Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hello, Philadelphia!

Dear Easterners, pardon us for traipsing through your land wearing our typical Pacific Northwest style of shorts and sandals… and socks. We’ve loved getting a glimpse of New England and most of the original 13 colonies during our 18-day trip, experiencing everything from the cut-throat drivers and shoving tourists in New York and New Jersey to the polite and slow-paced folks in Lancaster and DC.

We flew toward Maryland on June 18th, 2012. My body doesn’t like the air pressure changes and confines of a small seat, and apparently my pain was evident because my seat-mate settled down and gave me a once over. “You do not look comfortable!”

Our layover was in Pheonix. I glanced out the window and saw a huge pile of bull-dozed dirt and blurted, “That’s a big pile of dirt!” Then I realized we were still up pretty high and it was actually a hill. A big, brown hill of dirt. Didn’t look like a thing grew on it and there were lots just like it. After a bit I saw a rock formation that had much more character and I was slightly more impressed with the state.

The next day we had planned to head straight through Pennsylvania and be in New York by the evening. But somehow our hotel reservations got made for the 20th, so we had an extra day. Love how God works that stuff out because our detour to Philadelphia became one of the highlights of the trip for me. We had to drive for a bit to get there, which was a good thing because I was horribly sick the first half of the day. Thankfully by the time we got there I was feeling better.

Here we are pausing at a rest stop in Delaware to actually get our feet on the ground and be able to count it truly as “visited,” before we went on to Liberty Square. To get into the building you have to go through a security check and then there’s a big crowd of people trying to get their pictures taken by the bell, with a security guard keeping an eye on things. I kept expecting him to grin as he observed other people inevitably stumbling in front of every camera that was raised, but he appeared bored. In each building we had to show our purses and after a bit Mom started singing, “The Hokey Pokey” because they all said, “Turn around” to make sure we weren’t hiding anything.

Seeing Liberty Bell in person was awesome. It was little smaller than I expected and the crack looked very man-made with round divots all along it. Turns out it’s because at the time they attempted to fix cracks by widening them, I assume so that the edge of the crack would be rounded and not continue to slip further into the bell as easily. The bell was fixed quite a number of times before it was finally retired because it just kept cracking again.

Then we saw the building where they signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We got there just in time for the last tour.

Here is the judges' booth where the supreme court used to rule.
The door on the right is a fake door because at the time they were
very into balance in their architecture.

General Assembly room where the documents were created and signed.
Back then, the room was so hot and full of biting horseflies that the
men came to agreements much faster than they might have!
I'll be posting a journal entry with pictures every Tuesday and Friday for the next several weeks, so be sure to check back or better yet, sign up in the side bar to get a notification each time I post. See you then!


Joanne Sher said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip - can't wait to hear more!

Becky Depp said...

Sounds like fun. Where in Delaware did you stop in? You were probably closer to me then than we thought. lol

Sparrow said...

Becky, we just stopped at the visitor information booth you see in the pic and then went on through to Philadelphia.

Rita Garcia said...

Great trip--lots of interesting sights. Hugs!

Laury said...

My husband had a pocket knife in his pocket. He didn't even think about it. He had to get out of line and he threw it away. Now he's probably on America's Most Wanted! Wonder if you were there at the same time? Funny:)

Anonymous said...

I spent a very hot summer in Philie and I went into the city center every Saturday to tour all the historic sites. It was more enjoyable before all the security issues. I still have the frig magnets I bought that summer, here on our fridge in Latvia, ha ha.

Douglas said...

"After a bit I saw a rock formation that had much more character and I was slightly more impressed with the state."

One of these days, you'll need to swing by the Grand Canyon.