July 19 Philadelphia
I have toured east coast historical sites many times with students and with my daughter, but never made it to Philadelphia until this summer (during the heat wave).
Summer is not the best time to visit Philadelphia. The historical section of the city is ok, and somewhat tidy, but you venture outside of that and you get big city dirt and smells- all of which are accentuated by summer's heat.
One cause of city smells.
Independence Hall- there's scaffolding on part of the building because they are restoring it.
The park rangers gave the girls workbooks to fill out and trading cards to collect throughout the day. It was fun and made them ask and answer good questions.
The room where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Next door- the room where John Adams was sworn in as President.
The Liberty Bell
They were asking the ranger about the crack in the bell.
Too bad Ben's house no longer exists. His grandkids didn't want the upkeep...
There's just a "ghost structure"- based on drawings, blueprints, and footprint of the foundation.
When we finished the historic stuff, the girls showed the ranger their completed books and their trading cards. They received badges to commemorate their achievements, and then we headed a few blocks south to get some treats.
It was about 98 degrees outside with about 98% humidity.
During our walk, the surroundings changed from tidy historic sites to smelly, unkept, littered urbanscapes. I'm glad we didn't venture too far into the 'hood...
I had heard about this place on Food TV. Guy Fieri, Mark Summers, and Duff Goldman all raved about the ice cream concoctions at the Franklin Fountain. I figured three stout men couldn't be wrong, so I mapped it and discovered it was a few blocks from the historic sites. We oozed our way down the heat blasted streets and found they were right-
this is old fashioned ice cream nirvana.
Abs is deciding on a root beet float, while I order the Franklin Mint-
here's how they describe it:
"MINT CHIP and VANILLA ice creams striped in chocolate syrup,
FLUFFY MARSHMALLOW glaze and Crème de Menthe finished with home-made whipped cream and a mint green maraschino cherry."
Drool, drool drool...
I shared it with Ab.
We had to eat it fast, or it would became ice cream soup in the heat of the day.
It was AMAZINGLY GOOD.
After she finished her float, we walked back to the car, paid the Philadelphians an arm and a leg for the privilege of parking in their fair city, and drove to Providence, Rhode Island for night.
We had originally planned to visit Valley Forge, but because of the energy sapping heat and the long drive ahead of us, we took it out of the itinerary. Gotta roll with the punches. Next time, though... next time.