Monday, August 12, 2013

Jackson US Summer Tour 2013 - PA

     On this summer tour I came one week behind Marisa and had a short week in Atlanta before flying up to visit my mom and step dad in Philadelphia.  We were joined by Marisa who came up from Virginia after finishing her summer classes.  It had been a few years since we'd visited them in Pennsylvania, so we were excited to see them and check out some new sights.  My mom had also purchased a book on the "breweries of Pennsylvania", which I was keen to put to good use.

     Highlights of our week in Philadelphia:

1.  Victory Brewery
     Probably the most famous craft brewer in Pennsylvania is the Victory Brewing Company.  This was high on my list to see during our summer craft beer tour, so we didn't waste time in dropping by the brew-pub in Downington, PA for lunch and a couple of pints. 

Give me a "V" 

One suggestion I picked up from my book on PA breweries was to try some of the craft-brewed lagers.  Pennsylvania has a rich history of German/Bohemian immigrants who have a lot of pride in their beers.  Since the lager is from this area it is a safe bet that brewers in the area know what they are doing.  I tried the Victory Lager and was very pleased with the clean, yet full taste that most mainstream lagers don't deliver.  If you are a beer snob that is partial to ales, I would implore you to give craft lager a shot. 

Food was amazing. 

Marisa, being the shy person that she is, asked around and ended up meeting one of the head brewers of Victory - Bill.  She chatted it up about the craft beer scene in Hong Kong and our summer beer tour. 

2.  Mural Mile
     One activity that we would recommend in downtown Philly is exploring the "Mural Mile", which is a self-guided walk that takes you past about 20 different murals painted on different buildings.  The murals were all done over the past twenty years or so and they have a variety of themes.  The whole walk can be done in less than two hours.

Marisa's favorite, entitled "Taste of Summer" 

3.  Quality time with mom and Ed
     It had been nearly a year since we had last visited my mom and step-dad, so it was nice catching up and visiting, having home-cooked meals and watching movies.  We also had a day trip to NYC, which I will talk about in my next blog post.
At Monk's Cafe - one of the most well-known beer bars in Philadelphia.
4.  Using the amenities at my mom's apartment
     My mom lives next to the Valley Forge National Park as well as a river and a well-maintained cycling/running trail.  Over the week I was able to take a couple of runs along the trail, work-out in their gym, and hang out at the pool - all with great summer weather.  In a summer where you are eating out a ton, it was nice to get some exercise and eat at home a few times.
5.  Trip to NYC
     See next post...

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