Recap: A Quick Trip to Philly Day 1

a map of a city

We are back from our quick visit to Philly and now it’s time for a recap of Day 1. We left NYC early Monday morning and arrived in Philly a little before noon. I was pretty happy with our ride with Megabus and will be writing about it later in the week.

By the time we arrived in Philly, my brother and I were pretty hungry so we headed to a place with a very interesting menu. Along the way I stopped for a few moments to take some photos of Independence Hall. We also visited a really weird “mosaic art environment”.
I enjoyed wandering around with no real purpose before dabbling in some points earning with Vanilla Reloads. We ended the day at a bar that had a pretty awesome burger.

Here is a recap of the day:

  • Quick photo-op at Independence Hall
  • Lunch at Federal Donuts
  • Visited Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
  • Walked around and stopped to buy some Vanilla Reload Cards
  • Dinner at Good Dog Bar
Independence Hall with a clock on top

I’ve visited and passed by Independence Hall many times. The last time I was in Philly, Kim and I got to take part in a tour inside the building. The one problem was that the tower was covered while it was being repaired and restored. I wasn’t pleased with how those photos came out so when I got off Megabus (right around the corner) it seemed like a great opportunity to take a few photos.

a group of fried food
Fried Chicken

While reading about Philly, I came across Federal Donuts. I figured that we would try to stop by to sample some tasty treats but then I read about another item on their menu- friend chicken.
The menu sounded a bit strange and a perfect spot for lunch. I’ve never heard of a place that only sells donuts and chicken. The chicken was possibly the best that I’ve ever had- moist and juicy but not really greasy. I also liked the dry seasoning that I selected for my order.  The donuts were good but in some ways disappointing. They were probably a little too dense and heavy for my liking.

a mosaic floor with a bicycle wheel
So Magical

We weren’t in the mood to visit a museum or historical site so we decided to visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. It sounded like the perfect place to visit. The garden is really bizarre, odd and weird. It isn’t even a garden, it’s an art installation. There are wacky mosaics and sculptures all over which were fun to look at. This made for a fun and enjoyable visit. If you’re in Philadelphia I definitely recommend stopping by.

a close-up of a sign

While walking around Philly, my brother and I decided to stop into a few pharmacies to look for Vanilla Reload cards. The reason to buy these cards is for the points bonus you receive from certain credit cards. We used our American Express Hiltoncard which offers 6 points per $1 spent at pharmacies. We didn’t have much trouble finding the cards and 2/3 stores sold us them without any issue (some stores will only accept cash). This was my first time buying  Vanilla Reload cards so I am definitely no expert. Here is a quick explanation of how the cards work. Loading money onto a card costs $3.95 so by loading $500 you earn 3,000 Hilton points. You then load/ send the money to a Bluebird card which can be used to pay bills. The cards can be hard to find in New York so that is why we looked for them in Philly.

a burger and fries on a plate

With so many good food options in Philly it was tough to make a decision on where to go for dinner. Since we were both really tired, we decided to stay close to the hotel. We headed over to Good Dog Bar for burgers. The bar was pretty busy for a Monday night which was a very good sign. The decor was pretty cool too. The walls were covered with photos of dogs.
I ordered the Good Dog Burger which was stuffed with Roquefort cheese and had carmelized onions on top. The burger was really tasty. I loved the meat and fresh brioche bun that it came on. The onions on the top also added some good flavor. My one complaint about the burger would be that there wasn’t enough cheese inside.

Well that sums up what we did during our first day in Philadelphia.

Check back for a post about our second day in Philly soon!

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