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Trip Report A Great July 4th Weekend in Philadelphia

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I had planned an 'art' weekend for the end of August, but some other plans changed, and this fell into place instead -very last minute. I booked the Barnes Foundation a few days before and had no problem getting the time I wanted. Same for the Galileo exhibit at the Franklin. I used Starwood points for the Sheraton City Center two days before and Open Table for dinners.

Friday, July 3rd

Drove directly from NY to the Italian Market area on 9th Street and parked easily on the street. We walked the streets; most pushcarts were not 'Italian' and went into some of the old time markets - Di Bruno Bros, Fantes (housewares) and Claudio's. I purchased an unusual balsamic and some gorgeous, artisanal pastas from Naples in Claudio's. We passed Lorenzo's Pizza that had been recommended on another thread. The pizza that we could see displayed was very unappealing. We needed Plan B for lunch. Nearby there was a group waiting in the street. It was for Sabrina's Cafe which was on my breakfast list. We put our name on the list, looked at some more shops and 30 minutes later, we were seated. Dh and I had omelettes, but everything that came out of the kitchen looked wonderful. (910 Christian St. 215-574-1599)

We headed over to the Sheraton. After booking, I realized that the hotel was very close to where the fireworks would be the next evening. I was hoping that they would have a rooftop bar or lounge where we could view the celebration without the crowds. When I inquired at check in, I was told no lounge, but they would give us a room on the top floor (26) with a view of the fireworks. I was pleasantly surprised because when I booked online using points, it was for a standard room and no special requests would be honored. The room wouldn't be ready until 4, but we didn't care. We parked in their garage ($15 self park w/ in/out privileges) and headed off to the Rodin Museum. This was a fifteen minute walk past Logan Square, the Free Library and at the beginning of Fairmont Park. There were lots of workers setting up for the fireworks and the Sheryl Crow concert on Saturday. We went through the Rodin viewing many bronze sculptures of different sizes and some plaster molds. Most of the sculptures were cast after Rodin's death by permission of his estate.

We needed a snack and headed to Capogiro gelato artisans near Rittenhouse Square.
www.capogirogelato.com This was recommended by many fodorites and it did not disappoint. It does rival the best that Italy has to offer including Grom. They encourage you to sample before choosing. Even though I ordered a 'small,' I was glad we were walking a lot.

We headed back to the hotel to be told the room still wasn't ready. Dh was tired and in five minutes we were given another room on the top floor with full breakfast included for two days. The room was very nice and the view was excellent. It had three large windows overlooking the area where we just walked. It was an open, unobstructed view with lots of sky.

After a rest, we took a taxi to the restaurant Fork (thanks Thin). We were a bit early so we walked around the site where Ben Franklin's house originally stood and viewed some of the underground foundations. You could even see the original privy tunnel! Dinner at Fork was very good. The food was delicious. I had a roasted red and yellow beet salad and striped bass. Dh had a crispy soft shell crab followed by Dorade. All were excellent. Our only complaint was that it was served way too quickly despite being in the good hands of our otherwise competent Stanley Tucci look alike waiter. We decided to walk back to the hotel - it was a long walk - through Love Park - on a very beautiful night.

More later.

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