Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday-Philadelphia

We got up a bit late this AM, I couldn't run, it was POURING rain, and I did not bring rain gear. I have a limit, and it is vacation and all....We packed up our gear, and headed north out of Annapolis. Thank goodness for the GPS! (That turned out to be the theme of the day) We drove
to Philadelphia, to get a good dose of American History. The kids really want to see the Liberty Bell. Along the way, we get some good information off this van.

....good to know. We get to Philadelphia, and find parking (!) and get out and walk around Independence Square, where all the historic buildings are. You need tickets to go inside, and we do not have them, and they are out of them. We enjoy them anyway from the outside....This is Independence Hall where the Constitution was written and signed.



We went to the Liberty Bell Exhibit, which you do not need tickets for, and learned a LOT about the ol' Bell. There has been TONS and TONS of paraphernalia made with the LB image over the years. Nick will not let me get this clock for the living room, and I really want it. He has no taste.

There is part of the old bell here, so you can 'touch liberty'. Of course we don't pass up that chance.
We found out that this is actually the third bell made from this material, as the first two cracked!!

A helpful ranger told us a bunch of stories about the bell, which I kind of forget. But it cracked when they were ringing it for George Washington's birthday in the 1840's. It was just a hairline crack, but they drilled the bigger crack into it for it to get the 'ringing' sound back into it. Then it cracked more, but they just took it down and replaced it.
They tried to get their money back from the company in England that it came from for being defective, and arriving in damaged condition, in the 1970's, but they said they had to send it back in the original packaging. Ha ha. Then

We went outside and walked around and saw these jokers. We think they might be Farbs, though.
Then we headed over to the Reading Terminal Market, and walked around a bit. Very much like Pike Place Market, but with more places to sit to eat.
We decide that while in Philadelphia, the obvious thing to eat is a CheeseSteak Sandwich....
And we are right....yum!
Then we hop back in the car, and head for NYC. We use every piece of technology that we have, the GPS, the Google phone, and my phone to figure out where to go. AAA is great and all, but their state maps are just not detailed enough sometimes! We are trying to go to Hoboken, NJ, and I called Marriott, and with all our accumulated points, we get 2 nights at the Marriott in Secaucus! (there is no Marriott in Hoboken....) We get there and check in, nice room, here is the view!
Then we decide to go into the city, and drive around at night and see some sights. We go to Times Square right away, and WOW, what a madhouse. People really do drive like maniacs, and the pedestrians have no fear. The lights are blinding, and Miles said, it's practically day here!

Then we drive over to Battery Park, to see Lady Liberty all lit up at night.
It was awesome until Caroline saw two rats.
Another full day!!! Whew, we are ready for bed.

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