Friday, April 19, 2013

Side-Tracked... and Philly

So, as I was saying at the end of my last entry, we saw the sign for Valley Forge on the way down to Philly and spontaneously decided to stop and check it out.  For those unfamiliar with the significance of Valley Forge, it was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777-1778 during the American Revolutionary War. (Taken from wikipedia's article on Valley Forge)  So I'll get straight on to photos:

 
Huts where the soldiers stayed.




This chapel is still actively used today.



After that little venture into history, we finally arrived in Philadelphia late in the afternoon, and since none of us had eaten since breakfast, naturally our first stop was for a real Philly cheesesteak... in the freezing cold!  Bucket list item, check.

Oh and I should mention that we did manage to unintentionally step foot in New Jersey momentarily after making a wrong turn (thanks to our "trusty" GPS) and being forced to drive across the Ben Franklin Bridge.  I didn't realize Philadelphia was so close to the border.

Capturing part of Independence Hall before catching a cab to go eat.



We ate at Pat's King of Steaks.
We originally planned on going here, but decided to go across the street to Pat's because of a special Jacques had seen on TV awhile back.

Did you know there's a "proper" way to order a cheesesteak?!



The park outside of Independence Hall.

The back side of Independence Hall.  I forget who the statue is... other than the name BARRY that you can see from this view.

Walking around Philly!

This is what I get when I ask for a "serious" photo from these two.

Jacques and Erin cheesin' it up.

Jacques and I outside of the visitor's center, before getting lost while trying to find the entrance to the underground parking lot.

Erin being silly... but the photo turned out kinda cute. :)

Goofing off with the cameras and he actually caught a decent photo that I liked.

She's special. =P



It was overall a pretty fun day, besides for the fact that we missed seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall (at least inside) by literally ten minutes.  By the time we'd walked back from Pat's, they were closed for the day.  (We plan on coming back out to see it)  Then, after walking around a bit more, just taking in the city and shopping a little, we get back to the visitor's center right after they closed.  This presented a temporary problem because we'd parked in the underground parking garage located underneath the building... and we'd come in through the entrance that led directly into the building... so we weren't entirely sure where to get back underground, with no access to the visitor's center.  But after some goofing off with the cameras, and a little time wandering around, we finally found another entrance.

When we finally arrived back at Uncle Jacques and Aunt Jane's that night, they ordered some of the best pizzas I have ever tasted.  Then we sat and talked again, well into the night, even though we'd planned on going to bed early because we were driving back across the state early the next day.  Oh well, it was worth the lack of sleep and I know Jacques was incredibly happy to be able to connect with his extended family after all these years.

I'll continue with the rest of our trip later.

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