Tuesday, after VBS finished for the day, we took off for Philly, "The City of Love." We headed right to the historic district-where everything revolves around Independence Square and the Liberty Bell.
We parked within a few blocks of the Independence Square National Park Visitor Center, and we did a lot of walking and gawking.
(And, if your "Philly" experience is solely based on National Treasure, the reality is not too far off.)
We watched a man lash rope, and he showed us how they used to haul cannons, using the same rope design he had braided.
We took a Ranger guided tour through Independence Hall, and the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
We checked out the Liberty Bell. Took our picture with it. Learned some interesting history about it.
|I think pedestrians can cross this bridge. I'd like to do that next time.|
And then walked to Christ Church-which had just closed.
We also struck out on Penn's Landing. Part of it was closed off for a concert, and I didn't have the heart to make my kids walk the extra mile (plus) around.
We decided to call it a day, and head back home soon after that.
Yesterday we got a particular treat. We visited Longwood Gardens.
We have visited a number of Gardens: Fredrick Meijer-in our hometown, Kew Gardens-outside of London, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.
What stands out about Longwood is the sheer vastness of the gardens. It is a huge area now covering over 1075 acres.
There are three very cool tree houses. I think that was about my favorite part. They were simple, for houses-but intricate, for tree houses.
In traveling with kids, there are several things we have learned.
1. Buying or reserving tickets online is almost always a good idea. We did this for the Independence Square tour. Tickets are free for that, but are often gone before 1:00 p.m.. For a nominal charge ($1.50) I didn't have to wonder if we were actually going to make it in.
2. Keep moving. Kids attention spans aren't very long. We joined a tour, we visited the portraits, and other small museums. We listened, and we asked questions. But we didn't stop too long anywhere. It keeps things interesting. Which translates into less tired/sore/hungry complaints.
4. Think of what is being taught and learned as line upon line. Which means that you don't have to see everything, experience everything in this trip. What they are seeing and learning is adding to the base of knowledge they have. It is profitable-whether you were able to see it all or not.
|LC and her friend that we stayed with all week.|
9. Take time to close your eyes, sit and listen to the fountains.