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The Streets of Philadelphia… (Day 2)

So sure enough, we spent a good hour or so this morning voicing the pros and cons to a good three options or so my Dad had come up with in the few hours he’d been awake before us. The whole decision making process that takes place between the three of us better become a little more streamlined towards the end of this trip, or we’re in for some long and frustrating discussions… (seeing how Jake tried to get us to decide whether he should get 2 or 3 pieces of french toast, a task that was apparently above his own head, I don’t really see the decision making between the three of us getting much better)

By the time we got out of the hotel, it was pretty close to noon, so our carefully weighed decision between breakfast at ihop or Denny’s was starting to look a little meaningless. We thought about going to those places for lunch nonetheless, but the ihop was completely full (yes, an ihop completely full at noon… I’d never thought I’d see anything like that either.) So the preposterous notion of making a second decision on where to eat became necessary, and we selected a nearby Boston Market. Unsurprisingly, it was closed until 1 for “electrical reasons.” I have no idea what kind of electrical problems keeps a store closed for an extra couple hours, more like “let’s sleep in for a few extra hours on a weekend… reasons.” We lucked out on our third try though, as there was a 5 Guys Burger joint just up the road, so on the pre-trip advice of my friend Andrew, we enjoyed some flat out fantastic burgers there.

Luckily, we started to get the hang of the NeverLost available in the car, and my desire to chuck it out the window into oncoming traffic subsided as the day went on. We made our way into downtown Philadelphia, parked the car, and just started walking down the street looking for something historic.

Pretty cool town, that Philadelphia… We checked out this little courtyard where Benjamin Franklin’s home once stood, as well as a little Ben Franklin-centric museum. We were rather aimless in our wanderings at first, and found our way into the Liberty Museum. I’m not really sure why we picked it out, I think it was based solely on the fact that the name “Liberty Museum” just sounds like it would have all kinds of cool artifacts inside; that was, until the lady at the desk inside informed us that it was a museum of “mostly modern glass art portraying the theme of liberty.” I think that the awkwardness of the idea of turning around and exiting the building immediately upon hearing this was enough alone to guilt us into paying the “expected donation” and walking around looking at glass art for a few minutes. Luckily there were a few kind of cool things interspersed between the random new agey glass stuff. I must say that few things are quite as enjoyable as watching Patrick C analyze a work of modern glass art…

Needless to say, upon leaving the Liberty Museum, we made more of an effort to find a map of the historical areas in Philadelphia.

Once we found said map, finding Independence Hall was much easier, and while it was only open for guided tours (which were completely sold out for the day) , it was still pretty cool to walk around and look at the building the Declaration of Independence was signed in. For a mild history geek such as myself, and a major history geek such as my Dad, it was pretty cool to think about the fact that it was in that actual building almost 231 years ago to the day (August 2nd) that the Declaration was signed.

Right across the street was the Liberty Bell, which was pretty cool. It was a nice quick walk through the museum, a quick photo in front of the bell, and we were on our way.

On the way back to the car, we decided that we were going to drive out the the block where the Football, Baskeball and Baseball stadiums are located; and my Dad thought it a good idea to ask directions from a guy we passed on our walk to our parking spot. Now if there’s one thing I think we’ve learned for certain on this trip, it’s to trust only the use of the NeverLost or GoogleMaps when it comes to finding our way from location to location. I’m fairly certain that our Philadelphia friend we spoke to told us about 14 different turns to take and gave us a half a dozen landmarks to watch out for on our way out to the stadium. “Really? Is that all there is to getting to the stadium? That should be a breeze!”

Thanks to our trusty NeverLost GPS system, we did find our way to the stadium, and after taking pictures with Dr. J (who Jake was telling us currently lives in St. George, a claim that after I assured him it couldn’t be true, he backed up with the rock solid testimony of “his friend Parker’s cousin.” Well paint me sold… –don’t worry, google later affirmed that Dr. J is currently residing in Florida with his family) we decided to jog on over to the baseball stadium and see if there were any cheap tickets left for the game currently in action.

