October 8, 2018 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Left New York and heading south. I set the GPS to take me down no toll roads and we followed highway 1 all the way without having to pay a toll – lots of traffic signals but it was enjoyable seeing how dismal New Jersey looks.

Did get on the interstate near Philadelphia and the route was turn here turn there and a little hectic – glad it wasn’t rush hour.

Arrived at Campus Park and RV – small parking lot next to a warehouse – provides electric and water and a space – they do have a dump site – but again it’s close to the city center – and they provide shuttle service to the hospital where all the buses converge – let’s see how it turns out.

Tuesday Brenda wanted to stay home and do research so I took off for downtown. Shuttle was easy and the bus was there and I landed okay downtown – now to explore.

First stop was the Independence VC – saw the movie of what to see in Philly and gathered more paperwork.

My first stop was the US Mint – after a thorough inspection I got in and it was a self-guided tour with lots of information about the coining of our currency.

Then passed Chinatown.

Then over to Reading Terminal Market (since 1893) – WOW – lots of shops and things to buy – did have my first Philly Cheesesteak sandwich – big and good – took 3 stops in the afternoon to finish it.

Then saw City Hall – the largest in the US in regards to size.

Philly has lots of sculptures and statues to observe.

It was a long walk (almost 2 miles) but I walked the Ben Franklin Promenade – all the museums are located along this street and it was a nice walk.

Made it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and did get to see the Rocky Statue and made it up the steps to the top – everyone was getting their picture taken.

phi (35)

Along the promenade are all the flags of the countries in the world.

To my surprise I looked in the window of a building and they had brew tanks – sure enough Iron Hill Brewery was open and the IPA was great.

Found the bus station and returned all the way home without incident. I’m starting to like this “mass transit” lifestyle.

Wednesday the weather is predicted to be high 80 and muggy – let’s go to the NP sites.

We loaded the shuttle and then the bus and away we go right in front of the NP VC. Got our tickets (free) to Independence Hall and wandered around until our time to tour the Hall.

Saw Ben Franklin’s grave site.

phi (40)

And the Free Quaker’s House – not open during the week.

Then toured Independence Hall (which originally was the Pennsylvania State House) – the birthplace of America – where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution was debated and eventually signed. Had great tour guide.

Then toured the Great Essentials – Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation – original copies from the 1700’s – WOW! Seeing the Declaration of Independence was so inspiring – knowing how many people have preached freedom based on its words.phi (47)

And then the President’s House – which was only the frame – unique.phi (48b)
Off to lunch at Sonny’s for a Cheesesteak – must be good – had to wait in a long line – it was good.

Walked by where Benjamin Franklin lived and worked.

Back to see the Liberty Bell – another WOW! Inspiring as it has been an icon of freedom – sort of a sound of reverence in the room.

Brenda finished her Junior Ranger book and she got her badge and I got my stamps.

Then to the City Tavern – which has been in operation since 1773 – for a brew made from Washington’s own recipe. It was the social, cultural and political center – the “most genteel” tavern in America. Everything there today is the same as back in the beginning.

Then back on public transportation and home.phi (67)

Thursday is predicted rain all day as Michael (hurricane) approaches the Northeast.

Brenda took off for a college to do research and I stayed home. Brenda did get a chance to visit a friend (who works in the area) she knew while her “x” was stationed in Germany.

Friday Brenda is off to do cemetery research and I will smoke a pork butt. We did have Hurricane Michael pass through last night without too much problem.

Brenda did get to visit three cemeteries and find some family tombstones.
“The pork butt was one of the best” – Brenda.

Saturday weather has been rainy and high in mid 50’s. We are going to drive into the city – only 2 miles away but the places we want to see are not next to each other.

First stop was the Edgar Allan Poe NHS – the park has preserved a home that Mr. Poe lived in while in Philly. Had lots of information about him and his writing – didn’t realized that they never did know why he died and how he ended up in Baltimore at that time.

Then over to visit the Free Quaker Meeting house.

Then lunch at Jim’s for our final Cheese Steak sandwich.

Then the Thaddeus Kosciuszko NM – a polish military engineer who came to America to help fight the Revolutionary War – without him I’m not sure we would have won. He was important in numerous battles. The site was one of the houses he lived in while in the USA.

Stopped by Gloria Dei (Old Swede) church – unfortunately a wedding was going on and we didn’t get to tour the church.

Final stop at Arch Meeting House – church for the Quakers – learned about their worship style and their desire to change society. Brenda has family that were Quakers years ago.

We really enjoyed Philly – especially the Cheesesteaks – there is a lot of history and a lot of things yet to do – need to come back – very walkable.

Sunday is off to Wilmington, Delaware.

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