Monday, October 18, 2010

A Trip to Philadelphia: The Re-Cap

Now that our children no longer require diapers, strollers or constant monitoring, it is much easier to travel with them.  At least that was the theory behind the planning of some touristy adventures that we decided to take this past summer.  Having mastered the beach, a small New England mountain town and a few medium-sized car rides, we decided to head to Philadelphia, home of the famed Liberty Bell and of our beloved auntie, Elizabeth.  Drive with three children to Philadelphia, you ask?  Are we crazy?  Yes.  But we bought a portable DVD player before we left and even with the 45 minute stop we made in New Jersey for Gordy to answer an important work email, we still made fabulous time.

Here is a picture of our wonderful children, sitting patiently on the couch in Elizabeth's apartment.   Don't they look happy to be out of the car?

Our first order of business (and yes, there is ALWAYS an order when travelling with us.  We are very, very fond of a game plan) was to visit the Liberty Bell.  We went by taxi which was a huge hit with the girls.  The concept of sticking out your arm and getting a car TO DRIVE you wherever your little heart desired was truly an amazing one.

Here is a picture of our wonderful children standing patiently beside the Liberty Bell.  Can you see the bruise on Josie's forehead from where she hit the partition in the cab when it stopped short at a red light?  Don't worry, the thrill of potential injuries just makes her love taxis that much more. 

Surprisingly, the kids were interested in the Liberty Bell.  But they were even more interested in the fact that Elizabeth was allowed to bring her swiss army knife into the museum even though the guards saw it lying there in her purse.  Apparently, if you answer "I use it to cut chocolate" when asked by federal security guards "why are you carrying a knife?" you can proceed without hesitation into any of our nation's monuments. 

After taking the required photos and making the required jokes about which family member was responsible for the crack in the bell, we headed east to Betsy Ross' house.  Now this was the stop I was most looking forward to.  When asked why I wanted to travel with three children to Philadelphia, I might have said that I wanted our muppets to experience city life or to see where Elizabeth sits when I talk to her on the phone every morning, and in a way these answers were truthful.  But the real highlight for me was getting to go inside that tiny little building I've walked past on my other trips to The City of Brotherly Love.  I am a huge fan of a historical house and who doesn't want the opportunity to talk to the real live Betsy Ross?

Because you can actually do that!  Doesn't she look fantastic?  So old, yet so young.

Next we visited Elfreth's Alley, the oldest, continually inhabited street in the United States. 

Look!  I was there, too.  Although, not perched on a hitching post as that would be embarrassing - whoops!  Sorry kids.  We might not want to mention this to Georgia.

Now is probably a good time to mention that these tourist sites aren't exactly close to each other.  We did a considerable amount of walking in Philadelphia much of which was spent listening to Josie whine about why we couldn't take another taxi. 

Good try, Josie.  Keep walking.

It wasn't all constitution and history on our trip.  We also went to the Franklin Museum of Science which was amazing. 

Here is a photo of Henry holding up a statue of Ben Franklin.  Such a helpful child.

We all enjoyed this amazing exhibit:

Make a phone call  or send a text message next to this wall and you can see how much electrical activity your cell phone gives off.

Scary, huh?  Don't worry.  You can still reach Gordy by phone or email.   No quantity of glowing red lights, however ominous or overwhelming, is going to separate him from his beloved blackberry.

Surely this trip has to be over, you ask?  You're tired just reading our itinerary, aren't you?  No!  It's not over!  There's more, more and still more.  We are ten years into this parenting thing and we have learned many important lessons including - when travelling/touring, NEVER STOP.  When the activities stop, the whining begins. 

The next day we went over to the Philadelphia Zoo where we had two goals:  to see the lego zoo exhibit and figure out what in heck a naked mole rat is.  Let's just say that the lego exhibit was amazing.  The naked mole rats - pretty gross.  I'm still trying to get their blind, naked little images out of my head.  All in all, the Philadelphia Zoo was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Philly.

Here is our son, Henry, the lego gorilla.

Our last scheduled activity in Philadelphia was a trip to a baseball game.  The Phillies lost, but I don't think the children noticed. 

As you can see, our trip was a huge success!  We may do it again some time once we've rested for a year or two. 

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