In Rocky's Steps

Let's be honest, we walked down the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art today. There was no running up them or walking or even pretending to think about it. Tip-there's a back entrance with only a slight incline to get you to the front doors.

We dropped our bags off at the bed and breakfast this morning, a restored 1865 Victorian that's amazing. We planned to walk to the Philadelphia Zoo from there, but the innkeeper told us it would be a 40 minute trek, so he actually drove us himself. Our membership to the Houston Zoo has reciprocity with lots of other zoos, including "America's First Zoo" (just days away from celebrating it's 150th anniversary) here in Philly. So that would have saved us a bundle if either of us had remembered our membership cards. Arggghh! We're considering our entrance fee a charitable contribution to animal preservation...

Since we've been together, we've been to the zoo in Houston, Memphis, San Antonio, and now Philly. It's fun to see how they are laid out and what each zoo prioritizes. Here, there's an award-winning "Big Cat Falls" exhibit with pumas, African lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars. The primate exhibit is also impressive, with some very friendly gorillas and orangutans. A rare animal house is home to species I haven't heard of, and naked mole rats, which are not cute. We got to see the Giant River Otters eat their fish and several of the cats came right up to the glass. Pretty good day for a winter visit to the zoo.

We called a cab to pick us up, but due to the St. Patrick's Day parade nobody came for us. Some nice guys from Finland asked us to call a taxi for them b/c they were afraid the dispatcher wouldn't understand their name. Eric joked that they could make up a name. "Yes, I will tell them I am Mr. Smith," one replied, "John Smith." The other wanted to be called Rocky Balboa, and decided he would say he was a wrestler traveling with his wrestling coach. That made us all laugh. We only had 45 minutes total to walk back to the B&B, check-in, and walk to the art museum. So we practically ran and made it in 15 minutes or so, then ran across the river to the museum.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is stunning. We went specifically to see the "Cezanne and Beyond" exhibit, and it was worth the timed ticketing and 30 minute wait in line. Many of Cezanne's paintings were featured, alongside pieces by artists who drew inspiration from him including Ellsworth Kelley, Pabo Picasso, and Braque. The audio tour explained each artist's relationship with Cezanne or his work, and how each interpreted a certain piece. For example, Cezanne's card players were displayed beside Canadian photographer's light box photo or three older women playing cards in a modern dining room. I found it all very inspiring, as it connected art and artist's throughout time.
Since it's the last day of Philly Beer Week and also St. Patrick's Day weekend, we ended the day with some good pub food and dark beer. This little Belgian tavern was tucked in the Fairmount area and clearly a neighborhood favorite. We've loved walking through so many different areas and seeing the architecture and feeling the different aspects of each.

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