Kim and Kate’s Adventures in Philadelphia

April 11, 2014 2014, bookish trips, Kate, Kim 44

rockyIt can be kind of weird to share a blog with a bunch of people you’ve never met in person, but that’s the situation here at The Midnight Garden. We are scattered all across North America, and several of us have never even met each other in person. It’s kind of like an odd combination of having a pen pal and dating someone long distance. So we were really excited last week when Kate had the opportunity to visit Kim in Philadelphia for a day. Here’s what happened.


divider vine cropped


Kate: I was nervous about missing my train (I’ve never taken Amtrak, but I’m always really confused when I try to take trains long distances in Europe, and I (correctly) assumed this had less to do with the language barrier than with general incompetence on my part), so I arrived half an hour early. And then waited by the wrong track until five minutes after my train left. So I got to text Kim and let her know that because I’m a stupid country bumpkin, she was going to have to wait for me an extra hour. I may have consumed an alcoholic beverage or two along with my coffee and Diet Dr. Pepper on the train.

Kim: Oh no worries about me. I always have my Kindle. ;) I am no stranger to missing trains and I felt so bad you missed yours! You really need to watch the “Destination Wedding” episode of Broad City. You’ll identify with it on a spiritual level, as I do.


Kate: The great thing about Philadelphia is that as soon as I got there, Kim took me to get donuts. She wore a trench coat, cute boots, and bright red lipstick, and she took me to get donuts. Donuts. One of my donuts was delicious. It was yummy cinnamon goodness. I ate it very quickly. The other one had chocolate on it, so it was disgusting. Why did I order a donut with chocolate on it? Was this my first rodeo?

Kim: That is a really great thing about Philadelphia. I am there and I will bring you to Federal Donuts. I was just dying to get another Cookies and Cream donut from that place. The best donut I have ever had! I blame your chocolate mistake on Amtrak Dysphoria, an ailment I just made up. It worked out for me, though! I got to have the chocolate strawberry donut! :D

Kate: Oh, that one was good, even with the chocolate.

I live in LA, so I’m used to seeing famous landmarks from movies and having them seem smaller and less awesome in person than they do on film (kind of like movie stars, actually). And when I went to DC a few years back I was surprised by how tiny everything was. The Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum were the complete opposite experience. It was so freaking cool to see the city laid out from such an awesome height.

Kim: It makes me so happy that you enjoyed The Rocky Steps. The view is majestic. It’s one of my favorite places to be in the city. Probably considered “too touristy,” I actually find it quite serene and peaceful. My tip for all visitors: Don’t turn around til you get to the top!

Kate: I am not ashamed to tell you that at this point in the day, we decided to just travel around the city drinking. We had “tea” (champagne cocktails and curry fritters) at an adorable little English pub called The Dandelion. Then we wandered around, stopping at Joseph Fox book store and Premium Steap tea shop while we waited for Franklin Mortgage and Investment Co to open. Holy crap was it ever worth the wait.

rum punch

Kim: Yeah, I’m not even a little bit ashamed to admit that. I’m not even ashamed that I ate all of Kate’s mayo because she hates it. Who hates fancy mayo?! Curry mayo, okay? Yum. And  THE SPEAKEASY. No seriously, this place makes cocktails a craft. I don’t think cocktails get any better in Philadelphia than they do at the Franklin. I had to take you. And when the best cocktails come in an atmospheric “speakeasy” setting, at a location that used to be an actual speakeasy (hence the name) THERE WILL BE NO RESISTING!

Kate: Mayo is fucking disgusting, and you are a monster. But we had a really delicious dinner at Parc, and then I called Amtrak to change my ticket so we could go back to The Franklin and drink some more yummy yummy rum punch (Remember in Mary Poppins, how the medicine she gives the kids tastes different for everyone (I used to quote this scene from memory over and over again as a child) and Mary’s tastes like rum punch? That must have been some delicious fucking medicine, and also, was Mary Poppins a lush?).

Kim: Well, yeah. We had to go back The Franklin. A given. You need to experience these drinks at some point in your lives, everyone who enjoys cocktails. They all have fun names and intriguing ingredients. I remember my first drink was a “My Maudlin Career” and it called to me with the siren song of a vanilla-pepper-pear syrup. Yes.

