philadelphia, part 2

and now, philadelphia, part 2. 
but first! we saw benjamin franklin walking down the street! i mean, that doesn't happen everyday...
after the splash pad we went to the hotel (which was free thanks to our marriott card. cha-ching!). we got there too early so we looked like hobos and set up shop (luggage included), changed in the bathroom, and hung out at the pool. it was the smallest pool i've ever seen. it was also the coldest pool i've ever been in. you know when you fill up a kiddie pool with hose water, dip your toe in it, recoil, and think, 'oh, heck no. i'm not that desperate...' yah. same idea. the kids tried to get in and it sucked the air out of their little lungs. mine too. but we had an hour to kill, so we kept trying for humors sake. toe in, toe out. toe in, toe out. 
after our pool grazing, we decided to head to the mall because it wouldn't be a petersen vacation without some shopping. so off to king of prussia we went! i remember going as a teenager and it was like a shopping mecca. we had high hopes, but sadly, the whole night turned into a giant fail. 
fail #1: we quickly decided on dinner (grand lux cafe!), only to see that it was still under construction. then we went inside and started looking for a food court. this mall was big. like, biiiiig. the mall of america is big, but this mall is biiiiig. and laid out really poorly. we had at least 3 other couples stop us with the same desperate face, "can you please help me find the food court!?" i wish. it's each man for himself. if we all make it, we'll meet up and give each other a big high five. it was like the land of the lost, hangry people. no one wants to see us hangry. (well, jude took a nap. i was hangry.) we finally found the lame food court, and ended up at chipotle, which was out of lettuce and chips! fail #2. oh, the horror! c'mon! first carnitas, then everything that goes with the carnitas? (well, first we have to accept chipote because of the lack of cafe rio, but that's another story.) because mike was sure philly is famous for cheeseCAKE instead of cheeseSTEAK (i blame philadelphia cream cheese for this), we drove around the massive mall to cheesecake factory for a piece of cheesecake. while i waited in the car with the kids, a lady pulled up next to us in a black audi, yelled to her small kids (maybe 2 & 3), "you get out and i'll kick your butt!" and then LEFT! she went inside cheesecake factory. for 15 minutes, at least (we waited to make sure the kids were ok). if you didn't catch on, this was fail #3. i called security on that lady and didn't even feel bad! but they never came. so we called the cops. who yelled at us for not calling them first- like it was my fault or something. then we called security again and they didn't care that we cared! at all! it was a disturbing disappointment in humanity all-around. i have to say- sorry for any generalizations or stereotypes- but we are alarmingly disappointed with the vast majority of the people we interact with since we've moved here (can this be fail #4?). as a whole, people are inherently selfish. i can't count the doors that close in my face when i'm alone with a stroller and little kids in-tow, the people that run us off a sidewalk because they insist on walking 3 people across and can't break their conversation, the people don't say "please" or "thank you," or are just overall, incredibly rude. and don't get me started on drivers. selfish. and dumb. c'mon!? so this audi lady- who leaves their tiny kids in a car for 15 minutes in a busy mall parking lot on a hot summer night in a nice, expensive car!? psycho people, that's who. there are numerous ways that could have ended poorly. i have always had anger issues, and lets just say they are not improving living here. i could scream! i do scream, actually. a lot. driving with me is incredibly loud and unpleasant.

whew! back to the trip. *breathing*
that night the kids slept pretty well together in their bed, but jude woke up with some tummy issues (putting it mildly). he zonked out while we got ready to go downstairs for breakfast, and proceeded to be quite out of sorts and in major need of a toilet the rest of the day (which is super easy to do in a city which also happens to be mostly shut down on a national holiday... or not). alas, we attempted to keep going...
first up, the liberty bell and independence hall!
so while we were in line for the bell, we kept seeing asians take pictures of the kids (who were basically hidden inside the stroller, being shaded from the sun). this isn't entirely uncommon (really, it happens quite often), so we just smiled and moved on. well, one lady was bending down trying to take a picture under the visor, so mike said, as he pulled back the visor, unveiling our kids: "say hi, elle & jude!" when all of the sudden the gasps and clicks started. phones! phones everywhere! cute people speaking in high-pitched tongues! waves! more pictures! it was hilarious. soon thereafter when the kids were out of the stroller, the walk-ups started. they tried to hold jude but he was having no part in the matter. we were like celebs for the morning- it was awesome. there we are ^^ right in front of the liberty bell as the main attraction. sorry, mr. bell. totally not my intention. but yes, my babies are delightfully cute.
selfie sticks! when did they become a thing, and how did people live without them? actually i don't know. i don't have one. but they sure are hilarious to look at from a distance, let me tell you. vacations these days aren't true vacations without selfie sticks, methinks. especially with all this history in the background. can you imagine the founding fathers? think they're rolling their eyes? selfie sticks!
we did a tour of independence hall. kind of. we started a tour then realized we're not tour people, nor are our little kids, so we left for the sake of all the other people who enjoy history and not toddler talk. 
"and this is the hallowed room where the declaration of independence was adopted." 
"hi! i fart! yay!! oooh- b-ball!"   
then a nap! oh, the joyous nap. having a napping kid is a great blessing, let me tell you. particularly following a girl who never needed any.  while jude napped, elle had to pee, so we trekked. we trekked a solid mile looking for a bathroom and/or lunch spot (hangry again- why didn't we learn the day before?). we found a cafe that was open (even the starbucks were closed! how is starbucks closed on memorial day!? it's the costco gasoline's weird influence. must be)- either way, you have to buy food to use the bathroom. we know the drill. so we sat. we sat and ate lunch and elle watched a game on her phone in the stroller as jude napped and would you know- mike and i had a little date! we sat indoor/outdoor- right inside with the big door open so we had the a/c we both like, but the al fresco dining i like? mmm, yes. perfect. we talked about the incredibly mean lady who was working (see, told you), and were both taken back by how yummy the smoothie we ordered was alongside our grilled cheese sandwich. so we got another smoothie. then we changed the kids into swimsuits because, well, we "paid" for the bathroom, so why not? jude was up and started screaming for the next 90 minutes. we headed back to dilworth park (this time with sunscreen), and elle had a great time. jude was still feeling poorly (screaming), and of course had to poop again so mike took him for the 19th time, coming back with a coke because we all know (say it together now: you have to purchase something to use the restroom). so we drank a warm coke (they never stay cold when it's this humid- they just sweat out all that coolness). and listened to jude scream until we couldn't take it any longer, and we left philly just like that. farewell, remaining plans! welcome to life with kids. you shall have to wait for next time...
philly- over and out.

part 1 here.

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