1 large can whole tomatoes drained
1 jalapeno (seeds and all, but no stem)
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Throw it all in a blender till smooth
2 chicken breasts (cooked)
1 small can El Pato tomato sauce (Mexican tomato sauce)
1 small can diced green chiles
1 bunch of cilantro
Shred chicken and put in pan with a little olive oil. Add all other ingredients and cook until sauce has reduced.
Serve with all the taco fixins…
On our last day in Philadelphia we decided to visit Valley Forge with Jim & Tina. We knew a little bit about it but it wasn’t what we thought. No battles were fought here. It was an encampment for the American Continental Army in the Revolutionary War during the winter of 1777-1778 where George Washington stayed.
He chose Valley Forge because of the close proximity to Philadelphia, which was under British control, and to stop the British from advancing further into Pennsylvania.
The troops at Valley Forge had little experience and were not very well trained. They had little to do during the winter except build their “huts”. They were happy to do so because they didn’t have much to wear and the work kept them warm.
The most important outcome of the encampment was the army’s maturing into a more professional force. In February 1778 a former Prussian (Germany) army officer, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben arrived in camp to train the troops. Von Steuben’s hands-on training program helped the army become a more proficient machine. The Baron inspired the troops and gave them a new sense of purpose as they stuck to the task of securing independence.
The “huts” they built
Inside an officer’s quarters
Enlisted men’s quarters (slept 12)
National Memorial Arch
Baron Von Stueben (pronounced “stoyben”)
Then it was on to dinner at another one of those weird sounding towns in Pennsylvania
I can’t forget to include some pictures of my niece, Shannon’s block party. They closed off both ends of the block to vehicles and had LOTS of games for the kids and even some for the adults. It was SO much fun!
Sadly, we have now left Philadelphia. We spent a whole month here getting to know my sister’s family. What a wonderful group they are! I will always have my Philly Bear that the kids and grandkids got with their game coupons at Dave & Buster’s on our first day here. I love you guys and really miss you already!!
Every Thursday evening my sister, Tina has dinner at her house for all her kids and grandkids and whoever else can make it. That’s A LOT of people in her house but what a GREAT idea to be able to see your family at least once a week. Everybody is always so busy with work and kids activities it can be hard to make time for the rest of your family. This way the meal is prepared and cooked so all you have to do is show up. I’ve seen this “happening” on Facebook for quite sometime now and was always jealous of the family time. This time I got to participate!! THREE TIMES!!!
It really does get crowded but everybody just picks a spot and doesn’t move! Clockwise from me, Rick, Joyce, Josh, Jim, Janel, Tina, Rod, Megan, Colleen, Andrew, and Shannon. There are more in the house but it was much cooler outside on the porch.
Johnny and Abby
GG is learning how to use Aunt Joyce’s camera
The next day we drove over to Tina’s early in the morning and piled into the van for the drive to New York City. Jim had taken the day off so he got to go with us too! We were planning on taking the double decker bus around and then getting off where we wanted afterwards. Well, with that famous New York City traffic it took us almost 2 hours just to get to our first stop. Needless to say, we didn’t get off anywhere. That’s okay though. We still got to see most of the city from the top of the bus.
Going into the city through the Holland Tunnel
Empire State Building
Rebuilding the Twin Towers
Sad place to be…
Rockefeller Plaza (much smaller than I thought)
Radio City Music Hall
Apollo Theater in Harlem
The Dakota building where John Lennon was shot
I love the Brownstones
They brought Tina’s van back from somewhere in the parking garage
Then it was time to fight that famous New York traffic back to Philadelphia
Where did all these people come from???
Tina did a fantastic job of driving and got us safely home.
We drove from our hotel in New Jersey to Tina and Jim’s house. Since Jim had to work Tina was taking us on a tour of Philadelphia. We decided to take a double decker bus so she wouldn’t have to drive all over downtown and then try to find parking when we wanted to see something.
Philadelphia has as much, if not more history than Washington, D.C. It was founded on October 27, 1682 by William Penn. By the 1750s it was the largest city and busiest port in the original 13 colonies. During the American Revolution it served as the meeting place for the Founding Fathers, who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the Constitution on September 17, 1787. The city served as the temporary national capital from 1790 to 1800 while Washington, D.C. was under construction.
William Penn statue on top of City Hall
“The statue was the central figure in a local legend known as the "Curse of Billy Penn." For years, Philadelphia, as most cities tended to do at the time, had an "unwritten rule" that no building rise taller than the brim of the hat that was atop the William Penn statue's head. However, when several skyscrapers were constructed in the late 1980s and early 1990s in order to compete with other growing metropolises, notably New York City, this "rule" was broken.
Thus, the "Curse of Billy Penn" was unleashed: since the statue was dwarfed by the skyscrapers surrounding City Hall, no Philadelphia professional sports team won a championship in any of the major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL). In the 1990s, attempts to "break" the curse were undertaken: a metallic Philadelphia Phillies cap was placed atop the statue during the 1993 MLB playoffs and a Philadelphia Flyers hockey jersey was draped over the statue during each team's respective playoff runs. Neither team won the final championships.
With the completion of the Comcast Center, workers put a small replica of the statue atop, making his hat the highest point in Philadelphia. On October 29, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies broke the "curse" by winning the World Series in 5 games over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.”
When William Penn was placed on top of City Hall they failed to notice what he looked like from the side.
People all over town were dressed in “period clothing”.
Our first stop was the Liberty Bell but the line went around the building so we decided to hop on the bus and catch that later.
The famous Rocky steps at the Art Museum
Rocky statue on the right
Benjamin and Deborah Franklin’s gravesite
Eastern State Penitentiary (no longer occupied)
No pictures were allowed anywhere inside the Mint but we did see them making pennies.
Independence Hall was under renovation
The room where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed
This painting is on the wall where it shows all the signers faces except Jacob Broom who is signing with his back turned because they didn’t have a portrait of him so they didn’t know what he looked like. LOL
The Liberty Bell is in the Liberty Bell Center but Tina, having lived in Philadelphia all her life, remembers when it was in the steeple at Independence Hall.
As we were walking back to the car Colleen called Tina and found out where we were and “buzzed us”. She’s an EMT for an air ambulance and was on the way to a call.
From there we headed to the famous Pat’s Steaks for a Philly Cheesesteak. You have to know exactly how to order your sandwich.
I ordered mine “wit-out & cheez whiz”. I wouldn’t normally order anything with cheez whiz but it’s a Philly tradition.
I saw this in the back window. EWWWWW
We got back to the car and Tina decided to drive around town once more so we could see it at night. It was beautiful.
From there we decided to go visit Colleen at work. The helicopter had landed so we got to have a nice visit and also got a chance to use the facilities.
It was another LONG day in which we didn’t get back to the hotel until after midnight.