On our way to Canada, we spent a few days in Philadelphia.
Getting there was a bit of an adventure. And when I say adventure, I mean I thought we were going to die for sure in a wreck. Having lived in DC, I’m no stranger to traffic, but at some points getting into the city, I had to close my eyes and think of the beach (no worries, I was not driving) to avoid making sounds and gestures that would (understandably) drive the driver insane. But we made it with out incident.*
We stayed at (guess) Embassy Suites Philadelphia. We were on the top floor and it had probably one of my favorite views of all time. I had heard from a friend that it was a hassle waiting for an elevator staying on a middle floors, so if you do find yourself here, ask for as high a floor as possible.
Our first stop was the National Constitution Center. With out context, historical sights are a major drag for kids, so I like doing the supporting museums first, so they are more jazzed about seeing the real thing.
So how was it received? Click below to see the rest of the trip!
The Constitution Center was great. Our favorite part was a room filled with bronze statues of many of the founding fathers. Can you guess which of our children was named for one? He actually didn’t sign the Constitution, as he was holding out on principle for a strong Bill of Rights, which as we
were reminded know, came a bit after. The entire history was well presented and it was great visit.
Next stop, the real deals, Independence Hall and Liberty Bell. We had reserved a time to tour the building on line and the waiting process for Independence Hall wasn’t too bad. Our tour guide was very earnest, and it was very fun seeing what we had been reading about at the Constitutional Center (the chair with the Sun, especially)
We went to the Liberty Bell, which you line up for outside. The line moved pretty fast and we were in in no time.
For dinner we went the the City Tavern, which was my favorite part of the trip. Evidently, the tavern was used as a meeting house before Independence Hall had been finished. It has been turned into a period restaurant, with period dressed waitstaff and food. The food was delicious.
As we were leaving, we ran in to two actors who were finished with their days work, and had stopped in the Tavern for a drink. They stayed in character and chatted with the kids at length. They offered the kids seats at their booths and signed some of their post cards. Very fun.
The next day we explored town visiting the other smaller sights, Betsy Ross House, the First Post Office, Printing Office etc. Everything was with in walking distance and it was a nice mix of being outside and seeing interesting things.
After that, we went to the Franklin Institute. When I was in 3rd grade, our class went on a field trip there, and I got lost (hmm, an early omen). But I did remember how fun it had been. It was a kids heaven. Room after room of fantastic hands on fun for kids. It is pretty old-school, but all new to my kids.
The cap the day off we went to a Phillies game.
Nice break off my feet and the kids loved it. Philadelphia does a great job with its sports complexes and getting in and out and parking were very straight forward. We had a beautiful view of the sunset to top it off. As a child, my parents did a great job of taking us on many trips as young children, and even though I don’t remember all the details, one that is seared in my memory is going to a Cubs game and getting a little wooden bat. (they had more girls than boys, yes. That would never fly chez moi) The kids are super into sports, and mixing it in on trips has been very fun for our whole family, and I hope they remember it just a bit.
*This would be a good place to mention what a hero JLD is from being our designated driver EVERYWHERE. He knows I don’t especially like driving, and he says he doesn’t mind. I can’t imagine enjoying driving 2200 miles in two weeks, but he does it with a smile.