Saturday, May 4, 2013



My sister and I recently had to drive to Philadelphia on family business.  Eileen is – how should I put this – directionally challenged. She also has a little trouble distinguishing between left and right. Not a good thing when a road sign says, “Merge Right.” A few times along the way, she panicked, saying, “Oh my God, I have to merge right,” when we were already in the right lane.

It rained through the whole trip down.  But I must say, she did a great job.  We got a little off track as we pulled into Phillie. So Eileen, being the excellent driver that she is, pulled a U-turn – in the middle of Philadelphia! 

We found the hotel, which turned out to be an incredibly upscale place.  (We later heard that the Dodgers stayed there while playing the Phillies).  Our bags and car were whisked away by a swift and efficient crew of attendants. They were so swift and efficient, that it took a few minutes for me to realize that all of our information was in those bags – addresses, phone numbers, GPS – all in some holding area because our room wasn’t ready. 

I tried to remember the address of the attorney we were to meet.  “It’s 99 something,” I kept saying.  It started to rain. We had one tiny travel umbrella between us. I don’t know why, but we kept walking – as if by some miracle, the building would appear in front of us. Since it didn’t, I called my husband and screamed into the phone, “What’s the address of the lawyer’s office.” Naturally, he didn’t have that information on him.  But a few minutes later, he called back with the address – 1608 Walnut Street. 99 something?

The meeting went well, and we finally were able to check into our room. What an incredible place. The lobby, which had their trademark scent pumped in through the vents, was on the second floor. We needed our room key to activate the elevator that lead to the hotel rooms. And the beds!  The most comfortable beds we had ever slept on. We found out later that they actually have a name.  They’re called Heavenly Beds.  Appropriately named, I must say.

We had dinner in the main dining room. We thought it was odd that we were the only people in there.  The food was wonderful. But then the bill and then came. We later learned that the hotel bar had a much less expensive food menu. Good to know.
With more meetings came another trip. This time, the hotel was much older and not quite as posh.  It did, however, have interesting plumbing.  On our first night there, as I was about to flush the toilet, I heard a strange sound. A gurgling, rumbling sound. All of a sudden, the toilet began to erupt – a geyser shooting over a foot above the toilet seat. I screamed and ran out of the bathroom.  We both screamed.  Within a few minutes, Maintenance and Housekeeping took care of it, explaining that another floor must have had a blockage.  We had a good laugh over it all. Who knew this old hotel would have a “bidet.”

While not in meetings, we spent our time finding our way around the city – well, finding our way, losing our way – whatever.  On one adventurous trip, after shopping at Liberty Square, we decided to venture out past the 5 or 6 blocks we had been confining ourselves to. We were totally amazed at how we accidentally made a complete circle and ended up back at Liberty Square. To this day, I don’t know how we did that.

As sisters sometimes do, Eileen and I had drifted apart a little before our trip. But spending that time with each other in the city brought us closer.  And no matter what ever happens in the future, we’ll always have Philadelphia.

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