Caitlin and I took a micro-post-collegiate road trip yesterday, biking around town to see all of the art Phanatics. The carrot dangling at the end? Picnic in Rittenhouse Square and dinner with the Mystery Man. Map in hand, strategy in place, we hopped on our bikes and headed to Lloyd Hall and the Zoo first. We dashed across Kelly Drive, missed a splattery end by a hair, barreled through heaps of children and still-optimistic parents (Ah, morning. So much hope.), and admired the horses that young people were riding across the Girard Avenue Bridge.
Next up, the Piazza, in an effort to cover ground while we were still perky.
Then Penn’s Landing.
Then we criss-crossed through the Historic district, finding that the Phanatic at Franklin Square had been removed due to vandalism.
Then on to the financial district:
No luck at City Hall, but thankfully an old photo saved our posteriors on this one!
And then the home stretch:
Alas, no go on the Please Touch Museum- I thought that it would be on 21st St, not by the zoo! We also ruled out Citizen’s Bank Park and the Airport because both locations require tickets.
Lessons learned from our four hour adventure? 1. Wind can blow the sunglasses off your hat. 2. Biker dudes take excellent pictures (Betsy Ross house). 3. A hostess calling “Lauren, party of 2!” as you pause by Honey’s Sit N Eat to check directions is not a sign from God to wolf down a sloppy Joe. Or it could be and we missed it. 4. Caitlin knew I was up to something when I asked for her feelings on bicycles two weeks ago. 5. Happy hour will knock you on your ass if you’ve been bike riding all day instead of watching Mad Men and eating Nutella straight from the jar.
So, to the reward- one last photo at the picnic, and off to dinner!
It turns out that Mystery Man is an exceptional cook. While he chopped cilantro, adjusted temperatures, and analyzed the ratio of dill to garlic in the salad dressing, I feigned usefulness by stirring vegetables, until nearly melting the spoon diverted me to Plan B: Sparkling conversation. Thankfully, the lack of sous chef was no hindrance to his abilities, and he proceeded to whip up a feast that would make my faux-Italian mother proud. The Mystery Man Menu: salad of lettuce and peppers with light dressing of herbs and balsamic; linguine tossed in basil and cilantro pesto and shrimp cooked in tequila; steak and chicken fajitas with this outrageously fragrant marinade of wine and Worcestershire sauce, balanced with sweet corn salsa.
I think he likes me.
Ravenous from the day’s activities, we noshed and watched the sun set over the city. No waiters, no interruptions, no reservations- eating in is pretty nice. Perhaps I will cook for Mystery Man sometime. We can watch the sun set from the other side of the city.