Our nephew & his beautiful wife, Marcus & Ilyse, greeted us at the train station and after settling in our bags at their place took us for a drive to South Street, Philadelphia. One of the first things you notice driving around are the incredible murals that adorn every conceivable space in the city. Honestly, I could do a post just on the murals but this is just one that took my eye.
Now prior to us arriving in Philly (just like a local, heh) I had heard from a number of different sources that the local gastronomic delight called ‘cheesesteaks’ is a must for any visitor. Marcus promptly told me that all the cheesesteak hype centres around two warring establishments named Pat & Genos across from each other and it is the tourist ‘thing’ to buy half a cheesesteak from each vendor and decide which camp they reside in. For those in the know the locals actually go to a 3rd guy called Tony Lukes which Marcus promised to do later in the week but for now he wanted to take me to a Sports Bar called ‘Chickies & Pete’. Now before I proceed in order to prove I listen to your complaints about gaining weight whilst reading this blog, I will endeavour from now on to limit my food pictures to 1 per meal.
As well as the mussels above we also had crab fries (chips with dipping cheese and seasoned with something more addictive than crack cocaine), buffalo wings (fried in the same stuff as the chips), and king Alaskan crab claws (at least this was healthy). The only response I can give you after finishing this meal is that if I could get ‘Chickies & Pete’ to open in Sydney I would gladly never have schnitzel, egg & chips again! On the way home we passed some houses on the river that were all illuminated and were told they are the fraternities of the local rowing teams.
One of the lesser known things to do in the area is to visit the ‘singing rocks’. Evidently one takes along a hammer and strikes the rocks to produce different harmonic tones. I know when one does this down south they call it ‘hard labour’, so I decided to sit it out.
Now most of us know that our colonial cousins are just a tad more active in flag waving than the rest of us and when we visited Washington DC over the Memorial Day weekend (think Anzac Day kind of thing) the effect was multiplied tenfold. There was also a parade of 1000s of Vietnam Vets on motorcycles (Bob you’d have been in heaven)
We visited DC for 2 reasons, one to see the memorials & stuff and the other was to go to our first baseball
match game. Now Marcus & Ilyse barrack for the are ‘Phillies’ fans but they were playing in Washington against the ‘Nationals’ so we left Philly at 7:00am for the 3 hour drive to DC (can’t you hear Debbie whinging?) so we would have time to visit all the touristy stuff AND go to the game.
I can tell you Deb and I had a fantastic time at the game and we both agree it beats the crap out of cricket! We then walked up & down the mall which is the area containing all the memorials/monuments, Capital building & the Whitehouse all placed around various parks and lakes. I won’t bore you with shots of these icons as you’ve seen ’em many times, however here are three lesser known monuments, WWII , Martin Luther King & 9-11 Pentagon.
I was taking this shot of Debbie & Marcus with the Reflection Pool & the Washington Monument in the background when the crowd behind me in front of the Lincoln Memorial started ‘oohing and aahing’. Turned just in time to snap this shot of a soldier who had just proposed to his girl who said yes and the crowd went all gooey and started clapping.
The day in Washington was exhausting but we covered a lot. Our last day in Philly was miserable weather but we just had to do the other thing that Philly is famous for……cue theme from Rocky…..
So we ran up the steps of the Art Gallery in the pouring rain and when we got to the top there was even a spot marked where you put your feet and jump like an idiot. They originally had a statue here of Rocky but there were too many complaints from the highbrows so they moved it to a grassed area on one side at the bottom of the steps (see Deb’s facebook piccy).
Now the next part of our adventure begins when we pick up our car rental and head out on the road by ourselves….can’t wait!