Monday, August 30, 2021

Philadelphia 2021 Day 2b


Ye Olde Sassy Patriot
More May 27 2021
The Betsy Ross house had her grave in the courtyard. Not creepy at all.

It was a period residence, refinished to add period accurate furnishings to each room. The period accuracy extended to the flag being draped out on the floor in one of those rooms, with a note stating there was a piece of cloth under it to preserve the current “flag code” that did not exist at the time. However, since the flag design was also period accurate, and thus no longer our official flag, I’m not sure that mattered as much as they thought it did.

While walking through, Anabelle was pointing out her vivid memories of her third grade Betsy Ross project. I had tried to look up some details at the time and found many historians considered the Betsy Ross tale more of a nice story and unsubstantiated family legend than historical fact.  My daughter was incensed at that back in third grade, and by the memory of it on this trip. No doubt, the people who put the house together would be as well.
I can tell you one person who clearly was…BETSY freakin’ ROSS! 
In the near final room, Betsy was there, sewing away, chatting with visitors and asking trivia questions about her life and times.  When she asked Anabelle if she thought it was her sewing skills or design skills that brought her to Washington’s attention, she clearly meant it as a way to highlight it was the manufacture of the first flag, 
which is attributed to her, based on their requested design .
My loving daughter took this opportunity to point out, “SOME PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM, don’t believe you made the first flag.” Then she gave me a sideways stink eye.
During Betsy's inquisition, I stammered a bit through pointing out I’d read about a lack of concrete documented proof.
I was then subjected to a massive Sass Attack by Mrs. Ross, where she kept referring to “people who like documentation” while whipping out receipts for flag manufacture and pointing out official references tying her business to George Washington and other founding fathers.
Then Betsy suggested she believed Anabelle would like a “portrait,” and stated she also believed Anabelle would like a flag in the picture.  My soon to be attending college daughter practically exploded.
Seriously, she didn’t get this excited as a little kid meeting Disney Princesses.
For the record, I would like to state that Betsy Ross was an accomplished seamstress who did work for the founding fathers, which impressed them leading to the early manufacture of flags. She survived many personal hardships while remaining a self-assured and talented woman.
To avoid being berated by family and famous historical figures alike I shall say nothing concerning whether or not the documentation presented can be tied to the specific first flag ever, or any other historical questions. I shall leave those bits of independent research to others.
The final room downstairs was the kitchen, including recipes on the wall that looked like something special groups would work on in happier times. Anabelle was truly excited about Betsy Ross’s Hot Chocolate recipe, a combination of two of her favorite things.
We bought souvenirs of the house, as well as Liberty Bell stuff there. Anabelle picked out a book all about…
colonial Hot Chocolate.
Woo Hoo!
Instead of stopping at the nearest food location, which would have been infinitely wiser than any other notions at this point, I asked the workers outside about local reccomendations for a "counter service" spot. (Yes, everything is a Disney reference.)
The guy tried to answer and his coworker interrupted him to tout a fantastic place on the corner of Market Street that she claimed had great drinks.
Yes, this should have been a huge red flag, but we were deep in Crazy Hungryland by this time.
I thought I remembered seeing Market Street from the line for the Liberty Bell.  Therefore, I knew we could always walk back to the car if we didn’t like the place she recommended, and stop somewhere else.
Again, forgetting the fog of Crazy Hungryland,
Because I can’t help myself (and my family are enablers) we had a brief detour into a cool little comic book and game store. They had an excellent 50% off rack with several classic Deadpool collections I could have added to my stash.  For a change, even in Crazy Hungryland, a clear head prevailed. I realized that not only was I behind in my reading, but part of the reading I was behind in was going through the whole excellent Duggan Deadpool run in the proper order, since I’d collected them haphazardly.
We found the recommended place. 
It didn’t open until four o’clock, which it wasn’t. 
Also, we learned it was a sit down meal place, which we specifically said we didn’t want, due to our eyes on Chili’s for the evening. 
Rosa saw a Peruvian restaurant a couple of doors down, next to a Cuba Libre.  We walked in that direction, though we knew we didn’t want table service. The Peruvian place spelled multiple menu items wrong, knocking it off Rosa’s list.   I thought we were going down Market at this point, and asked Rosa (navigating on her phone) if we were heading back to the car and she said, “No away from it.”
This is because we were not only deep in Crazy Hungryland, but also not on Market Street.
By now, any rational communication between the three of us was impossible.  The only restaurant on that street that was “counter service” was a pizzeria. We entered hoping for sandwiches.
There were none.
Anabelle got a slice of pepperoni, and found it bland but acceptable. 
Rosa and I had a slice of plain each.
They were burned.
Lousy food can clear the fog of Crazy Hungryland as well as gourmet food and I remembered the “find where we parked” function on my phone.  This took us down the real Market Street. Not only did we pass about a dozen places we could have eaten, but it also did go directly back to the Liberty Bell and our car.
Well, crap.
We poked around in the visitor’s center store above the parking garage, but already bought everything we needed at Betsy “Mistress of Sass” Ross’s place.  Waving to the Rocky manikin and taking a goofy picture or two, we headed to the car. 
In what we learned is a Philadelphia tradition, the slowest and most annoying way to pay for parking was listed first on all the signs in a way that made it look like the preferred method. They went to the car to get in the air conditioner and I ran up and down between levels looking for the pay kiosk to get the exit ticket.
I then put the exit ticket into the gate machine as we drove out.  The slot for it was directly next to the much easier to use credit card slot than the exit ticket machine I had to hunt for had. 
Now that we had finished everything we planned for the following morning, we promised Anabelle to take her to the Valley Forge Garden the next day in the scheduled time of the stuff we’d already done. (I seriously need to Grid everywhere we go.)  We were not planning on going to the slightly further and much larger Valley Forge hiking trails, due to her ankle and timing issues. No bonus points for guessing what happened on this Gridless Adventure.
Back at the Best Western, we washed up, rested and snacked on leftover breakfast items we REALLY should have brought with us on the day's trip.
They offered me some of the Danish, but I refused when I heard it was raspberry jam, because I don’t like raspberry jam.  They were both puzzled because I eat Dunkin's jelly donuts. 
This was the day (after fifty-one years of my donut eating life) I learned Dunkin’ jelly donuts are raspberry flavored.  When I first met jelly donuts as a child, the only jelly I knew existed was Welch’s grape.  Seeing commercials for other brands, I assumed they were also only grape. Therefore, I always believed the donuts had grape jelly in them as it was the only flavor that existed in my narrow world view.  I associated the taste difference with it being over sweetened or a different brand, or (when I was really young) that baking it in the donut changed the flavor.
It never occurred to me it was a whole other fruit. 
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.
G. I. JELLY!!!!!!

