Holly and I have been careful throughout the pandemic so any travel has been out of the question for us.
We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to work from home during the pandemic but since we’re not traveling, we haven’t used a lot of vacation time. Our university allowed us to carryover some time from last fiscal year into this one. We’ve taken some time here and there. We were able to have a home-based version of our annual Staycation, and we took some extra time over our winter break.
For a while, our workplace had been saying that we wouldn’t be able to carry any vacation time from this fiscal year into next so we were looking for opportunities to take some time.
I had suggested taking Thursday, April 1 off for baseball’s opening day and then take Friday off to make a long weekend. Since we had time to use, we then decided to just take the whole week off.
Not so long ago, our university announced that we could carry some days over. We’d rather use our days when there might be a possibility to travel so we cut our week off back down to just Thursday and Friday.
Our long weekend started with some welcomed good news. We got word that we were eligible for our first COVID vaccine shot and scheduled it for that Wednesday morning. We were a little sluggish the next day from the shot but that didn’t matter since our plan was to sit around watching baseball.
We planned on getting lunch from Southgate, a Korean gastropub across the street. It has been one of our favorite places ever since it opened in 2015. As it turned out, they had decided to pause offering lunch in preparation for the warmer weather. Not a problem. We just went with having dinner from there instead.
In general, we have both been trying to eat healthier but couldn’t resist doing something a little more decadent over our long weekend. I got their Bulgogi Burger (bulgogi marinated beef, pickles, gochugaru aioli, on a brioche bun and served with fries). Holly had the Seoul Hot Chicken sandwich (Korean fried chicken breast Nashville hot style, slaw, kewpie mayo, pickles, also on a brioche bun and served with fries). As I mentioned in my March 2021 in Beer and Wine post, we occasionally get beer from them, and we picked up a six-pack of Firestone Walker Fly Jack.
Friday was a little chilly but sunny so we wanted to get outside after our lazy day of watching baseball. Over the weekend, businesses along South Street were displaying decorative Easter eggs and encouraged people to find as many as they could and post them to Instagram.
I wasn’t interested in entering the contest so I brought one of my film cameras with me since I wasn’t trying to post any pictures on Instagram. I don’t have those photos developed yet. We found only about 8 of the 25 eggs.
One interesting aspect of not dining out for over a year is that we’ve ordered more takeout and delivery. At first, we ordered from places we already knew but over the course of that time, we tried some new-to-us places that we really like and look forward to one day going there in person.
One of those places is Tomo Sushi and Ramen. We’ve ordered from there twice and have loved it both times. It works well for us since Holly has been cutting down on eating meat, and I haven’t yet embraced eating raw sushi. Tomo offers a wide variety of vegetarian and cooked fish options so we have plenty to choose from.
This time we ordered:
- Shiitake Mushroom Roll
- Philly Roll (Smoked salmon, cream cheese, asparagus)
- Salmon Yaki Roll (Asparagus, avocado, spicy mayo, fried onion, topped with cooked salmon & unagi sauce)
- Red Shrimp Roll (Shrimp tempura topped with seared spicy tuna & Sweet miso sauce)
- Straw-Veggie (Oshinko, kanpyo, shibazuke, avocado, topped with strawberry & unagi sauce)
- Vegan Red Dragon (Spicy vegan tuna (tomato), avocado, topped with vegan eel (eggplant))
The weather on Saturday was delightful: sunny and in the low 60s. We took a long walk to Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park. Luckily, a lot of the trees and flowers were starting to bloom.
We had only been there once before shortly after we moved to Philadelphia over 9 years ago. As the name suggests, it’s on a hill and provides great views of the Schuylkill River, Boathouse Row, and the Philadelphia Skyline.
That night, we made Bean Mazeman based on a recipe from Serious Eats to which we added ramen eggs. We used Bayo Chocolate beans from Rancho Gordo, which was a special bean available through their bean club.
We had thought we might go back to South Street on Sunday to find more of the Easter eggs, but we wound up walking nearly 7 miles on Saturday and were content to stay home and rest our legs. We decided to embrace being lazy and ordered brunch from The Gold Standard Café, another place we discovered during the pandemic. We’ve ordered from them a few times and are looking forward to one day going there as well.
I ordered the Crab Cakes Benedict, and Holly got the Vegan Mexi-Tacos. The Crab Cakes were better than they look in my photo. They didn’t travel well for aesthetic purposes but tasted fine once reassembled.
We ended our weekend with some home cooking, making Chicken with Radicchio based on a recipe from The Guardian.
As always, it was nice having a long weekend. We have more time off at the end of May. A while ago, we decided to take off the week leading up to the Memorial Day weekend. Little did we know at the time that we will be fully immunized by then and can do more than get takeout and sit inside watching baseball!
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