You’re probably wondering what t-shirts, cigars, and chicken all have to do with each other. Well, nothing, actually, except they all involved the last two days of my trip here in the wonderful state of Pennsylvania. In case you missed out on the last two journals, I spent the first two and a half days in Gettysburg, leaving yesterday for Lancaster, before we head back home to an unknown land…oh, never mind, romanticism is dead anyway…back to New Jersey tomorrow. There were a few incidents that occurred, some good, some funny and cute, some stupid, as it usually is. Anyway, below are the final goings-on of my Keystone State adventure. Enjoy!
- Idiots. They seem to follow me wherever I go. For some reason, after living in New Jersey for so long, they became so commonplace that I forgot they existed elsewhere. While it was a relatively idiot-free trip, of course, one had to cross my path during our last day in Gettysburg, the cause being a New York Rangers shirt I was wearing. I paid a visit to the National Cemetery and was pausing for a few moments of silent thought by the graves of the unknown soldiers when I hear a loud, booming female voice yell, “I hate the Rangers!” It was literally so loud I jumped. I turned around to see this enormously obese red-neck woman charging at me. All I could do was look at her and ask, “What are you, a Devils fan?” She proudly responded, “No, St. Louis Cardinals!” Stunned at her stupidity, especially since she had to see Henrik Lundqvist’s name on my back, I responded, “These are the HOCKEY Rangers. You know, from NEW YORK.” She just looked at me, blinked, and walked away. First of all, you’re a [expletive deleted] idiot, plain and simple. Second of all, you have no damn respect. Lastly, why would a Cardinals fan hate the Texas Rangers? That’s like me hating the Florida Panthers.
- Now for something great, truly. Before we left, I stopped at the Gettysburg Cigar Company, down the street from the cemetery. I had been there last year and remembered the lady working there as being very friendly. Sure enough, she was there again, and when she found out I was from New Jersey, her place of birth, she gave me a free chocolate coffee cigar (which was great, by the way). They also had a nice selection and terrific prices, and she was very knowledgeable about all the products she had. The pipe tobacco flavors, which I do not smoke, were all named after generals who fought at the battle. It was no surprise that the John Bell Hood blend smelled amazing. I bought a few items then went on my way. It was such a positive experience that I wanted to give them a shout-out here.
- Later in the day when we were checking in at our Lancaster hotel, I was standing in the lobby and this little kid, maybe four or five years old, comes running up to me all excited and jumping up and down, pointing at my shirt. I asked myself, do I know this kid from a hockey program or something? Then the mother came running over and said, “He saw your shirt and got so excited. We’re Ranger fans!” The kid then showed me his Ranger crocs, Ranger watch, and told me everything he knew about the team. I just had to give the little dude a fist pump.
- Lastly, how about a shout-out to the Lancaster Brewing Company for serving up some of the best chicken I have ever eaten in my life. No exaggeration. One would expect pub grub in a brewery, but what we had here were some fine dining meals at pub prices. I had the pretzel encrusted chicken, laid out over mashed potatoes and topped with a cracked mustard cheddar fondue, with a side of sliced, buttered squash. The salty crunchy crust was perfect, and the chicken itself, a very thick cutlet, was juicy and tender. I would seriously give thought to driving all the way out there from New Jersey just to eat it again.
- A THOUGHT: Stemming from the little situation we had with the John Wilkes Booth bobblehead from the other day, how about one for Marie Antoinette? When her head bobs forward, it falls off.