As I mentioned Friday, this weekend we went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love also known as Philly. I was very excited to go because I had never been there and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
Since we were there for only a couple of days, we were forced to do the touristy things and didn’t really have time to just hang out and feel like a local. That was okay though because the tourist attractions are pretty cool.
There’s so much American history in Philly that you’ll leave with a better understanding of how America was founded – I know I did.
Our Trip to Philly
Philly is only and hour and thirty minutes from where we live so I figured we could sleep in a little on Saturday morning and leave our house at ten. Like clock-work, we were in Philly at 11:30am and after finding parking, we headed over to the Independence Visitor Center for a map and some information.
There we got free tickets to Independence Hall and a map to America’s Most Historic Square Mile. Our Independence Hall tour was not until 4:00pm so we decided to check out the other historical sites in the meantime.
America’s Most Historic Square Mile
The first thing we wanted to see was the Liberty Bell. We were excited about seeing it, but when we got there the line was very long. We didn’t have that much time so we decided to go to the back of the building where you can see the Liberty Bell through glass windows, but you just can’t touch it. We were okay with that. We really didn’t want to waste one to two hours in line just to touch the bell.
From there we took a walk around the park and ended up at the steps of The Second Bank of the United States.
We went inside the bank thinking we were going to see bank stuff… obviously. But no, it was an amazing collection of paintings of Colonial and Federal leaders, military officers, explorers, and scientists. Most of the paintings were done by Charles Willson Peale and it was a pretty impressive collection. And did I mention it was free?
I’m glad we went inside the Second Bank because there we met a Ranger who gave us a better map and recommended a few places for us to visit, including the Benjamin Franklin Museum, which happened to be free this weekend because it was National Public Lands Day… Score!
Benjamin Franklin Museum
The Benjamin Franklin Museum was pretty cool. This guy was just amazingly good at coming up with creative ideas. It’s crazy to see the number of things he invented, discovered, or improved. He invented musical instruments, bifocals, and swimming fins among other things.
But my favorite part of the museum was a copy of his Account Book for Domestic Expenses.
That’s right, Benjamin Franklin, one of the smartest people that every lived, kept track of his expenses. The guy had a magnificent brain, but did not dare go without tracking his expenses.
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise because he is famous for giving sound financial advice with sayings such as,
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.
- Think what you do when your run in debt: You give another power over your liberty.
- Never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised.
And the one that I also learned at his museum,
- Don’t give too much for the whistle.
This one came from something that happened to him when he was a child. When he was seven, he saw a boy playing with a whistle and liked it so much that he offered all of his money to buy it. He later found that he paid four times more than the whistle was worth. This taught him a very important lesson, don’t overpay for anything.
After the museum we went on a quest for a Philly Cheesesteak. We didn’t have to look too hard because cheesesteaks in Philly are plentiful.
With a full belly, we continued our tour of Philly. Later that day we saw Betsy Ross’s House, Independence Hall, and we caught a free outdoor screening of an Opera.
Stay tuned for Part Two.
If you were the Benjamin Franklin of today, what would you invent or improve? What wise advice (financial or not) would you give to the world?