oregon adventures

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Philly Redux

When the Phillies beat the Reds and went on to play SF, I bought world series tickets and made reservations to go back to Philly. When they didn't make it to the world series, my son and I decided to go anyway since we had plane tickets. This time I used my free Alaska ticket. Got to Philadelphia a few hours before Jeffrey, so I decided to get the car and check in to the hotel first. Didn't even get out of the rental car lot before someone hit me. I was in line to get out and a guy rolled into me. As we were filling out paperwork he said that he was loading his GPS and didn't pay attention. The Ford Escape I had was unscathed, so I went and checked into the Sheraton downtown that Jenna got us a discount for. Right downtown and on the 12th floor. From the window by the elevator on the 12th floor I could see the William Penn statue on top of city hall. Picked up Jeffrey later that night.
On Wednesday, we drove up I-95 to Trenton New Jersey to see the capital. The security guards said we could only do a tour which started in a half hour, so we walked around the capital complex to a coffee shop. Really pretty park with a fountain and old buildings. Took a tour of the capital and got pencils from the governor's office. As we left it started to sprinkle, so we ate lunch at a bagel place on the Pennsylvania side. The counter guy, when he found out I was from Portland, said he wanted to go there to see Voodoo donuts. I told him about some of the donuts I'd seen at Voodoo and he was impressed. Then over to Washington's Crossing state park to see where Washington did his famous Delaware river crossing. Unfortunately it was pouring so we just looked from the Escape. Then back to Philly and we did spin and weights and a 3 mile run from the hotel to the Philadelphia Art museum and up the stairs for the "Rocky" run again. It had stopped raining by then but there was still a line for the Rocky statue, so we didn't take pictures with Rocky this time. Then cleaned up and I asked the hotel concierge how to get to the Wells Fargo center by Citizen's Bank Park and he said "subway". He gave me a map to the subway entrance right around the corner, so we paid $2.25 each and got on the subway. In less than 15 minutes we were at the sports complex and went in to see the 76er's play the Miami Heat in the season opener. They were giving out t-shirts at the gate. Philly lost, but made a run at the end and almost came back. Rode the subway back and even at 11PM it was safe to walk around.

Woke up early Thursday and drove the 90 miles or so to New York City. Went through the Lincoln tunnel and into the garment district and parked in the first open garage we saw. Walked to the Empire State building and luckily I had bought tickets on-line. Bypassed the giant ticket line and then got in the giant elevator line and eventually made it to the top. Weather was high 70's and fairly clear, but windy. Beautiful view of NYC. Had tickets for the Statue of Liberty at 2PM, but decided to eat lunch instead, so we found a place without lines and that had seating and had a good lunch. Then to the Rockefeller center and then through Time's Square where we were featured on the Forever 21 screen. It's a 2 story video screen with shots of the sidewalk and a girl takes a Polaroid and holds it up and she held up a picture of just Jeffrey and I for about 30 seconds.
Then on to Central Park and through the park to the Met. Went in and went through the American wing and the weapons section. Then it was time for dinner, so we took the subway back to Time's Square and went to Gallagher's across the street from the August Wilson theatre were we had tickets for later. Had steak from 21 day aged beef and spinach and a great port. Then across the street to see Jersey Boys. We had brought a change of clothes, but that was back in the car so we went in tennis shoes and jeans and fit in fine, they get more dressed up for a show in Portland. What a fantastic show, especially from the third row. A gorgeous young girl next to me was alone, so I had to talk to her and it turns out she was a roommate of one of the singers and she was a chorus girl on her way to do a show in Indianapolis. Then we walked back to the car through Time's square at 11PM. Tons of people! The 21 screen showed a mass of people so we weren't visable this time. Great light show! The guide book said NYC had become one of the safest big cities and I agree. Then out through the Holland tunnel and the long drive back to Philly and the New Jersey turnpike stores close at midnight, so no diet pepsi all the way back.

Friday we woke up a little later and drove out the Pennsylvania turnpike to Harrisburg and the state capital. Amazing building! Very, very ornate with amazing senate and representative chambers. After touring that we saw people heading to a small pizza place, so followed and got a great lunch at a small row house place. Then down to a place I've dreamed of visiting for many years. I have read tons of Civil War books and have a two shelf section in my library for Civil War books. Have watched the movie Gettysburg countless times and heading into town it started to look familiar. Went to the Gettysburg park center and saw the short movie and Cyclorama. The Cyclorama is worth the trip by itself. Spent a bunch in the book store-gift shop and then took the auto tour. Stopped at Cemetery Hill and the Copse of Trees and Big Round Top and Little Round Top. That was almost spiritual for me standing on Little Round Top after studying the Civil War for so many years. Then down to the Devil's Den and the Peach Orchard and the Wheatfield. By then it was getting dark and the temp had dropped to 50 something with a cold wind. So we looked in the guide book and it said there was a great restaurant in Bird-in-Hand. Turned out to be a long drive to just past Lancaster and we got there at 7:58 and they closed at 8PM. The girl said sure come on in. Absolutely amazing food. The place mat said farm fresh and they weren't kidding. It tasted like it came from right out the back door it was so fresh and good. She even talked us into staying and having desert with a sugar-free pie that was great. Bird in the Hand restaurant in Bird in the Hand town in Amish country if you're in the area some time.

Saturday we slept in later and I did weights and ran from the hotel over the Ben Franklin bridge to Camden and back and around the Liberty Bell building and back for 6 miles and my 8th different state running in this year. Got Jeffrey up and we checked out and went to the Philadelphia Art Academy. They feature American Art and had some of the best paintings I've seen in a museum. Then to round out the trip we drove to the south side of Philly and went to Pat's and had cheesesteak with cheese whiz. It's right across the street from Geno's which we had gone to on the last trip. Pat's was much better tasting. As we were at Pat's a tour bus pulled up to Geno's. Then to the airport and the plane ride home.
This week my daughter Debbie and I are going to New Mexico to visit my Dad and Stepmom. If I run there, that will be 9 different states run in this year. Then I'll have to fly somewhere just to run to make 10. Next year, Pacific Crest half iron and then Canada Ironman in August.