The older I get the more interested in history I am... (As I sit here and write my thoughts digress to the possibilities of this being a natural progression through life for some people...)
Apologies to every single one of my history and government teachers! I'm now sorry that I merely MEMORIZED the right answers - instead of really KNOWING the answers. I missed out on a lot because of it! Yeah, yeah... you told me so!
But it's never too late... and the more I see and learn of our nation's history and our leaders the more I want to know! Last summer I bought a history book to read through again... maybe now is the time to go pick it up and read through it finally!
We studied the city map first to see what we wanted to see... here is a little bit on the glory of both the old and the new we stumbled across. Check out our online album:
Some of the other sites we saw...
The Graff House - where Thomas Jefferson lived while he wrote the Declaration of Independence!
We walked through the Liberty Bell Center - which surprisingly had a very emotional affect on me. I stood here and read the signs in the museum about what the Liberty Bell stood for - for liberty for EVERY man... and yet such liberties have not been afforded to every "man" in this country.
We stood in awe in the Franklin Court and Ben's Philosophical Hall. We gazed up at the tall building that houses the new Liberty Bell - within the tower of Independence Hall. We honored a moment of silence at the grave of Betsy Ross - in the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House. Here we found a store pawning off at least a million flags - who would have thought?! Here is also where we unexpectedly experienced the city's St. Patty's Day runners - find those pictures yet?! And right next door was an unassuming house which houses the current MTV's Real World reality show set - still being filmed!
We found Elfreth's Alley - which is one of the nation's oldest residential streets. Strolling along the cobblestone of 18th century homes takes you right back in time. I stood there and imagined the era... (admittedly, what little I know of it...) and wondered how different life was then. These must have been magnificent homes in those days. I could feel the strong sense of community spilling out of the windows and doors!
We found the National Constitution Center and U.S. Mint... but after our long walk that day, we were much too tired to hit those as well. So much to do... taking a nap was now at the top of the list! We're how far away from the hotel? Point my walking shoes in the right direction!
The next day we journeyed out to find the Franklin Institute (which is the home to the Franklin Memorial)... all the while dodging the St. Patty's Day parade crowds. We ventured down side streets and stayed warm by stopping into Starbucks of course.
We found a great restaurant (Jolly's - where we would be "regulars" if we lived in Philly) and a fun piano bar (The Redhead Piano Bar - where we met some great people!) . A historical hotel was suggested to us... The Latham Hotel... where we stayed and were treated like royalty within seconds of pulling the car up to the valet spot. Fantastic service for a beautiful place... we'll stay there again!
We stood where Abraham Lincoln once stood (really we did - find the picture that proves it)... we walked through the building that George Washington and John Adams were inaugurated in... who knows, the seat I took in that one building probably once cushioned the buns of other founding fathers. What an honor!
We ended our stay with a visit to both Pat's and Geno's... the philly cheesesteak war lives on for the rivalry joints which sit across the street from each other on 9th and Passyunk Avenues. Read up on the philly cheesesteak history and you'll read that a taxi cab driver invented the new steak sandwich which included sauteed onions and provolone cheese. Since then many variations have been passed down to new generations, including the addition of cheez whiz at some point. We tried both places ("WIT ONIONS PLEASE")... and the controversy lives on for the Tisdale household. Lee favored Geno's! Lori favored Pat's!