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!