13 August 2016

Philadelphia Trip

We took a two-overnight trip to Pennsylvania with our friends, Dave and Tresha Andrews. We picked up Kent from Arlington Cemetery around noon on August 11th and kept driving north. Our first stop as we got into Pennsylvania was to Valley Forge National Historical Park. 
Kent and I had gone there with Adrianne and one of her friends 13 years ago, but we hadn't been back since.
The weather was miserably hot and humid, so we didn't get out of the car to do much walking around.
We drove around the park and went to the visitor's center.

One place we did go into was the Washington Memorial Chapel.
It was built about 100 years ago as a memorial to the leadership and character of George Washington.
There was lots of beautiful workmanship and wood carvings, with a Revolutionary war theme.
And of course, a representation of George Washington.
That was all we saw that day. We spent the night in a hotel outside of Philadelphia and drove into the city first thing in the morning. Yes, we did hit rush hour traffic as we drove in, but it was very exciting to see the new LDS temple as we were driving on the main freeway into town.

We had reservations to go through the temple open house at 10:30am so we parked and had plenty of time to walk around the grounds and to go to the visitor's center before our tour.
I thought the temple looked similar to the Salt Lake Temple, but on a smaller scale, but I know it was built to tie in to the architecture of the city of Philadelphia.
After we toured the temple we went to the Reading Terminal Market to find a place to eat lunch. The market was very crowded, but we found a place to buy a sandwich, then bought some Amish-made donuts and ice cream for dessert.
Afterwards we toured the now defunct Eastern State Penitentiary.  The Andrews had heard it was an interesting place.
It looked like a fortress from the outside.
The inside was pretty grim. All the prisoners were kept alone and had a private outdoor space.

The cell below once housed Al Capone, and he was allowed to bring in some furnishings to make it comfortable.
That was all we did on Friday. Again, the weather was so hot and miserable it sapped our strength and made us not want to spend any time walking around the city.
On Saturday morning we went into the city again, and still hit traffic, even though it was Saturday!
Our first stop was Independence Hall. We didn't get a chance to tour it,
but we did stand in line to see the Liberty Bell. I like the picture below with Independence Hall in the background.
It was hard to get a good picture, so the one below was the best one. It looks like the Liberty Bell ate a little girl.
When we parked the car on the street to go to the US mint, we noticed we were right next to Christ Church Burial Ground.
Benjamin Franklin and his wife are buried there.
This Benjamin Franklin statue was nearby.
We toured the US mint, one of the four (I think) places where coins are made. The mint there has the capacity to make about a million coins an hour, which is mind blowing! Photos weren't allowed in the building, which is a shame because it was a very interesting place.
Not far from the US mint was the Betsy Ross House.
They had a woman representing Betsy Ross and answering questions, so that was fun.
Our last stop before we left town to return to Virginia was at a cafe to buy a Philly Cheese steak sandwich. We couldn't leave town without having one of those! It was a great trip in spite of record breaking high temperatures.