In West Philadelphia Fun and Braids

Wow! This weekend was a whirlwind! I had such a blast!!! I think I was so nervous about my presentation that I forgot it was all about fun and friends too Smileimage

This morning Katy and I got up bright and early (literally we woke up at the same second when the sun peeked in) and went for a run/walk to explore Philadelphia.

I have been to Philly once before for the New Harvest event, but we didn’t do much sightseeing. So, I was really excited to check it out.IMG_7872 (800x600)

First stop was the LOVE sign. It was super close to our hotel and we almost missed it because it’s a lot smaller than I expected!IMG_7873 (600x800)

Then we headed to “the Rocky stairs”. IMG_7879 (800x600)

I ran up them Rocky style even though I’ve never seen that movie SmileIMG_7881 (800x600)

Go Rocky Monica Go!IMG_7885 (600x800)

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View from the top:IMG_7882 (800x600)

Then, we headed toward the Liberty Bell. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open yet so we only got a picture with it via reflection from the window.IMG_7903 (800x600)

One more important landmark stop before going back to the hotel to get ready for breakfast…IMG_7905 (600x800)

Monica runs on Dunkin Winking smileIMG_7907 (600x800)

Another traveling running trick I use is always packing extra plastic bags. When I take off my sweaty clothes I can keep them from contaminating the rest of my stuff!IMG_7910 (800x600)

The Healthy Living Summit swag bags were pretty awesome.  I had to do some ninja packing to get everything to fit. This included stuffing my shoes with goodies.

These are “ca-shoes”IMG_7912 (800x600)

After a quick shower and change Katy and I headed to breakfast. I filled up on oatmeal (because it tastes better when someone else makes it!). IMG_7967 (800x533)

Plus fruit, cereal and 2 hard boiled eggs. (I just ate the peach on the flight!)IMG_7966 (800x533)

Everyone squeeze in for a group shot!IMG_7968 (800x533)

I love the end of conference breakfast because all the presentations are over and everyone is just enjoying the last few minutes together before we have to go our separate ways.healthy living summit 2011 breakfast

I met Theodora last year at HLS and now consider her a friend.healthy living summit 2011 breakfast 2

But, every time I try to call her she doesn’t answer. I wonder if I have the wrong number? Or if it’s a problem on her end?IMG_7981 (800x533)

Blogging conferences are jam packed and can be a bit overwhelming. But everyone was still in a funny mood this morning!healthy living summit 2011 breakfast 3

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Finally, it was time to say bye to friends like  Meghann and Tina…healthy living summit 2011 breakfast 5faith fitness fun healthy living summit

I’m not doing what you think in this picture! Janetha’s shirt says “Running Sucks” and I had to cover up the suck.rer and janetha meals and moves

After breakfast a group of us that weren’t leaving until 4-ish explored the city.IMG_7986 (800x533)

walk dont run

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Finally I got to see the liberty bell! liberty bell

Did you know The Liberty Bell was given to the United States as a gift from Liberia*?! That’s how it got it’s name!those facts are actually jokes*Unless I just made that up.

We went to the Terminal Market for lunch.reading terminal market

When people heard I was going to Philadelphia for a conference they said I had to have a Philly Cheesesteak while I was there.IMG_8028 (800x533)

I don’t eat red meat, but remembered that Chicago pizza at last year’s HLS changed my life. Plus, sometimes I make exceptions for local delicacies. But, I didn’t have to this time because we found a place in the market that made Vegan Cheesesteaks! It’s called The Basic 4 Vegetarian Snack Bar.IMG_8005 (533x800)

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I ordered one and asked Evan and Katy to watch my stuff while I waited for it.

This is what I found on my camera just now…IMG_8009 (800x533)

Thanks guys. Betcha thought I wouldn’t post this.IMG_8010 (800x533)

I also got the most massive salad I’ve ever seen out side of my own kitchen! These were sold at a produce stand and I suspect it is intended to be enough salad for a family dinner. But, it was all mine! Huge bonus – it was under $4.00!IMG_8011 (800x533)

For a comparison shot I put my sunglasses by it. This really was a bucket!IMG_8013 (800x533)

I ordered a side of “soy chicken salad” from the veggie place to put on top as dressing.IMG_8017 (800x533)

I was more excited about the bucket of salad than the veggie cheesesteak! But that’s because it is impossible to find a legit volumous salad for a decent price when you’re traveling!monica with bucket

This picture was taken before I realized these two already had a photo shoot with my camera. IMG_8019 (800x533)

I took a few bites of the cheesesteak to experience it while it was fresh. But, saved the rest for my long travels back to California.veggie philly cheesesteak

I also have dessert ready to go!attune barOne more thing…

I LOVE you guys for reading!the love sign phillyRER means a lot to me and it’s been growing like crazy for a long while now. I totally realize it wouldn’t be anything unless you stopped by to see what’s going on with me and I really appreciate it.

PS – Yes, the title is an ode to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


  1. says


    Just want to see it was wonderful to meet you, even though I didn’t really get to talk to you or hang, I wanted to say it was great to meet you in person!

    You are even more beautiful in person! Hope you had safe travels home!

  2. says

    I’m kind of determined to go to HLS in 2012 because of these awesome posts. Thanks for the inspiration — both the blogging and running kind.

  3. Lisa says

    Any post ending with the Fresh Prince theme song is a great one in my book (such high standards, I know). And now it is stuck in my head. :)

  4. says

    Sounds like your presentation went well! Glad you got past the nerves!

    Love the picture of you covering up Janetha’s “sucks.” haha

    I want to go to Philly one of these days! And HLS too.

  5. says

    Ha, I think the opposite – oatmeal tastes so much better when *I* make it! Maybe that means I’m just too picky.

    Also, loved your recaps! And the blog all the time because you are hilarious. And pretty. (Not only am I picky, but creepy, too!)

    • says

      Don’t you love when you leave a comment where you forget you have a WORDPRESS blog, and you type in your address wrong? Awkward… sorry, other blogger with 2 entries from 2008…

  6. says

    ah, this sounds like such a fun day. I love the view from the top of the Rocky Steps. I’m all for veggie cheesesteaks but I’m pretty sure that’s not what they had in mind when they said you had to have a cheesesteak while you were there 😉

  7. says

    Your pictures from HLS look so fun! I think that sandwiches made at someone else’s house always taste better :)

    I always forget to bring bags with me on vaca for my sweaty clothes and end up snagging the hotel laundry bags… New, sweet surprise at the gym- they put in a roll of plastic bags in the locker room!

  8. says

    I love reading your blog; it always brings a smile to my face! :-)

    I did not get the reference to the title until you said something. Very clever!

  9. says

    Youre not going to believe this but I have wasted all night hunting for some articles about this. I wish I knew of this website earlier, it was a great read and really helped me out. Have a great one

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