Posted by: dinainsuburbia | March 11, 2009

musings from Philly

When you’re a parent, you’re always on point, right?  It doesn’t matter if you are a working parent or a stay-at-home parent; the point is, it’s the mere “being a parent” that is all consuming.  If you stay-at-home (or even if you don’t, there’s a fine taste of it on weekends) you are constantly at the beck-and-call of your toddler tyrant.  If you work, there is the constant juggle between two competing responsibilities.  Having been both, I know they are equally exhausting, one no more easy than the other.

My friend Samantha and I found an antidote to parental stress: an overnight trip sans the kiddies!  It was all Samantha’s idea, being an amazing gardener (really a separate blog all together) she wanted to check out the Philadelphia Flower Show.  She asked if I wanted to come with, and I jumped at the chance.  I am not a huge flower lover (not anywhere near Samantha who knows all the flowers by name- the zones they thrive in, etc.) but I have been known to throw some zinnias on my patio and plant some veggies and herbs in containers.  I figured why not.


We jumped in the car after Friday morning rush hour and made our way down to Philly.  After a few pit stops and a few wrong turns (for some reason, Samantha flat-out refused to use my GPS, which I absconded from my husband) we arrived.  The flower show was pretty crowded and, dare I say, the people watching was almost better than the flowers!  I did manage to get a few good pics with my camera (a regular digital point-and-shoot, no digital SLR here).


The show was split into three sections: displays (this year’s theme was Italy I believe), prize-winning flowers (all different catagories-both flowering and not), and shops (booths filled with different gardening related goods available for sale).  The prize-winning plants were amazing, some of them were so perfect, they appeared to be fake! 


After we had our fill of flowers, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed.  Just doing nothing and watching Cash Cab (what a fun show).  The mere act of being able to watch television, without the amp turned up to 11, was amazing- usually it’s impossible with the little ones mucking around!

Four episodes of Cash Cab later, it was time for dinner.  The ladies at the front desk pointed us in the right direction for an Italian restaurant a few blocks away.  While walking, we passed a lively Mexican restaurant, El Vez.  We still went to check out the Italian restaurant- saw that it was filled with older, quiet diners, and so we made our way back to the rowdy and crowded El Vez.  What a GREAT time we had!  We waited at the bar for a table for about an hour (even though there were quite a few empty tables).  The wait was glorious!  We relaxed, had a few drinks (maybe 5, 6?) and talked; we didn’t have to worry about hungry kids getting bored or getting back to the sitter on time. 

The food was delicious!  Basil and onion guac, shrimp fajitas for two, and a lot of warm, crispy nachos.  We were in heaven (the additional lubrication of  alcohol helped lighten our mood, I’m sure).  I don’t remember the last time I was able to take my time in a restaurant, not worrying about getting back, catching a train, or hurrying home for some responsibility.  Samantha and I reminisced about the good old days of  high-paying jobs and no responsibilities (and bemoaned all the money we wasted freely spending through our 20’s).

Even the ride back home was fun (this time, I insisted on using the GPS to get us out of town)… and while the 24-hour return to a life I probably didn’t appreciate enough in my 20’s was fun, I was so happy to return to my own “ball & chain”- my family.. who aren’t so much a responsibility as a reason for living!





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