Vacation Days: Pennsylvania, January 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016
^ You guys know how much I love cold weather!

January in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Jk, lolz, I the opposite of love cold weather. Though that snow sure is pretty to look at!

(...from the inside...while wrapped in three 100 year-old antique alpaca fur-lined quilts...also I'm downing multiple shots of whiskey.) <~~ Man, I'm a whimp.

But what I actually really do love is my family! And beyond my little unit of Mom+Dad+sis+me, the majority of my extended family lives in Pennsylvania. I used to get to see my Pennsylvania relatives quite a bit when I lived in NYC, but it's been a few years since my last visit. So what better reason to go up than to attend the wedding of my awesome cousin Annie last weekend!

On Friday morning, my parents and I arrived at Hobby super early, and I grabbed food for breakfast and lunch from a little-known restaurant called "Subway" (can't go wrong). Then we flew to Dallas, where we met up with my sister Emily, and hopped a second flight to Philadelphia.

Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas
Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas
Airplane food and drinks
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

That night we spent time with a large chunk of family at my Aunt Judy's house in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which is about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia. We are a loud and lively bunch, and it was a loud, lively, and fun night (a precursor of what was to come)!

On Saturday morning, my mom and I went down to the hotel gym for a little bit, then had a delicious breakfast at our hotel's restaurant, aka: continental breakfast by the lobby (Raise your hand if you love a good continental breakfast - I know I sure do).

Gym time with Mom near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
continental breakfast near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

After tooling around town for a bit, I had the incredible good fortune of being able to meet one of my best friends from New York, Alice Ann, and her family for lunch! She also happened to be in Philadelphia that weekend, checking out venues for her upcoming wedding. We had a delicious and lovely lunch at Glenmorgan Bar & Grill, a restaurant located inside the beautiful Radnor Hotel.

lunch near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
lunch near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
lunch bread basket near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
lunch chili near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
lunch sandwich near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The food was really great. I ordered the restaurant's west coast grilled cheese, which was filled with monterey jack cheese, spinach, tomato, and avocado, and was absolutely delicious! I also took a bite of Alice Ann's hearty, outstanding vegetarian chili.

After our satisfying lunch of unbelievably tasty food, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding! Both the ceremony and reception were held at a charming venue called The Presidential, located in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Our large family (we have something like 21 cousins, just on my mom's side) had a sweet and memory-filled reunion of epic proportions. The space was lovely, my cousin Annie looked gorgeous, her now-husband Kevin made us all cry with his sincere and heartfelt vow, the food was fantastic, and we danced the night away!

wedding near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(Snapchat: newishcityHOU)
wedding near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
wedding near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo Credit: My Dad
^ As my sister so adequately put it: "That's not even a fraction of us!"

wedding near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
wedding food near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
wedding food near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
wedding near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo credit: my Dad
After that, there was an after-party at the hotel, and here's a picture of me with my stunning cousin Colleen, who is also one of my best friends in the whole wide world:

wedding after-party near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo Credit: Colleen
On Sunday, I hitched a ride up to Scranton, Pennsylvania (yes, like in The Office) with my Uncle Andy, Aunt Terry, and Great Aunt Pauline. I ran out to get food in the form of hoagies (that's Yankeespeak for "subs") at Roseanna's, a little dine-out restaurant located in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. Even though mine was a veggie hoagie, it was divine.

hoagies near Scranton, Pennsylvania

^ (Coincidentally, the natural afternoon lighting in my grandma's kitchen? Also divine.)

That night, I went over to see my grandparents on my dad's side of the family, along with my cioce (that's Polish for "aunts"!), uncles, and cousin Amanda. As per my fervent requests, we had to get pizza from Old Forge, which - little known fact - is THE WORLD'S GREATEST PIZZA. Y'all, I'm not making this statement lightly. I've had some phenomenal  slices in New York, some stellar pies in Italy, and some fantastic pizza down here in Houston. But nothing - NOTHING - matches the awesomeness of what you get in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. That night we ordered from a restaurant called Revello's, and it far exceeded all of my hopes and dreams and pizza-oozed memories.

pizza near Scranton, Pennsylvania
pizza near Scranton, Pennsylvania
pizza near Scranton, Pennsylvania

Up until this point it had certainly been cold(ish)(er) outside, at least moreso than I'd been used to here in Houston. But it still was manageable and nothing too biting. Well, on Monday morning I woke up to this:

Dickson City, Pennsylvania

It was 16 degrees out. SIX. TEEN. DEGREES. And that's Fahrenheit! (no clue why I might all of a sudden start to speak metric). I hadn't looked out a window, so when I stepped outside, I was shocked by: a) the pure white beauty surrounding me, and b) the sudden loss of feeling in my gangly appendages. This was always my perpetual paradox with northern winters: So gorgeous, yet so COLD. But you know what? Even a ninny like me can appreciate a singular picturesque day of weather in the teens!

coffee near Scranton, Pennsylvania
breakfast near Scranton, Pennsylvania

After walking in a winter wonderland, I dined on some yummy breakfast food with my Aunt Michele and grandma at a popular northeastern chain restaurant called Perkins, before heading to the airport. I ordered the Mediterranean omelet, which was tangy, cloudlike, and dripping with hollandaise. This A+ diner food was a great way to top off the trip!

It was a crazy weekend, and I still need to catch up on about 37 hours of sleep, but I am so glad I was able to attend Annie's beautiful wedding and spend quality time with family and friends. Lots of wonderful memories were made!

Dickson City, Pennsylvania

If only that white stuff was about 70 degrees warmer...


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