motown philly yall #alamw14
Just realized while traveling that this might be my very first ALA Midwinter. I attended a midwinter pre-conference ages ago, but I don’t think I have ever attended a full midwinter conference. I always conceived of it so much smaller than annual — it’s just a bunch of meetings — but I find my schedule already jam-packed with interesting sessions and worrying how to fit in everyone else I want to see. Part of this is that I arranged to bring husband along, making this a trip for work and pleasure, because otherwise who in their summer-loving mind would go Philadelphia in the middle of winter?!
We spent a long 6 hours of travel yesterday, flying in and out of Chicago, where husband threatened to deplane and have me pick him up on the way back. But we settled for a birds-eye view of his favorite city as we continued the last leg. It was a long final descent into Philly, much cloudier, and with much more snow. Although the anticipation nearly drove me bonkers, it was pretty cool to see ever closer snapshots of the snow-covered quarries, rivers, and neighborhoods between each cloudy whiteout.
Unfortunately, except for the blessed view of the basilica right out our window, our room is a bit “meh”, mostly because there was either a mix up, or else simply no single king rooms available, despite my two and a half month advance registration. So husband I are making due with doubles. We may try to spice it up by taking advantage of separate beds tonight. We’ll probably sleep soundly, regardless, after taking the mid-day today to walk around Philly within a brisk 3 hours.
We took an early lunch at Reading Terminal Market where we chose Old City Coffee and a large slice of brick oven pizza. Then we walked ourselves down to Old City District where we saw a few Benjamin Franklins and his bridge, Christ Church and its cemetery, and the very quaint (even in January) Elfreth’s Alleyway. The sunshine and all this walking made the bitter cold bearable until husband lost his hat somewhere in the ALA registration area. So we made a final stop back at the Reading Terminal market for another coffee and some Pennsylvania Dutch treats before high tailing it back to the hotel. I chose Pineapple Upside-down Pie (brilliant!) and you can see for yourself in the obligatory foodie shot how delicious it was! Such pleasure has prepared me well for the work that will come early tomorrow.