Monday, April 21, 2008

Philadelphia Fun

We LOVE the City of Brotherly Love! We had a great little trip down to Philadelphia last weekend. It was short; we left on Sunday afternoon to drive down there and drove back home on Monday afternoon. But it was really nice, and I'm so glad that we brought John. It was a "full-circle moment" type of experience to be back in Philadelphia and at Penn with John and Peter, all of us together in the place where Peter and I met and fell in love. We'll probably be back in the fall again for another lecture that Peter is scheduled to give, so I'm looking forward to returning again later this year!

We went over to my friend Katie's house on Sunday night and spent a few hours there just talking and hanging out and having fun. It was entertaining to watch John and Josh, her and Andy's 1-year-old son, play together. If they'd had a little bit more time with us, who knows, they may have convinced me to become an Obama fan. Not likely, but possible!
Peter getting ready on Monday morning to go to class and give his lecture. He's totally lost in thought.
John wanted to get on this motorcycle, but Mommy said no. It was great to be back on campus in the springtime. It brought back so many memories. I was feeling very nostalgic that day. Sigh!

Benjamin Franklin founded Penn (formal name: the University of Pennsylvania) in the 1700s. He's one of my favorite people from history. John got to meet Ben while at Penn, courtesy of the Ben Franklin bench. I like how the sun is shining down in this looks like a golden seat just for John, as if Mr. Franklin is inviting him to sit there next to him and have a little chat. Perhaps John will someday follow in our footsteps and go to school there. That would be awesome!

This is College Hall, Penn's biggest and grandest building. You know the old show "The Addams Family"? The Addams family mansion is said to be modeled after College Hall (Charles Addams, the creator of the show, was a student at Penn).
Each year the graduating class leaves an "Ivy Day Stone" somewhere on campus. Here's one from 1907 (I love the turn-of-the-century time period) and another from 1990 on College Hall.

Here's John playing on the Button. For years I saw kids playing on this as I walked up and down Locust Walk. Now my son was one of those kids. The story behind the button has something to do with Ben Franklin saying that wherever a button next popped off his jacket was where he'd build his university. That might be a myth, but that's the story they tell.
These three pictures could be a Dr. Suess book...On the button, in the button, under the button.

Johnny wanted to slide down the side of this sculpture, but Mommy said no to that, too.
The blossoming trees of spring are lovely.
Statue of the big man on campus in front of College Hall.
John had a lot of fun running around everywhere. People thought he was so cute (children are somewhat rare on campus, so they stand out more than usual there). He was comfortable and at home there. Maybe it's just in his blood.
Playing in the greenery behind College Hall.
John's two favorite things about the trip: riding the elevators at the hotel and climbing on the LOVE statue. He's still talking about climbing on these letters a week later, and he now knows how to spell "love."
I had to hurry and snap this picture. I was worried that he'd fall off the L!
Hugging Ben Franklin. I love this picture! That settles it, this kid is destined to go to this school someday.
This picture would be perfect if Peter were in it, but he was gone for most of the morning. I was thinking about it and realized that ten years ago, in April of 1998, my father took a picture of me sitting on this bench. I was a high-school senior and was visiting Penn after I'd been accepted, trying to decide between it and Georgetown University in D.C. I'm so glad I chose Penn! Ten years later, there I am on the same bench with my beloved little boy, whose father I met at the school I decided to go to.
This is part of the view from our hotel window, overlooking some of the campus. The red brick building in the center with the rectangular and square windows is Hill House, where Peter and I met during my freshman year. We lived on the same floor and he totally had the hots for me!


Alyson said...

What a lovely time you had. How sweet that you got to have one of those full circle moments. I love those! And it certainly looks like John is destined to follow mommy and daddy!

Peter said...

Well...he has to do his studying. It was good to get back, though always nostalgic. We had a lot of fun in college.

Mom said...

It looks like it was a beautiful day and you two had a great time. I'm so glad you were able to go there and think it was so worth it. I think Ben Franklin was a great man in many ways, but he was also very human and had some major flaws. I know you're not watching the HBO miniseries "John Adams" but that does bring out some of Fanklin's flaws. He was a huge womanizer especially when he was in France and I think he was very self-serving at times. I think all people have flaws and history has a way of exagerating the good and bad about a person depending on how the writer wants them to be remembered. But Penn is a great school and I do hope Johnny has a desire to go there someday.

Alyson said...

Russ and I are watching "John Adams" and we're loving it. I'm actually planning on blogging about it in the near future, but I want to see it in it's entirety first. (I'm sure I misspelled entirety and that's bothering me!:-)

Donna said...

That's one of the things I like about Ben Franklin, is that he was so human. He was brilliant in some ways and stupid in others. I just find him really amusing and interesting. I want to see the John Adams series, I'll probably get it when it comes out on DVD because I've heard such good things about it. Some of it was filmed in Williamsburg, VA, where we went last June.

Alyson, you spelled it right!

Alyson said...

It seems all of our founding fathers had major flaws, but they were human and they didn't have the gospel.

You have to see "John Adams"! Brilliant! I think it was all filmed in Virginia, except for the european scenes which, I believe, were filmed in Prague. The scene of the Boston Massacre was amazing because Boston looks so different today and it was cool to see the old state house with very little around it. We have it on HBO on demand, if you're interested in seeing any of it before it comes out on dvd in June.

Donna said...

Thanks for the offer, I may take you up on it!