I will start off by saying that a day trip to Philly is just not nearly enough time. Not that we thought it was. Traffic and construction unfortunately dictated where we going, not visiting and arrival times.
Originally the plan to arrive at Ikea in Conshohocken by 11am. After a late start and tons of construction throughout all of PA, we decided to head over to the Touch and Go Childrens Museum and Bulk Vintage first, since they both close by 6pm. I dropped the Mrs and the lil one off and sped off to grab lunch. The Mrs said the said the Touch and Go Museum was really nice. Our daughter had a wonderful time. It was a bit on the pricey side though. $18 a person – no matter their age, no discount for lil children or any discount to be found online. I can’t think of many museums that don’t discount for toddlers, if not offer free admission. There is some sort of “discount day” sponsored by Target once a month, unfortunately it was not today.
– rant – Seriously Pennsylvania, what’s the deal with all of the construction? I can’t think of a single time in the past 18 years I drove on I 81 and didn’t see any active construction. I have no idea what you are fixing because your entire stretch of I 81 still looks horrible. We rode your very expensive turnpike and those roads looked even worse. And of course, there was construction on that as well. – end rant –
I’ve been dreaming about having a cheesesteak in Philly for years now. It’s like eating a hotdog at one of those pushcarts or bagel at bakery in NYC. After a little research, I decided my first authentic cheesesteak experience was going be: Sonny’s Famous Steaks. I read several reviews and this one in GQ was pretty descriptive and informative.
Their review of Sonny’s – “Service is terrific—the folks behind the counter can’t do enough for you. I asked for more onions, and they were brought to our table. Want more napkins or more sauce? Help yourself. The rolls are very soft, the beef juicier and more plentiful than most, the provolone nicely gooey, the Cheez Whiz well integrated into the meat. ” Pretty much spot on. The bread was very soft and delicious. Nice heaping piles of juicy beef and gooey provolone. It was perfect. I ordered a side of fries. The cashier gave me my fries and drink when I ordered. When my cheesesteak came up, she gave me another order of fries. I politely told her she had give me some already. She smiled and said don’t worry about it, just to take them. Super nice!
I flew across town to Bulk Vintage. I’ve been planning on visit Bulk Vintage for sometime now, since I first read about them in early January. I arrived about 3:20pm. I overhear that they were planning on closing early at 4pm. Bulk Vintage is in an old warehouse has no heat and no air conditioning, so it is completely understandable that they closed early, I would have too. I think I sweated off ten pounds in the 40 mins I was there.
I love the hunt, finding the “diamond in the rough” at a thrift store. But it was very refreshing to dig through piles genuine vintage instead sifting thru modern junk in hopes of finding one vintage piece or more likely, nothing at all. They have gigantic boxes of vintage sorted by style. I could hunt everyday for a month at my local thrift stores for an older pair of Levis 501s and not find a single pair. Meanwhile they had two huge boxes full of them. Need some funky Hawaiian shirts? How about fringe denim jackets? They had it. And a lot more. I would say their prices were pretty fair. Obviously I wish I had some more time, but I was able to find some excellent items in the short period of time I was there. They were very nice and even offered to stay open later since I had driven so far. I told them it was quite ok, I had to be on my way anyways. I will definitely be returning.
Leaving Bulk Vintage, I stumbled in to a little thrift store called, Circle Thrift, not too far away. A very reasonable priced store. Most of the clothing items were between $1-6. They have one color that is half off and another color that is 50 cents everyday. I didn’t find much, but I imagine with those prices, it gets picked over quickly. I imagine the locals probably score some great items if they were regulars.
I picked up the fam and we sat in traffic for over an hour, en route to Ikea. We decided to visit their Conshohocken location. Most of the reviews online said this location was nicer, cleaner and better stocked than the S. Philly location. It was also geographic closer to all the rest of the stores we were visiting. All of the reviews online said you had to eat in the cafeteria, prices were great and the food was delicious. We found the cafeteria was “Eh” at best. Nothing special, food was ok, the soda fountain was busted. Honestly I wish we had skipped this and gotten some more cheesesteaks. Food was the only blah part of our Ikea experience. Again, we did a bunch of research earlier in the week so we weren’t wasting a ton of time looking around. This place is so massive, you get lost in a time warp. Hours fly by.
Other places we wanted to visit, but ran out of time: Lego store at King of Prussia Mall for the lil guy, Pottery Barn Outlet in Rockvale Outlet in Lancaster PA
Notes for next time:
1) eat more cheesesteaks
2) Don’t eat at Ikea
3) Leave super early
4) Factor traffic into travel times
5) Figure out way to teleport in and out of Philly
6) Research record stores to visit
7) Call Bulk Vintage ahead of time to make sure they are open
8) Make it a two day trip