TMTW: September and October 2023

What happened:
I headed to Philadelphia for work, and got to sneak in some tourist things. Blog posts coming soon (ha, along with all the rest!) on the non-working elements of the trip, but I have to give a massive shout-out to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, which was epic. Really loved it.

As well as the Magic Gardens, we did a fleeting walk around the independence/colonial landmarks of Philadelphia - but not nearly enough of them as it was a sizzling hot week with temperatures of mid to late 30s - and also did a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary. Which is worth doing. Obviously went to the Rocky Steps. And went to Spruce Street Harbor Park. I'll share more about all of this in some blogs later on, I promise!

Back home we had a family BBQ, had a fun evening at Puttshack, and went for a mooch around the Tower of London. We got the Royal Historic Palace membership at the end of last year, so we're trying to make the most of that before it runs out. We had hoped we'd catch the tail end of the Superbloom - which was awesome last year - but it was all pretty past it in mid-September!

We headed to Jordan for a two-week adventure in which we mooched around Amman, had a driver take us to Umm Qais, Aljoun Castle and Jerash, flew down to Aqaba - where we snorkelled above a tank and plane - had an amazing adventure in the desert (Wadi Rum), explored Petra, then finally relaxed at the Dead Sea. Absolute snapshot of our two weeks but, again, will blog fully on what we did! 

Upon getting back from Jordan, we headed straight to Frome for a 40th birthday party. Also went to see the David Hockney: Bigger & Closer (not smaller & further away) exhibition at Lightroom. It was good, but we did quite a few these kind of exhibitions earlier in the year in NYC and they were executed so much better. (And were a lot cheaper!)

What I ate:
I had high hopes for the food scene in Philly but I was a bit underwhelmed, in all honesty. El Rey and Anejo (below) had decent enough Mexican, and Green Eggs Cafe is a good shout for brunch. I also liked Ember & Ash, but I found that Reading Street Market didn't really compare to London's street food scene. 

In London, I had excellent Indian at both Brigadiers and Darjeeling Express (we did the tasting feast at Brigadiers which was epic; went to Darjeeling Express at lunchtime, which is worth it for their super yum toasties), had pizza at Pizza Brixton (funnily enough), and a yum roast at The Old Queen's Head. Which has the most fantastic Victorian interior.

We also did the tasting menu at Sollip as an early birthday celebration for Olly, which is a yum Korean Michelin star restaurant. At home from Dishpatch, we did the Cochinita Taco Party by El Pastor and the Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank Tagine by Sabrina Ghayour.

Food shout-outs in Jordan centre around Amman. We had the best brunch at Shams El Balad and an excellent Wagyu katsu sando (amongst other things) at 13C Bar in the Back. Other restaurants in other cities were nice enough, but nothing outstanding that I'd want to mention. You end up outside of Amman eating in a lot of hotel restaurants. 

What I watched: 
Finished watching season 2 of Only Murders in the Building, watched Hello Tomorrow!, season 2 of Slow Horses, Beckham, Ahsoka, season 1 of The Afterparty, and started watching season 2 of Foundation.

Films watched: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Cocaine Bear, Barbie, The Little Mermaid (2023), Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and John Wick 4 (I watched half).

What I read: 
In September I read 6 books: The Scarlet Papers by Matthew Richardson got a 4* rating from me. In October I read 13 books. I gave The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman a 5* rating, and a 4 to The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith.

How have you been? x

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