Roots Picnic 2018: Philadelphia Recap

It has been like 30 hours since I came home and I am still exhausted from this trip. I'm not accustomed to such long road trips so my body is pretty mosh up. 

Philly was a timeeeeee! What a great city. I was a little apprehensive at first about going because as a devout Dallas Cowboys fan my opinion of those from Philly (Eagles fans) isn't exactly the greatest. I will openly admit, I was really really wrong. The city itself is picturesque with an endearing old charm to it and the people were exceptionally nice as well. I should also add, I've never seen so many joggers in my life! I think I saw more people jogging than I did walking or driving during my time in Philadelphia. Perhaps, it is because all of their food is delicious they have to jog it off? I know I must have eaten a billion calories during my weekend there and I did NO jogging at all. 


Friday, June 1, 2018

My day started at 5:30am on Friday. Super early. My boyfriend (Mark) and I were picked up at 6am by my best friend Jummy and her boyfriend Siem. Let me preface this pick up with, Enterprise car rental can go suck a lemon. We had booked a car with them months prior to going on this road trip and the night before they decided to pull some nonsense. Jummy had gone to their Yorkdale location to pick up our vehicle for the weekend only to be told they had already rented it out to someone else and had no more cars that size available. So it was between a pinch up Smart Car or having to pay extra for a luxury vehicle. 

Stupid. How are four big big adult humans supposed to trek 16hrs round trip in a tiny Smart Car? And to have no similar alternative or free upgrade since they screwed us? Unacceptable. Luckily, Jummy had her own car so we ended up using that for the duration of this road trip.

The drive towards the border went really fast and we crossed the border with no issues. Usually that is a good thing right? Unless you are Mark and Siem who asked the customs officer if the show Border Security was taping and how they could get on. SMH. We definitely did not have anything in the car that would warrant us being on that show, thank goodness.

Upon crossing into New York State we made our way over to the first Bob Evans we could find in Amherst, NY. I had been to a Bob Evans before and knew this breakfast would be an awesome meal to start the latter part of our journey with. They had these Reese's Peanut Butter Cup pancakes, delicious. I dummied that plate. 

We continued on our journey through some little towns and villages because we chose the 'avoid toll routes' option on our GPS. I'm still unsure as to why so many areas had no lights on their roads? We were driving in the middle of the day and that was still very odd because I imagine at nighttime it was really scary. There was another stop along the way to stretch our legs and we somehow ended up in Suzea's Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe in Mount Morris, NY. Probably the best apple pie I had ever tasted and the owner was super nice too, giving us a heads up about keeping to the speed limits because the police were eager to ticket out of towners. Following that, we had one final stop to refuel and enjoy the $1 menu at McDonald's before finally getting to Philly at about 7pm.   

Narrow roads much? Wow. The foliage and views were incredible driving into Philadelphia but holy crap were the roads a little wild. There was a moment where we made a right turn into a street that had a bus lane, a bicycle lane and there was also cars parked.... we had to somehow fit between all that and also not cause any accidents. Success. 

Jummy and Siem dropped myself and Mark off at our AirBnB in the Spring Garden area. This area was amazing! It was on a quiet street named Brandywine that had trees and joggers everywhere but at the same time was 10-15 min walk from the center of Philly and the Rocky statue. Awesome. 

Our AirBnB was probably the smallest one I had ever stayed in, but for the price and the location for a place that we just needed for sleeping? It was really perfect. Mark and I decided to take a little walk and during that one hour managed to take in a full inning of a little league baseball game, see the Rocky statue and the steps and buy a 15-pack of beer for $18.42 USD. We get shit done!

After a much needed shower and outfit change, we walked over to the Sheraton Hotel downtown where Siem and Jummy were staying. Near them was 'Love Park' - yes, it was time for me to take the absolutely most headass video/pictures of my life. I regret nothing.

Once the photo shoot in front of the LOVE sign was completed we took an Uber over to Dallesandro's, it was time to enjoy one of the staples of being a tourist in Philadelphia.  Philly cheesesteak time! I had done some reading on what the best place would be to eat one but I was fortunate enough that a really nice follower of mine from Twitter (Shout out to Rell!) that lives there put me on the one he felt was best. I didn't eat any other cheesesteaks while in Philadelphia but I can say - WOWWWWWW was the massive portion of food I ate at Dallesandro's delicious. 

This place was madness. There was a line going out of the door when we arrived and when we finally left. Make sure you go on the right side of the line to order and on the left side to pick up. Also, this is not for you quiet-indoor-voice people. It is loud and very busy, you will need to yell your order and they will yell back at you to confirm. 'Wiz wit' worked fine for me. Bring cash, as well. 

