New year, new goals. One of those goals (goals > resolutions) is to keep up with blogging more frequently – more specifically a faster turn around time for recapping fun events, travels, and collaborations. I started this year off right further exploring Philly, a city I’ve been to many times but one in which I haven’t spent extended amounts of time. Our friend group usually sticks together for NYE, traditionally spending the celebratory evening together in a different city each year — but we all have different ideas of how to spend our vacation time. This usually makes our trip itinerary eclectic, to say the least. I prefer checking out restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, architecture, wandering to get a feel of the city culture. Others enjoy historical monuments, museums; and a few are more of the homebody type.
On Friday night, after we got in from the train station, we kept it low key. Ordered a pizza, killed one tub of Whole Foods guac, and downed 4 bottles of wine while catching up on everyone’s lives. We also planned out our adventures for the next two days. Then Kris and I decided to go out with some of his friends’ that were in the area; we danced our butts off at Franky Bradley’s. I felt like I was back in college, and I may have lost my voice, but I had a BLAST.
On Saturday, we strolled through the most picturesque snow, along the streets of Philly’s Italian Market. The streets smelled of cheese, bread, and freshly cured meats. Could this be heaven on Earth? Next up was Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell before heading to brunch at Cuba Libre. Although the restaurant has a few different locations, including a location in Washington D.C., I made reservations for the group because 1) Cuban food is amazing 2) the restaurant space is so f*cking cool. We were transported to a tropical oasis while watching the snow fall outside. Not to mention the brunch paella was absolute fire. After a nap, and some motivation in the form of caffeine, we checked out the Philadelphia Magic Gardens and Green Street Consignment. To prep for NYE, we stayed in Saturday night with cheesesteak, wine, and card games. Ideal.
On Sunday, we embarked on more adventures. Breakfast was from Market Bakery in Reading Terminal Market; I also finally got my hands on a latte from Old City Coffee! Otherwise, it was a rather artistic day; we spent hours wandering through the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. (Fun fact: If you have a Bank of America account, you can get in for free on the first weekend of every month!) This is where we parted ways – I headed out on a last minute shopping trip to Rittenhouse Square while the guys checked out the Independence Seaport Museum. The grown men channeled their inner kids while checking out submarines, model ships, and an exhibit about WWI: USS Olympia.
We started getting ready for NYE when we reconvened at our AirBnB. I love exploring, but I was super excited to just sit down, relax, and celebrate each other’s company over great food and a few drinks. I had picked out a cute, highly-rated restaurant for our traditional NYE dinner: Nina’s Trattoria. If you are looking for great Italian in Philly, Nina’s is THE spot. Honestly, I cannot say enough good things about this family-run, BYOB restaurant. After we finished the incredible meal, and our bottles of wine/prosecco, we headed back to our AirBnB before the clock struck midnight. We warmed up with a biiiiiit more bubbly; due to the big meal, it was a struggle to get people back out of the house after dinner. I had a feeling this may happen, so earlier in the day I found a bar in Old City that had recently opened (I figured it wouldn’t be crowded and it didn’t have a cover.) Turns out I was right, and we watched the ball drop at Gina’s 45, a chill bar that I plan on visiting again.
We really enjoyed our low key New Years Eve. Realistically, we could’ve done the giant galas with open bars, but I’m not always in the mood to spend $150 to party with strangers. I left the slow-paced weekend with memories, knowledge, face-time with my best friends, and dehydration from lots of champagne. More importantly, I left with a happy heart.
What are your favorite spots in Philadelphia? Have you spent NYE in Philly? I’m looking forward to heading back to the city soon (it’s only ~1h from Philly) so I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
Click HERE to see where I suggest you #TaylorYourTravels! Or follow along with my adventures in real time over on Instagram, at @stylishlytaylored! Also be sure to share your travel experiences + adventures with me by tagging me – I’d love to see what city you’re visiting and what you’re loving!
Until next time, keep adventuring!