Somehow, one mom, three friends, and three cousins managed to pull off an amazing surprise for my friend Tina, who is getting married in just a little over two weeks. The first small piece of the surprise was that we all showed up at an afternoon bridal shower. Tina thought she was attending a small dinner to celebrate a graduation, but instead we all piled in bearing gifts like champagne flutes and a KitchenAid mixer. We all said goodbye to her after the shower as if we wouldn’t see her until the wedding, and it worked- because when she showed up the next day after her mom’s invitation “for a special dinner out, just the two of us” and instead found all of us dressed up for the night with party leis and premixed cocktails in themed sippy cups, she almost cried! And when the limo showed up, even better! But first, we enjoyed a real Philly treat- cheesesteak. Well, I didn’t, since I can’t eat meat. But I did enjoy my vegetarian “hoagie” (I call them subs on the other side of the river) and leftover tomato pie.
We did the pretty normal bachelorette stuff, like drinking lots of drinks and singing girly power ballads, but first we made a somewhat touristy stop. I had visited Philadelphia with my family in the summer of 2000, and I remember seeing lots of the old historic sites. However, one place I do not think we visited is the famous Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For this visit, on a beautiful May evening, the steps served as a perfect backdrop for the start of our night out. We posed for photos, we ran up just like Rocky (well, maybe not exactly like Rocky, but we tried), we said a quick hello to his statue where the line for photos was super long, and then we were back in the limo and on our way. With Philadelphia being so close, I do hope I can go back someday to see what is inside the museum. My brain has warmed up to the subject after some visits to a few other art museums and I’m certain I would find something to enjoy there.
Before making any real stops for food, drinks, or dancing, our limo driver took us on a short tour of the city. We drove past a few historic spots and some more touristy ones, like the Liberty Bell and the famous LOVE statue. We did stop at some bars- a few nice ones, a few dives, some where we had drinks, a few where we only had quick visits… but really, the most fun part of the evening was spreading out in the limo, singing along to the radio, sipping champagne, and watching the city go by. As darkness fell the view out the windows got more and more magical. The city was going to sleep and waking up at the same time; families returning home, party goers coming out; sunshine disappearing, city lights emerging. People outside would wave excitedly at the big limo, and we would wave back despite the tinted windows. The whole night was another reminder that it is often the journey rather than the destination that makes the trip worthwhile.
The night came to an end at the McDonald’s drive thru, where our wonderful driver helped us order a 20 piece chicken nugget meal with 5 large orders of fries. Perfect midnight snack! We turned in for the night after devouring it all, confident that fabulous Philly had helped make Tina’s bachelorette night special.