Well, I mean, the rest of your city was awesome. Full of history, beauty, culture. And good food.
We have been studying the 1600’s- 1800’s in history this year. At the beginning of the school year we discussed William Penn and how he acquired Pennsylvania. We learned that nothing was to be built higher than the gifted statue of Penn. The irony is he was a Quaker. Quakers believed that they were all equal and nobody was “above” anyone else-yet his statue had to be the highest. Interesting huh?
So, anyway, after hearing this story and realizing we would actually drive through the Philadelphia area, we decided this was a must stop on our trip.
We absolutely loved Philly, and I am so glad we went. Aside from having a great time, I also got to visit with a long time friend that I went to high school with.
We started our visit by visiting the Liberty Bell. Despite the knowledge we have gained from our recent lessons, we read more details as we entered the building. The kids could have stayed all day long reading about the bell, but we knew we should get going so we could see more of what the city had to offer. I foresee looking for books about the Liberty Bell in our near future…
The kids worked on their Jr Ranger badges.
After visiting the Liberty Bell we headed to Independence Hall.
It was amazing seeing the armchair of the rising sun in person. This was the chair George Washington used for nearly three months of the Federal Convention’s continuous sessions. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying, “I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting.”
Many items in the building are reproductions of the original, however, the railing on the stairs is original. I can only imagine our nation’s forefathers going down the stairs and gripping these rails as they did so.
After touring Independence Hall and exploring the grounds, we met up with a friend I have known since high school. Erika and I have kept in contact over the last few years, once again, thanks to Facebook (seriously, can’t say enough awesome things about technology). Erika and her family drove an hour to hang out with us for the day! Her baby, 9 month old Avery, is a cutie pie who was very patient as we visited museums and stopped for lunch. And Erika, as always, was a blast to spend time with!
Speaking of lunch, Brian picked out an AMAZING Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich shop. Oh. My. Word. I am still drooling over this place. We walked into this Philadelphia original restaurant and I could tell right away that it was going to be good.
The line was wrapped around the entryway, all the way to the door. Behind the meat splattered window the employees cooked meat and and smeared it onto large buns.
We headed upstairs to find a few seats in the crowded restaurant. We then devoured each of our sandwiches. They were DELICIOUS!! Just FYI, Jim’s ships all over the country.
After lunch we went visited more museums. And hung out with a few constitution signing dudes.
The next day we were in for some more site seeing. Jack and Kenniston both purchased a colonial style costume with their money. Both also insisted on wearing them around town.
Why not? Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a little Ben Franklin and Besty Ross strolling down the streets of Philly?
We visited Franklin’s printing press. Yes, as in Ben Franklin! We got to see how they printed paper back in those days and in the very shop Ben did it in!
The park ranger in the printing press was very informative and helpful to the kids.
She took time to explain the evolution of the english language from that time period to ours. She explained the “long s”….
She let the kids hold the individual metal letters.
And she showed them the special paper used in printing presses.
It was a neat experience for all of us.
After the printing press we headed to the Ben Franklin Institute, just a few doors away. There we learned more about Ben Franklin and his inventions. He really was a fascinating individual.
Ruby observing electricity.
I am really not sure why Vincent has a sour look on his face here, he actually begged me to take this picture.
We walked a few blocks to visit the Betsy Ross house.
Because William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was Quaker, most people who originated in the area were as well. The symbol for Friends of the Quaker was found on most original buildings. The kids wanted to replicate it.
Now, remember how I mentioned the William Penn statue? We, obviously, had to see that! We headed downtown to find City Hall, where it now stands on top of.
The city of Philadelphia was full of history. It was fun to see the old buildings intertwined with the new.
After touring downtown we found the infamous LOVE statue…
…then we headed towards Chinatown to find some dinner.
And it was. It was fresh, inexpensive, and the wait staff was incredibly friendly. The “family style” dinning and hot tea were both a hit with everyone. It was a wonderful way to end our time in the Philly area.