadelphia...now I want to visit there even more! And oh man, vacation yarn shopping is a beautiful (and dangerous) thing!

Aline said...

Fun!
and a big thanks for the link to the yarn shop...I love it! What did ya get...??? Ali xx

Kristen said...

that Abe Lincoln keeps accosting me when i get off the subway in the morning. he's really terrifying if you're not fully awake. ;)
fibre space is fantastic, great that you got a chance to visit!

Anonymous said...

Wow. . . I'll take it that "1950s" was a typo for "1850s", but even so, have you never visited the California missions or the old Spanish capital in Monterey, which date from the 18th century? And in any case, why do people still persist in thinking that the history of the New World continents begins with the arrival of Europeans? Visit the Calif state parks in the foothills and take a nature/history walk with a Modoc tribesman for an enlightening perspective.

That said, thank you for the great photo tour of DC and Philly. I'll see them some day, but right now I'm saving Southwestern airline miles for another trip to New Mexico (where even the European presence goes back to the 16th century, and the original inhabitants for many centuries before then)!
-- Gretchen

Hilary said...

Hi Gretchen -- Thank you for your comment and raising the points you did. Indeed, I will admit to reckless use of hyperbole in my "1950's" comment (even as I hit 'publish' I was thinking about how the house I grew up in is much older than that). I certainly don't think history started when the Europeans came to this continent, nor do I devalue the history of other cultures in this state (trust me, I've been to and thoroughly enjoyed MANY a Mission and MANY a state park). I guess I was referring more to United States history...in Philadelphia, you can visit the former home of a founding father like Benjamin Franklin. In California, you can visit the former homes of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan (not quite as exciting, IMO). That's what I meant...not that California doesn't have a rich and diverse history, but that in terms of sites with US-historical significance, I feel like what we have here is somewhat boring in comparison (though I did think visiting the old gold rush towns in the Sierras was pretty fun). Or maybe I just don't appreciate what we have here because I've lived here my whole life (grass is greener, etc.). Anyway, sorry to sound like such an unenlightened dweeb...I promise I'm not. :) I just exaggerate too much.

Anonymous said...

Hilary, I hear you on the "grass is greener" - as a kid I was utterly bored by visits to missions, ghost towns, old gold diggings, etc. Granted, at that age I would probably have been bored by any historic site, and Philadelphia wouldn't have inspired me either. The historical imagination didn't stir in me until college-age travel in Europe, in fact - definitely "on the other side" (of the ocean)! I didn't want my earlier comment to nag, just wanted to remind people that every place has a history, sometimes sadly overlooked or misunderstood.

And I do look forward to seeing the East Coast. My "must see" list is so long. . . I hope to cover half of it in my lifetime!
-- Gretchen

Virginia said...

Ooh, very fun. I grew up near where Fibrespace is today... and when I went there last year I was sooooooooo happy. (and I also bought a metric ton of yarn).

I love Philly too, though I haven't been there for years.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

What a fun trip!!!! Loved seeing the sights with you ~ thanks for taking us along :)

I have never thought about California not being that old before - as a native I might actually qualify as a relic - LOL

keri said...

What an amazing trip! And you look fab in your coat - still stylish as always even while pregnant :)

I loved your photos - I've spent a lot of time on the east coast but have never had time to be a tourist in the DC area. It's definitely on my list of must-do's! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you guys!

CanarySanctuary said...

What a great looking trip! I wish I could visit an entire room filled with Rothko!!

Eliza said...

Oh! I missed you by just a few weeks! We're on Philly now, visiting my folks. Looks like you saw much more than I do when I'm here. Confession: I've never been to Loop!
Merry holidays!!

the Lady said...

love.

jessica said...

a bit late, but thanks for giving us Philadelphians our props! We get a bad name, but we are pretty darn cool ;)
Just downloaded your kimono wrap cardi, and I can't wait to start it!

Lisa said...

I agree with Jessica! Only I am knitting Lilas :) Happy to hear you had a great Philly experience, I love my city!! I sort of love my 1852 house, until it started falling apart. Hope you visit again soon.