A magical day out…

Posted: July 22, 2012 in friends, Magic Meets, Philadelphia Zoo, Stubby the Wonder Toe, Walking

So, yesterday, Supportive Partner Woman and I joined a group of friends and spent the day at the Philadelphia Zoo followed by dinner at Jack’s Firehouse in the Fairmount area of the city.

I should explain a little about the group. See, back in  2006, SPW (carrier of plentiful camera equipment!) and I attended something called Magic Meets. This was a group of like-minded Disney fans who got together at the Allentown Crowne Plaza to meet each other and discuss Disney. The meet, organized by Fred Block and his staff afforded us the opportunity to meet such notables in the Disney scene as Deb Wills from allears.net, Beci Mahnken from Mouse Fan Travel and the WDW Today podcast, among others.

We left with such an awesome feeling of having found a home that we were determined to volunteer the following year. We’ve continued to identify ourselves as members of the Magic Meets community, although the meet itself is on hiatus. Periodically, though, Fred organizes little get togethers, like yesterday’s festivities.

The Philadelphia Zoo bills itself as America’s oldest zoo. It’s in a portion of the city’s Fairmount Park and is home to some 1,300 animals. Some of these are rare and endangered, including lowland gorillas, various types of big cats like Amur tigers, lions and snow leopards, among other endangered species. The zoo does not cover a large land area, some 42 acres, but offers a lot to see in that small area. I was pleased because I got to see one of my favorite animals… prairie dogs. I’m not sure why I like these little rodents, but I can watch them for a long time. They just crack me up.

We spent the majority of the day touring and while I’m pleased to announce that Stubby the Wonder Toe was not damaged or blistered, my dogs were barking. It wasn’t the walking that was bothering me, it was the actually being on my feet the entire day. This caused a lot of pain in my ankles… probably from the amount of weight I’m carrying around. The only solution I know of is to continue taking off the pounds and see what happens. In the meantime, it’s going to make tomorrow’s gym session a little on the painful side.

After the zoo time ended (with penguins!), we headed over to Jack’s Firehouse, which is located near the Art Museum and directly across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary. This foreboding edifice really sets a mood, especially after dark. The firehouse itself is exactly that.It was the home of one of Philadelphia’s first paid fire companies and many of the features are still in place, ranging from the main doors to the brass pole.

SPW (eater of tasty steak!) and I have been to Jack’s on a few previous occasions and this was not the best dining experience we’ve had there. Our group, numbering some 30+ adults and children, occupied the private room upstairs and I think the fact that everyone ordered off the menu at the same time might have taxed the kitchen staff more than they are used to. SPW and I split a pulled pork appetizer that was quite tasty, but found a rather inedible hunk of bone or gristle in it. For an entrée, I chose a chicken breast with a bacon mac & cheese that again was tasty, but not quite up to snuff. SPW chose the filet mignon in which she found a giant hunk of gristle, usually unacceptable in a quality piece of meat.

The company and sheer fun of the day was able to overcome any perceived culinary shortcomings. Whenever we have a chance to hang with our good friends and make some new ones, well, that’s a good day.

I’ll let you know how the gym goes tomorrow… today is going to be a resting day.

  1. awkwardsilence82 says:

    Go kick some arse at the gym today. Let’s win this war.

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