Wednesday, June 13, 2007

UPDATED: No Sleep 'til Wayne

I'm back in Pennsylvania for work. I'm pretty sure that I will not be waylaid by freezing rain this time, but I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of some kind of weather event causing me to get back later than I had planned.

Since I'm about sick of US Airways, I flew up on Southwest this time. It was my first time on that airline, and some people cringed when I told them that was who I was flying with. I'm not sure why. Southwest has been around 36 years, and has actually turned a profit for the past 34, so they must be doing something right.

Southwest has "cattle call" boarding, where everyone boards at one time, and there are no assigned seats. On this flight, that worked out great, as the plane was probably less than 2/3 full -meaning that for every group of three seats, the middle one was empty. My plane pushed back from the gate two minutes early, flew through smooth air (affording me a great view of my plane's right winglet)
Southwest Winglets

and landed 15 minutes early. For comparison, there was a coworker who flew up on the 7:00 US Airways flight (fifteen minutes after my flight left), who ended up getting to the meeting at least 90 minutes late, since his flight was delayed at RDU, and once again at PHL. Yup, US Airways was once again not the way to go.

Avis upgraded my rental car for being an (alleged) first-time Preferred user (with my seven year old Avis Preferred card from aaiPharma). I got in early enough to get some leisurely breakfast before my 10 - 4 meeting in Upper Providence (Collegeville/Phoenixville).

After work it was off to Wayne, PA to the Wayne Hotel. It's a very cool place, and Wayne seems pretty neat so far. The hotel appears to be Victorian, the rooms seem like a Bed and Breakfast, and the place is 101 years old. Here's the view from my room:
View from the Wayne Hotel 1
You can see the backs of the buildings on the right that have their fronts on US30/Lancaster Avenue/The Main Line.

Here's the view from the street
Wayne Hotel

Tom (my GSK manager) and I are heading out to dinner in a few, so check back later for more pictures.


It turns out that Wayne is a fine town to walk around. North Wayne Avenue between Lancaster Avenue and the Septa station was sort of a restaurant row. Tom was familiar with a few of the places (all of which looked great), but we decided on Teresa's Cafe, 124 N. Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087. The place had a restaurant side, which was decidedly Italian, and a bar side, which was decidedly not. The bar specialized in French/Belgian bistro food and beer.

Teresa's had a very impressive beer selection, between the 20 or so on tap, and the many others in bottles. I wish I had brought something to write down the beers we tried, for they all were worthy of revisiting.
Beer's Eye View

For food, Tom started with the Moules Frites, (mussles and fries), my favorite Belgian/French dish, which is traditionally 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of mussles and a bowl of fries. These were cooked in beer, and had some chorizo sausage added. Tom was gracious enough to share.

I had the Steak Frites, my favorite Belgian/French dish. It's just steak and fries in some kind of delicious sauce, but maybe it's the French name that makes this better than any old American steak and fries. The remoulade on the side there wasn't too shabby either.
My second beer was a Rodenbach Sour Ale., a traditional Belgian-style red ale that I'd had once before at Monk's Cafe in Center City Philadelphia.

Rodenbach Sour Ale

As an aside, all these pictures in the dimly lit bar were taking using my new GorillaPod SLR tripod that Andy got me for my birthday. Tom's a photography guy too, so we had lots of fun playing with the tripod and the camera. Some random lady even came up to us to ask me about the tripod and how much I liked it. I like it plenty. I highly recommend one. It is choice.

As a digestiv, we had shots of Jameson's Irish Whisky.
Two Fingers of Jameson

From there we walked to Gryphon Coffee Company, 105 W. Lancaster Ave, Wayne, PA 19087. There were some college kids hanging out, a guy with a guitar doing some pretty decent covers of some John Mayer songs, and Tom and me hanging out, drinking coffee, and goofing with the camera and the GorillaPod.

Coffee Shop Flowers

We got a few more shots on the way back to the hotel. The coolest of which were probably of the art deco-style Anthony Wayne theatre
Anthony Wayne Theatre

It was time to call it a day. One and a half more remaining in PA.


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