As mentioned in my Snippets earlier this week, Leg #2 of our July 4th holiday week was spent with my folks near Reading, Pennsylvania. We had an uneventful 8 1/2 hour drive from Point B near Knoxville, Tennessee area on July 4th that put us at my Point C near my folks house just before 5pm.
We were pleasantly surprised to find my Uncle and Aunt along with one of my cousins, his wife, his wife’s mother and their two little girls had spent the night and would be joining us for dinner before they all headed back to my Aunt & Uncle’s home down along the Delaware River about 15 miles north of Trenton, New Jersey.
After the ‘gang’ departed we finally began the process of decompressing, which is what we really enjoy about our short visits with my folks: very low-key, down time spent relaxing. Well, mostly relaxing. Sadly, I still don’t have quite enough depth in my organization to cover all of my job responsibilities and that typically means spending about 2-3 hours a day dialed in on the laptop answering Email on week days and tending to other quick-turn pop-up tasks. This week was no exception, as I found myself on my Blackberry and work laptop several times. I’m hardly alone in this little conundrum as several of my peers routinely check in during vacation, cest la vie.
Beyond that, most of the rest of the time was very relaxing. Even tough I packed my yard clothing, my pop didn’t haven’t lined up for me so I rarely broke a sweat on any of the days. Debbie was still trying to get her iron levels back up so we opted to not go any riding while we were in Pennsylvania in the hope that she’d be a little better-off for our upcoming tandem rally weekend on July 8-10 down in Pennsville, New Jersey. That pretty much left us reading, doing a small project for my mother, and giving my mother a little project… shortening five of my Big Dogs Hawaiian shirts. Moms are great!
Of course, no visit home to the Reading area would be complete without at least one or two visits to the V&S Sandwich Shops to pick up some Italian sandwiches, perhaps the “best” Italian sandwiches I’ve had anywhere… and they did not disappoint. I think it has something to do with the locally baked soft rolls and the very spicy hot pepper spread they use. They also have excellent Cheese Steak sandwiches and pizza, but its the Italian sandwiches that I always crave.
I highly recommend a visit to the one at 1621 Lancaster Avenue in Shillington (the others are good too, but this one is “the best”) and make sure you ask for peppers & onions on the soft roll. That’s the hot ticket in my book when it comes to a V&S Sandwich.
The other “must do” meal is our trip to the local On The Border, which we did on Wednesday night. The thing that’s really great about visiting On The Border in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania is that they have something unheard of in our Atlanta restaurant: Happy Hour!! During Happy Hour, regular Margaritas are 1/2 price as are the appetizers. Nice.
Perhaps the highlight of our visit was getting to see my pop play a gig with one of the bands he belongs to: a group called ‘Let’s Dance’ that plays mostly big band and other classic swing and jazz charts. He’s the lead trombone in this particular band that features the ubiquitous rhythm section with a really great drummer, six sax players with an amazing tenor sax player, four trombones, five trumpets and two vocalists. They were playing a gig as part of a Summer Concert Series at the Muhlenberg High School auditorium and it was a great way to spend our Thursday evening as we wrapped up our short week with my folks.