Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just returned home from another great family vacation. This one took more planning than any of our other trips. When we asked the kids where they wanted to go, Cole answered Philadelphia. We thought "great, he wants to see all of the history there." Oh no, that was not the reason. He wanted to go to Pats and Genos, the world renowned, Philadelphia cheese steak rivals. Coincidentally, they are literally right across the street from each other. So the wheels started turning and I spent several months trying to incorporate Pennsylvania, DC and Baltimore into a 7-day vacation. A few friends of mine from work are from Philadelphia, as well as, sweet friend, Maija. They were happy to help me with ideas and details.
Baltimore was not in our plans. However, because this area is so highly traveled, the rental car companies were going to charge us over $500 to pick up the car in one location and return it in another. There's always a fee, but I found it to be only about $100 in the past. There enters Baltimore into our plans. It was between the two cities. Phoenix is a short FIVE-hour flight to Baltimore. Tack on a THREE-hour time change and we have our days and nights mixed up. We flew in at 9 pm. Of course, everyone was starving, so even though our final destination was Pats and Genos, we stopped for dinner in Baltimore. I only had to mention that I had heard that Baltimore's Inner Harbor was beautiful and a very nice place to have dinner and it was decided. I do not eat red meat, so I was secretly thrilled that we were stopping for a nice dinner before hitting Philadelphia. We entered the restaurant at 9:55 p.m. They were closing at 10, but they graciously offered to let us have dinner. Can I just say that I had crab cakes three times during this trip. They were wonderful! After dinner, we walked along the harbor and then hit the road for Philly.
We brought Suzy Q with us. That's my name for the handy-dandy GPS system. We would have been lost without her. We weren't travelling to the nicest neighborhood in Philadelphia. Unfortunately we were arriving at 1 am. They were still lines at every window. You can't miss either of the restaurants. They are lit up like Las Vegas.

The center guy in the window is Pat. I have no idea why he was still working at 1 am. He obviously is doing very well and I'm guessing not paying too much in rent. I would be sleeping.
You literally walk across the street to Genos. He was probably home sleeping.

The taste test was completed. My three all voted for Pats!
We pulled up to our hotel at 2 am. It was only 11 Phoenix time, but I knew that we would be very sleepy when we woke up the next day.


Sandy Michelle said...

Welcome back! I never heard of steak sandwiches with cheez whiz! I tried crab cakes in the U.S and didn't like it very much. Now I have to think of a name for my GPS. She has a Brittish accent :)


Teresa said...

How great that you went all that way for an original Philly Steak!! Love it! Someday I'd like to go back to some of my fav. reastaurants all over the country. And to try out some of the ones you see on the Food Channels!

Hope all is well with you and your Summer is great!! Looks like it is so far! Drake got a car...did you see that on my blog? I pray even more now...

Maija said...

I'm so glad you had fun!! Who can resist crab in Baltimore?!?! Yummy.
I'm also a fan of Pat's, with real hot peppers on it!

Saucy said...

OMG. Just today Veto and I were watching the Baltimore Orioles play and I said, "I wonder if people ever go to Baltimore for holidays?" and he said, "Nobody. Ever."... I win!

The dueling Philly steak story is the best. I love his reason for wanting to go there. Oh, and a little history never hurt either.