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Philadelphia Birthday Trip Recap

May 7, 2018

 

I’m still trying to find the words to write this post. If you follow me on social media, you know I spent the weekend in Philadelphia for my 23rd birthday! 

 

(As usual, outfit details and locations will be linked below at the end of this post.) 

 

I want to start by saying I have the best boyfriend in the world. I am so thankful for this trip Niels took me on, and it truly was the greatest birthday present. He works hard everyday at his job, so when he does things like this...it is so so special to me. 

 

The past few months have also been some big ones for me. As I’ve been wrapping up undergrad, and working on some huge projects, I’ve been feeling very burnt out. This trip was everything I needed and more, for so many reasons I can’t even begin to describe...

 

We started the trip off on Friday evening, and we checked into our hotel at City Center! The drive was only about three hours from DC+, and it went by really quickly with an embarrassing 90’s playlist. I had never been to Philadelphia before, and I honestly had no idea what to expect. The people were so friendly, and the city was gorgeous. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, and it was so beautiful and modern compared to other Embassy’s I’ve been to in the past. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day, we woke up bright and early, had some hotel breakfast and met up with my childhood best friend, Kimmy. 

 

Kimmy and I have been besties since we were in the 7th grade, at middle school in Puerto Rico! It’s kinda crazy, but we’ve stayed in touch all these years, and all throughout college. She’s now following her dreams in New York City, so she was only a train ride away from Pennsylvania. (I’m still obsessed with how easy it is to travel up and down the East Coast!) 

 

Here are some images of our room! 

 

 

 

The city was extremely walkable. Everything was either a 5-10 minute walk from our hotel! The weather was perfect as well, and the city was so clean. One thing I liked the most was how wide the walking spaces are. When you’re in a city like New York, the walkways are thin and people are sometimes rude—but Philly was so spacious, and easy going...I was instantly in LOVE. 

 

Our first stop of the day was the Observation Tower, and it was stunning. The view was gorgeous and it was well worth it. I was astonished at how tall the buildings were, too.

 

 

 

Here's a picture of me and Kimmy:

 

Niels and I with the view:

 

Getting to catch up with Kimmy is always so special, and I absolutely love how we can meet up after so much time has passed, yet it feels like no time at all. She is such a beautiful person inside and out, and if you are reading this Kim—thanks for being there all through the years! 

Also, thanks for all your amazing suggestions for places to go. 

 

For phase two, we went to the Magic Gardens. The magic gardens were created by Isaiah Zagar, and they were just that...MAGICAL. The mosaics were to die for, and it was impossible to take it all in at once. We spent hours there, walking around and marveling with our jaws touching the ground. I can’t emphasize enough how worth the while it was to go. The fostering of creativity in the public spaces for all to enjoy is something that can enlighten anyone. The Magic Gardens was a quite, sacred space that challenges the boundaries of structure and tradition. 

Love this picture of Kimmy and I! BFF goals...

 

 

 

 

I'm obsessed with these: 

 

Through the trip we did a combination of walking and Uber. The Uber rides here were so short, and budget friendly! 

 

We also made a stop at the Reading Amish market. This market has something for everyone, with rows and rows of amazing food. It was just fun to walk around, and snack on some of the best food we’ve ever tasted. 

 

But seriously... You need to try these ribs. 

 

 

 

 

For dinner we went to a real-life Willy Wanka Chocolate Factory (haha)! Max Brenner’s Chocolate bar was delicious, with so many chocolate lover options. We had some great food and wrapped up the night with a yummy chocolate fondue to share. The marshmallows over a flame were my favorite to dip in the dark chocolate! 

They even gave me a birthday sparkler—how fun? 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday we got to see some more cool spots! Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to do everything we wanted, but that’s just a good excuse to come back soon! 

 

We did get to walk around the city and see some sights, including a visit to Rocky...

 

I didn’t get to run up the Rocky steps, but looking back on it I wish I had! (Adding that to the bucket list...) 

 

 

 

 

For birthday dinner, I got to have my favorite food: BBQ! We went to Baby Blues BBQ and  had some ribs, mac and cheese, sweet potato, shrimp, and hush puppies. What can I say... we had enoug leftovers to feed an army, but the way to my heart is through my stomach! 

 

 

Niels and I ended the day in a pretty special way.  I really wanted Creme Brûlée, so we found a lovely French place called Parc, and I had the most fabulous cup of hot cocoa with the largest Creme Brûlée I have ever seen. Everything was beautiful, and our waiter was the sweetest guy. It was definitely an evening to remember. The entire Rittenhouse square area is to die for. I felt like I was dreaming!!! 

 

 

Here are some more images from the trip! 

 

Niels sure loves his coffee (haha)! This chai muffin was so good!

 

And of course I had to pack up Ellie to bring with us! (Just kidding, he had to stay in VA unfortunately)..But what a cutie! 

 

 

 

We got some nice portraits while we were there, too...

These were taken on my Sony Full frame with a 50mm! 

 

 

 

 

These were taken on the walk to the Art Museum from our hotel in City Center. 

Here are a few more from the Magic Gardens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's a view from the Museum of Art. 

 

 

 

Some portraits of Kimmy I took while at the Magic Gardens: 

 

How gorgeous is Kimmy? 

 

Gorgeous! 

 

Detail shots: 

 

 

 

 

 

Whimsical lights: 

Ha-ha, typical Niels!!

 

 

 

 

 

Fun fact: I did my makeup while watching The Princess Diaries! 

 

 

23 is going to be a good one! Thanks for reading along!

 

xoxo

 

Leilani 

 

 

I'm linking everything below.

 

What I wore: 

 

Gold Glitter Shoes 

 

Yellow Fern Swing Dress 

 

Striped Tee Dress

 

Cross Body Purse

 

Locations: 

 

Philadelphia's Magic Gardens 

 

Observation Deck 

 

Reading Terminal Market 

 

Museum of Art 

 

 

Good Eats: 

 

Chocolate Bar

 

Parc

 

Baby Blues BBQ

 

 

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