We rented a car to drive to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Gettysburg. First, we had the most cliche lunch that South Philadelphia has to offer: a cheeseteak from Pat's. And it was good!
The thing about cheeseteaks in South Philadelphia is that they are best when served with a little bit of profanity. As Roo was at the window about to order his sandwich, he had to wait for the guy behind the counter to finish hollering, "shut the hell up and make the damn sandwich" at his female co-worker. And that was probably the best Philly Cheesesteak Roo ever ate.
J and Sam loved their cheesesteaks, too. And so did the pigeons--they flocked around and pecked at each other for the scraps from our sandwiches. I think if the guy behind the counter had seen this, he would've hollered, "hey pigeons, shut the hell up and eat the damn scraps." I think its just a South Philadelphia thing to yell at pigeons--pigeons and women. But those Phillies sure can cook a cheesesteak!
We took a nice tour of Independence Hall:
Here is the hall of the Constitutional Convention. It was really neat to imagine what it would have been like to be there with all our founding fathers. And then I wondered if maybe they had their own salty South Philadelphian there to holler, "Shut the hell up and write the damn Constitution." Probably, since their approach to constitutions is much like their approach to cheesesteaks, and we ended up with such a good Constitution, after all.
That's just how they do things in Philly.
The Liberty Bell
We spend that night with Jim and Kathie and their baby, Seth--I mean, Gavin--at their apartment in Baltimore. We had a wonderful dinner and played a killer game of Yahtzee where I rolled my first ever Yahtzee and Kathie made smoothies with their Magic Bullet. So it was like living in an infomercial for the evening. Thanks Jim and Kathie!
The next day was pouring rain and I was coming down with a bad cold, but we drove to Gettysburg anyway. I just loved it there! The colors were perfect. It wasn't too crowded. I had even read Killer Angels last summer to prepare myself. Roo's enthusiasm for the likes of Little Round Top and Devil's Den was dampened (pun intended) a bit by the rain, though...
Probably one of the best parts of Gettysburg was this amazing restaurant we found. We were cold and wet and we came upon this underground tavern in the basement of a historical home which was actually part of the Underground Railroad. The whole place was candle lit, the servers wore authentic clothing, and the menu had a lot of extra "e"s on the end of words like "corne". The dark, warm, rough timbered tavern was perfectly cozy with our hearty food and a warm mug of apple cider, complete with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.