Through the chaos and the anticipation to have your name called, we finally got our cheesesteaks. I didn't realize it would take two hands to hold this sandwich. Behemoth of a melty, drippy and scrumptious smelling meal. All four of us really enjoyed our choices. 

Naturally, after being up for 19 hours, the drive to get to our destination and now a massive meal - it was finally bed time. 


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Although our AirBnB was small, the bed was pretty damn comfortable. I got a really good night of sleep after a long day of travel and ahead of a long day of standing and dancing. 

Our friends Lorren, Kevin, Brendan and Kyra arrived at 8am after a long night of driving from Toronto. As they freshened up, Mark decided to go get his Rocky on and run the stairs as a morning workout. Who works out on vacation? Pfft. I won't make fun of him too much as he did also go across to street to a bakery called Sweet Nectar and bring me some of the best donuts and cupcakes I have ever tasted. Apparently the owner used to be Jay-Z's accountant. Super random. 

All eight of us made our way over to Green Eggs Cafe at this point. This was another recommendation by my friend Rell, and he really went 2/2 on this. I had called one hour ahead to try and get seating for our large group and managed to get two tables of four next to each other. Winning.

The whole group (minus myself, because EWWW champagne) decided to partake in some mimosas and get to ordering the goodies on the menu. I knew exactly what I wanted because I had read this menu before even getting to Philly. French toast stuffed with cookie dough. This was so sweet and filling, I probably smiled for the next four hours without even meaning to. On top of that? I guess the kitchen had made an extra waffle and they offered it to us instead of throwing it out. Yep, ate that bad boy too.

Now that I couldn't breathe and my shorts no longer fit me comfortably - we walked over to the main event of our weekend. The Roots Picnic

Our timing was a little messed up because for the earlier sets there really wasn't anyone performing all of us cared for, but because we were already so close to the event we decided to go in anyways. Kevin partook in the NBA2K tournament, that was fun to watch and cheer him on. (He won his round

The first performance I was really excited about was when Jadakiss, Fab and Styles P performed. They all did their own sets, along with some duets. Hype. Very very hype. 

Jadakiss lost so much weight, but his voice still sounded like the smoothest rasp ever.

Fab performed a staple.

Styles P performed, well, most of my friends fave song by him

There was an amazing set done by DJ Drama after that, where much to our surprise he brought out T.I.

At this point, I have to say, we were a little disappointed because we thought Meek Mill would definitely be a guest for Drama's set but he was not.

After gallivanting around and getting some food from the food trucks, most of us went over to another stage where The Diplomats were scheduled to perform. I really looked forward to this because most of my high school memories had a Dipset soundtrack to them.

Cam'ron came out and killed it. He performed one of my favourite songs from high school along with a song that I rap loudly when I go to parties but wouldn't dare sing near any coworkers. It was a damn shame Jim Jones wasn't there and neither was Juelz because he is on house arrest. That really would have made it even more perfect.

Once Cam had finished, I felt finished as well. My ankle was in pain and I was just gross and tired from the heat all day. However, the final (and main) performance of the day was still left to be seen. This was supposed to be The Roots with Brandy and 2Chains, alongside comedian Dave Chappelle hosting it. A notice had been up all day on the screens that this performance wasn't event allowed to be recorded nor have pictures of it taken - lame.

I was over it. We left before this performance even happened. Usually I would be disappointed in myself for not finishing an event but I felt a little better once I saw tweets about the final performance actually being rained out. With the amount of people that were inside that festival, I'm sure once the rain fell and there was nowhere to hide from it - it was a sticky and wet mess. I was very happy we made the decision to be home long before that happened. 


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Our final day in Philly.

We woke up and all eight of us made our way to a brunch spot Brendan had suggested called Moshulu. I liked this place. It was a large boat with seating both inside and outside on the deck. Really fancy-looking but their staff was warm and didn't make it feel uptight. 

I had the Oreo pancakes and Mark had the fried chicken and waffles. Not a single complaint from either of us on those choices. I should also add, for $17 USD per person they had a 'bottomless mimosas' option which half of the table took advantage of as well. 

After the meal we all ran upstairs to the deck and enjoyed the views of the water and the random yoga sessions going on inside a different part of the boat. 

This was a really nice end to a great trip. After leaving Moshulu we began our drive back to Canada, arriving home sometime around 11:30pm. Long ass day, again.


I hope I return to Philly again one day. Although I realize the city would make me gain 50lbs - maybe I would eventually take up jogging as well? Doubt it. I'm sure there are some places in the city that aren't as beautiful as everything I had seen, but because I didn't see them I can't really say. I do know that the people were really nice, hospitable and cooked some bad ass food. 

Their NFL team can still go kick rocks barefoot, but the people, sights and food can get all my hugs (and money).

- Mirna