06 July 2009

new york, philadelphia and dc

Going almost a week without internet feels like a real vacation. We saw three siblings in three cities in three days, and because we'd already spent time in New York and DC, we just hung out with our baby nephew and niece in these two cities. Philly, however, was new to us, and it was neat to see how easily it could have been the capital of the United States.

Traveling in the U.S. has shown me just how huge this country is. Not just the sheer size but the grandeur and history of its cities. It was neat to have planes take off and land just meters away in both in Newark and Baltimore, to be dwarfed by armies of shiny skyscrapers in each city, and to learn that Philadelphia was the nation's first capital (my knowledge of American history is laughable) and again the temporary capital from 1790 to 1800, while Washington, DC, was being built. And that other cities and towns were also former capitals of the U.S., like Columbia, Pennsylvania, which was capital of the United States for one day as the founding fathers relocated during the war.

Our first stop in Philly was a trek up the Rocky stairs after dinner (we have our priorities), and we explored the historic downtown the following morning, visiting the Liberty Bell, the oldest and second-oldest banks in the nation, and the U.S. Mint.

Everything was Ben Franklin in Philadelphia. Pancakes. Inns. The old post office. You could buy tickets for "Breakfast with Ben" on Saturdays. We even saw this Ben Franklin lookalike just sitting in a park.

We tried a famous Philly cheesesteak in the afternoon, which was sadly uninspiring, but I guess you get one in Philadelphia for the experience:

And hey, we stood in Rocky's steps. Twice.

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