Saturday, September 22, 2012

We left St. Louis on a 6:00am Delta flight to Philadelphia, PA. Our flights were on time and uneventful (yeah for on time). We arrived in Philly around noon, after a layover in Atlanta, GA. Geesh, you can hardly find a direct flight to anywhere from St. Louis these days. We picked up a rental car at the airport and drove to Philly City Center. Philly kind of reminds me of Chicago. Philly is a very busy, bustling, urban city and they have subways, which is probably why it reminds me of Chicago. And the people-watching is very interesting. Our main interest here is Philadelphia's three centuries of American history. Independence Hall in the Old City Center of Philadelphia is the site of the drafting and signing of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. So you could say that the birth of our great nation began right here in Philly. This is also the birthplace of Philly steak and cheese sandwiches, which we also want to experience. We arrived at our Hotel, The Lowes Hotel, right in City Center around 1pm. We have a GREAT room with a fantastic view of City Hall, which is the largest and probably the most ornate city hall you've ever seen. This building took 30 years to build and was completed in 1901. There is a 37 foot statue of William Penn that sits on a 548 tower atop of this city hall. Quite impressive! After we unpacked we decided to take a hike down towards the Delaware River waterfront to a place called Penn's Landing to visit the Independence Seaport Museum which was very interesting. We also got to go aboard a Spanish American War cruiser called the Olympia; and, a submarine called Becuna, which was under the command of General Douglas MacArthur during WWII. Both vessels were quite amazing. After our Penn's Landing visit we walked back to the hotel hoping to find a restaurant where we could eat dinner. We stopped for dinner at a place called City Tavern, which was first opened in 1773. During the Revolutionary War this building was used by members of the First Continental Congress as an unofficial gathering place (probably they just wanted to hang out and drink beer). George Washington also used this tavern as his headquarters when he was the leader of the Continental Army. The Constitutional Convention also held its closing banquet here in 1787. Our dinner was OK, but I would like to go back and try their Turkey Pot Pie, which supposedly is based on Martha Washington's recipe. We sat outside in the courtyard to the back of the building, and during dinner it began to pour down rain. We were under a canopy so we didn't get wet, but I was worried about how we were going to stay dry walking back several blocks to our hotel. The rain didn't let up so we had to flag a taxi back to the hotel. All in all the weather was really pretty great today. Temps were in the low eighties with a nice breeze and puffy clouds. It wasn't until 7:30 that the rain started. But I'd say it was kind of a warm day.

Quick Walk By Independence Hall

Independence Seaport Museum

USS Olympia

USS Becuna

Dining Out