On the road to Philly - the City of Brotherly Love

Trip Start May 21, 2006
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, May 27, 2006

To be honest with you, I am terrible with history. I didn't know that the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall until I joined the guided tour led by one of their volunteers. Actually let me back tracked a little bit, when we got to Philly, my main objective was to go visit the Independence Hall. When we got there, we saw the sign outside the Hall saying that all the tickets were given out for the day. I saw the park ranger standing right behind the sign and holding a stack of tickets. I approached him anyway just wishing to confirm that the tickets were all distributed and there was no other means that I could get tickets. He then asked me whether I really wanted the tickets and how many I wanted. I told him I wanted 2 tickets, so he took 2 out of his stack. I guessed that's how they screened some of the visitors. So don't despair next time you are there and they claim that the tickets are all gone.

A volunteer led us through a room and briefed us on the history of the Independence Hall and its historical significance. He proceeded by taking us to the Colonial style courtroom and explained how the judicial system worked back in the 1700's. We then walked across the hall to the room whether meetings were held and the Declaration was signed and the US Constitution drafted.

After wrapping our tour of the Independence Hall, we walked across the street to line up to get into the Liberty Bell Center. No ticket is required to visit this center. The line moved pretty quickly even though there was a security check point. The Liberty Bell was rung during the adaption of the Declaration of Independence. Exhibits in the Center highlight its historical significance.

Closed to Independence Hall and the Center, one can find several well-preserved 18th century structures. One of them being the Benjamin Franklin post office and museum. Unfortunately, the house where he and his wife used to live in was not preserved. We saw traces of their kitchens and some of the utensils used during their time.

We then went to Philly's Chinatown for an early dinner. During our visit to Manhattan, we went to Chinatown almost every day for dinner and never felt unsafe for a single minute. In Philly, I felt a bit scared after a black male tried to grap my husband's arm and pulled him aside. We had no idea what he wanted but my husband swung his arm, the black guy let go of him and basically, we power walked our way towards the area where we saw most people were when we were looking for parking.

Being in a new city, we didn't want to take any route back to our car after finishing dinner. We took the same route back while staying alert to make sure that nobody popped out of nowhere and tried to snatch our bags or something. Luckily, nothing happened this time.

After hopping into the car, we decided to head towards Penn's Landing (waterfront). Parking was scarced 'cause there was an event (I found out by watching the news that night). We only got the chance to drive slowly along the street to take in the view before heading to our next destination - Washington, DC.
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