Weekend in Philly Pt. 1

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This past weekend, Selma and I ventured back to Philly for the TriRock Philly Sprint Triathlon and a little rest and relaxation at her parents house in New Holland. Because I needed to bring my bike along, we rented a car through a new peer-to-peer car sharing program called RelayRides. This is a really neat program that allows anyone to rent a car from another person. They allow the renters to set their own price and terms so it usually means that you can rent a car for way cheaper than a rental car company. And they don’t charge you a huge fee if you’re under 25! The only downside is that you are renting from a person and not a company so the condition of the cars and locations may be a little questionable. But so far, we’ve had good experiences with the people we’ve rented from.

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And the best part is that you can rent from other cyclists who already have bike racks! This makes hauling around your bike way easier, especially for long trips. So after we got the car packed up and my bike loaded, we hit the open road.

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Our first stop was at Nardelli’s Grinder Shoppe in Connecticut for lunch. The BU cycling team always stops here when they pass through so obviously we needed to stop here. I’ve actually never been before so I was dying to try it.

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When you walk in, it’s basically like you’ve died and gone to deli heaven.

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As you walk up to the counter, you immediately become overwhelmed with what seems like an endless supply of delicious looking options. They literally have anything you could ever want to put between two slices of bread.

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We both decided to keep it simple and order their Italian Combo and their Roast Beef Prime Choice. I should have realized that there was a half grinder option because these sandwiches were HUGE.

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This is what they looked like with Selma holding one for reference. Its like half the size of her body!

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This was hand down one of my best sandwich experiences ever. Besides the fact that they are massive, they also taste amazing. The bread is fresh and crunchy and the deli meat and toppings are plentiful.

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We each only managed to eat half of ours because they were so big. Next time, we will get one to share. If you are ever passing through Connecticut, definitely hit up Nardelli’s if you get the chance! You won’t be disappointed.

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And finally, after a few more hours of scenic driving and fighting through the food coma, we finally made it to The City of Brotherly Love.

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First up on the list was heading over to the venue and picking up my race packet. There were a bunch of vendors giving out free things so we took our time and made our rounds. First stop was the PowerBar tent for some energy wafers. Everyone loves free food right?

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Also, because J&J was the title sponsor, they had a huge area set out where they were giving out some of their own products. Selma even scored some awesome free face wash!

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There was also another interesting vendor called Race-Pak at the venue. It was basically like a BirchBox for athletes. Really neat idea.

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Next, we made it over to the packet pick-up area and waited in this ridiculously long line multiple times because I had no idea what I was doing.

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But I eventually made it to the front and got my stuff.

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Finally, we headed back over to the J&J tent so Selma could make a sign for me.

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The finished product!

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After the packet pick-up, it was time for some serious carbo-loading with none other than THE Philly Cheese Steak. Now I know this is a point of contention for a lot of people so I wont get in to that today. However, I will say that out of the two famous cheese steak joints in Philly (Pat’s and Gino’s), we decided to go with Pat’s. Why? Because we just happened to be on that side of the street that day.

When you get in line, they have this nice little sign which explains how to properly order a cheese steak.

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Then, in about 20 seconds, your cheese steak appears before you. Because they get so many visitors, they have this operation down to a science. I don’t think these poor workers ever stop cooking steak and onions.

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And without further adieu, I present to you the Philly Cheese Steak. Now, because this place is mainly fueled by tourists, I’m sure you can get a larger, cheaper, and more delicious cheese steak elsewhere. But for us, this was pretty darn good. It is a little overpriced for what you get but this is just one of those places you have to stop by if you ever come through Philly just so you can say that you’ve tried one. And if you really want to try both Pat’s and Gino’s, you’re in luck because they are literally across the street from each other. The first time I came to visit I had both back to back but honestly I could’t tell you the difference between the two.

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After stuffing our faces, it was time to call it a day and get some much needed sleep because we had to be up at 4AM the next day. Stay tuned for my TriRock Philly race report and the continuation of the weekend with the Tour de Lancaster!!!

And with that, thanks for reading!

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