A moment to remember (and tell you all about) our day/adventure in Philladelphia. First, I have to admit that I can never spell Philadelphia. I blame the fact that for some reason it is shortened to "Philly" even though there is only one "L" in the original word. Weirdos.
Tuesday morning I put in about 3 hours of work and left at about 10:30. I went to Sam's Club and gassed up and then I stopped home to pick up some provisions and the directions and such. Then I headed over to Mike's place to pick up the guys. They wouldn't let me have the Billy Joel tickets until I gave them this game patch that I downloaded for them but hadn't gotten a chance to give to them. So we did that.
Then we all hopped in the car and headed to the Turnpike! Woo. Adam took a picture of the chicken which is never as impressive as I think it is. Probably because it was impressive and like *HUGE* when I was about 7. And we don't go that way much.
The trip into the city was kind of convoluted, the google directions were not specific and we got a tad turned around... but then Mike and his awesome navigation skillz got us on the right track and we took a more direct route into Philly (which involved driving through the city a bit more, but we got to see lots of cool murals and such). Parking at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park worked like a charm. It was about a 5 minute walk to the subway station by the Wachovia Center. We walked over there and found the token machine (bought return fare as well) and figured out the system pretty quickly. Helped that we were getting on at the end of the line. Didn't help so much that the place was pretty vacant... no one who knew what they were doing to follow.
We got off at the City Hall stop and started walking towards Independence Mall. We stopped in a Burlington Coat Factory to use the bathroom. We got to Independence Mall just in time for the last tour of Independence Hall! Cutting it close. We had to empty our pockets and go through metal detectors and such. Not helpful since all three of us had lots of things in our pockets. Ugh. Mike might have lost one of his auxiliary car keys there. D'oh.
We had a few (10) minutes before the tour started, so we looked at the statues and took each other's pictures with Adam's camera. I was having flashbacks to 8th grade (last time I was really *in* Philly) for a field trip. I was even remembering which tree we sat under to eat our lunches. Silly memory. Our tour guide was great. He was really into it and he knew his stuff. Adam and Mike enjoyed the tour and I think they learned some stuff that they didn't know! They certainly were impressed by the fact that so much of what is there to see is the original furniture, paint colors, brick work, wood work, etc. I was proud of my state. :-)
After the tour was over, I was hoping we would be able to go see the Liberty Bell.. but no such luck. It's pretty well secured, and it was after 5, so things were really closed for the day. We were lucky we made it for that tour. So, we took a few more pictures of the outside of the hall and then we went to find the Phlash Trolley.
This was probably one of my best finds on the internet in the days before out trip. $1 a ride... takes you all around down-town Philly and goes up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Rocky-steps place). So, we hopped on at Independence Mall and I gave Adam and Mike a pseudo-guided tour (using my maps and general knowledge... pointing out buildings and landmarks and such). We got off at the Rocky-steps-museum... which was closed, so we couldn't even check out the lobby.. but they were *just* closing so Adam asked the security guy if he could pop in and take a picture... Mr. Security was completely non-plussed and apparently did not care, so Adam got his picture. We walked around to the front of the Museum and I conned Adam and Mike into running down and back up the stairs. Which they then did. I am mean. I wanted to do it, too, but I was really afraid I'd fall or twist my ankle-which-was-still-hurting-from-slidi
We took the Phlash back to the area of the City Hall subway stop and found a pizza place to have dinner. Never go to a specific-ethnicity-restaurant where another ethnicity of people are running it! Mexican people making Italian food? It was okay, but for Philly we could have gotten better. Oh, well, we were trying not to get lost and sight-seeing had been my main intent otherwise we would have went down to the cheese steak place. Ahh... some other time.
After taking our time at the pizza place, we walked back to the subway... unfortunately this meant walking through a passage way that smelled like piss. Ew. That would keep me from riding that line. But then if more people rode that line, they might keep it up better. Stupid Catch-22s. I held my breath.
We took that back to the Wachovia Center stop and we walked back to the car. We drank the water that I had left in the car and Adam stashed his camera. I grabbed the bag of jelly beans I brought, double checked that I had the tickets, and then we walked over to the Center. SO GLAD we didn't have to park there. We walked between all the grid-locked cars and walked in. They actually wanded Mike and Adam and they made me ditch my water bottle. Meanies. :-( But I got to keep the jelly beans! Little did they know they were Starburst Tropical Fruit Jelly Bean Explosives (tm) ! HAHA. j/k
Our seats were PRIME! SWEETNESS!
