Daycation: Philladelphia

Yesterday, the boys and I needed a little daycation…you know, like a vacation that happens all in one day? Dave went to work even though he had the day off (wah woh), and I decided to head up to Philadelphia for some good food and fun. But mainly food. The boys were super stars on the 3 hour drive. We stopped once to stretch/nurse the baby, and once on the side of the road for Milo to avoid an accident (which reminded me of a funny time I was on a road trip with a friend and asked to pull over on the freeway so I could squat–my friend and her family were MORTIFIED! I guess I’m raising my children up redneck, just like their mama:)

Our first stop was Jim’s for a classic cheesesteak. Mmm. Steak, cheese wiz and onion topped with a little salt and pepper then washed down with cream soda…What’s not to love? Milo and I shared one and we took one home to Dave to eat for dinner. Turns out they are great even reheated in the oven 7 hours later!

Next quick stop was at LOVE park for a photo op. That statue is way smaller than I imagined it. Still cool, though. Here’s the proof that Eliot and I were there with Milo. This was the first time I’ve used my real camera (read: not iphone) in a while, and Eliot was always strapped to my front, so he stayed behind the lens as well! It was refreshing to ask a passerby to take the photo and have it turn out centered and with everyone in it (if not smiling:)

After the LOVE photo (literally in and out of the car) we enjoyed the sunshine on a walk along Boathouse Row. The boathouses are beautifully built and preserved. Milo loved collecting sticks to throw in the water, and we admired all of the racks of boats beside the docks.

When we had run and played out some energy, we were ready for some Philly Flavors. This one is just a few blocks from the boathouses, and it was a refreshing treat. We got a great recommendation from Cassi to go with Strawberry Ice and Vanilla Gelato. We give it six thumbs up!

Our last stop was Reading Terminal Market. I adore this place, and could easily spend an entire day (and a lot of money) wandering the booths looking at the amazing food. Luckily, we were on a mision for a Miller’s Twist, and were able to get back on task when we were sidetracked by the live lobsters, anatomical heart-shaped chocolate, and mountains of cheese.

We bought a pretzel for Dave, but it mysteriously disappeared during the 3 (turned 5 by holiday traffic) hour drive home. The crazy thing? It felt like a bonafide vacation! Even just being away from our home turf for an afternoon, we got a taste of a new city and were able to relax. I loved it, and can’t wait to plan some more daycations. I’m thinking 4 hours is probably my max drive time to location…but that leaves a ton of great options for me back here in the East!

How about you? Have you done a daycation you loved? Do you have any recommendations in the DC area for me? I’d love to hear.


  1. Melanie Anderson
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    what a great day! So fun to see pics of the boys – food looks delicious

  2. Posted February 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    How fun! I live in Philly and you hit up some good spots. Next time you’re here, check out fabric row on 4th street. It’s kind of dying away, but there are some awesome fabric stores – and some AMAZING deals to be found!! While you’re there, eat at the Famous 4th Street Deli. ( It’s an INCREDIBLE Jewish deli that make the most gigantic sandwiches! Get the ruben – split it with your husband (seriously, half a sandwich fills you to the brim for the entire day!).

    • Miranda
      Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      What great recommendations! Now I can’t wait to plan a trip back (without the boys!) Fabric Row sounds amazing. Thanks Rik!

  3. Posted February 22, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    How fun! 4 hours is indeed a trip. I max out at 2 1/2 with the kids! I’ve been wanting to take a trip to DC, though 7 hours is on the high-end. But I’ve been craving Cafe Rio so bad, so I hope we can at least make it up to Virginia one of these days.

    • Miranda
      Posted February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Come visit! I’ve got an aerobed with your name on it;) DC is so much fun with kids. And Cafe Rio is only 20 minutes from us, so it’s sort of on regular rotation.

  4. melanie
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    so fun! and i’m so jealous of all the east coast fun you can have in a day. seriously. i just put a facebook status this morning that i needed a road trip, but my options here are wendover and pocatello. i used to take day trips to the coast in new hampshire with gretta all the time. it was so much fun and i miss it! i’m going to have to do some small town utah research and start pretending vernal is a cool place to go for the day.

  5. melissa
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey I was there this week too! Looks like you had a great time.

  6. Posted February 28, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    that you ventured out of the oridnary for the day to my home turf is awesome and inspiring all rolled up in one. I always head north – NYC – next time, D.C. here we come!

    here’s to many more mini road trips!
    best – d

    post script: don’t forget, navy + black = perfect.

    • Miranda
      Posted February 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Amen! I love Philly, and can’t wait to head to NYC, too! Mmmm, Magnolia’s Banana Pudding…it’s all about the food for me, I guess!

  7. Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m in your neck of the woods-and found you through Design Mom. Love Jim’s! We were in Philly this weekend too–went to Federal Donuts–AMAZING!

    • Miranda
      Posted February 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      I saw those donuts on your post…can’t wait to try them!! Totally worth the drive:)

  8. Emily
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Next time you head up Philly-way, take a jaunt out to Malvern (about 30 mins west of Philly) and hit up the Classic Diner. You will NOT be disappointed. My favorite eatery ever! Definitely worth the drive out but if you need to justify the extra time, plan a trip to Valley Forge National Park and stop on the way. (Then after Valley Forge, stop in at Zwahlen’s for custard or an amazing strudel apple).

    • Miranda
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 3:03 am | Permalink

      The diner, Valley Forge and Zwahlen’s sound like great daycation fodder. Thanks! I can’t wait to visit them!

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