Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

I got woken up a little before 11:00am by my mom telling me that my grandpa was in the hospital. His pulse at been 32 beats per minute, which is life threateningly low, so the doctors were looking at giving him a Pacemaker. She made it sound serious but not life or death, so I wasn't insanely worried. Not like I could have done much anyway...being so late, there was no way I could have gotten home before the next day anyway.

So we both showered and got packed up, then went back down to the lobby to see about reserving a room for the night in Philly. I Pricelined the Holiday Inn that's in downtown Philly, paying a little less than $70 for it. At that point, I was also not quite so concerned about paying a little more for a nice room, given the scary situation in Hershey two nights before.

We checked out of the room at noon, then had to head back to the McDonald’s across from Dorney to pick up Allan's car. While we were there we both grabbed some lunch. We sat near the window so we could have the good coaster view, then a whole group of guys came up and sat down outside, and spit through the whole meal! What the hell are you spitting when you spit continuously for that long?? It was really disgusting and pretty much made me lose my appetite.

Luckily for Allan he was facing away from them and got to enjoy Lazer goodness while he ate!

When we left, he followed me into town, as I tried to follow the Mapquest directions I had gotten. They appeared to be correct, but I missed the last exit I needed to take, and ended up at the riverfront instead of in downtown Philly.

Allan, getting frustrated with all the one way streets in downtown Philadelphia

We stopped in another hotel and asked for directions, and luckily we were in the right area. We found where we needed to be, but had to drive around the block since the hotel was on a one way street. Once we got there, we realized that the parking was $20!!! What a freaking rip-off!!

I got checked in, and it was pretty obvious that I was given the worst room in the hotel. I've worked in hotels...I know that the person who Priceline's a room same day will get whatever's left over in the inventory, so I'd have never complained about the room I got since it was perfectly functional. But it was a handicapped room, with one double bed, and had a view of the roof of their convention space, with a graveyard off in the distance! How lovely! hahaha But since it was just me, it was gonna work just fine (also, I'd checked the regular price online that morning and it was over $200...so I had no right to complain anyway!).

Deciding that there was no way we were paying so much to park Allan's car too (parking was $20 for one car per room, additional cars were $28!!!) we drove around a bit until we finally found a lot that was $16. Still a lot, but better than $28! We got parked, then hoofed it to the park with the Liberty Bell. Kevin had given me real grief a few days earlier about not doing anything historically significant like seeing the Liberty Bell, so I knew he would be happy to see me doing something so cultural.

Me with the most famous crack in the country

It didn't even take 5 minutes to see it since I really didn't care to read the extensive exhibits about the people who made it and all.

Afterwards, I didn't have any idea what to do, so we walked over to South Street and took a stroll. We popped out heads into a bunch of shops but ultimately only bought a couple of trinkets.

OMG! It's a Van Gogh plush! And the ear comes off so you can give it to someone you love! hahaha

Thinking of you on South Street, Mike!

I also stopped in four tattoo shops to see about getting an estimate for the tattoo I want. I'd printed it out online that morning since Allan had mentioned all the tattoo shops in the area, but every person I spoke to seemed to not be able to do it. One person told me that he *might* be able to do it, and that he would charge me $900 for it! Uh, no way! For $900, I'd expect the best damn tattoo the world has ever seen! I think I will make some modifications to it, then try again with shops local to me...hopefully someone will be able to do it!

After a few hours of wandering, we stopped at a Rita's Italian ice window and we both got a treat. It was really good...very refreshing on a hot day after so much walking!

Allan enjoys his Italian Ice

Woah! Allan *really* enjoys his Italian Ice!

Having been up and down the length of the street, we started back towards my hotel to just chill for a little bit. Some parts of the city that we passed were so beautiful and so well kept that they looked like movie sets!

A movie set backlot looking street in Phily

Eventually we ended up back at my hotel, where we watched some unexpected American Chopper as we decided what to do for dinner. We considered getting pizza delivered, but then Allan suggested having Chinese food in Chinatown, and that sounded like a great idea!

Allan tests out one of the lobby sofas

We walked to Chinatown, which was quite a walk, but obviously neither of us wanted to pay to park again! Since they all looked pretty similar, we randomly decided on the Ho Sai Gai Chinese restaurant since it had the word “ho” in it’s name. We were the only two people eating inside the restaurant, which threw off the owner a bit when we asked to sit down haha. We ended up getting a family meal type combo, with chicken lo mien and shrimp with lobster sauce, as well as egg rolls, rice, hot and sour soup, tea and fried wonton strips. The meal was sooooo good, and it was huge!

It was so good that we licked our plates clean, literally!

No Allan! Don't do it! It's scalding hot!

We had TONS of food left over once we'd both eaten until we were stuffed! And the waitress (the owner?) was top notch, constantly keeping our glasses filled and asking if we needed anything. We sat there grazing for about 2 1/2 hours...that kind of thing happens when the company is good...before deciding that we both should probably sleep at some point that night!

During dinner, I had mentioned that I had never been in a Wawa store, which Allan decided had to be fixed that night! So after dinner, we walked over a few blocks so I could get my first Wawa credit!

Wawa enthusiast!

It actually was quite a step up from a normal convenience store in that they offered good looking, nicely prepared food, as well as tons of custom Wawa-made products. I didn't get anything since I was still stuffed from dinner, but it definitely looked like a cool place to grab a quick bite.

Allan rolls around on the grassy knoll in Philadelphia

It was getting pretty late, so we walked back to the hotel and lingered a little bit more. By about 1:00am, I reluctantly kicked him out onto the streets of Philadelphia since I knew I had about a 13 hour drive ahead of me the next day and needed my sleep. I bid him farewell and safe passage back to his car, as I packed up my stuff again and hit the bed.

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