Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Morning in Philly

We scheduled our flight east for June's bedtime, which was great for convenience (she slept for two hours or so) but meant that we got into Philadelphia at midnight local time. We planned on staying the night in a hotel and spending half a day in Philly exploring the city. Neither of us had seen Philadephia and now was our short chance!

I recently finished reading a book by Jeff Schaara called Rise to Rebellion. It's historical fiction based in fact and it deals with the drama leading up to the Revolutionary War. It was perfect timing because a lot of the book takes place in the Continental Congress(es) that was located in Philadelphia and now I'd get a chance to see the places I'd read about.

It included Independence Hall, which is where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. 

My cousin Eric goes to school in Philly and he met us for a tour of the building.
The ground floor of the building (the only part we toured) wasn't very big, although our tour guide said that it was the second largest building in the colonies at the time of its construction. It mainly consisted of the Supreme Court Room:

And the Assembly Room. This is where the Declaration and the Constitution were both debated and signed! As nerdy as it may seem, I definitely got the chills from being inside this room.

We walked past the Declaration House, which I'd also read about in Rise to Rebellion. It was on the second floor of this house that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration, and that the five-person committee (including John Adams and Ben Franklin) met to edit and revise it.

All that history worked up an appetite, so we headed to the Reading Terminal Market to get some food. It was a large indoor market with all kinds of food being prepared and sold.

We, of course, got cheesesteaks. (Don't mind that it appears to be more steak than cheese... the cheese was more wedged on the other side of the sandwich.)

And we finished off the afternoon with some Bassett ice cream. This little spot has been featured on the Food Network so we had to give it a try. It was the first of many ice cream spots that were sampled on our trip, and it was certainly appreciated on such a warm day. 

We said good bye to Eric, packed up the car and started the 2-hour drive to Delaware for the real beginning to our trip.

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