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When I last paused my story, we'd arrived in Philadelphia on nearly no sleep after our drive from Chicago, but with two girls that were ready to roll. We'd stopped by the DoubleTree Philadelphia, but knowing how early we were, as expected, our room was not yet ready. Fueled only by coffee, we set out for Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell to jump right into that true Philly experience. Being a Sunday, we were ahead of the crowds, and managed to stop by Carpenter's Hall and the Betsy Ross house as well...

Published in James' Journal

Around 30 years ago, my parents took my sister and I on a road trip to Washington, D.C. Along the way, we stopped at several locations in Pennsylvania, making memories that have lasted a lifetime. With our girls hitting two and five this year, my wife and I decided it was time for our first family vacation - and as such, it was to be a road trip. We plotted several potential courses, with the Philadelphia area set to be the focal point and ultimate destination for a couple of reasons. First off, we were going to finally take Sprout up on a long-standing offer to stop by the Comcast Center and see Chica at the Sunshine Barn during a visit to the set of THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW. Second, we wanted to head for Langhorne to visit SESAME PLACE. During our planning, we attempted to pack in as much as possible, with potential stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, West Virginia and Cincinnati on the chart. Instead, we strategically plotted our trip to be centralized in PA - visiting some iconic locations in Philly (but scrapping the Sprout visit), our big trip to SESAME PLACE, a visit to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE in Easton, HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD in Hershey, and a swing back through Ohio to visit my friends at SMUCKER'S on our way back to Northern Illinois.

Published in James' Journal

G.J JOE or COBRA? Autobots or Decepticons? Coke or Pepsi? Angels or Demons? Empire or Rebellion? Throughout the course of time and mankind, there have many been epic battles that have raged on and become the subject of infinite debate. Is there a "right" or "wrong" answer? Probably not, but whichever you prefer will ultimately become your "right," and besides - everyone knows that COBRA rules. Last week, however, I dropped myself smack-dab in the middle of two longtime rivals, PAT'S KING OF STEAKS and GENO'S STEAKS - both located directly across from one another in South Philadelphia. You see, I dig a good "Philly Cheesesteak" - but I'm from Chicago, and up until now, I'd never had the chance to take the cheesesteak challenge for a legit Philly Cheesesteak. While this doesn't really fall inline with my fitness challenge, I made an exception (and hit the hotel gym later) to choose my side.

Published in Food and Drink