This is not a sponsored post. I won tickets to Monster Jam and paid for everything else in this post.
My family is known for doing things on a limb. Don’t get me wrong, I like to plan trips, but sometimes things happen and you don’t have time to plan.
About a week ago, I received notification that I won tickets to Monster Jam at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. I honestly did think we would go since Philadelphia is a 5 hour drive, but when I saw the lineup, I couldn’t not go.
Some of our favorite trucks and drivers were scheduled to be in Philly for the Monster Jam like, Tom Meents (Max-D), Ryan Anderson (Grave Digger’s Son and driver of Son-uva Digger), and Adam Anderson (Grace Digger’s other son and driver of Grave Digger).
Even though, my family already saw Monster Jam in Pittsburgh, I’ve heard that Pittsburgh has a relatively small track and the Lincoln Financial Field is huge, so the trucks do more tricks.
The week leading up to the Monster Jam, I didn’t say a word to the kids. Normally, it’s hard for me to keep a secret, but, somehow, this time, I did. I wanted to surprise the kids, so I planned everything without them expecting a thing.
Since the show was on Saturday, I decided to pick the kids up early from school and tricked the kids into thinking we were going on a 4-hour trip to a doctors appointment, something we had done way too much in the past.
After being on the road for a little bit, the kids finally noticed something was up. Although, they asked where we were really going, we just told them it was a surprise. After a few shorts stops at Walmart for things we needed, we finally arrived at our hotel, a Holiday Inn in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Even though, it was close to 9 o’ clock the kids were so ecstatic that we surprised them with a hotel, but then we told them, we had another surprise for the next day…
The Next Day…
I’m kind of obsessed with crossing things off the bucket list. Although, I don’t really have an actual list, there’s things I know I want to do, especially while traveling, like visiting the every state in the USA.
When I found out Philadelphia was super close to both New Jersey and Delaware – two states we’ve never been to – I knew we had to at least cross the line into each state.
We traveled to Delaware first and, I was kind of surprised how beautiful the state was, plus Delaware has no tax! In the past, I’ve joked with my husband that no one ever says they are going to Delaware for vacation and there probably is a reason for it, but honestly, if there is, I have no idea what it would be.
Right before we left Delaware, I knew I had to get a picture of the kids with something that said Delaware, so we made a quick trip to the Welcome Center. After a few minutes there, I was able to get this cool photo of the kids with an actual Delaware Toll Booth replica.
After we left the welcome center, it was still early, so we decided to make the short trip up to New Jersey.
New Jersey was a state that I was really expecting to be dirty and full of cities, but to my surprise, the part of New Jersey that we went to was very clean and had a lot of farm areas.
We stopped at New Jersey’s Visitor Center and the kids were able to get a picture with an official Welcome to New Jersey sign and their Build-a-Bears.
After leaving the visitor center, we decided to stop somewhere and get gas before we headed back towards Philadelphia. Since Pennsylvania has such high taxes on gas, I try not to buy gas in PA, if I don’t have to.
Gas in NJ was a bit cheaper, but apparently it’s all pumped by an attendant and you can’t pump your own gas? For us, that was kind of odd and something we’re not used to, but it was nice not having to pump our own gas for once.
After leaving the gas station, we headed back towards Philly. At first we were going to avoid tolls, but since that added an almost extra two hours, compared to 15 minutes with tolls, we decided to suck up the toll cost. Thankfully, it was only $5 to cross the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and once we crossed it, we were right in downtown Philly.
(Picture below may or may not be the correct bridge, we went over quite a few and I’m not sure which is which… oops).
When we got into Philly there were buildings everywhere. But, since Philadelphia is the biggest city in Pennsylvania, that really wasn’t a surprise. But what was a surprise was that finding a parking spot was almost impossible or too expensive.
Even though, we didn’t really care if we did much in Philly, there was one thing we really wanted to do, try a famous Philly Cheesesteak. We had read about some places in Philly, but one that kept coming up was this place called Geno’s. This place was somewhere downtown, but when we got there, there was absolutely no where to park; both sides of the road was packed, and the line to Geno’s looked huge.
We were a little disappointed, but decided to head somewhere else and look for a place that wasn’t as busy.
After some more driving and getting a little hangry, we passed a little food place as we were heading out of the city. (I think out?)The place, Shanks, had both parking and a 4.1 Star Rating on Google, so we decided to eat there. Even though, there was a line, it wasn’t nearly as busy as the other places downtown.
We ordered two cheesesteaks and when they came out, we literally scarfed them down. They were so good! Monster Jam
By the time it was 5 o’clock, we couldn’t take any more driving around, so we parked inside Lincoln Financial Field and waited. Monster Jam didn’t start until 7pm, but we were able to get our tickets and our seats at 5:30.
When the kids realized we were at Monster Jam, they nearly lost it. They hadn’t stopped talking about Pittsburgh’s Monster Jam and this one had 14 trucks! (Pittsburgh only had 8).
While I will say, Pittsburgh had more competitions for the monster trucks and ATV races, the show in Philadelphia was pretty good, too. The trucks even did more tricks than Pittsburgh’s show since the field was outside and bigger and we even saw a few backflips.
Our favorite part, though, was the Monster Jam Freestyle competition where all the trucks get to do whatever they want to do. Some of the lesser known trucks like, my son’s favorite, Mad Scientist and Mohawk Warrior did really awesome and really put on a great show.
Philadelphia’s Monster Jam show lasted until almost 10pm, so by the time it was over, we were all ready to be out of there. Unfortunately, getting out of the Lincoln Financial Field was worst than getting in – it took us almost 2-hours!!
Since it was midnight, when we finally got out, we decided against booking a hotel for the night and, instead, made the long 5 hour drive home. Even though, we are still catching up on sleep, our trip to Philadelphia was so much fun!
Have you ever been to Philadelphia?