Can I just say going to a major league baseball game is one of the more amazing experiences you can have? I really can’t think of an adjective to describe what it’s like, but there’s just something about walking into a ballpark, it’s really an unmatched feeling. Patrick C was completely loving life, walking around with an air of excitement almost like a kid in Disneyland. I couldn’t really blame him either. I mean, even though it was a team none of us knew a thing about, and a stadium that while absolutely beautiful, isn’t necessarily mired in history, you couldn’t help but walk around with a sense of childlike awe. Buy us some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, cuz we didn’t care if we ever came back…

After walking around and watching the game from standing points around the lower level, we walked up to our seats and enjoyed the comfort of being surrounded by Philly fans. I was thoroughly entertained by the ones directly in front of us… About 4 kids, none older than 15, and all of them stereotypical Philly fans in training. Calling their own players “bums,” discussing which ones needed to be traded and why, and losing their minds at a sweet bases loaded 2 RBI double in the 8th inning to pad the Phillies lead over the in-state rival Pirates.

Needless to say, all three of us left the Ball Park quite happy with that last minute decision…

That happiness felt was short lived, however, as we got bogged down in traffic that didn’t go away. We left straight from the stadium to New York, and for the first hour or so, averaged a break-neck speed of about 15 mph… By about 5:00 we were all pretty hungry, so we pulled off the Turnpike at the first sight of any town that would appear to have restaurants of any sort. The first such town was Bordentown, New Jersey, and the only place we saw from the freeway exit to the next freeway entrance was a Denny’s. Dad winced at the notion of something other than brown rice or fat free protein powder, and took being forced to eat a Denny’s omelette (with cheese! gasp!) in stride. Although, we were all rather disappointed when we discovered that what we thought was the way back onto the freeway was actually just a road taking us to much better eating establishments out of the town…

Invigorated by our hearty Denny’s meals, we set forth ready to tackle a further onslaught of traffic with renewed vigor; vigor we needed in excess once we came upon New York. Our Hotel was right in the middle of downtown Manhattan, and I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate what a nightmare it was navigating the insanity that is New York City traffic. Somehow we survived being cut off and honked at by Eleven-Thousand cars and cabs, and finally found our way to the hotel. After checking in, and finding a former resident of Dimple Dell to be working behind the front desk at our hotel (yes, the world is indeed small), we made it up to our room to find our view to be overlooking Times Square. That’s right, directly outside our bedroom window… Pretty cool…

We left the hotel to walk up and down Broadway real quick to enjoy a very quick view of the sites. We even got to see Jake jaywalk right in front of an NYPD squad car while trying to reenact a scene from the office (watch it here). Only Jake would be so immersed in his attempt at an impersonation of the Office, that he’d forget he’s in downtown Manhattan and not North East Sandy…

Well, it’s rather late again, and I was dying all day today thanks to my lack of sleep, so I’d better get some in while I still can.

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3 Responses to "The Streets of Philadelphia… (Day 2)"

  1. That’s hilarious that guy used to live on Dimple Dell. Insanely small world! Jake… good job jaywalking. Keep it up buddy. It looks like a blast. I LOVE manhattan. Such a fun place. I still remember the night we got there we went to McDonalds in Times Square to get some food and it was like 2:00 in the morning and the place was FULL. That city is nuts. Oh, and how you are able to write that much about each day blows my mind. I was so ready to get our blog done ASAP! Ha ha

  2. You forgot to mention that while we were talking on skype ashley laughed at something you said and spit her rootbeer float all over me and the computer! New York looks awesome!

  3. Another great blog entry!! Jake you can tell that you have never been to New York before. You will soon learn that they dont slow down for pedestrians there, they actually speed up!!!! Have a great day in the big apple!

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