Our stop in Philly was a great chance to catch up with our friends Matt and Monica and to visit with my Grandmother and cousin Chris. But it was also a stark reminder of how soft we've gotten after two years in the tropics. During the drive up from Philly, the snow falling, slick highway surface, and speed of travel were causing us a bit of stress - conditions that wouldn't have phased us at all two years ago. Once we were in town, we didn't want to leave Matt's house. It was just too cold to venture out doors.
Matt and Monica did coax us out a few times to visit the gastropubs in Matt's neighborhood. And we were glad they did. The food at Johnny Brendas, which just happens to be managed by one of my college roommates, and N. 3rd was great. But since we'd already seen the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall during my college days in Philly, and since we were maxed out on museums after 3 days in DC, we were really content to hang around Matt's and watch Firefly, Joss Whedon's absolutely brilliant, prematurely canceled, sci-fi series. When we'd overdosed on space cowboys, Matt took us back to the wild west via a screening of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, a classic featuring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Watching these sorts of things with Matt is a terrific education for us as he patiently explains to us what makes them important facets of our popular culture.