He says...

             So I didn’t really know what to expect from Pennsylvania.  You have a couple large cities, lots of land in between them, Amish country and supposedly some good cheese steak sandwiches.  We decided that our date was going to be in downtown Philadelphia to see some historical sites and then eat lunch which I knew that we would both hate.

             It all started walking around the Liberty BellIndependence Hall and several other old buildings.    There was a lot to see, but I was hoping for something a little more impressive.  The Liberty Bell was cool, but everything else is almost forgettable.  I really am a history buff, but a lot of the history in the U.S. really doesn't leave the impact on me that other countries do.  I'll probably explain that more in detail some other time though.

            After we built up a good appetite, it came time to try the famous Philly cheese steak sandwich.  We asked around and found a place that reputably serves the best in town.  Of course it looked like a hole in the wall and had a big line.  I ordered a spicy jalapeño one so that the spiciness could mask a bit of that disgusting cheese taste.  Needless to say it didn’t work and as hungry as I was, and as much as I love steak, I could barely swallow each bite because the cheese made it so awful.  Yea, I know, I’m weird about not liking cheese.  I have been that way my whole life.

            Anyway, after a very unsatisfying lunch, we walked back to our plush 4 star hotel, relaxed a bit, and then walked around a bit more before having a nice dinner and couple of drinks at a restaurant with an outdoor patio. It was at this point that I really noticed that people on the East Coast aren't into much chit chat.  They all seem to have an agenda and if you're not helping someone, you're hurting 'em.  It is a weird perspective for me to grasp.

             All in all though, Philly is a pretty normal city, but I have a feeling that the rest of the state might hold a lot more interesting sites for us to explore. 

She says...

            Ah, Philly, the city of brotherly love. Definitely not the city of cheesesteak love. You see, pretty much the only thing Jacek hates to eat is cheese, and pretty much the only thing I hate to eat is steak. Put them together? It's like double kryptonite.

            But allow me to back up. Jacek had returned to east coast to visit me for a second time. So we were on our first mini-roadtrip on the east coast. Having started in New Jersey the day before, we hopped back into my car and popped over to Pennsylvania for a night. My, what a difference from the boardwalk to the Liberty Bell! We went from a smoky motel room to an elegant hotel in the heart of old town Philadelphia. We were walking distance from all the historical buildings, restaurants and of course, the bell itself.

            Honestly, the last time I'd actually seen it was right around 4th grade, so it felt like a new experience for me too. During the day it was slightly overcast (also known as regular Portland weather), so it was perfect weather to walk around and explore the city. After exploring for several hours, reading all the historic signs and meandering about the districts, we decided it was time to eat. Of course when it was lunchtime when we had our infamous encounter with the cheesesteak!

            We actually had no idea where to go to eat, so we asked the security guard at the Liberty Bell. He suggested (without hesitation) this one place a few blocks down. I’m completely blanking on the name, but if it comes back to me, I’ll be sure to pass it on! Once there, we both looked at the menu with slight disgust (him because of all the cheese and me because of all the red meat). Finally, after quite the deliberation, Jacek ordered some spicy hot version of the cheesesteak and I settled on one with a lot of veggie toppings. I guess we were both hoping to cover up one of the two main ingredients in a cheesesteak. All in all, however, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought! In fact, I’m also pretty sure Jacek enjoyed it too. He actually finished the entire thing. And I have a picture to prove it!

The City of Brotherly Love

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