Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Train Ride & A Day Spent in Philly.



Life takes us on many unexpected turns & it's up to me to either accept the turn & let it take it's course, or do something about it & change it. Ever since we moved to New Jersey we've had many a hardships but by the grace of God, our faith in Him, and in His love in never leaving our side has helped us to accept every hard turn, allowed it to let it run its course, and in the end learned from the challenge, and never ever forget what it has taught us.

And I'm sure there are going to be more to come. Which is fine because after so many lessons learned I'm ready. 

And one thing I've learned about living here where time seems to fly by our prickly little fingers too quickly.  Where the hustle and bustle never stop. Where we feel we need to pack in our schedule and do so many things at once. Where we may feel as if we're the only ones looking up smiling at others...is time, and love. 

Time is flying by way too quickly, and it feels as if the older my kids get, the older I get, and of course the years go by fast!! I have learned to always keep my head held up high no matter what. I love my life, and have always made the best of my surroundings. Jersey has taught me so much just as all the other states I've lived in have. But Jersey, oh Jersey... you were way too hard on me in the beginning, and very stubborn too. Maybe that's why our personalities clashed in the beginning because I too was hard on you & very stubborn. Luckily we have both agreed that this is my city right now, and that as long as Jon has a great job this is the place for us to dwell...for now.

The past couple of years of exploring good 'ol Jersey has been interesting and fun for the kids. Of course we tend to go to NYC a lot, and that's probably one of the reasons why I love living in this part of the country. As far as Philly goes...how can you not appreciate this place with all the culture its surrounded with.

Sure there are moments where I tell myself that going to Philly gets old because it's just a 20 minute drive across the bridge, and we go there quite frequently. Expecially when Sierra was going to school there we constantly would go just to get more familiar with the city. I always said to myself that there's not much to do there because we've already explored the Liberty bell like 50 million times, and gone to the Betsy Ross House, Please Touch Museum, Franklin Institute, Philly Zoo a gazillion times, and eaten at the Reading Terminal Market a dozen times. But I've long since realized that there is more to Philly than entering a museum, or eating at a popular restaurant. Sure there are a lot of museums & restaurants we still haven't been to, but that doesn't matter. It's the time spent with my kids in just freely walking the streets of Philly laughing, talking, and seeing Noah & Chelsea getting along and having a great time that matters. Going into the city doesn't mean you have to spend so much money to shop, (although that's nice too), but what matters the most to me is time. Time is what matters to me. Time spent with my children in exploring this old city, and looking at their reaction as we venture out. I want them to know that this city is our other neighbor (NYC is our other neighbor too!)
Earlier in the week I took the kids, and rode the train into Philly. Can you believe that this was my first time taking the train into the city? I've always, always driven, and just like my son I've fallen in love with trains. Noah is a huge train lover, and loves riding in them. Sure he's been on other trains such as the Santa express during Christmas and the essex train ride in Connecticut last year, but when you take the train into the city where it crosses a bridge over water, it's a little different. He couldn't take his eyes off the window. 
The ride was so relaxing, and I was kind of relieved that I didn't have to deal with traffic. Not that I don't mind driving, but sometimes it's nice to just take public transportation, and not have to deal with crazy drivers. 

I did have to call Sierra for a little help to figure out where certain places were (see...I'm used to driving!) Since she used to walk everywhere around the city when she lived here during her first semester of college last year I trusted her to tell me of other places to go, and where to get off from the train. It's an easy ride to Philly, and I still can't believe I waited six years to take this train! Hello...earth to Rose! 
It was a beautiful sunny day, and we had a wonderful time walking the streets of Philly. We wanted to eat at Mexico on the Square, but they were closed! How can they be closed in the middle of the day! So sad because they have the greatest mexican tacos at a good price! It's right across the street from the dorm Sierra lived in. I think they must have been on break because the lights inside were still on, and the neon light that says 'open' was lit. We waited for a few minutes, gave up and decided to eat at the one place where the kids always want to go...Shake Shack. 

Now that was good!!!!
^^^ good bye crinkle fries, hello string fries! ^^^
Afterwards we walked along Rittenhouse Square, and relaxed on the grass while Noah was chasing away some pigeons. It felt a little awkward for me to see him do that here because there were people reading, napping, and relaxing. It's not like Sheep Meadow in Central Park where you can chase pigeons, run around, and be loud. Not here...I had to explain to Noah that it's a bit different here, and that Rittenhouse is not really a park. Its just a place to sit, and relax before people have to walk blocks and blocks around the city. 
I honestly don't think he was supposed to be sitting near this dog statue near the entrance either, but I couldn't resist. He loves dogs, and I snapped a quick photo. Well...actually a couple, but this one was my fave. 
And this one...
On our way home we spotted this sweet looking cat staring from inside the window. The owner happened to be coming home, and said that his name was Ernie. He said that everyone who walks by has to stop and take a glance at him, and the kids sure had fun looking at him. Ernie seemed intrigued.
As we were heading back to the station Lexie was saying how nice today was. She said how nice it would be to wake up everyday, and walk everywhere where you are surrounded by a variety of culture. I have to agree with her. It is nice to take public transportation, and to get good exercise. We are fortunate to live in an area where we are able to do both. Jersey is my home for now, and as long as I'm living here I will continue to explore, and pay 3 bucks to take a train into Philly. Haven't taken the train from Jersey into New York yet, but I'm ready for that. Funny how we'll ride the subway around the city, but have never taken the train into the city. The only time we've taken a train into New York was the time we were in Connecticut. We took the express train into Grand Central and that was a lot of fun. Why I've never taken the train into Philly or New York from Jersey until now is beyond me. 
Well...my eyes have been opened and I'm ready for more train rides...and so are the kiddos! 

Have a wonderful weekend! 


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