It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (and DE!)

I grew up in a “When in Rome” type of family. When we travel we’re there to experience the culture, so you have to go outside of your comfort zone!  And that definitely extends to food.  Food is a huge part of any culture (she says as she writes a food blog), so going to a new city or country and not trying the local cuisine seems like a big waste to me.  This summer BF and I are busy traveling bees; we’re bookending the summer with trips with each of our parents, and making a lot of weekend trips up the East Coast, so we should get a lot of chances to do as the locals do.  Frankly I think we probably overdid it a little, but it sure has been fun so far!

Last weekend we went to visit our dear friend Will in Delaware.  I had never been, and was SO excited to do all things DE!  It was absolutely beautiful there.  I really like living in DC, but every time I leave the city I’m surprised by just how much I miss being in a house, and having lots of green space around me.  Luckily we spent time at both the Hagley Museum and Longwood Gardens to get our green fix.  We ALSO drove by Joe Biden’s house and went to a coffee shop that he and Dr. Jill are known to frequent, which made my whole weekend.  We didn’t see them, but still.  My love for the Bidens runs deep, so it was very exciting nonetheless!

My camera is completely incapable of doing Longwood justice-- it's SO beautiful!

My camera is completely incapable of doing Longwood justice– it’s SO beautiful!

The trip to DE was eventful to say the least.  We decided to take a bus there and back, as it really isn’t very far from DC and is certainly the cheapest option.  Now, I have only taken Megabus one other time in my life, and it did not go well.  The bus was 2.5 hours late, and when we finally got on the road, it broke down 15 minutes into the trip.  So when BF said Megabus made the most sense for the trip to DE, I was reluctant at best.  But I decided I had just had back luck.  I was wrong!  Our bus was again over 2 hours late, and they fed us some phony story about the driver having shown up and not seen anyone (which is just nuts– that terminal was FULL of hundreds of people).  They did, however, give us a full refund immediately, so there’s that at least!  This is all a long-winded way of saying that we were supposed to get to DE at 9:25 pm but wound up arriving at 12:40 am.  Needless to say there weren’t a lot of food options (and since we hadn’t had dinner, boy were we hungry!), so Will took us to a DE institution: WaWa.  We do not have WaWa where I’m from, nor do they have them in DC.  It probably sounds silly, but after Will had talked about it so much (for yearssss), I really felt like I was experiencing a “real” DE thing!  I came away from that weekend a definite WaWa fan– it saved us in a pinch more than once!

We also spent a day in Philly, since according to Will, “when you go to DE, what you do is go to Philly.”  Will was a great tour guide that weekend, and took us to all the classic Philly places: Independence Hall, Reading Market, and the Rocky steps (which happen to be attached to a really beautiful art museum, if you feel like perusing some masterpieces after jogging up the steps).  And what would a trip to Philly be without a Philly cheesesteak??

Our host and his cheesesteak love

Our host and his cheesesteak love.

This cheesesteak was my very first, and Will assures me that Tony Luke’s has the very best Philly cheesesteaks in all of Philadelphia, so part of me feels like I never need to have one again!  I’m not really a big meat person, and definitely not much of a beef eater (unless we’re talking about the gin, in which case the story changes a little…), but I really liked it!  I have to admit I did get onions on mine, which is apparently not the classic way to go and a bit of a no-no, but I still feel like I was fairly legit.

Onions or no, a definite winner!

Onions or no, a definite winner!

Between WaWa and Philly cheesesteaks I definitely came away feeling like I’d played DE native for a few days.  It’s always great to go to a foreign country and experience a completely different cuisine, but I like getting to explore American cuisine too.  It’s so neat how different pockets of the country, even ones that aren’t very far away, can have such unique dishes that become a part of who the people of that area are.  Which reminds me, if any non-Rochesterians out there are wondering what exactly goes into a garbage plate, I’m your gal!

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