Thursday, October 16, 2014

Streets of Philadelphia

The history nerds will know that John and I had a fabulous time in Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love and City of Benjamin Franklin Love.  We spent five days touring, eating out, swimming at the hotel pool, and generally grooving in the vibe of Americana.

Ever since I was John's age I have wanted to travel to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Maybe my eighth grade teacher inspired me, though I don't really think of Mr. Zorko as very inspiring... But it was definitely during one of his classes when it hit me that I wanted to visit the site where so many inspiring things happened.

Betsy Ross, The Declaration of Independence, The Liberty Bell, The Constitution, Ben Franklin, George Washington, Love Park, the first library, the first fire house, the first post office...the list goes on. We wanted to see it all.

To prepare John to appreciate the city we started reading American history books and watching some fun videos on youtube. I highly recommend John Green's Crash Course videos. While the information in Crash Courses goes by way too fast for me, the kids absorb it and enjoy it. We also watched the film Rocky so that John could appreciate the running-up-the-steps scene that takes place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Now we were ready.

We flew in to Philadelphia and straight to our luxury hotel right on the Delaware River. From the top floor John and I had a gorgeous view of the river as well as some tourist sites. He and I learned about the events surrounding the famous Washington crossing the Delaware-Thing.  Wow, did I miss alot during history class when I was a kid! So thrilled that John will completely understand the Tories and Valley Forge, etc.

Nearly every single thing we did was within walking distance of our hotel, but we still recommend taking the on/off bus tour.

We went to the Philadelphia Zoo, which, in our opinion, was small and kind of sad for the animals.  But John and I both feel that way about zoos, so you might disagree.

Then on to one of the wonderful art museums on the tour route. This one, the Philadelphia Museum of Art had a beautiful exhibit of modern art that John enjoyed. This is also the museum steps that Rocky runs up in the first film Rocky. Somehow, one can still feel that gonna flyyyyyyy sooooooooo hiiiiiiiiigh feeling while on the stairs.

The next two days John and I took the on/off tour bus and saw everything!

John's favorite thing in Philadelphia was The Liberty Bell AND the fact that I didn't touch it...  I thought about it....

My favorite thing, which is hard to choose, was Independence Hall and being in the very space where American history was made. Just imagine, if the Declaration of Independence hadn't been so well supported, those men who wrote it would have been considered traitors to the crown and incarcerated or shot! Imagine being in the exact room where our Founding Fathers hammered out these foundation documents...  Honestly, it was kind of a rush.

We learned so much about history and both John and I absolutely love Benjamin Franklin now.

As it happens, I was reading a book on my ereader called Benjamin Franklin's Bastard.  FAB read! Not kidding:  GREAT read!

John and I then drove over to visit our WONDERFUL FRIENDS in New Jersey.

John and I with Auntie and Uncle Jariwala

THEN we drove the other way to the other side of Pennsylvania, driving on the gorgeous Pennsylvania Turnpike (and stopping by Valley Forge on the way) to visit our friends in Pittsburgh.  The boys had a total bromance of a time and we were sad to leave.

Note the matching tshirts!
I have about a million more pictures, but suffice it to say that John and I highly recommend a trip to Philadelphia if you can swing it! One of the best ways to learn about history is to actually GO THERE and we know that we are extremely fortunate to have the ability to make trips such as this one!



Here are a few more pics that you might enjoy.

The National Constitution Museum
Washington Statue outside of Independence  Hall
City Tavern, 18th Century Cuisine, John ate the duck
The  Gorgeous Pennsylvania Capitol Building with William Penn statue
Our waiter, of course
The iconic Love Park

In a tethered hot air balloon at the zoo

Getting Strong Now!!!!

Extra THANKS to John John for letting me take a zillion pics of him
and a nod to Bruce Springstein for the post title.

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