>Mission: Philly Cheese Steak

>So we are in Philadelphia. According to the locals, it is a requirement that one must eat a Philly cheese steak while on a visit here. Since this is apparently an absolute, Carly, Lynn and I headed downtown to find “Pat’s.” We had no idea of the adventures that awaited us.

2:45 Depart hotel. Mike, our shuttle driver takes us to the train stop

2:55 Arrive at train stop. We are alone with the exception of a foreign woman. Still optimistic about our adventure.

3:10 Homeless man #1 stumbles in to train stop shelter. Carly makes that observation that he resembles a “John Neuenswander gone crazy.” We watch him rummage through trash- he seems harmless.

3:15 Homeless man #2 strolls up. Proceeds to join in on our conversation about Denver weather. Carly begins to exchange counseling advice with his life experiences.

3:40ish Homeless man #1 (who had been sleeping on the bench) starts laughing sinisterly and then proceeds to start shouting nonsense in Carly’s direction. With a great relief we heard our train whistle.

3:42 Board train. Giggle about our uncomfortable experience

4:00 Carly checks train map and finds out we are on the wrong train

Polly’s stress level begins to surface through silent demeanor

Turns out- wrong train got us to the right spot. (Miracle #1)

4:30 We befriended a Philly local (Miracle #2) and she leads us around trying to find close landmarks: City Hall, Giant Clothespin, _____ Park

4:45 Led into the middle of a gay rights demonstration. Philly friend asks a group of the “demonstrators” where the Liberty Bell is located. After receiving directions, we are told to “put another crack in the bell for the gays”

For her sanity’s sake, Polly confirms directions on her iphone

4:50 Souvenir shop stop

5:00 On our quest to find the Liberty Bell, the rain starts

5:15 We see Liberty Bell (Miracle #3) but the exhibit is closed. So we wave at it from 40 feet away. Rain increases into a downpour. We got wet. Very wet.

5:30 Flag down taxi. “We want a Philly cheese steak from Pat’s”

5:45 Arrive at Pat’s. Wait in line for 15 minutes. Consume the deliciousness quickly. (Miracle #4)

6:05 Deliberate on how to get back to hotel. Walked 5 blocks through little Mexico. Polly and Lynn’s nervousness begins to surface again. Carly remains confident and wants to walk. Without words or hesitation, Lynn flags down taxi

6:15 Arrived at train station (Miracle #5) Encounter a lot of homeless people. Lynn buys one coffee. After her offer, he orders, “Get me cream and suger…lots of sugar.”

6:45 Board train home. Thankfully this was uneventful.

7:30 Mike the shuttle driver is waiting for our arrival at train stop (Miracle #6)

Homeless man #1 still sleeping in station where we left him.

7:45 Arrive at hotel. (Miracle #7) Lynn begins to sing the hymn, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”

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