Over Memorial Day weekend, Jason and I took Tyrone to Philadelphia. The main reason for doing this was because Ty wanted to meet his pen pal, Danielle, before he went back to Germany. Ty and Danielle have been writing to each other since elementary school, and she happens to live in Pennsylvania not too far from Philadelphia. We thought that we would try to do as much of the Philadelphia experience as possible while were there, and I think we managed that! We walked for miles over two days and we saw so many great places and things. I can't wait to go back someday with our own children and spend more time doing some of things we missed (and also slow down the pace a little - two days for all of Philly was NOT enough!)
We started by heading straight for the Museum of Art - not for the museum (although I would have loved to do that) - but for Rocky, of course. The parking fee for the museum was outrageous, so I drove around the statue in front of the museum while Ty and Jason got out and looked around. That, by the way, was the extent of my driving in Philadelphia. I am so thankful to have married someone who is comfortable driving around in a big new place like that because I am most definitely not. (As we found out when I stopped the car and got out crying at a stoplight to make Jason drive because I couldn't handle it anymore!)
The one picture I actually made it into at museum - in my car, driving around in circles!
Next we headed to Macy's in the Wannamaker building. We love Macy's a LOT but this time we went there, not for shopping, but for the organ in the middle of the building. It's the biggest organ in the world, and I happen to believe it's in one of the best places in the world. (I did say how much we love Macy's, right?) Unfortunately, we weren't able to hear it played - we missed the organ times both days we went inside.
After Macy's, we checked into our bed and breakfast, the Thomas Bond House. I'm so glad Jason found this place because it was very convenient - we could walk everywhere we wanted to be. It was run by a mostly (but not always) nice, but very interesting lady, as most places like this seem to be. We had a lovely breakfast served to us, as well as cookies for a late night snack! There was also a wine and cheese time in the evening, but we missed that part. The hotel is the smaller building attached to the HUGE parking garage that I suppose is a necessity in cities like Philadelphia.
This was near our bed and breakfast. At the corner of this building, a man stood there with a lady puppet and a boombox - for the entire two days we were there. I never saw him leave, or stop singing. It was funny and very weird.
Right across the street from us was the City Tavern, a really neat restaurant where our founding fathers actually ate (and drank lots of beer). The food was delicious, expensive, and old-fashioned. We loved it, and it was worth the money! Ty had soup, I had turkey pot pie, and Jason had sausage and mashed potatoes, and we all enjoyed our food immensely! We sat next to a couple from Germany, and Ty got to speak with them for a few minutes as they were leaving.
We walked around a little bit, and then came back to the bed and breakfast to meet up with Danielle's family for the afternoon and evening. They were wonderful, and we really enjoyed spending time with them. It was so great for Ty and Danielle to meet finally, and they were also really great tour guides!!! We spent most of our time with them on South Street and in Penn's Landing. We ate Philly cheesesteaks and water ice - and THAT was good!
Danielle and Tyrone on South Street.
One of the very first things we did with Ty was take him to Pittsburgh to see the recreations of the Nina and the Pinta as the make their way around the country. We were surprised to see them in Philadelphia more than 6 months later.
The next day, we did all of the historical stuff. It was HOT out, but I'm so glad that we did everything we could. We started at the visitor center, and then went to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We stopped for some shopping and touristy traditions. We also were able to see the Christ Church, the Christ Church burial ground, Betsy Ross' house, and Elfreth's Alley.
The Senate Room
I wish that all meeting rooms still looked liked this...
As close as I got to Rocky!
The post office and the site of Benjamin Franklin's home. Unfortunately we couldn't see much of this because it was closed that day.
Betsy Ross' house
I love this quote from Ben Franklin.
Ben Franklin's grave - each year the Christ Church collects all of the pennies thrown onto his grave, and they have a church BBQ. This past year, they were able to spend $4000 on their picnic!
The windows at Christ Church. We went inside as well but there was a tour going on, and it was WAY TOO HOT to wait until they were done. We have to get the "sit in George Washington's pew" pictures next time we go!
Elfreth's Alley - the oldest continually inhabited neighborhood in the county
The back of one of the prettiest building in the city.
Every shopping place had beautiful architecture and light fixtures. While I was trying to capture the beauty of this Barnes and Noble, I got in trouble by the manager for taking a picture!
We did a LOT on our quick trip to Philly, but we had a great time! Like I said, I can't wait to go back and spend more time there some day.