A diary of my visit to two cities in the center of the founding of my country: Boston and Philadelphia Oct. 14 - 24, 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

October 19, 2005 – Intro to Philadelphia

I arrived in Philadelphia at 11:00 and went straight to the B&B where I’m staying. I arrived and got checked into my room by noon. This B&B is really cute. It is the Thomas Bond House, and it is a part of Independence National Park. The building was originally the home of Thomas Bond, the man who started the Philadelphia Hospital with Benjamin Franklin. The only problem is that there is no high speed Internet here (yes, I asked this time). So, I’m not sure if I’ll get pictures on.

The first thing I did here in Philadelphia was walk to the Graff House, where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia is a lot different from Boston. The streets are all straight and perpendicular to each other. It makes it a lot easier to get around. Also, since my B&B is in the park, I am super close to everything. I should be able to cut down on my steps a little. I only walked 10,402 today. But, then again, I started at noon.

The Graff House was okay. It wasn’t the original building, and they didn’t have any original things, so the main attraction was just the location. I read the Declaration there. I hadn’t read it in a while, so it was a good opportunity.

After the Graff House I walked to the visitor’s center for Independence National Park. They have a movie called “Independence.” It was okay, but a little weird. The theme was the ghosts of the founders came back in current time and told you the story of the writing of the Constitution. After the movie I walked to the National Constitution Museum. I stopped at a bakery and had a pretzel for a snack on the way.

The Museum was pretty good. You basically walk around a circle and study the original writing of the Constitution and all of the amendments. They have some good displays, such as a chair from the Continental Congress, a signed copy of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and several letters from Jefferson and Madison. They also have a copy of the Constitution printed in a newspaper the first time it was printed.

The only adventure today was when the fire alarm went off in the Constitution Museum. There were a couple school groups there, so it was probably one of the kids. We had to all leave and then re-enter. It was kind of annoying, but it cleared out the kids.

After that I walked back to my B&B. I walked past the Free Quaker Meeting House, so I stepped in for a look around. The Quakers were a peaceful people who did not believe in fighting. The Free Quakers were a group that separated from the Quakers because they wanted to be involved with the Revolution. Betsy Ross was a member of the Free Quakers that met at this house.

By then it was five o-clock. I walked back to my B&B and then went across the street to the City Tavern for dinner. Dinner was great. I had sausage, mashed potatoes and sour kraut in honor of Oktoberfest. Their homemade mustard is good….but not quite as good as the Gerst Haus in Nashville. The City Tavern is a historical site as well. It was a Tavern that was often frequented by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. It was also the location where Washington met his troops to say farewell after the Revolutionary war.

It was a relaxing dinner, and now I’m ready for bed. It’s 7:00, but I am exhausted and have a big day tomorrow. Good night!


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