2 Moms. 5 kids. 1 van. 3 weeks. 3000 miles. Are we amazing or are we crazy? You decide.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Day 8: Second Day in Philly

Thoroughly recovered from the events of the day before, we set out again to try and conquer Philly. The night before, AtlMom and I had pared down the tour list, and tried to arrive at a realistic goal for the day. We started out with a bribe for the kids if they had good behavior. All of them had been begging for a carriage ride the day before, so that was the reward for a good day.
We started out (as all families with small children do) at the bathrooms. One of us adamantly refused to go, and it came to blows. The offending child was promptly removed back to the car, and JaxMom continued with the other kids, while AtlMom had a “Come to Jesus Meeting” with the aberrant child.
The rest of the group proceeded to Christ Church Burying Ground to view Ben Franklin’s Grave. The tradition is that if you throw a penny on Ben Franklin’s grave you will have good luck. I threw a penny on for AtlMom, since she needed all the luck she could get.
Christ Church itself was beautiful. The docent was excellent, and we got to sit in George Washington’s, Betsy Ross’s, and Ben Franklin’s pews. The picture is in George Washington's pew. The organ still has some of the original pipes (over 6000 pipes in all). Christ Church has only had 9 rectors since the Revolutionary War!
A had finished her time out, so we met them for lunch and had an authentic Philly Cheese steak. M decided that it was his new favorite sandwich, and bought a magnet with the recipe on it.


Elfreth’s Alley is the oldest continually inhabited street in America. It is a small street of tiny row houses, with pretty window boxes. All the doors are different, and one of the gift stores had a book about the doors of Elfreth’s Alley. P’s favorite part was the cat sitting in one of the window boxes.


When we got to the Betsy Ross House, there was a performance going on in the courtyard. The comedy duo Joke and Dagger were entertaining the audience, while sneaking a bit of history in as well. As they asked the kids questions, the ones who got the answers right were invited up on the stage to learn sword fighting.

We were very proud of M as he knew the name of the book Thomas Payne had written. He and three other children went up on stage to learn to “sword fight”.

We decided that the carriage ride took precedence over touring the Betsy Ross House, so we skipped the inside. J had reached his limit, so he and AtlMom hung out watching the movie at the Visitor’s Center while the rest of us picked out our carriage. The carriage ride was very entertaining. My favorite part was the sign over one building that said “Hats trimmed free of charge”.

The big disappointment with running out of time in Philly was that we missed the Ben Franklin Museum, and the Please Touch Museum. For those of you who have never heard of the Please Touch Museum, it is the coolest children’s museum in the world (at least of the ones I’ve been to). When M was 4 and P was 2, we went to Philly to visit my brother (he lives in Jax now). We could have spent several days just at the Please Touch Museum. (Independence Hall was lost on them at that age)
Since we didn’t have time to go down to the Museums, we went to the Constitution Center, which is a fairly new museum right behind the Visitor’s Center, entirely devoted to the Constitution. It had some very interesting exhibits. You could sign the Constitution. You could participate in Supreme Court decisions, and the Passing of a Bill in Congress. There was a very interesting audiovisual exhibit about the balance of power between the three branches of government. You could take the Presidential Oath of Office.
(I’m going to preface this next story with some background info. M, P, and C’s father is in the Army. He is currently deployed for year in Africa) As we wandered through, I realized that we had lost C. I went back a couple of exhibits and found him in front of the “Provide for the Common Defense” exhibit. It had a video of a soldier marching that morphed into all of the different uniforms that the Army has worn since the Revolutionary War. C was marching back and forth, back and forth, with the soldier in the video.
After the Constitution Center, we split up and the Jax contingent went to church. We went to Old St Mary’s, which was beautiful. The ceiling was deep blue with gold stars, and a painting of Mary in Heaven. The stained glass windows were amazing. One row depicted scenes from Mary’s life and the upper row was pictures of the saints.
We were staying late in Philly tonight, because we were splurging on the Lights of Liberty show. More about that later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aren't you going back through? Can the Please Touch make the second round?? Loving the stories. Love picturing you finding C doing the marching. I am checking often for more updates.