Tuesday, February 26, 2008



Our trip started out early Saturday morning and headed straight to Philadelphia. We took a first stop at Independance Hall as we had missed seeing it on our first visit to Philly a year ago due to a lovely child, who will remain un-named, and his urgent need to go potty. You see, you enter a secure area to get into liberty square. This is where they make you take off all outerwear, belts, shoes, empty your pockets, and take your children out of their strollers. Then the task of putting everything back on and making sure we hadn't left anyone or anything. Oh, forgot to tell you that there was a huge line just waiting to go thru the silly thing. Uggghhhh, what a pain that was! So we got to see the liberty bell and when we had left that building, Ethan had to go sooooo bad. But guess what . . . No bathrooms located in the secure area! Yup, we had to leave and in order to come back in we would have had to go thru the security thing all over again. By then we saw the long line just to get into Independance Hall and decided we had had enough. So here we are again and made sure that all kids were empty before we headed in to try it all again. So this time we decided to only hit the things we hadn't before.

I loved Independance Hall! I just love old buildings and antique furniture. The Independence Hall is one of the most important historical landmarks in the United States. Major steps towards independence were taken here by delegates of the English colonies, amongst them George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence was signed in this building on July 4, 1776. The Independence Hall was also the site were the American Flag was first unveiled in 1777. In 1781, the Articles of Confederation uniting all thirteen British colonies were ratified here. And in 1787 the US Constitution was drafted in this building.


After visiting Independance Hall we headed over to Congress Hall in which they were right beside each other. The newly formed United States Congress occupied Congress Hall when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790-1800. The first floor was occupied by the House of Representatives. The upper floor was occupied appropriately, by the upper house, or the Senate. George Washington and John Adams were both inaugurated in this building. After Congress departed for Washington, D.C., the Hall reverted back to the Philadelphia County Courthouse, the purpose it was built for.

We hit a really neat marketplace which was called the Reading Terminal Market for a bite to eat. They had every kind of food possible but of course Chad had to have a Philly Cheesesteak and then we headed over to a mennonite booth for an apple dumpling and cream. Yummmy! Our last stop was at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. We had heard from Brian and BreAnna that there was a special "Star Wars" display and knew Ethan would love it. I'd have to admit too, that it was pretty darn cool! So it was definately a highlight of our trip.


The very next day we spent at Valley Forge. I can't even describe the feelings felt as we walked in this National Park. To think of all the men that died for other's to have their freedom. The thought that kept coming to me was "They lived without so much and so much we can't live without." I was left to contemplate quite a bit about what was really important. I think out of all that we did this weekend by far Valley Forge was my favorite. Valley Forge is the story of the six month encampment of the Continental Army of the newly formed United States of America under the command of General George Washington. Though no battle was fought here from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778, a struggle against the elements and low morale was overcome on this sacred ground. Many men lost their lives. Ethan was found running here and there pretending he was a soldier. He even wanted to find out where he could get a soldier uniform. We found him a continental army hat and also found him some little soldier guys. Red soldiers for the British and Blue for the Continental army. He liked them sooo much that he told us he was done looking around and ready to go home. We knew better. It was only so that he could go home and play with his new toys. We headed out after a long day of site seeing and went to pick up the furniture I had purchased on ebay and then went straight home, we were pooped!



Stephenson Family said...

What a fun trip! We've done Philly before and I love the old town. It's so fun!

I think it's cool that you did Valley Forge in the winter - it probably added a little bit more reality to what they went through there. We went in the summer and it was beyond pleasant - so I'm sure we didn't get the real effect!

mistieleigh said...

I am so happy you guys got to see all the sights there. I loved it when we went as well. And Naomi-- you are quite the historian to know all the details of everything. i just had a history lesson...and loved it!! I love history and i always forget all the details. And about Ethan's need to pee experience...that is so how it goes with kids!! I was laughing! Oh, and you need to teach me how to do your cool slideshow thingy with all your pict...how fun to watch! oh, and i too think that is cool you were there with snow on the ground. What great pictures you got!

Naomi said...

Mistie! Tee Hee, I sure fooled you! I am by NO means a historian. Really, ask Chad. It's called google for some information, copy and then paste it into my blog so that everyone thinks that I'm smart. Ha, ha! It worked! Actually, I'd have to say that History in high school was my worst subject. Oh, I hated it. Chad is actually the history buff. He amazes me quite often on all the stuff he knows. The guys at school think it's quite humorous that he being Canadian knows more American history than they do. I think it's funny too. But now I'm all grown up and love visiting historical sites!

Zim Family said...

What an awesome trip!! You Canadians know way more about this country than me. I don't care if that knowledge came via google or not. We need to get there some time. I suppose that would be the American thing to do.