Monday, August 30, 2010

Not quite Willy Wonka . . .

This weekend, Andy and I had the pleasure of going to Philadelphia, PA, to go to a wedding reception of my cousin. My dad grew up in the Philly area, and for all of my childhood, his parents lived there, so we would visit there in the summers. Shortly after my Mom-Mom passed away (almost 10 years ago), Pop-Pop moved to South Carolina, so we haven't had an excuse to go back there since. It was strange to be there, and not really have a place to report back . . .

Nevertheless, the reception was great--a very handsome couple, good food, dancing, and all the standard reception activities. The strange coincidence of it all is that the bride is the one for whom the reception was held in Philly (well, Valley Forge, really), because she is from there. So, it just happened to be a coincidence that the groom (my cousin) also had ties to that place.

Anyway, we lived it up while we were there. Andy had his first official cheesesteak from Pat's, the originator of the cheesesteak. This place is crazy--they can conduct an entire business transaction in probably one minute flat (order, pay, receive sandwich). Here's how this transaction might go forth in another shop:

"Hello, how are you today?"
"I'm fine, thanks. Yes, I'd like a cheesesteak, please."
"What kind of cheese?"
"Ahhhh, hmmmm, how about Provolone?"
"Would you like onions?"
"Okay, that will be $7.50."
*Customer hands clerk card*
"Okay, will that be debit or credit?"
"Debit, please."
"Enter your pin, please. Would you like a receipt?"
"No, thanks."
"Okay, have a nice day."
*Customer waits for sandwich.*

At Pat's, there is none of this. Cash only, first of all. The above transaction would read like this:

"One provolone with."
"(To cooks) Provolone with! $7.50."
*Customer hands clerk cash, and just about by the time they receive their change, they walk away with a hot sandwich*

Streamlined. Efficient. Low-tech! And they must make a killing, JUST SELLING SANDWICHES.

We also went to Hershey, PA, to visit the Chocolate World. We've just read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so I had high hopes to see some Oompa Loompas while riding around in a glass elevator. Unfortunately, the free tour of the factory ended up being a 10-minute commercial for Hershey's chocolate (and, as it turns out, a rather effective one). It was 9pm when we entered--an hour to closing--and it was packed. And when we stepped off the tour (which was complete with "chocolate smell" and all), we went downstairs to the madness of the gift shop. People were buying armfuls of chocolates as if they'd never seen the stuff before and expected to never see it again (or maybe they were all trying to get a Golden Ticket?). Nothing special about them, either--just regular old Hershey bars. Weird. Thanks to Andy's tenacity, we resisted the urge, and walked out unscathed.

Anyway, Andy's started classes today, so life is changing. I'll be starting my training later this week for Kindermusik, teaching music classes to little kids. Yippee! That will be fun. Still looking for another PT job, but there you have it . . .


  1. Yeah, Chocolate World is definitely better as a kid, and I could probably still recite the whole tour spiel to you since I've been there so many times! My favorite question I ever got when I worked at one of the resorts was, "Where can I buy some of the perfume that they spray into the air by Chocolate Avenue?" Somehow they weren't quite satisfied with my response that the smell actually came from the chocolate being made in the five factories that run along that part of Hershey...

    And real cheesesteaks...I'm so jealous! They're just not the same anywhere else.

  2. Now I'm super hungry. SUPER hungry.

    I think you must be VERY happy there in Philly!!