Kate: What I liked about the drinks there in general was that the bartender didn’t go overboard with the bitters. Over-bitters-ing is my number one “mixology” (ugh) pet peeve.


Kim: I would just like to express my general regret that I utterly failed in getting you a cheesesteak. Also, does a sandwich that is just fried lasagna on a hoagie roll sound good to you? Because I’m pretty sad that I didn’t take you to have that either. There are so many other sights to see, drinks to be imbibed, and food to be devoured in Philly. It’s impossible to do in one day. I hope you got a feel for the city and enjoyed yourself. It was so lovely and so fun and I just didn’t want you to go! Please come back and see me again and I will show you more and better things!

Kate: Cheesesteak schmeesesteak! All my drinks were pink! I had such a lovely time. Let’s do it again when I’m back in New York this summer. You’re the best pen pal a girl could ask for.

kim teal









44 Responses to “Kim and Kate’s Adventures in Philadelphia”

  1. Natalie Crown

    This is lovely! So glad you guys got to meet each other!


    I was sent over to Glenside near Philly for work last year, but we only got one evening actually in the city. I couldn’t tell you where we were and a few drinks were consumed…I had a great time! Would have loved to have seen the rocky steps though.

  2. Anmiryam

    Just found your blog and this post. I live in the suburbs and while I get into the city often, I’ve never heard of Federal Donuts. I’ve got a friend coming in from Boston next week and we’re going straight from the airport for a late morning donut! We may wait until later to hit up some of the cocktail spots you recommend, but I think they may be on the agenda too! Thank you.
    Anmiryam recently posted…New and Improved: What it Takes to Win Back an Empire

  3. Larissa

    Awww, this post was too cute (: Meeting internet friends is an amazingly fun experience that is quite hard to describe. I met my twitter friends who lived in the same city as me, but further away awhile ago. I remember being so excited and freaking out when I first heard them talk. I mean they just sounded totally different than I imagined :P I was also super nervous, what if we had nothing to talk about?? And if we ran out of things to talk about and had to suffer awkward silences?? Luckily none of that happened and everything was perfect. We talked for hours and never once was there an awkward pause.

    I wish there was a easy and quick way to meet all of my blogger friends, they’re all just so sweet and lovely. I also feel like we could have endless chatter about books and other awesomeness.

    …I enjoy chocolate donuts. Eeek. Hahah, I’m with Kate on mayo though! That stuff is nasty.

    Again, this was a wonderful post! I hope you girls get to see eachother again soon. And get to take more great pictures.
    Larissa recently posted…Review: Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

  4. Gillian

    This sounds like such a lovely meet up! The title of this post could almost be a YA novel. Kim and Kate. It’s got a nice ring to it. So glad you guys had such a fun time together!

    (Kate, I am horrified that you would dare insinuate there is something wrong with chocolate donut. What happened to blacken your soul, woman???)
    Gillian recently posted…Baking the Books: Percy Jackson Cupcakes

  5. Tabitha (@Pabkins)

    That is so exciting you got to spend the day together! I’m jealous the two of you went out and about. I recently got to meet a blogger buddy Anya this past weekend and it was amazing as well just to get to talk to her in person and spend the day with her.

    Now you can feel like you aren’t just bloggy friends by irl friends too!
    Tabitha (@Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters

  6. Michelle

    What a great meetup/story! I’m absolutely jealous of the amazing food and the get-together of two amazing bloggers/reviewers. :) I’ve never been to Philadelphia or tried a cheesesteak either, but I’m really hoping too, ahah.

  7. Christina R.

    Philly’s donuts are WORLD FAMOUS (or at least they should be).

    The Art Museum is wonderful.

    I’m so happy you guys got to meet and had a wonderful time together!

    Thank you for sharing all these photos with us :)

  8. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    That’s so cool that you got to finally meet!! I’m super lucky that my co-blogger lives…um, across the hallway from me. Sisters make fabulous co-bloggers (particularly when you can squawk at them in the middle of the night to come proof read a post or whatnot. Chocolate bribery is a must with that one).
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…YA Authors Who Are Secretly Animated Characters

    • Kate Bond

      Yeah, I feel pretty lucky that Wendy lives so close to me, and Tonya isn’t that far away, either.

      And I am impervious to chocolate bribery.

  9. Layla A

    Aww, adorbs. Makes me want to go to Philadelphia and / or eat donuts.

