OK, let me try to finish this report while I have time and before I forget things. I taught all day yesterday from 8:00am thru 4:15pm and I am still exhausted (I did get about 45 minutes for lunch). I only had an hour of teaching this morning, so I have a little time (I have no idea how teachers do this day in and day out).
I stopped at a Whole Foods market on my way back from work on Friday and stocked up on snacks for DH, DD and DS. Then I watched a little TV until about an hour before I expected them. Went down to the lobby to wait (they were coming by taxi from the airport). There was a prom at the hotel Friday night, and I got to watch all the couples arriving. All I have to say is that DD will be far more appropriately dressed when she goes to her prom. Necklines were more like navel lines. And the girls were all wearing the wrong undergarments – lines everywhere. It was terrible.
DD, DH and DS arrived at about 9:15pm and I though the kids would be exhausted, but they were really excited. They looked all around the room, and loved the view. I forgot to mention that I have a great view of the Delaware River and the Benj. Franklin Bridge from my room. It is beautiful at night too. Then, DH wanted to go get a drink downstairs, and the kids were up for it. After we were served, DS started to fade. He was almost asleep in my lap by the time DH and I very quickly finished our drinks. So, up to bed for an early morning.
We got up early and got dressed and made our way up to a little diner I pass on my run at around 4th and Chestnut. DS loved it because they had those stools that spin around. Pretty good breakfast and then we were off to the Independence Hall visitor center. It was about 8:45 by that time and we picked up tickets for the 9:30 tour. We went thru security and looked around the buildings we were allowed into without a ticket – one was an old courtroom, which was actually the first home of the US Supreme Court (I think there were only 6 justices then) and the other held period flyers/replicas of the Declaration of Indep., the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, as well as the inkwell used in the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The tour was great, and the kids loved seeing where the Declaration was signed. They had seen National Treasure last year and now both love the history behind it.
After that we got onto the subway to make our way up to the Art Museum, so DS and DH could run up the Rocky stairs. All I have to say is that I HATE the Philadelphia transit system. There are no maps available for tourists to take, not enough posted, they charge more for paying by cash rather than buying tokens – even if there are no token machines in that station, the signs directing you to the various trains are not displayed in prominent areas, and the people who work there are surly and rude.
We all enjoyed running up the Rocky stairs, and we even found Rocky’s bronzed footprints at the top, which I hadn’t noticed in all my runs up to the top earlier in the week. Then we walked down to the LOVE fountain to take pics of the kids. I am a little disappointed because they didn’t really come out and it was sunny, so I didn’t notice until that night. DS was playing with my lens and we scolded him, but he must have damaged something because I noticed later that the lens cover doesn’t open all the way automatically now. The only pictures that didn’t come out before I noticed were the ones by the LOVE fountain. Oh, well (and I’ll try to post some pics in here when I get home).
We passed the Franklin Institute, which the kids wanted to see the outside of, since that was featured in National Treasure, and then we made our way down Market Street to Hard Rock Café. We had done so much walking by that time, and it was almost 80 degrees, so I immediately ordered a frozen Pina Colada/melon thing that was unbelievable. I don’t normally like Pina Coladas, but this hit the spot. DD and I split a Cob Salad, and I think DS and DH each had a hamburger. After stopping in the gift shop so DD could buy her souvenir (I normally buy each kid a souvenir when I travel, and this time I let them pick their own – DD bought a T-shirt – very cute) we walked down Market to the B. Free Franklin Post Office and Franklin Court. We saw the postal museum, and the remnants of Franklin’s house, and then stopped in the museum to see a movie about Ben Franklin.
Next stop was Betsy Ross’ House – they had someone playing Betsy there and she talked to the kids about her role in designing the flag, and then showed them how she cut a 5-pointed star by folding the paper in a special way and using one cut of the scissors. She gave the one star to both kids and told them not to argue over it because there was no fighting allowed in her house. DH and I got such a chuckle out of that. Then we headed back to the hotel for a swim break. I took the kids to the pool while DH watched TV, and the he came down to let me go back for a quick nap. We went to dinner at Mexican Post on Chestnut between Front Street and 2nd. It was OK, not the best I’ve had – and the Sangria was good, not great, but really expensive.
Sunday we woke up not as early and tried a diner on South Street. DDs french toast was really good, everything else was just OK. We worked our way back to the Sea Port museum next to the hotel (free between 10 & 12 on Sunday) and did a quick tour. We were given tickets for the historical ship and submarine tour, but we wanted to catch the 11:00 ferry to Camden, so saved the tickets for later. We caught the River Link ferry right outside the museum and took it over to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. We were able to see the new Sponge Bob 4-D movie (Shrek at Universal Studios is better) and toured the aquarium. We all loved the aquarium. It is much bigger and brighter and more interactive than the one in Boston. DS LOVED petting the sharks and rays. I think DDs favorite part was the hippo.
By the time we got back on the ferry it was already 4pm and we decided to skip the ship tour and try to have DH and the kids use their tickets to do it on Monday. The kids had a swim break at the hotel and then we went to dinner at a sub shop (they call them hoagies here) on Market Street because DH HAD to have a Philly cheese steak – I have no idea why, we can get them up in Massachusetts too. We then worked our way over to South Street to get Irish Ice that we had been hearing about on the Visitor Channel at the hotel. It’s OK. They serve it with frozen custard, and I decided I prefer frozen yogurt much better. We then went back to the hotel and I started packing for DH and the kids.
The next morning I got up early and did my run – I took the week-end off and it was worth it – my run on Monday was the best I have had since I’ve been here, I got myself ready and left for work. DH, DD and DS were awake and starting to get ready when I left. They had breakfast and toured the Mint and the Federal Reserve and then came up to the office to meet a few people and have me print their boarding passes. After they left they did the tour of the ship and submarine by the hotel and the kids loved it. They had one last swim in the pool and then called me to say good-bye before leaving for the airport. Their flight was delayed a little, so they didn’t get home until after 9pm. The kids were exhausted.
As for me – I’m still here, but will be having dinner at home tomorrow night!!!! I’m so glad we had DH bring the kids in for the week-end. They learned so much while they were here and we all really enjoyed the week-end.