Woke up at 5:30am, just as we pulled up to the hotel. We're in Philly, staying at the Marriott on Market Street. The last couple of times I was here, I stayed across the street at the Loew's Hotel, so I know the neighborhood pretty well.
The usual story – hot room, so I crank up the AC and take a walk – maybe I'll find something new around here. Turns out I know this area better than I thought, but I still walk around for an hour, as the room cools.
Hit Starbucks in the lobby on the way back to my room, then sit up and read a couple of papers, followed by an hour's worth of catnap.
Around 2, I go a block to the Reading Terminal Market for some lunch. It's a really cool combination of farmer's market/restaurant area that I always go to when I'm in town. Go to the place I ate at last time to see how their oyster stew is. This is a little odd; they serve their oyster stew with a side of horseradish. Huh?
Well, shortly I find out why. This is the worst excuse for oyster stew that I've ever had. Now, admittedly, my mom made the best. But come on, It's not that hard. We're talking whole milk, butter, pepper, and oysters. This shit is totally watered down – seems like it's one part milk to 3 parts water, and they pretty much just waved a stick of butter over it. Plenty of oysters, but they're far too big to be used in stew. I chow on the oysters and pass on the stew. And don't even get me started on their oyster crackers, which are round (?), the diameter of a quarter and stale as hell. Yuck!
On the way out of the market, I spot a vendor I've never noticed before, a juice bar. I grab a made-in-front-of-me 20oz. carrot juice, a bargain at $3.20. Now THAT hits the spot. Off I go.
Stop at the Kinko's/FedEx on the way back. Need a box and some tape to ship my brother the Norfolk/Southern hats from the other day in Norfolk.
Bum around all day, then head to Chinatown around 7 for some dinner. There's a killer Thai place about a ½ block from the Trocadero (legendary Philly club) that I've eaten at a couple of times, so a grab some chow to go, then stop by the liquor store for a six-pack of Bud. Back to the room…