Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     So in July, I took a visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was the first stop of our two and a half week trip through the northeast.

Getting There
     We made parking reservations at a sort of random garage some blocks away from our main destination, Independence National Historic Park. There is a lot of history to check out at the historic park. We went to see the Liberty Bell, as well as Independence Hall.
     Before making our way, we had brought food to eat to avoid buying lunch, but I forgot a fork to eat it! While we were walking the streets of Philly, there are plenty of food vendors. Luckily, one of them was nice enough to give me a plastic fork without even making a purchase!

     Anyway, in some of the main parts of  Independence National Historic Park, you are required to security scanning-- that's how you know that what you're about to see is important! The Liberty Bell was fun and historic to see. There were a lot of people in there and we had to wait in line for a little bit of time before we got inside. Also, there are some exhibits inside the Liberty Bell Center for your informational pleasure.
     We checked out the visitor center to inquire about tickets to see Independence Hall. The tickets are free, but you need to have one to enter the building. Everyone who enters Independence Hall goes in with a tour led by a National Park Service worker. Upon arriving at the visitor center for a ticket, there were none left for the day! Good thing that after reading further, they don't require tickets from 5pm-7pm during the summer.

Poe House
     It was pretty early in the day, and since we had to wait until 5 to go back to Independence Hall, we walked over to Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site. The outside of it was under construction, but we were still able to go in. We watched a video about Poe before exploring what was once his home. He only lived there briefly though, but did publish some works while he lived there. It was cool to think that I stood in the same room where one of the most famous American authors-- one who's writing I have always admired-- did some of his work.

The West Wing
     We headed back to Independence. The West Wing of Independence Hall is accessible without tickets, so we were able to go there first. That is where original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are on display. The inkstand that was used to sign both documents is there as well. Needless to say, there are some historic artifacts here!
The courtroom
     Moving on, we waited til 5 when we could go see the main part of Independence Hall. There were quite a few other people waiting
for the post-5pm tours, but we were able to get in with the second tour. A relatively young woman led the tour. She was pretty good. If I knew her name, I'd give her a little shout out. We got to see the important rooms in the hall. First we saw the old courtroom. The room that was most exciting to me, though, was the room in which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both signed. The United States was basically born in that room!
The room in which the documents were signed

Philly Cheese Steak
     When we saw all we needed to see there, we were wondering where to go next. We were dying for a Philly cheese steak, so that became our next mission. Trying to find a cheap yet tasty sandwich, we ended up wandering to Penn's Landing. We walked along the the waterfront of the Delaware River and looked at what was there. Surprisingly, there weren't a whole lot of cheese steaks! There were more earlier in the day when we saw all of those street food vendors, but we weren't hungry then. Finally, we picked a place to try a cheese steak. Looks good, doesn't it? Well it was good!
     Wrapping of the day, we headed back to the random parking garage to get the car. Philly was a fun trip. I kind of wish I would have gotten a cheese steak for the road!


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