Monday, April 4, 2011

Tour of the Town

Today Justin and I headed downtown for a walking day tour of Philadelphia. We've lived here almost a year so decided it was finally time to see some of the things the city has to offer its visitors and residents. We hopped on an early train and headed straight for the Historic District. First on our list was the Independence Hall Tour. This is a National Historical Park and is considered the birthplace of the United States. This is where the Declaration of Independence was created, as well as where the Constituion was drafted, debated, and signed. It was fascinating to hear some of the history of our nation. Parts are under restoration but we were able to walk through the East Wing, the first courtroom, and the actual Independence Hall where many of our founding fathers met. The chair in the back of this picture is where George Washington sat. It is one of the few original pieces of furniture still there.

After the Hall tour, we made our way to The Liberty Bell.
Next we went on a tour of The US Mint. So many commerative coins. They have a part where you can actually see coins being stamped and made, but things weren't too busy while we were there. Did you know it takes 60 tons of pressure to stamp a coin? Crazy! No pictures permitted in the Mint.

Here is a picture of Philadelphia City Hall. William Penn is atop the structure (although you can't see him in this view). A pretty massive, and beautiful building.
We asked an innocent bystander to take this picture for us, guess he had a hard time getting the whole scene. Thanks anyway buddy! This was taken at Love Park, a.k.a JFK Plaza, outside of City Hall. It apparently is an attractive and popular park for skateboarders.

Our final stop was The Mutter Museum. Justin and I both have an obscure and sometimes morbid curiosity of things, especially when it comes to the medical field. The museum contains a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment. Once again, no cameras were permitted. Although interesting and a bit strange, don't think its a place we need to visit twice.

So there you have it. A one day, whirlwind tour of Philadelphia. Obviously there are many more things to do here, but I think we hit some pretty good highlights.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Zoo Part 2

My husband requested I add a few more zoo trip photos. Especially of this rhino. Apparently not many zoos have a rhino exhibit.

Philadelphia Zoo

Before we moved to Philadelphia, our dear friends Matt and Lauren gave us 2 tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo as a going away present. We finally put the passes to use and enjoyed a nice, sunny morning at the zoo. This zoo is America's first zoo and had a decent variety of animals to see. There was a new Avian Facility which was pretty neat, and they are putting together a hippo exhibit which should be cool. Many exhibits were empty, but I'd say we got a good taste of the zoo. Interestingly enough, no elephants. I don't think I've ever been to a zoo without elephants. Here are a few of my favorite pictures/animals. We always love the polar bears. These guys were pretty sleepy and didn't entertain us with their aquatic antics, but still amazing animals.

This tortoise looked right at Justin for the picture!

I always love the big cats and this one posed nicely.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Today our church teamed up with The City of Philadelphia for a citywide spring clean up. Philadelphia has a reputation for being gritty and full of litter, so this was the 4th Annual Philly Spring Clean Up. Bethel Church organized several projects for volunteers and community members to work alongside each other to try and make a small difference. Justin and I signed up to help clean up Poquessing Park. There was a group of about 40 of us, including 10 "weekend inmates." The weather was very cooperative and we found a lot of garbage. I'd say the majority of the trash we picked up was beer bottles and cans, but I thought I'd share a list of the Top 5 Most Interesting things we found.

  1. A beer ball

  2. A man's shoe with moss growing on it

  3. A carburetor

  4. A pile of ?opossum bones

  5. A gas mask

And as I was writing this, I found what appears to be a tick on my neck. Awesome. Luckily it hadn't embedded yet and now its dead.

I encourage you to find out if your city or neighborhoods are doing any Spring Clean Ups and then get out there and help!