Monday, August 4, 2014

Adventures in Philly

Visiting a new city is exciting, but I love going back again the next time even better.   There's not as much pressure to see and do everything at once and it feels like you can actually enjoy the city for what it is.   

It took us 14-years of living in the east before we visited Philadelphia as a family for the first time.   That was Spring Break 2011 and we jam-packed as much into that trip as we possibly could.   This trip to Philly felt much more relaxed since we'd already seen and done all the big stuff last time.   We had a little more than 24 hours to spend there and I was not interested in waiting in long lines and feeling stressed, so we just planned for fun instead.    

Instead of touring all  the history sites like we'd done before, we decided to listen to stories!   They have 10 storytelling benches set up around the city near historical sites.  Between 11-4 they have professional storytellers sitting there waiting to tell a story for free to anyone who comes by to sit on their bench.   It was very fun and I enjoyed the stories as much as the kids.  Here is the Once Upon a Nation website if you're interested in trying them out:  

The only site that my kids were really excited to see again was the Liberty Bell.   

Luckily we got there before 11:00am and missed the crowds.  When we walked by later that day, the lines were around the building!   I highly recommend going in the morning!   

The storytelling benches got us walking all around the historical part of the city and at one point right by this cute little bakery.   The macarons were pretty amazing and my kids were enchanted by the fun fairy tale decor!  

 We ended up with an afternoon to spend, so we opted for the Franklin Institute science museum.  We spent five hours there and could have easily spent even longer!  

They played and played and played some more...

 Most of the activities had educational knowledge they could gain...

but mostly they just had fun running around and being together!  

They fought a little over activities that they could only do one at a time like this one where they attempted to create a building with magnets and metal rods that would withstand a fake earthquake.  When their building fell apart, they all wanted to keep trying to build a better building.  They kept fighting over who took whose piece and finally we had to start taking turns! 

There were a couple of activities that had this warning sign in front of them.  
The first time Ellie noticed it, she was almost in tears that she couldn't participate in the activity because of her seizures.    One of the activities I completely understood why it wouldn't work for her to have a seizure on it, but on another one we decided that there was no danger for her to have a seizure while doing it, so we just never mentioned it to the workers and decided to go for it anyway.  

We waited in line for over half-an-hour to try it out and Ellie must have asked me nervously a dozen times whether I was sure it was okay for her to do it with her seizures, but in the end it was a fun experience she was glad to have tried!  

Here is Adam timidly trying it out.   

 Emma doing flips and tricks on it....

 and Ellie just enjoying being up there.  She had that smile glued to her face the entire time she was up in the air (and she did NOT end up having a seizure)!

Our last stop was Reading Terminal Market where we got fresh juice, Philly Cheesesteaks, and a jar of honey.  The kids (especially Ellie) were completely WORN OUT by the time we left there to pick up Cami from her conference.  

We were excited to see her again and spent another hour or two at Valley Forge with her  to allow rush hour to end before trekking home.  
 It was a fun day and I now like Philly more than ever and look forward to our next visit there!  


1 comment:

Charlene said...

Wow!!What a great adventure!! I love that museum! I'll have to put that on my list of places to visit on our Eastern tour next year!!

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