L and I got up at a decent hour today, knowing that we actually had someplace to be. I had purchased tickets to the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute earlier this month. The tickets give you a half-hour window to enter the exhibit, and in order to get a decent time, I bought them 2 weeks ago.
We did some investigation, and discovered that one of the SEPTA buses actually took us directly to the Museum District. In the interest of not wanting to repeat our previous parking nightmares, and since it was Monday and we’d have to worry about feeding a meter or pay out the nose to park in a garage, we decided the bus was a good plan. Of course, we arrived at the bus stop only to learn that the bus we wanted had passed by about 5 minutes prior, which meant a 15 minute wait for the next one. Oh well. A fifteen minute wait is still infinitely better than an hour circling for parking while getting increasingly frustrated.
L and I arrived at the Franklin Institute a good hour before our King Tut exhibit entrance window, so we decided to explore the museum a bit. The Franklin Institute is a science museum, with various permanent exhibits like the Giant Heart and one all about Ben Franklin and his lesser known inventions. Much of it is hands on, and since it was a weekday, there were school groups everywhere. L and I explored and played with some of the hands-on exhibits, dodging small children. We eventually made our way close to the King Tut exhibit entrance and wandered through the gift shop until, finally, our entrance window time arrived.
L and I were both very excited to see the King Tut exhibit. The exhibit itself did not disappoint. The artifacts were incredible, and despite our dismay that the actual sarcophagus was no longer part of the traveling exhibit (damaged during the tour early on), we thoroughly enjoyed it. We did have a few complaints, however, including too many people. It was very crowded for a Monday afternoon and crowds can be very aggravating. I know the exhibit entrance windows had a goal to space the number of people in the exhibit out, but there were a lot of people allowed in during each window. I can’t tell you how many times we were bumped by a stroller or a wheelchair or hit by a giant purse/bag. Or how many times people stepped in front of us to get a closer look at an artifact in one of the glass cases, effectively blocking everyone’s view, because, apparently, they are more important than the other 6 people trying to see the artifact. It was crowded. The only other issue was the weird lighting. In an effort to spotlight the artifacts in the cases, often there was no other light in that specific gallery, making it very dark and causing people to bump into each other and into the walls. The spotlights also created weird glaring, often making it difficult to read the signs on the display cases.
But overall it was beautiful, and well worth the time and crowd aggravation. Our friend LP is very pissed at us, being the big Egypt fan she is, so we bought her a souvenir…a finger puppet.
After a brief trip home to walk and feed Aussie, we left again, this time by car, to find food. For dinner we decided to try a vegetarian Chinese place recommended by a co-worker: Su Xing House. It was incredible. Great atmosphere: calming, peaceful. Just the kind of environment needed after a typical Philly parking space quest. Excellent service. Amazing food. HUGE portions. HUGE. We only got one appetizer to share and one entree apiece. And I have leftovers that are going to feed me for the rest of the week. Pictures of the before (appetizer, entree, and entree) and the post-stuffing-our-faces-carnage are available for your viewing pleasure.
So after our delicious dinner, we decided we had enough space in our tummies and went in search of dessert. We had passed this place several times during our various quests for parking during the weekend, and the name spoke to us. The Naked Chocolate Cafe. We needed to investigate.
Chocolate. Heavenly chocolate. Chocolate orgasms in our mouths. Serious chocolate. L had a Mocha Fudge Cake with a glass of milk to wash it down. I had a Spicy Hot Chocolate (size: indulgence) and a cupcake. They even provided real whipped cream on the Mocha Fudge Cake and hot chocolate. And they gave me a spoon to eat my hot chocolate with. Yes, I ATE my hot chocolate with a spoon. It’s too thick to drink…hot chocolate European style, or, chocolate with a splash of milk to make it liquid. I needed the spoon. And it was good. It was very very good. L didn’t finish her Mocha Fudge Cake, it was just too much for her. That’s sayin’ something.
We’re now both in a chocolate coma and must go to bed to sleep it off.