Where Am I, Philadelphia?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Got up this morning in Pennsylvania.  Drove to Delaware to pick up some plans.  Went on to New Jersey to another RV park.  We will be here 4 or 5 days. A couple days to finish this newest project, then 2 or 3 days to go back to Pennsylvania to explore Philadelphia and drive through the Amish country.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Worked all day today.  I was able to finish my project tonight so we are planning our Philly tour for tomorrow.  We rented a car for the next couple of days. After my work was finished we went to eat at a restaurant nearby and had a wonderful Chinese meal.  I believe it might have been the best Chinese meal we have ever had.  Lucy had a dish called Apple Walnut Shrimp with Broccoli.  It was as beautiful as it was delicious, but it was so delicious Lucy forgot to take a photo of it for the blog.  You will just have to trust us on that score.  I had shredded pork with Szechuan sauce.  It was not like any Szechuan dish I have had. It was a little sweet and a little spicy (hot), but not too much of either.  We were both delighted and if we are ever in South Jersey again we will visit Sakara Oriental and we recommend you do the same.  It is at 835 Mantura Pike (Rt. 45) West Deptford, NJ 08096.  The building looks like an old 50’s style diner, which is probably how it started out.  They actually have Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and they have a Sushi bar.  Good stuff.

Back at “Home Sweet Van” now ready to turn in and rest up for our trip to Philly.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today we toured Philadelphia.  If you are interested in US history, this is a place you need to visit.  The Declaration of Independence was brought before the Continental Congress here, debated, amended, voted on and adopted here.  You can visit the actual building where all this took place.  This is also where the Constitutional Convention was held and the delegates debated on, amended, and adopted the United States Constitution.  This is the home of the first US Post Office, first Hospital (still in operation today), first lending library, first volunteer fire department.  The home of Benjamin Franklin, who was also the originator of the above mentioned firsts.

We took a bus tour in a double decker bus.  The upper deck had no roof and that is where we sat.  Thankfully it was warm and dry today.  After the tour, we decided I needed a Philly Steak Sandwich at the famous Geno’s.  We were feeling good so we decided to walk to it.  It turned out to be farther that be thought, but it was a very interesting walk to what is known as South Philly.  Many of the streets and sidewalks are brick or cobblestone.  The buildings are very old and quite interesting.  There were lots of street vendors selling everything you can imagine.  I think farm produce was the most prevalent.  After that, meat, then fish.  Also lots of souvenirs, t-shirts, hats, trinkets, everything.  I swear I heard at least 5 different languages spoken by the vendors and shoppers alike.  I think there was a pizzeria on every block of every street.  We finally arrived at Geno’s only to discover that the line was about 1/2 block long.  It also turns out that the only place to sit and eat are a few tables on the sidewalk or a stainless steel shelf along the wall where you stood and ate.  When we finally got to the order window, I ordered a steak sandwich.  The board next to the window proclaimed that the cost of my sandwich would be $6.75.  The lady told me it was $9.00.  When I started to protest she gave me a look that said “take it or leave it bud, but move along”  When we asked for fries and cokes, she said “sandwich only at this window, next window”. Lucy went to the next window which thankfully did not have such a long line.  Lucy does not eat meat so her only option here was fries.  She got each of us a fry and a drink for $12.00.  Now I like Philly steak sandwiches and was excited to get one at Geno’s, but I have to say that it was not that great.  It was okay, but I was expecting more.  I have had better for half the cost at a sit down restaurant.  Sorry Geno’s, but I was unimpressed. In fact I was disappointed.

After that we had to walk back to the nearest stop on our tour bus route to get the bus back to the Visitor’s Center and our car.  By this time we were pretty third and full on mediocre food and it turned out to be nearly half way back the way we came to get to the bus stop.  We were very glad to see that bus coming down the street toward us.  We got on and sat on the lower level this time as we had already had the full tour. We got back to the car and back to the van without much difficulty.  Grabbed some takeout food and fell into bed exhausted.  Mostly a fun and very interesting day.  Even the long walk was fun and interesting.  But that sandwich, my my my.

All of these buildings are the same size and shape. They were purposely positioned to create the optical illusion. No matter where you view them from, they always appear to be different.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

So what do you do in New Jersey on a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon (after church of course)?  That’s easy.  You head for Atlantic City.  Try to recoup some of that money you dropped in the offering basket.  Isn’t that the idea? Give and you will get back 100 fold?  That’s what the preacher said and he was quoting the Bible.  And what better place to get that 100 fold back than a casino?  That makes it easy for God. Just make a couple of numbers come up or stop that machine roller on some giant red 7s.   I think 7 is a Biblical number anyway.

So off we went to Atlantic City where they have the big casinos. Well I can tell you that the 100 fold principal is flawed.   Or else I just missed a step in the method.  I guess I should have actually gone to church and dropped some cash in the plate. Maybe I skipped that step. But technically I did that when I thought about God this morning and then gave a couple of bucks to that homeless guy.  So I should have won a couple of hundred.  Right?  Right?

I can see it now:  My Atheist friends are lmao’ing, while my religious friends are tsk tsk ‘ing and shaking their heads from side to side.  Am I right?  Everyone else is trying to decide if they should lmao or tsk tsk.  Their decision may be influenced by the presence or absence of lightning. Just saying.

Stalking her pray, she is unfortunately unaware of a fact that the ducks know. Here tether is about 12" shorter than she thinks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Up this morning early.  We had some lightning and thunder through the night, but some of you will be surprised that we had no direct hits.  Anyway we did our morning chores, returned the rental car, had some breakfast, did laundry, I did a bit of revision work on two of my recent projects, then we headed for Lancaster, PA.  We are staying at the Walmart Arms tonight.  Tomorrow we intend to check out the Amish country around here.  It is cold here and we are hearing reports of snow to the north. It will not change our plans for this area, but we may have to head back to the coast instead of some of the mountain areas in New York where we had planned to go from here.  I think if we head north along the shore we are less likely to get severe weather.

The Delaware Bay

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2 Responses to Where Am I, Philadelphia?

  1. mike koslosky says:

    Nice report on Philadelphia. My dad was born in Minersville, PA but never shared much of his home state with us kids. Now that I am older, a little wiser, and still curious, I wish he was alive to talk to about the history of Phila. Gino’s sounds like the Soup Nazi (from Seinfeld) of Philly steak sandwiches. Ouch!

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