Aside: This is apparently a family problem.  I told this story at a gathering and my sister and mother had no idea either, prompting Anabelle and her cousins to decide we're all insane...again. 
When I told this tale to a Dunkin' salesman, along with our children's' assessment, he said, "What do kids know?"
My answer, "Well, ours apparently know what kind of jelly is in a donut."
He replied, "True."

The Chili’s website said they only had take-out and delivery. We didn’t want to fool with delivery to a hotel, even one across the street, knowing how much Door Dash hates us, and refuses to admit our home exists.
Therefore, we ordered items that required fewer modifications than we usually do and I planned to go pick them up at the end of Anabelle’s Zoom dance class.
Anabelle watched instead of participating, to avoid risking further injury in the limited space of the room. Near the end of the class, I crossed the road, much like a chicken, to get the food. The Chili’s hostess, who had just seated a family in the clearly operational restaurant, led me back to the pickup area.
We had a fun, “room service” type dinner together.  Then Rosa tried to put the ElectroStim thing on Anabelle’s ankle.  First, we discovered a water bottle leaked in the souvenir bag, and her hot chocolate book was wet.  That was all right, since when it dried, it looked artificially aged.  Second we learned the ElectroStim batteries were dead.
I crossed the street again, because there was a 24 Hour Wawa next door to Chili’s.  Wawa is apparently the place to be for the teen crowd in King of Prussia as it was mobbed.  They did not, alas, sell batteries.
I asked at the front desk back at the Best Western, since they had a little pseudo-shop there, but they only had the size batteries for the TV remotes. The desk clerks were stunned that, hub of local party time that it is, Wawa did not have any. 
The clerks gave me the address of a local drugstore that was open late, but by the time I returned to the room to get my car keys, Anabelle was icing her ankle instead.
We all decided to pass out to prepare for another day where we would screw up timing (yet again) and be mostly meal-less.

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