    Also, what’s wrong with donuts with chocolate on top? DELICIOUSNESS, I SWEAR IT.

  10. Janice

    Aww, this post was cute! I always end up being the one waiting with a Kindle but only because I get nervous about being late and end up getting to places ridiculously early. How did you all connect if some of you have never met before (sorry if this was talked about before, I’m new to the blog!).
    Janice recently posted…Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor + Giveaway

    • Kate Bond

      Kim actually used to comment a lot here, and then we became friends on Goodreads. The big thing, the way we really got to know her, was during our readalong for The Book Thief. We were all really indifferent to it, and she wrote some VERY thoughtful comments about why she loved it.

      Wendy met all of us online, I think–she and I see a lot of each other because she lives a few miles away from me, but that’s a coincidence.

      And I tend to be out places reading my Kindle alone, too–I always carry both my Kindle and another book, in case the Kindle dies or something–but I am VERY rarely early and waiting. Like, something terrible has happened if I arrive at a place before the person I am meeting.

    • Kate Bond

      “Donuts and Cocktails” is what I want on my headstone when I die.

      Be equally jealous about both. They were damn good.

  11. Karen

    It’s always weird when I meet bloggers at events like BEA. We talk ALL the time and share personal information but haven’t met and I end up in line for an hour not even realizing I’m standing next to them until I look at their tag. lol

    I’m glad you had an opportunity to meet and have a wonderful adventure!
    Karen recently posted…Garden ramblings…this week in blooms

    • Kate Bond

      YES. Also–I already said this below–but frequently people who are really good at expressing themselves in writing can come across a little shy or standoffish in person, and it can be almost jarring. Just like meeting a lot of authors, I guess.

      • Karen

        That would be me! Everyone thinks I live this exciting life eating a traveling but I’m actually quite shy and boring in real life. Hahaha

  12. Carina Olsen

    I am jealous. Would love to meet all the different and awesome bloggers, hih :D And ah. It sounds like you both had an awesome time. <3 thank you so much for sharing :) (Also, I love the pictures of you two. Looking adorable! <3)
    Carina Olsen recently posted…In My Mailbox #128

    • Kate Bond

      I know. I’m bummed that I can’t make it out to BEA this year; that would have been a fun way to meet a lot more people in person.

    • Kate Bond

      It was a lot of fun.

      It’s always a little bit scary to meet someone you’ve only interacted with online, because we can be so so different in person, and people who are really good at expressing themselves in writing have a tendency to be more shy and reserved when interacting face-to-face, but Kim was exactly the same in person as she is here.

      • ashley

        I completely understand! I’m always fearful that in real life I’ll be very different than in person and more often than not my online friends are like “Nope. You’re exactly the same.” Which almost always makes me feel better. And she is the same person! I read her reviews in her voice!
        ashley recently posted…Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

        • Kate Bond

          I’ve been told that I am “less terrifying” in person. Am I super scary on the Internet, or do I just look like I bake cupcakes all day when encountered face-to-face?

  13. Brittany

    I spend most of my life in Cherry Hill, NJ which is literally a stones throw away from the city of brotherly love. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself Kate but you don’t like chocolate or Mayo?? This must be a west coast affliction since my hubby is the same way and he originally resides from L.A. come back again soon and get that cheesesteak girl *drools*!
    Please feed the Bookworm
    Brittany recently posted…♡Feature & Follow Friday♡

  14. Fishgirl182

    That’s so fun that you got to meet in person. And I like how you ladies roll. All if your food looks awesome.

    • Kate Bond

      The food was excellent. I have like four million gross-looking photos of the delicious food we ate on my phone.

  15. starryeyedjen

    Lovely post, ladies. Sounds like a grand time! :) My co-blogger lives in PA, so I’m hoping to one day invite myself for a visit and run up The Rocky Steps and imbibe frou frou drinks and devour cheesesteaks. In fact, I know my hubby wouldn’t let me leave until we’d had an authentic cheesesteak. :)
    starryeyedjen recently posted…{Joint} Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

    • Kate Bond

      We’ll do cheesesteak next time. I’m a big lover of Chicago’s Italian beef sandwiches, so I’m a little worried that a cheesesteak will pale in comparison, but I guess we’ll see.

      I hope you get to visit soon! It really is a lovely city. I don’t know why I was so surprised by that.