THE PHILADELPHIA LEG OF THE EAST COAST TRIP
We left H early Wednesday morning and headed to the train station. We took a train to Philadelphia from D.C.'s Union Station. I felt so European! Metros! Beautiful old buildings all around! Traveling by train around the country! It was awesome! (NB: Another pro was added to the list of desirable features of living in D.C.)
At the train station we picked up a rental car to use for the rest of the week. This gal looked lovely sitting on the benches waiting for her friend. So I had to snap a shot of her.
M and I had a few hours before we were expected anywhere so we headed over to South Street where we were told by Dan our Philly local (and groom for the wedding we'd be attending) that it would be a good place to kill a few hours. Of course I had to have a cheesesteak.
I wanted to go for the authentic experience and so I asked the waiter which cheese he would recommend that I try. I think he was a little disappointed in me when I bypassed the Cheese Wiz and American combo and opted for provolone.
You know you are on vacation when you can say things like: these are better than yesterday's fries.
Then we headed over to the Reading Terminal Market cause M had read that there was a section where Amish merchants sold their goods. Probably my favorite part of Philadelphia that we got to see. The Amish merchants sold mostly food. This row of apple cobblers looked awesome.
There was food from other cultures as well.
I thought this sign in the ladies room was kinda funny.
This Amish booth sold a variety of custard type puddings.
M and I wondered about the legitimacy of these Amish merchants when we saw crumbled Reese's peanut butter cups in one of the puddings. Also, I think one of the girls was wearing makeup. Then again, we will be the first to admit that we don't know the details of Amish beliefs and restrictions.
Even though I was really full from my cheesesteak lunch, I couldn't resist buying a slice of Shoo-fly pie from one of the Amish bakers. He smiled a little knowingly at M when he handed the pie over. I forgot to photograph the pie, but it was dee-lish! It's basically just maple syrup, sugar, eggs and pie crust. The filling is a little smoother and lighter colored than the caramelish part of a pecan pie. This one also had a crumbly top which is made of more butter and sugar. I haven't researched why it's called a Shoo-fly pie yet but if you ever get a chance to taste some, I highly recommend it. I think it would have been great with some hot coffee and maybe heated up with a little vanilla ice cream on the side.
We wandered around the market for only a few more minutes because we needed to meet friends Ian and Amy. I got a kick out of all these sacks of flour next to one of the bakery booths.
Then we headed down to Carlisle, PA to meet up with Ian, Amy and their little girl Anna. Amy's dad and step mom had graciously invited us to stay the night so we could get a chance to meet Anna. The wedding we attended was for adults only so Anna had to stay behind with her grandparents.
I'm not sure how Ian and Amy feel about me posting photos of their kid on the internet, so I'll just leave those out. But I will say this: oh my god, she is beautiful! And goodness is she smart! There was one moment after breakfast when she pulled out some of her toys to play with daddy. One of them looked like a bunch of scrabble tiles minus the numbering. Ian flipped all the tiles over so that the lettered sides were face up and Anna proceded to separate the letters and spell out her name. Yep. She's not even two years old yet. Then they played an identification game where Ian would ask her to find the tile with the letter "Q" and so on and she'd pick them out correctly one by one. I asked Ian and Amy if they were planning to submit her application for Harvard's early acceptance deadline this fall or for next fall. M asked Anna what here thoughts were on the middle east situation. I'm sure if she had the vocabulary for it, she would have given him a response.