Trip Start Jun 17, 2011
Trip End Jul 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed in south Philly
What I did
Biked 12 miles, walked a couple, saw tons

Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, June 18, 2011

We were up by 6:45, took down camp, showered, and had breakfast by 7:40.  We decided to take the countryside route (Highway 30) through Lancaster.  The $12.45 toll the day before was a bit of a suprise and it would have been that much today too.  Lancaster is Amish country, but unfortunately it is very built up and commercialized for tourists wanting to see the Amish.  We were in Philadelphia by 9:30 and decided to go to Fairmont Park first. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States.  We rode our bikes to the north first for about 3 miles along the Schuylkill River.  There was a rowing competition going on, so that was an added bonus.  Then we stopped back by the car, which was parked free and seemed to be safe so we packed our bacpack and off we went.  The first stop was the Musuem of Art steps as seem in the Rocky movie, so of course we had to run up all the steps.  There was a great view of City Hall from the top.  The Rocky statue was at the bottom so we took a picture of that too.  Then it was off to the races so to speak because the bike lanes pretty much ended and we were riding our biking in the road.  CRAZY stuff.   The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is very cool with flags lining both sides.  Logan Square was nice, but our next stop was at JFK Plaze to see the Love Statue...With the LO then the VE under it.  I was imagining it being MUCH bigger....kinda a let down.  We comtinued past City Hall then into the Gallery under the Convention Center.  We had a groupon deal that allowed us to each get a 32 ounce Smoothie King drink for only $3.  This became our lunch and is a far bigger drink than anyone needs.  Miles had Peanut Butter, Banana, Chocolate and I had Strawberry, Banana, and Orange Juice.  As we drank this we went to Reading Terminal Market with is a tourist attraction but also place to buy food.  We did split a piece of garlic herb bread.  By the time we looked around here we were finished with the Smoothies and made our way up to the United States Mint.  We did a quick self guided tour and made our way to Mad River Grill.  We had seen a Groupon deal for a scavenger  hunt called Cityquest. We had to register at 1:30 and it started a little after 2:00.  They recommended pairing up with other people.  At first I thought we would just work alone, but as we looked for the first clue we paired up with a couple from New Jersey.  As it turns out Miles and I could have completed it MUCH faster on our own, but they claimed to know the town pretty well and thought that might be an advantage.  I thought about leaving them in our dust, but we were only doing it for fun and not to win.  We got to see some pretty cool places.  The clues were pretty tricky in some cases and you had to do a few steps.  For example on one of them you were give a clue about something that looked empty, and using yourself, when you got to the location they gave you a mirror and an empty drinking glass.  As it turns out, you had to fog up the cup, hold it over the mirror and it revealed numbers.  The numbers were a phone number.  Calling the phone number gave you the second part of the clue.  We also visited the tomb of the unknown soldier, the libery bell (this one required finding an actor on a park bench. You had to run around saying "Give me Liberty" to the strangers until you found the one with the second part of the clue.  The second part was a word search.  On the ground there were stones with people's names listed and the jobs that they had, like merchant, innkeeper and so on.  When you found all the jobs in the word find, then the words you did not use told you what to do next.  There were six other equally fun and challenging clues taking us to statues, the first residential street in the U.S., Ben Franklin's Grave, and other historic buildings.  We didn't do any running at all, and because of our quick deciphering we were 12th of over 60 teams.  After this we rode our bikes back to Franklin's Grave, and the first residential street because we wanted to look at them a little closer.  Then we rode out to Eastern State Penitentiary.  Miles wondered why I wanted to see a dumb prison.  When we got there he was like, "Oh, you didn't say it was a really cool old prison", to which I responded, "Why would I have wanted to ride all this way for a new regular prison".  They had  just closed, but one of the workers said it opened in 1829 and Al Capone was a prisoner there.  I think that Miles wants to do the self guided tour in the morning.  After that we rode back to the car and completed over 12 miles on the bike for the day, plus all the walking for the scavenger hunt.  A friend had suggested eating at Chickie and Pete's so we drove to the south part of Philadelphia.  We were told by Dave Kight (FC teacher) that we had to get the crab fries.  This was a very good recommendation. Miles got Jumbo Cocktail shrimp and I had my first Philly Cheesesteak which was delicious!  Next we drove down past the stadiums for the Eagles, 76ers, Fliers, and Phillies.  It was packed though as Kenny Chesney was performing. You could see the stands FULL.  Finally the day was done and we made our way to the place we would be staying.  We were couchsurfing.  The lady is very nice, and ironically enough I saw her at Reading Terminal Market today.  Weird!!!  We have our own little room with bunkbeds.  We were in bed by 10:00 and ready for what tomorrow will bring.
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