Monday, September 7, 2015

East Coast Wedding Shower

My BFF, Shannon, is getting married in November -- but September is the month of showers.

Her East Coast shower - hosted by Ryan's family - was over Labor Day weekend.  
Her West Coast shower/bachelorette party is in three weeks in Sonoma County, California.  

And I get to be at both! 

I left KC early (really early) Friday morning and flew non-stop to Philly.

This sunrise wasn't a bad way to start the day:

Funny little side story:  When I landed in Philly, I wanted to try and take a train or bus in to the city center -- because I like figuring out public transportation (it's a challenge sometimes!) and it's way cheaper.  But when I had just missed the train and would have to wait until 40 minutes for it, and the bus would take over an hour for a 20 minute ride...I decided to just user Uber.  Which would have been fine, except I accidently requested The Uber X Black Car -- like, the high-end version of Uber.  High-end also means High-Price.  Ugh.  I was so mad once I figured it out!  But on the flip side, the guy was super nice, he gave me a bottle of cold water, let me pick the music, and had a phone charger for me.  Still, a $60 cab ride in to town was a bit much to swallow. : /

Once I made it o the hotel (fancy Loews in downtown), Shannon and her whole family were waiting on me.  So we all -- as in all 8 of us -- hopped in the rental car for a quick driving tour of Philly.  

The view from the street in front of our hotel ^^

Shannon and Ryan were squished in the back seat...and I was mostly on their lap.  So none of us could really see much of anything, but we were cracking up the whole time at the scenario.

Ryan did the best he could as our unofficial tour guide.  One of our first stops was to see the Rocky statue, and the famous steps he ran up.

Statue:  Check.

I asked a security worker to take our group photo, and this is what we got ^^  HE CUT THE STATUES HEAD OFF!

But the famous Rocky stairs?  Not so much.  

There was a free concert being set up for that night -- Made in America -- so this was as close as we could get!  ^^

From there, we walked up to a museum and a little lookout over Boat House Row.

We sent the guys back to get the car, and then drove to Reading Terminal Market for lunch. 

Man, if you can't find something you like there, you're out of luck!  They had everything imaginable!

We found some semi-healthy options to chow down on ... but these fresh donuts for dessert didn't fall under that category.

There really wasn't much time left before we had to head out to Ryan's families house for the shower.  Especially since three of us were sharing one shower.  It was a quick turnaround and we were on the road again.  All piled in the car.

Of course there was road construction, traffic jams, and a long drive... and we got there exactly when the shower was supposed to start.  

Oh, and we weren't dressed yet.  Wwe didn't want to wear our dresses all crammed in the back of the car -- so we showed up UN-fashionably and late.

Thankfully, none of the guests saw us as we snuck upstairs to finish getting ready.

Their house was decorated to the nines -- of course.  It was all just gorgeous!

We ate, drank, and watched Shannon open at least 50 presents.

One little neighbor girl was running around snapping pictures of everyone with a polaroid to tape in a book for Shannon.  Such a cute idea!

I was holding Sophia, her niece's doll.
Me, Devon, Shannon, and Brooke
The "suggested attire" for the evening was greens and neutrals ^^

Ryan showed up after the shower was over, and we had to get a cute picture of the two soon-to-be newlyweds!


Saturday was officially the "Tour Philly" day, starting off with an Independence Hall tour and the Liberty Bell.

(Funny story:  the cab driver took us to Independence MALL, instead of Independence HALL.  Thankfully, they're only a block away from each other.)

We had the best tour guide ever.  He literally yelled the entire time.

While I'm not much for history, I did enjoy some of the info from the tour.  Just don't ask me to repeat any of it.  I wasn't really paying enough attention to remember it all. ;)

We really lucked out timing-wise by going early in the morning.  The Liberty Bell wasn't near as crowded as it was when we drove by later in the day.

Our walking tour continued as we strolled through the old streets of Philly, stopped for ice cream (it was HOT!) and checked out Elfreth's Alley and Betsy Ross' house.

