Monday, June 11, 2007

EAST COAST SWING- PART 5

Thursday, April 26th:
As Brian previously mentioned in his baseball blog, Thursday was spent in Philadelphia, PA. We headed north from Wilmington mid-morning and walked around historic Philadelphia. Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to Colonial times and has included a wide range of styles, sometimes showcased within a range of several blocks. Most of the city's landmarks in Old City and the Historical District in the Society Hill neighborhood east of Center City, including Independence National Historical Park, site of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. A steady drizzle fell as we walked around Independence Hall and snapped a few photos. Unfortunately, with tickets to see the Phillies we didn’t have time to wait in line to see the Liberty Bell, although it is visible through a large window from the outside of the building. I did, however eat my first “authentic” street cart Philly Cheese steak. YUM!


We drove south back to Citizen’s Bank Park for the 3:05 business person’s special against the Washington Nationals. The Philadelphia Phillies have played in the National League since their inception in 1883.
Although the Phillies are currently the only major-league baseball franchise operating in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Athletics, now based in Oakland after residing in Kansas City from 1955-67, were the club's (generally more successful) cross-town rivals during the first half of the 20th century. They are the oldest continuous one-nickname, one-city franchise in all of American professional sports (although the team briefly used alternate nicknames in some years). The Phillies also have had a long acquaintance with futility. They won their first league title in their 33rd season (1915), and they won their first World Series in their 98th season (1980), the 78th season since the beginning of the modern World Series in 1903, becoming the last of the 16 pre-expansion Major League franchises to win the World Series. In 2007, the franchise will reach the ignominious mark of 10,000 losses. Despite the club's meager overall success, the team has had its share of talent, and currently claims 31 Hall of Famers including, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Richie Ashburn.
Citizens Bank Park (informally called "The Bank") is a 43,647-seat baseball only stadium that opened on April 3, 2004. The ballpark was built to replace the now-demolished Veterans Stadium. Behind center field is Ashburn Alley, named after Phillies great center fielder and Hall of Famer, Richie Ashburn, a walkway featuring restaurants and memorabilia from Phillies history, along with a restaurant/bar and grille called "Harry The K's" named after Hall of Fame broadcaster, Harry Kalas (the Campbell soup commercial guy as well as the voice of NFL Films). It was a chilly afternoon so Brian and I hit the Phillies shop for a long-sleeved shirt and wandered around every inch of the park. Brian really wanted me to walk up to Greg Luzinski in “Bull's BBQ” for an autograph and to reminisce about watching him play for the Eugene Emeralds when I was a little girl – but I was too chicken! Instead, we walked down to field level and watched the last of the Nat’s batting practice and one of the coaches tossed me a ball!


Brian and I had great seats down the 3rd base line and in the upper deck. A great over-all view of the entire field and the city of Philadelphia.

Friday, April 27th :
Our last day on the east coast! Brian, Ann and I drove south into Cecil County, Maryland and had lunch with Brian’s Uncle Paul and Aunt Iggy at Wesley’s in Elkton, MD. Elkton was once known as the “Gretna Green of the West" because of its popularity as a place for eloping couples to marry until a state law was passed in 1938 requiring a 48-hour waiting period. Still, the town maintains several wedding chapels. Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were married in the Main Street Chapel.

It was nice to meet more of Brian’s family and to talk with Uncle Paul about baseball. Knowing I am a huge baseball fan, he showed up to the restaurant with a Spring Training T-shirt especially for me!



After lunch we took a drive through the countryside and before I knew it, we were in Pennsylvania! I woke up in Deleware - I had lunch in Maryland and ended up in rural Pennsylvania. Sound confussed? Brian's mom, Ann had mentioned growing up in Pennsylvania in a home called "Elbow Lane". I had this idea that it was somewhere in the middle of the state and had no idea that it was so close to Newark, DE. Brian and I really enjoyed seeing the old home and Brian took a couple of really great photos.


A few last minute photos before we left the east coast. Brian's last meal request was a Philly Cheese Steak from Mike's in Newark, DE.




Our hosts, Kerry and Julie Lee


Our last evening at the Lee's.

Brian and I say our goodbyes to Ann.

Our east coast adventure is over. We are looking forward to our next trip to the east coast

Stace