Saturday, August 4, 2012

The O'Day brothers in the city of brotherly love

Growing up in coastal North Carolina, our big field trip were to the Asheboro Zoo and Raleigh.  They were hours away, required a charter bus (oh the excitement!) and were a BIG deal.  Trips to DC and Philly or even Baltimore, were pretty much unthinkable as a field trip. 

Brantley, growing up in Delaware, didn't think twice about a trip to any of those places.  All within day trip distance, history really came alive for them as their schools took advantage of the proximity.  

So I have a confession.  I was in college before I really spent any time in DC. The first time I went to Philly I was married, shocked when we were out for a drive through Delaware and just ended up in Philadelphia for dinner.  It's just that close. 

When we go to Delaware, we try and take Brantley (and me!) to some of those places, and let him experience the history of our country. Not to mention, it's just fun! 

This trip, we decided to go to Philly, and DC (more on that later).  We drove up to Philadelphia and started out at the visitors center, where a familiar face welcomed us!
One of the Phanatic around town statues, here he's dressed as the Liberty Bell

 We decided we didn't want to over do it while we were there, so we tried to plan our trip within walking distance. Our first stop was the U.S. Mint, where we watched pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters being made.  It's also where congressional medals and Presidential medals are made.

We had to go through security, only a bit less than an airport.  Henry successfully distracted the guards to the point that they forgot to tell us no photos were allowed inside.  As I snapped away, thinking it's odd that we could take photos, but didn't see any signs, a guard did come and tell me it wasn't allowed.  Chastised (I am SUCH a rule follower!) I put my camera away.

The legal photo.  The big boys were distracted because a family tried to skip through the first security line.  

There they are!
 A block or so over, we went to the National Constitution Center.  If you are there, definitely see the show that they do, it was the best part.  We enjoyed the visit, but it seemed much more political than historical.  Still an interesting visit, and worth the time spent there.

The only place photos were allowed was in the Signers Hall, where life sized statues of the signers were located.  There was also a live webcam feed from that room.
Mom and I always say we could talk to a wall!

Mom got in a heated debate!
(we left in giggles after this one!)

Independence Hall in the background

About this time, we were having a bit of a pre-lunch hungry meltdown, but decided we needed to see the Liberty Bell while we were there.  We decided to wait on Independence Hall, as we've done it before, and think Brant would appreciate it more in a year or so.

So we meandered down there to discover there was a MOB waiting to get in.  Brant remembers when it was outside and you could walk up to touch the bell.  But now, while free, it is monitored, enclosed and secured.  And likewise, too much for us to wait to do while we were all starving.  So we cheated.
There is a window on the side that you can just see the crack.  Brant was satisfied for this trip, with the promise we will get closer next time (as we will try to not go in the summer when the crowds are bigger).

 We went to Reading Terminal for lunch, a great market, with butchers, fish mongers, Amish foods and awesome restaurants.  We are big Man vs. Food watchers here, and have been following his search for America's best sandwich.  So we decided that we were going to eat at the East Coast winner's site, Tommy DiNic's.  The pork sandwich won and it was amazing!  However, it was so crowded and busy, we didn't get any photos. We did get full bellies and a t-shirt though!

The final stop was Citizen's Bank Park and the Phillies' team store for some new gear.  Brant hadn't been since he remembered.  So it was fun seeing him be amazed.
The skyline

The sun was so bright Brant couldn't look up!
Posing with the Mike Schmidt statue

That guy is everywhere!

Philly is always fun, always good food, and great sights.  But we aren't done with Philly yet...just wait until the END of our trip!

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