Friday, June 12, 2009


Ok, not the P-towns you’re probably thinking of. Not Pulaski nor Provo (gash, why would we talk about Provo at all on this trip?). Philadelphia and Pemberton, NJ. Philly has got its own special feeling that one can sense within the first 45 seconds of walking into 30th Street station and seeing it takes half the S.W.A.T. team and a K-9 unit to check the bags of boarding passengers. Ah, the city of brotherly love (just those brothers seem to be more like Cain than Able, I guess). Not to mention the unique odor that follows you around the entire city. Trying to figure out our next move without any help from the ill-informed and curt counter workers, we got our tickets for NJ Transit, stored our bags, so we could head across the river to see Philly’s favorite son at the Franklin Institute.

And get some Cheese Steaks, of course. Have you ever had Birch Beer? (Oh, that’s right, you live in a holy place.)

We learned a great many things in the science museum. Like, just because it cost 15 bucks does not mean it will be better than a free museum, just means you can touch stuff. And if you let hundreds of unruly school children touch and play with those displays every day, they are going to break. One can still learn from a broken model more by applying themselves to figure out what the random assortment of gears and pulleys was supposed to teach.

All in all, we learned that Taggart’s body contains 30 pints of blood (nearly a gallon), to apply for a US patent in the 1800s one had to build a scale model of their invention even if it was a new type of hoop skirt, and being a steam train engineer was more complicated than Chekov navigating the USS Enterprise.

“Vhat the heck are all t’ese valves and svitches?”

The next day was planned to head to the Jersey shore for fun, surf and sun. More like frigid surf and fun. With no lifeguard on duty, we took our lives in our hands and plunged into the 60 degree waves.

As our hearts tried to deal with the shock of near hypothermia and Taggart’s 30 pints receded from his extremities, we were reminded of what we learned our blood does for us.

Everybody now, extend your arms to the sides and bounce your knees to the beat. (That’s the circulation dance)

On the Seaside Heights boardwalk, we replenished ourselves with a carnival delicacy.

Deep fried Candy bars. Imagine funnel cake encasing chocolate, nougat and caramel. Makes my heart sweat just thinking about it. That battered covered Snickers took about 40 years off our Taggart’s life. So now he looks something like this:

With all that bent up energy coursing through us like Taggart through this pulmonary valve.

We felt we could take on the world. No yellow-toothed carney was gonna call us “girls” and get away with it. Challenge. Feats of Strength-Brandon 1, Carney did not win. I’ll relate further detail to you personally if you want. The next day we Greyhounded it out of Jersey en route to the Big Apple. Quite the trip with a good mix of family, fun, fried and Feats of Strength.

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