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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Yesterday (Monday) we went to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. Philly is the home of the Liberty Bell, site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the largest city in Pennsylvania. I have no idea of the normal traffic flow or road conditions, but for our visit, the traffic was horrendous. We have traveled through many large cities in our travels, but this has to rank as one of the most congested and worst road conditions we have experienced. I hope the conditions we found are not indicative of the whole area. Our main goal and purpose was to explore the historical section of Philly, which was successful. I had done some reading in preparation of the best way to see the area as well as parking, etc. Our plan was to start at the Visitor's Center with parking underneath it.  Well, since our plans normally don't go as planned, this trip was no exception. We found the Visitor's Center with help from our GPS, but signs were up that the parking area was full. Since we had no "plan B" we started circling the blocks in the vicinity and came across a parking lot with vacancies on Arch St, about 5 blocks from the Visitor Center. I suppose I should have known there was a reason they had vacancies so close to downtown, and soon found out the reason. Yep, you guessed it, mega prices! $24.00 to park for at least 3 hours but no more than 12 was the rate we had to pay. I thought the $18 we paid in San Francisco was the all time record, but not anymore!  We decided to go ahead and bite the bullet since we had no inclination of where else to look. Anyway, we walked the 5 blocks to the Visitor's Center, which is a modern very nice facility with multiple agencies housed there to assist folks in finding their way around and to help relieve them of some of their $. We spoke to a very friendly and helpful lady at the National Park Service desk who helped us develop a plan. The first thing she suggested was to get in line for tickets to the Independence Hall tour. You cannot get into that building or tour without a ticket. Our tour wasn't until 2PM so we decided to explore other interesting facilities close by. The Liberty Bell Center was next door and was our first stop. The first section of the facility has displays pertaining to the planning and history of the Liberty Bell before getting to the Bell itself. There was a very large crowd there with a large percentage of them being of foreign dissent that were very rude and inconsiderate. Taking a picture there was a challenge, but we finally prevailed and moved on to the next attraction across Market Street. We went into the Old City Hall that housed the first Supreme Court and were given a brief overview of the Court's venue while there. By this time, we were getting hungry and asked a security guard of a good place to eat that wasn't too far away. He suggested we walk down Market Street and we shouldn't have a problem finding something. We did as directed and came upon Mrs. K's diner and decided to give it a try. Crickett and I had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and Bailey opted for a cheeseburger. We weren't overwhelmed with our meal, but it was ok. I'd give it about a seven on a ten scale. We walked back to the Independence Square area and made it through Security without any issues and looked for a bench to sit on and wait for our tour time. The tour was informative and led us through some of the areas were the Declaration of Independence was argued and drafted by delegates of the original 13 colonies. We were also shown the first Congress Assembly building with the original House Of Representatives on the ground floor and the Senate upstairs. By this time, it was 3:30 and we thought we ought to try and start heading back to get ahead of the traffic exodus. Well, wrong again, as traffic was actually worse than earlier, but we managed to escape with our lives and truck intact!  we didn't get to do everything we had hoped we would, but still was a good trip except for the traffic and parking.

Our $24 parking place.

Sign of the historical section attractions

Front Entrance of Visitor's Center

The Liberty Bell!

Looks like we got photo bombed!

A little better

Cobblestone street alongside Liberty Center

Quite a few horse and carriage tours were in the area.

Menu at Mrs. K's Diner

Original Supreme Court Chambers. Notice there are only six seats, which was the original makeup of the Supreme Court.

Going through security at the Independence Hall. I was scolded for taking this picture.

Independence Hall

Closeup of the clock on the tower.

Court room inside Independence Hall

Room where Declaration of Independence was drafted.

Congress Hall where first Congress was convened. This room was the House of Representatives chamber

The Senate Chambers

Our gang in front of George Washington's statue

We wanted to take the double decker bus tour, but didn't have enough time.

This is a charging station for cell phones in the Visitor's Center. I've never seen one before.

1 comment:

  1. From Betty: Sorry your Philly visit wasn't all it could have been. One difference for us was probably that we were there in Sept - so was less crowded.