Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our Day In Philadelphia

 Independence Hall
We're back up in New Jersey for the summer and busy, so posting has been sporadic.  Two of our friends from California are here and on Monday we took them for a sightseeing day in the historic area of Philadelphia.  I grew up in South Philadelphia and was lucky to be so close to where our country was born.  I thought a visit to the place where our Founder's formed our most perfect union, would be a nice thing to share with you in a post.

We started our day at the Visitor's Center, then off to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.  What's especially nice is that there is no entrance fee to either of these sights.  You just need a time ticket that tells you when to show up for your tour of Independence Hall.

One  of the exhibits inside The Liberty Bell building.

Our first stop was The Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell is housed in a building across the street from Independence Hall and there is a big window behind the bell framing Independence Hall in the background.  This is the best shot I could get because there were loads of visitors gathered around taking photos.
Our next stop was Independence Hall for our 11:30 AM tour.  We had a terrific tour guide who explained the two rooms we visited.  First was a courtroom (below).  The furnishings are of the era, but the picture behind the three chairs is original and was there when our Founders occupied the building.
Next we went to the actual room where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and where the  Founders debated, drafted and signed the Constitution (photos below).  The only thing original in this room is George Washington's chair behind the table.
Below is outside Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was read to the people for the first time.  Our tour guide told us that the Founders were no where to be found that day, just in case the people didn't like it.
How great it is to be able to stand where our Founders stood and worked so hard to form our Republic.  If you have more time, there are many other historical places to visit within walking distance of Independence Hall.

Our last stop was The National Constitution Center.  None of us had been to the Constitution Center, so we saved it for the end (below).
The National Constitution Center is an interesting place and if you have children, it's perfect to give them a history lesson while having fun.  There is a 17 minute live production called "Freedom Rising".  When you leave the theater there are many interactive activities, videos, exhibits and artifact displays.  I found it to be geared toward teaching children about the Constitution and our country, but these days, adults can learn a lot they didn't know about America, too.

One of the interesting exhibits in the Center was an actual tea chest that had been thrown overboard at the Boston Tea Party.  It had been rescued out of the water on the next day by a 16 year old boy whose family kept it throughout the years.  Another was a small bottle full of dried up tea leaves that had washed up on shore after the Boston Tea Party.  I really wanted to take a photo of these, but no photo taking in the exhibit area was allowed.

They also have an autographed, typed version of Barack Obama's "race speech" that he gave at the Constitution Center in March 2008.  I thought it would have been more realistic to just have the teleprompter in the display case.

There is one place inside the center that allows photographs.  It's called the "Signer's Hall".  Here we found life sized, bronze statues of the Founders that we could walk among and take photos with.  I  had my picture taken with George Washington and James Madison.

What I enjoyed most of all at the Constitution Center was their special exhibit for the summer called Ancient Rome & America.  There were many artifacts from both the ancient Roman time and the Founder's time with comparisons and explanations about how the Founders looked to ancient Rome when forming our government.  There were many old sculptures/busts of our Founders dressed in togas, which was a common way they were portrayed back then by artists.  They also had Founding Father's personal copies of Roman classic books, remnants of Pompeii, gladiator artifacts, Roman jewelry, and many other interesting pieces.

The brochure says, "Ancient Rome & America showcases the cultural, political and social connections between the lost world of ancient Rome and modern America".

Ancient Rome was a Republic until they lost it.  The big question written across the wall at the end of the tour is...
I'll let you answer that one yourselves.

After a day of Liberty, Freedom and the wonderful story of our country's founding, this is what awaited us in stop and go traffic on I-95 South...
Our day ended at one of the best sandwich shops in South Philly...Tony Luke's.  Our California friends wanted  "real" Philly cheese steaks, and this place is much better than Pat's or Geno's (just a hint if you ever get a chance to visit South Philly).  And stay away from the wiz (cheese wiz)...get American.  One more thing..."real" Philly cheese steaks don't come with "peppers and onions".
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  1. The only thing that car was missing was a rainbow flag.

    One of these days I'm going to head back east and see some of our nations historical sites.

  2. Trestin:
    A rainbow flag...funny.
    Plenty of historical sites to see up and down the eastern coast. I hope you do make the trip someday.
    Happy Memorial Day and God Bless You and your buddies over there. Be safe.

  3. I think all freshmen Congressmen should have to take that trip so they can take time and appreciate where this country started.

  4. star2307:
    When you think about it, some of the old guys should take that trip, too...not to mention POTUS.
    Thanks for stopping by. Come again.

  5. Thanks for the linky love..... You know, I have never been to do those things in Philly. I grew up only a few hours away in CT and never did it.

    Sounds like a field trip when my little angel is older.

  6. JACG:
    You're welcome. That video is beyond belief.
    There is a lot of history in Philadelphia. I hope you get the chance to visit sometime.
    When our son was in grade school, we always took him on a learning vacation when he was off during the NJ teacher's conventions every November. We visted DC, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Monticello and Mount Vernon. It was a great experience for all of us.

  7. Thank you for posting all of those interesting pics. Its been a long while since I have visited any of the historical sites along the east coast but I hope to visit them again in the near future.

    Thanks for the tip on where to get an authentic Philly cheese steak sub. One of my last times I stayed in Philly I ate of the bestest Philly Cheese steak subs ever.

  8. Great posy TCL. I've got to see that one day.

  9. Hi Teresa:
    There's a lot of places I haven't been to in this area and hope to visit someday, too.
    Tony Luke's has terrific cheese steaks and if you like roast pork, it's the place to go.

  10. That brings back memories. I visited it back in 1965 ... been awhile.

  11. Hi Odie:
    I hadn't been there for a long time either. Now that I am older, following politics and what is happening in our country these days, my perspective is different and my appreciation so much deeper for what our Founders did for us.

  12. That's nearly my old backyard, TCL. It's hard to believe it's gone so fart south from when the Founders dreamed up this country.

  13. Hi Snarky:
    That is very true and, with God's help, We The People are going to take our country back from the progressives who are destroying it.

  14. AH, you got to it at the end! I kept thinking PHILLY CHEESE PHILLY CHEESE! Believe it or not we here in Santa Monica, California have a fabulous little place called THE SHACK which imports the cheese steak BUNS from Philadelphia! Man, ARE THEY GOOD!

    OH, Con. Lady..I LOVED your pictures, I have only ever driven through Pennsylvania so I haven't had the chance to see those amazing rooms and the Bell and all...this was such a treat for me, thanks very much. That Washington chair is GORGEOUS, isn't it?

    Thanks...I really loved seeing those pix and will email a friend, Pris at my blog, to make sure she sees this too.
    Have a good Memorial Day...z

  15. Great, great city, unless you're cheering for the other team at an Eagles game.

  16. Hi TCL! Thanks for putting together this excellent travelogue. You take great pics. I feel like I was there with you! You sure show your friends fun stuff to do.

    I hope you have a great and restful Holiday Weekend,
    and God Bless America, I hope we don't go the way of ancient Rome!

  17. Hi Z:
    How could I forget the cheese steaks??? And you're's all about the rolls.

  18. Hi Jake G:
    Yep, there nothing like a Philadelphia sports fan...that can go either way...good or bad, ha.

  19. Hi Bunni:
    Glad you liked the post and the pics. Unfortunately, if we keep on Obama's path, we may turn into Rome.
    Have a wonderful weekend.


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