I already posted the set list, so I will just talk about the concert in general. First, I would like to say how very excited I was to be seeing Mr. Joel LIVE IN CONCERT AND STUFF! It was just very cool to be in the same building (as huge as it was), breathing the same "air" (okay, not really), and just enjoying an awesome time... as he was too! He's just got this great energy when he performs... he's into his music and you can just tell that it flows from him. He opened with Prelude+Angry Young Man and you believed every second of it. They had a video feed going to the Jumbo-tron... nothing fancy, but it was great to see his finger work... for a half a second I thought "great! now I can see the fingering he uses for this one part I was trying to figure out...." HAHA. His fingers move so fast, it's a wonder they weren't just one huge blurr up on the screen. Ah. And they did the whole lights-to-the-sound thing. Not quite as elaborate as a TSO show, but tasteful and nothing that distracted from the music. He talked between songs (for the most part) and I really enjoyed that. He said what albums the songs were from, what year, and mentioned the titles to some of the less-popular things. It was so obvious that he was having just as good a time as we were. The respect he has for the rest of his band was evident as well. He made sure to say their names multiple times and even told stories about them and such. I just can't say enough good things about it.
During the show I was calling people so they could hear certain songs and such and I private-voice posted a couple of times... but it really wasn't clear at all and nothing worth trying to figure out even what song it was. :-P To those that I called: I hope you could at least make out what song it was and that it was Billy Joel! :-P
The triple-encore was great. Closing with Piano Man was also wonderful. And he didn't have to sing much of that one. :-P It was just so cool to be singing along and jamming... it was just like a huge group of friends all chilling and singing a song that one of the friends wrote. Such a great feeling. During We Didn't Start the Fire (got to show off my mad lyricz-skillz) it was stand up time.. and we didn't sit down again. We were grooving and we even got Adam to dance around a bit. :-P It was Good. And Awesome. And everything I could have hoped it would be. *yea*
If you get a chance to have me tell you about it in person, please encourage me because it's just so much easier to explain without having to use words and such. :-P Perhaps more later.
Getting out of there was pretty easy. For some reason we were in some sort of hurry (I don't know if it was Mike or Adam) but I could have stood to wait another 10 minutes so the crowds could dispperse a bit. We got back to the car and then realized that the road through the park was one-way so I had to drive about a mile in the dark on a winding road through this park. It was lit, but since I wasn't familiar with it, it was hard to tell where the parking lots were and which way the road was going to go next. :-P Didn't take that long, though, and got on the turnpike again with no trouble. We stopped at the first rest stop for bathroom and drinks break. I shouldn't have gotten the largest coffee they had at starbucks. The real mistake was finishing the whole thing, though. :-P
The car ride home was full of silence and then a long discussion about how Adam and I are so much the same that we end up clashing and such. And a few other topics were discussed. A lot of stuff that needed to get aired and I was glad that we talked about it. Hopefully we won't have to again. :-P /vauge
Also, the ride home was only about 2 hours. Even after dropping Adam and Mike off, I was still home by about 1:30am. Ugh. I drank enough coffee to keep me up about 6. So I didn't actually sleep at all. At all. I meditated myself into an alternate state of conciousness and started to fall asleep just as my alarm went off. :-P I slept for another 2 hours anyway, though. :-P *yea* for ultra-flexible-work hours!
And that's about it! Wow... I typed that all in one sitting.
Okay, here's my mini-rant about the Philadelphia Subway System: No one uses it! We rode twice... popular lines... mid-day and rush-hour on a weekday... practically empty. We (PA tax payers) are paying for this damn public transportation... USE IT YOU MORONS. It was pretty easy to use and cheap to boot. If we were going to use it more we could have gotten an all-day pass for the price of 2 1/2 rides... or for comuters they have all sorts of plans. It really irritates me that people don't use what they've got. Philly's got some pretty narrow streets and traffic seemed pretty dense. Let's not use extra fossil fuels when we don't have to, people!
And there you have it folks. A full length post about a full length day. :-)