The Shoestring Catch


Philadelphia
June 1, 2009, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We pulled into Philadelphia around 3:30PM after an easy 2 ½ hour drive up from Baltimore.  We had talked to our couchsurfing host, Greg, before we left Baltimore, but when we called him outside of his row home in South Central Philly he didn’t pick up.  This made us a little bit nervous, but we approached the door to the house anyway and gave it a knock.  A young guy came to the door and I asked him if Greg lived there.  He replied, “oh hey!  You guys must be the couchsurfers!  Greg is my brother; he’s upstairs, come on in!”  After that introduction all of our fears were alleviated.  Greg and his younger brother Jeff are two of the coolest guys I have ever met.  Along with their other two roommates, they have hosted over 70 couchsurfers in the last year.  As soon as we dropped off our stuff inside, we explained that we were on a really tight schedule (Phillies game at 7:05 PM, Mets game tomorrow at 1:05PM), but we wanted to see as much of Philly as possible.  They completely understood our situation and immediately took us on a walking tour of their wonderful city.  We stopped by a Greek festival and split two whole roast chickens for dinner, visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, walked through the up-and-coming and hip neighborhoods in Center City, and had amazing budget busting ice cream at Franklin’s Fountain on 1st and Market.  It was some of the best ice cream I have ever had in my life.  The whole time Greg was giving us history lessons about Philadelphia and its different neighborhoods.  You could tell that he genuinely enjoyed meeting new people and sharing his city with them.  After the game Greg took us to Pat’s and Gino’s for authentic Philly Cheesesteaks.  Pat’s and Gino’s are rival cheesesteak places in South Philly that have the exact same prices.  According to Greg, they both taste great, but the people at Pat’s are friendlier, so we ate there.  We wish we had had more time in Philly; it was a phenomenal city, and the people we met at least were so friendly.  I left Greg and Jeff a pair of Shiner Bocks as tokens of our appreciation.  Apparently Greg is going to be in Chicago for business while we’re seeing the Cubs, so we’re going to grab drinks with him at some point.  Our couchsurfing baptism worked out better than we could have possibly imagined.  I hope the rest of our experiences live up to this one.

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