Mono Lake, CA 2018

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


[From Craig]  While staying at Old Cedar Campground near Monroeville NJ, we have gone into Philadelphia two days, mostly to see the Independence National Historic Park and related attractions around it.  

Merikay and the Liberty Bell
Note: Merikay wanted to be cropped out!

The Eastern States Penitentiary was an experiment to see if prison design could inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of criminals.  Its grand architecture, vaulted sky-lit cells, running water and central heat made it the most famous prison in the world.

Philadelphia has many gray granite or limestone buildings that reminded us of Paris

This, of course, is Independence Hall where the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed

And this is the room in which both documents were discussed and signed.  There were 13 tables, one for each colony, plus one for the presiding officer at the front.
This is part of Seattle glass sculptor Dale Chihuly's Flame of Liberty at the Liberty Museum

View of the same piece, from the second floor where it was lighted with more yellow, less blue 

Merikay has regained control of the computer.

On our first day in the city we arrived just past noon. We drove around for a while before finding 3 hour parking within walking distance of Independence National Historical Park for only $7.50. (We had passed a couple of lots that charged $14 - $18 flat rates.)

We walked down to the Independence Hall and learned you needed "timed" tickets that were available at the Visitor Center. We went there, and found the next available time was past our parking time. So we decided to see he short park film, read the VC posters, walk through the Liberty Bell building, and take the free (for seniors) bus around the downtown loop to get an overview of what we wanted to come back for. That is when we stopped in at the Penitentiary. We got off the bus quite near where we had parked,  with time enough to look around the area where William Penn first landed.

On our second day in town we got there early enough to join a 10:30 guided walking tour. Very interesting as usual. It wrapped up just in time for us to get to our 1:30 Independence Hall tour.

By the time we were done with that we were both pretty tired and ready for a sit down lunch.

 On one of the maps there was a blurb about the City Tavern that served fairly authentic meals from recipes from the Colonial days.  I chose the Turkey Pot Pie. It came with a side of Egg Noodles with a very tasty sauce. Authentic? Except for being a bit creamier and having a hint of Sherry, it was quite a bit like what I make at home. But it was very good.

Craig had a Crab Cake that was served with French Fries. I wondered how "Colonial" they were, but later learned Thomas Jefferson referred to fried potato strips as “frying potatoes in the French manner”.

The stop for the late lunch gave us enough rest to be up for one more stop on our way back to the car, and that was at the National Liberty Museum. It houses a wonderful glass collection that illustrates the point that freedom is as fragile as glass. It celebrates the pictures and stories of thousands of heroes both known and unknown. I was almost overwhelmed by the heroic things ordinary people have done.

We leave this park on Wednesday for another short stop in New Jersey before we brave the drive across the George Washington Bridge and through New York City on Friday. 

Please keep us in your thoughts!  I will write again if we make it to Wildwood State Park on Long Island! 


  1. We certainly will keep you in our thoughts! Love your posts. For a gal with an extremely short attention span, the wonderful photos and the quick descriptions are just enough to whet my traveler's appetite for visiting Philadelphia some day! :-)

    1. It seems that almost all advertising (including political) nowadays revolves around this idea of an "extremely short attention span". Where did everyone's attention spans go?

  2. My sister lived just outside Philadelphia for nearly 50 years so I had the opportunity to visit that city several times. But I never saw any of Chihuly's glass displayed... love it! Enjoy New York!

  3. I think the internet ruined all of our attention spans. I am really looking forward to your account of getting to Long Island. Will you be on freeways or surface streets? We drove into Maryland to get to Cherry Hill RV park a few years ago. After that we abandoned I95 - it was just too stressful. Good luck!

    1. We are "staged" in New Jersey for our drive across Manhattan and into Long Island on Friday. Route will be I-80 to I-95 (GW Bridge) to I-295 to I-495 which goes across LI. Merikay will be all excited and trepidatious, but I figure it's just another part of the US highway system.

  4. Philly, our old stomping grounds. We lived 2 hours west. Always loved day trips there, so much to see. They have a haunted tour of the prison every year. Good luck with the GW bridge!

  5. as is always the case, your travel log is entertaining.


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