Lunch?  Back to Reading Terminal Market.  You really can't go wrong there.

Up next: a driving cell phone tour of ... some historical site.  That's how un-interesting it was.  I don't even remember the name of it.  Something Landing, maybe?

Poor Ryan.  He was trying to enjoy it and Shan and I were just laughing and making fun of it.  It probably didn't help that we pushed the wrong number on the phone tour and were looking at one spot while it was telling us about something completely different. 

A few stops on the tour:

We stopped at one point to let some people get out and walk around to explore a little.  

Ryan must have been a little tired.  This was him about 2 minutes later.  (In the driver seat!)

It was quite the fiasco to get back in to Philly and find food.  We took wrong turns, restaurants didn't have seating, sporting events were getting out, roads were closed.  You name it, it happened.

I think it took us over 2 hours to actually get to this pizza spot for dinner.

That night, after a post-dinner gelato run, we drove back out to Ryan's parents house to stay the night.  Those expensive hotel rooms are too much for us. ;)

Sunday morning we hit the road bright and early to get out to the mountain house in the Poconos, a couple of hours away.  A quick stop at Wawa for breakfast and Dicks Sporting Goods for pickle balls.

Our reading entertainment for the drive:

The mountain house was the perfect escape from the big city.  Fresh air, no traffic, a swimming pool and a tennis court surrounded by woods and mountains.

First things first.  I had to go for a ride on the dirt bike wit Carson. 

And then I had to drive the dirt bike.

And then I wrecked the dirt bike.  Oops!

Thankfully, Carson could fix it.

I wanted to go for one more "quick ride" on the dirt bike - with Carson driving this time. He obliged...but that quick ride turned in to us being gone for something like 3 hours.  In shorts and t-shirts, no water, no food, no cell phones, no nothing.  We went all over, through the woods and up the mountain.  We might have got lost, wrecked once, tore our clothes and scraped our legs.  But all in all, it was a blast and probably my favorite thing from the whole weekend!

Back at the house, people were starting to worry, but I think after our last fiasco together (5 hours on kayaks -- also with nothing), they figured we'd be okay in the mountains.

We cleaned up, changed clothes and moved on to our next adventure:  a county fair!

I looooove small town county fairs!

I saw a booth selling jerseys and said, 'If they have a Sproles jersey, I'm buying it!"  And sure enough, they had one.  Just my size.  I got him down to $35 from $70...but didn't do it.  I mean, where would I wear that thing!?

(I went to college with him!)
We purposely saved dinner for the fair.  Maybe not our best choice, but man did we all come up with some good food!

Ice sculptors entertained us while we ate:

After dinner, we strolled through the 4H animal shelters, and I saw the biggest cow I have ever seen in my life.  Hands down.  That thing could have eaten me alive!

Next stop:  TRACTOR PULL (my fave!)

I seriously LOVED how loud those trucks were!

We finally made it to the games and rides.  I went on one. That's my limit before puking.

Carson spent at least $50 on this shooting game (and never won), and I got sick just watching everyone go on the tilt-a-whirl.

We won a few prizes -- all of which went to Shannon's niece, and finished the night off with root beer floats.  Mmmmm mmm.

We thought about staying up and drinking beer by a bon-fire, but that turned out to the guys shotgunning a beer in the hotel parking lot and then crashing.  We're too old for that late night business! 

Monday morning, I got up an went for a run.  A short run.  I just jogged out to the house (from our hotel in town), got Carsons car, and drove back in to pick up the girls and take them back out for breakfast.

Played a little tennis, went for another SHORT dirt bike ride, and shot some guns before showering and heading back in to the city.

It's quite the fiasco to get three people to a bus station and 6 others to the airport on time, with a rental car, but we made it happen. 

We even had time to spare and got to sit down for a nice meal at the airport.

Shan and Ryan boarded there flight back to San Fran about 30 minutes before I boarded mine to KC.  We timed it out pretty well.

Another easy non-stop flight and I actually got home at a decent time!  That never happens, but it made for a much nicer start to the work week.  
Sunset leaving Philly.

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