Sunday, October 7, 2012

East Coast Trip -- Philadelphia

On the morning of July 29, we made our way up to Philadelphia.  Our one goal (besides absorbing lots of US history) was to get the best Philly cheesesteak in town!  We interrogated asked our valet the moment we pulled up to the hotel where the best place was, and without hesitation, he recommended Jim's.  It was still early, but we decided to head on over since we were told it gets very busy very quickly around lunchtime.  We also knew parking was a nightmare in the city, so our best bet would be to take the bus to get close and then just walk the rest of the way.

Soooooo, here's what the place looked like when we got there...

mario is taking this picture, and you can't even see me--
i'm way back in the line around the corner!!!

getting closer, but we're still not in there!
we still haven't made it around the corner yet, but at least we can peek in
yes, it's definitely a little "hole in the wall"

this guy was the main cook of the meat...it was smelling pretty amazing
so, this is insane--some people actually get cheez-wiz on their philly cheesesteaks--
supposedly it's extremely popular!  blek!
we opted for provolone and sauteed onions on ours, which is the completely traditional way.

once we got inside there was a huge serpentine line (like while you're waiting in line for a ride at a theme park) winding all the way up to the counter!  we are so close!

finally, we get to order!!!  yay!

i must say, it was very, very good--delicious, even, but nothing spectacular.  i don't know what we were expecting, but it just tasted like a really good philly cheesesteak.  i thought my sandwich looked HUGE, then of course, i was able to polish off the whole thing!  we were completely satisfied with Jim's--just not blown away!

we decided to take the "Franklin Footsteps Walking Tour"--
somehow there was no one else in our tour group, so we got a private tour with our guide.
he was dressed in period clothing, very funny, very knowledgeable, and on a mission!

first sight on our tour--Independence Hall
The Liberty Bell used to hang in the steeple of this building.
This was also where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the US Constitution was drafted.

Benjamin Franklin's grave--
people toss pennies on his grave for luck
the old cliche "a penny saved is a penny earned" is attributed to him

 a chronology of franklin's life--
hope you can read it...it's fascinating all that he accomplished

one of the oldest original streets in the city
some families who lived here in  the early 1700s still have ancestors who live here

As Benjamin Franklin organized the first Philadelphia Fire Company, he was also the developer of the first fire insurance.  Those insured had copper plaques placed on the fronts of their buildings.  They were used as a guide to the fire brigade.

of course, i had to get a picture with our guide before our tour was over!!!
we loved having him--he was so passionate!

we finished up our tour at the liberty bell, so we decided to go on in and see it

We love how it was cast with the words of Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."  Another reminder that God's Word was a foundation for our nation's beginnings.

and then, we needed a sweet treat, so we stopped by a local ice cream shop--
look at the menu...it took me forever to decided what to get!

this was their sign in the doorway...
and, yes, the ice cream was very yummy!

mario stood in the middle of the street outside the ice cream shop to get this picture of some of the city's buildings

our view from the balcony of our embassy suites hotel room...
and, no, we didn't get a 7am wake up with the fire alarms, praise the Lord!
we had a beautiful suite--we picked up dinner to go, and we ate snuggled in our bed so we could finally watch some olympic gymnastics--our favorite!!!

one final pic of the city as we were driving out the next morning--
city hall with william penn, the city's founder, perched on top

bye, philly...we'll miss you!  we wish we had had more time in your city!
it was fun!!!