Philadelphia – The Early Years from an Early Riser

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Greetings from the city of brotherly love! It’s my first time in the great Philadelphia and I couldn’t be more excited. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on my friends and city tour guides to wake up! In the mean time, I’m getting a head start on my Philly facts and history.

Did you know the city of Philadelphia is coming up on its 331st birthday this month? In the year 1682, on October 27 (just a day before my own birthday *hint*) William Penn founded the city after being given a fairly large chunk of American land in repayment of a debt the king owed William’s father, Admiral Sir William Penn. Today that land is Pennsylvania (get it?)…and part of Delaware.
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I often wonder what I would name the kingdom I was born to run, but something about Weissenbergersylvania just doesn’t have a great ring to it. Lianeville seems far too provincial. I’m open to suggestions from the crowd–an indication of my fair, just, and humble leadership style.

For a student of history, Philadelphia rivals Washington D.C. for it’s prominence in the American story. In fact, I think it’s clear that when it comes to Team USA, Philly made the team far sooner. Let’s not forget that Philadelphia’s Carpenters’ Hall housed the First Continental Congress in September 1774. It was in the Pennsylvania State House that they met again in May 1775, and ultimately in July 1776 to write and sign their official FU to England, the Declaration of Independence.

While the Nation’s capital was being built down south along the Potomac, Philly kept the seat warm by serving as a temporary capital for 10 years between 1790-1800. Congress hung out in (suitably) Congress Hall, formerly the Philadelphia County Courthouse, while the Supreme Court took residence at City Hall. The executive branch, the big GW, lived at 6th & Market Street in the donated home of Robert Morris (who is more or less the economic mastermind of the US financial system). His home was renamed President’s House-again, super creative times for naming things. I guess we can’t all have the artistic expertise to choose titles like “White House.”

A note on Robert Morris: This dude was the first guy to officially use the dollar sign. Now that’s bada$$!

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Keep checking in for history from the field!

“Philadelphia is my greatest inspiration. — filmmaker David Lynch

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Captain Amurica Counts Down: Top 5 Roadtrip Moments

If you know my friend Captain Amurica, you know he loves countdowns. Here’s his special countdown of the top 5 moments from our cross-country roadtrip.

And with the journey completed as I write this, I’d like to offer up my top 5 things/experiences/events from our tour of America the beautiful, purple mountain’s majesty and endless fields of amber waves of grain:

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5. Eating Rocky Mountain Oysters while in the Rocky Mountains. Go figure.

4. Tie: Both playing and winning slots for the first time in Vegas and a special midnight tour of the Jefferson City Capitol Building (based off our very own here in DC.) Thanks to my buddy Jimmy for being a phenomenal tour guide and an even better host. Word up brosef.

3. Arthur Bryants BBQ in Kansas City. The sweet, smokey, molasses sauce they use probably has just a little bit of crack sprinkled in there. Tantalizing. Also, their sides are absolutely bomb.

2. Hearing Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s song “Ohio” for the first time while driving through Ohio for the first time. An amazing song about a terrible tragedy.

1. Completing this journey of endurance and moral fortitude through sheer force of will and  copious amounts caffeine alongside the Star Spangled Girl. Couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime. Period.

The feeling is mutual.

BBQ Baby

Although not nearly as cool as Middle Earth, exploring Middle America has been an experience. Turns out there’s a Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and/or Franklin just about everywhere in this country. There’s also a Kansas City, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas, Illinois. You think Americans could be a bit more creative. After 9 hours of staring out at endless plains and fields, Anthony and I took reprieve at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri before stopping for the night in Jefferson City.

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On the border between Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City is known for many things, but perhaps most of all, it’s known for BBQ. Travel Channel’s Man v Food showcased two of Kansas City’s finest: Gates and Arthur Bryant’s. We chose to stop at the latter and we weren’t disappointed.

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For just $12.20 you could choose a pound of any combination of their mouthwatering smoked, pulled, juicy, delicious meats. (If you’re reading this, Nick, you’d be in HEAVEN) For my poor pork-hating body, Anthony and I split a half pound of burnt ends and a half pound of beef brisket. On the side we had baked beans and coleslaw. Magnificent would be an understatement. The sides were even so good that Anthony went back up to order another one of each. Meanwhile, I sneakily slopped up the saucey, greasy, fatty remnants of our beef feast from the plate with a slice of white bread.

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Properly protein’d up, we returned to the road…ready for Missouri’s capital, Jefferson City, to meet the future President of the United States.

Happy Birthday America! (Now Eat This)

Happy Fourth of July!

It’s strange, I suppose to leave the most American place in America (our nation’s capitol) during the most American holiday. Who am I kidding? The most American place in America is Texas and the most American holiday is Thanksgiving, with National Donut Day in a close second.

That said, I can’t imagine a better place to spend this Fourth of July than with my family in Los Angeles. This year, I’m happy to announce that my boyfriend will join the Weissenberger-Venti festivities, God bless his soul…and America. I have a rule- I try not to write about my relationships. Turns out, makes it kind of awkward if things don’t work out. Also, as I’ve said before, people don’t necessarily like to have their business put out on the Internet. But as Anthony has happily agreed to contribute to my blogging-across-the-country-challenge, I figure I can make this exception.

What’s on the agenda for America’s birthday? Let’s answer the real question: What’s on the menu?

To celebrate being American on this most sacred of holidays, I’m going to share one of my mother’s famous recipes. By famous recipes, I mean a recipe that she got from someone/somewhere else and has “made her own” by adding too much or too little of some ingredient by accident and pretending it was totally on purpose.


Momma Weissenberger’s Peach Crumble

6 peaches, cut 1/2 in
1/2 lemon, zested, juiced
2 tbsp maple syrup

Mix the peaches, lemon zest and juice, and syrup together

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter

Mix sugar, spices, and butter together

Place peaches into 9×13 pan and pour crumble over
Bake 15 min covered at 350 degrees
Uncover and cook an additional 30 minutes

Enjoy!

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