Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Traveling with the Schroeders -- Philadelphia

Last week, we made a short trip to Philadelphia, but we manage to cram a lot into just a few short days.  We left on a Wednesday night to get as far as we could and get a few miles behind us so that Thursday's drive would not be as long.  We ended up getting to Keystone State Park pretty late and set up in the dark.  We've set up in the dark several times before.  The set-up for the camper is not hard; the hard part is navigating a pop-up camper and trying to back into a dark site using only the side view mirrors--which reverses everything.  I am perpetually goofing that up.

Anyway, we got to bed immediately and then got up plenty early.  We were hoping to get to our campsite at French Creek State Park and then to downtown Philly for a 2:00 PM tour of Independence Hall.

We had managed to find a parking garage for our van.  I think the garage had a clearance of 6'9", and I am pretty sure our van is 6'8".  We managed to get in and out without too many problems.  Mostly, we annoyed anyone behind us because we were moving at a snail's pace for fear of scraping the roof of the van.

We ended up arriving late for our scheduled tour of Independence Hall, but we still manage to hook on to a tour about 45 minutes after our scheduled time.  We spent the late afternoon around Independence Hall and at the Liberty Bell.

The next morning, we got to Philly early because Andrew was participating at a football camp for Penn University.  We dropped him off and headed back to the historic Independence area for the rest of the day--this time parking in an outdoor lot.  No ceiling troubles there!  We toured the US Mint and saw Ben Franklin's grave.  We walked down to the Declaration House (a.k.a., the Graf House) which is a replica of the house in which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.  The original house was lost a long time ago, but this house was built on the old footprints.  And though it was only two blocks from Independence Hall, it was the edge of town when Jefferson rented it for the solitude he needed for writing the Declaration.

After that, we went to pick up Andrew and headed back to camp.  We had hoped to go swimming in the massive pool, but we arrived just moments after they closed it.  (It was just as well, as the admittance fee was $8/person.  Yikes!)

On Saturday, we toured Lincoln Financial Field, though we were bummed out that the Pro Shop was inexplicably closed.  Then on the way back to our campground, we drove through Valley Forge.  It was a lot farther from Philadelphia than I had originally thought, and a LOT larger.

This is Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge.
On the way back home, we took a quick tour of Hershey's Chocolate World.  We finally got back home on Sunday night.  Faith welcomed us back with mixed feelings.  She had stayed at home and was enjoying a very quiet house.  But now the madness is back.