Last summer, our good friends the Thomas family came to Salt Lake for a visit and said, "When are you guys going to come to Philadelphia for a visit?" I thought...well, we have a week at spring break, a perfect time to go. With Philly just a few hours from Washington D.C., it was a great opportunity to see our dear friends and take Ben and Abby on a tour of two of the most historical cities in our country. Now, one doesn't plan a ten day trip to these cities without much research and planning, so eight months after the invitation was extended, we were off. Brian decided to forego the Philly part and meet us in D.C. That was a new adventure for me to travel alone with kids, but we made it. There are over 300 pictures of the trip ( I won't post them all!!!), so our trip will be a series of posts. Here is the first day.
Ben and Abby at the airport, all smiles and ready for adventure!
I have a reputation of picking not so great hotels and since we arrived in Philly after midnight, all I wanted was a quick cab ride from the airport to the hotel. Hum...I choose the Red Roof Inn; reviews sounded okay, but they lied. The place was a dump. Ben however had no problem sleeping...
Abby ready to see the city and say goodbye to the Red Roof Inn.
Lori, Shawn, Emma and Jake picked us up on Friday morning ready to take us exploring the city. First stop, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The three of us posing in front of the Rocky Balboa statue.
Ever since I saw the first Rocky movie, I have wanted to make a run up the famous "Rocky Steps". There were a lot of them.....raced the kids up and I won't reveal who was last.....Emma, Jake, Ben and Ab at the top.
Would not be a trip to Philly without enjoying a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. Jake, Shawn and Ben digging in......Ben's sandwich is minus the cheese!
Lori, Emma and Ab enjoying their lunch.
My version of the Philly Cheesesteak, a chef salad. I'm notorious for always ordering salads no matter where we go....this one was fantastic!
Philadelphia is an incredibly historical city. On every block, there was a church or building that was somehow connected to the American Revolution or the founding of our country. Ben and Abby in front of the Christ Church. This church was built between 1727 and 1744; many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence worshipped here. The baptismal font used by William Penn is still is use today. We were able to sit in the pew once occupied by George Washington.
The next stop was the Betsy Ross house. I always thought of her as just a little grandma sitting in a rocking chair sewing our flag. I didn't realize how difficult her life was and how she was risking her life sewing the flag. If the British found out what she was doing, she would have been killed. She really was an amazing lady!
We were also able to tour the U.S. Mint. It was really interesting to see how our coins are made. No pictures were allowed inside.
Next stop was Independence Hall. This is truly the most "historic block in America." To be in the area where both the the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed was very humbling. Abby and Ben in front of the desks where the signers of our most sacred document sat.
This is the chair used by George Washington. We learned much about him; he was a very humble man and was a great leader.
The front part of Independence Hall. Philadelphia has tons and tons of statues of the many man involved in making this country.
Next stop was the Liberty Bell. I was really suprised how small it was. Somehow I pictured it as giagantic. Not that big. Must just look bigger in the history books. We packed a ton into one day! Ben was pooped and fell asleep before we were even out of the city. Off to Kennett Square where the Thomas' live, grab Eli (the youngest Thomas), and off to Gettysburg for the night and battlefields to explore on Saturday.,