Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Philadelphia,PA

Hubby & I decided to visit Philadelphia Friday night. We packed up the kids Saturday morning & wandered among the Mummer's Museum exhibits by 1 pm. Nice place.Beautiful costumes. However, if you've dust allergies or asthma I highly recommend taking your meds before you enter. If you're a post card collector buy Mummer postcards there. I wasn't able to find them anywhere else.

Independence National Park is a large part of the old city of Philadelphia & encompasses a large area. Park under the Independence Vistor Center & get a map from the desk upstairs. I highly recommend ordering the free tickets if you want to see Independence Hall or Congress Hall. There are limited tickets per day per venue & they go quickly. We ordered tickets Saturday & reserved a space for the 3 pm Sunday afternoon tour of Independence Hall. Seeing the Liberty Bell is free after going through the security line. Luckily, the line moved fast. We waited only 30 minutes before getting in.

We also watched a magic show in the shaded courtyard beside Betsy Ross' house. It is a self guided tour. The textiles (bedlinens & curtains etc.) are beautifully preserved. Betsy Ross lived quite a full & adventurous life other than flag sewing.

On the map from the Visitor Center there are 13 gold stars. Each shows the location of a storytelling bench near the major historical attractions. Park your tired behind on a bench. Many are shaded & some are in quiet places; ie, outside the Friend's Meeting house & inside the cemetary where Ben Franklin is buried. We only managed two of them this visit since we didn't realize what they were until late in the afternoon. Anyhow, they are great for a quick 5-10 minute story & a chance to rest up.

We also walked up & down several blocks of South Street, a boutique & bar laden neighborhood laden with tattoo parlors & quite a cast of 'characters'one would expect to find in an eclectic area. The one place I really wanted toexplore, nut couldn't because we had all of the kids was Condom Kingdom. Warning- do not open link if you are offended by sexually explicit material. Ate some of the best cheesesteaks in a tiny shop below street level where the clientele were local & the prices cheap (5th & South St). No ambience to speak of & a tiny seating area, but well worth it.

We walked everywhere. Most of the historic areas are within walking distance of each other. We didn't go to see the historic, society homes though, so I don't know if they're close enough to walk to. There are many guided tours on various types of vehicles, all of which were overpriced IMO. Unlike DC, in Philly the food the relatively cheap but the museums charge.

So there you have it. The impromptu, two day Philadelphia historic tour.

3 comments:

Anne E. said...

Sounds like a great trip. I'll have to wait until tonight to check out the condom museum. Who would have guessed you could find something like that in Philly?!

Tara Marie said...

Nice idea, it sounds like a great trip. Isn't it great to be within driving distance of major cities?!!

Shawn T Lippert said...

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