Monday, I started telling you about our trip to Philadelphia and about how much fun we had there. We were only there for two days, but there’s so much to see and do that I couldn’t fit it all in one post. I guess I could have, but nobody likes to read long posts… I sure don’t.
If you haven’t yet, please read Part One of our trip and then come back here, or you could go check it out after you read this. You do what you want, I’m not the boss of you.
Anyhow, let me give you a quick recap on Part One.
- Got free tickets to Independence Hall.
- Saw the Liberty Bell (through a window).
- Went to the Second Bank of The United States.
- Went to the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
- Ate a Cheesesteak… yum!
Betsy Ross House
With our full – and happy – bellies we ended up at Betsy Ross House. The entrance was not free but it was really affordable at only $5 a person.
We wanted to go to her house because we like going into houses and seeing how people used to live. We had a good time at the Otis House in Boston so we knew this couldn’t be bad.
We weren’t disappointed.
Not only was the house pretty cool, but Betsy Ross had a very interesting and tragic story. She had seventeen siblings but only eight of them survived childhood. She was a widow three times (her first two husbands died by the time she was 30 years old), saw two of her daughters die, and her father, mother, and one of her sisters died of yellow fever the same year. That’s way too many deaths.
She was a Quaker but fell in love with John Ross, an Episcopalian Christian, while they were both apprentices to a local upholsterer. They eloped when she was 21 and she had a fallen out with her family and was kicked out of her Quaker congregation.
We also learned that when George Washington asked her to make a flag for the United States, he wanted thirteen six-point stars, but she convinced him to go with a five-point star because it was much simpler to make. She showed him how she could make a five-point star by making a few folds and only one snip of the scissors.
We learned a lot about Betsy Ross and recommend that you go check out her house. I probably learned these things in my American History class in high school, but I obviously wasn’t paying attention.
After Betsy’s House, we made our way back to Independence Square so we can do our tour of Independence Hall at 4pm.
You need a ticket for a guided tour of Independence Hall, which you could get for free at the visitor center, but you don’t need a ticket to check out the other buildings in Independence Square.
Before our tour, we entered the Philosophical Hall where they had one of Jefferson’s first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. We arrived there when they were about to close, but we asked nicely and they let us take a quick walk around… that was nice.
We then went on our tour of Independence Hall where the Ranger told us about the history of the hall and showed us where the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and later signed the Constitution. Independence Hall is the political birthplace of the United States of America.
After our tour we headed over to the Congress Hall, which served as the meeting point for the United States Congress while the White House and Capitol Hill were being built. We were even allowed to sit on the pews and pretend we were politicians. Just say NAY to everything the opposition proposes… at least, that’s how it works now.
It is just amazing how much American History is in Philly. And we didn’t even get to see everything. We saw and learned a lot for just $5!!!
After all the historical places, we made our way to the Love sculpture. Okay, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed at how small it was. New York’s Love sculpture is taller than me, Philly’s Love sculpture is smaller than my TV.
I also didn’t like how unsafe it felt around that area, granted it was 6pm and that’s when the creeps come out, but I didn’t have that feeling anywhere else in Philly.
The area is still pretty cool – if you get there before 6pm – because it has many different little statues and sculptures. And the City Hall building is really, really impressive. I mean, it was one of the most beautiful city halls I’ve seen.
Opera On The Mall
Like I said, the area around the Love sculpture was a little sketchy and it was getting dark so we quickly made our way back to Independence National Historical Park to check out a free outdoor opera in front of Independence Hall.
But nobody wants to watch an opera hungry so we hit up the food trucks by the park. The food trucks were a little expensive, but boy they were good. We bought a turkey meatball sub stuffed with cheese and topped with a pesto and Parmesan sauce, a bacon cheeseburger, Parmesan truffle fries, and fried cheese curds… not at all healthy, but who cares. The Parmesan truffle fries were so good that they inspired Kate to make these delicious/healthier Parmesan Truffle Potato Wedges.
Anyways, we ended the day eating our delicious food and watching The Barber of Seville on a big screen in front of Independence Hall. There were a lot of people sitting on the lawn or in their beach chairs enjoying a free opera on a beautiful night.
You can tell that there’s just so much that Philly has to offer and the good thing is… that was just the first day!!!
There’s more, so stay tuned.