This blog and my life wouldn't be complete without doing a post about our quick trip to Philadelphia last August. I won't include a ton of pictures (I actually didn't take a ton of pictures), just the best of the best!
The reason we made a detour down to Philadelphia on our drive home from Cape Cod to Iowa was for the temple open house. Philly is a special place for our family because that's where Peter and I went to college and met and fell in love and it's where I introduced him to the church and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. So it will always be a significant city for us, and it was special to go there with our little family and it was meaningful that it was for the temple, which is one of the ultimate sources of true education and is all about forever families.
This was at our hotel's front desk. Cool!
We ate dinner the first night at Pietro's, one of our favorite downtown restaurants.
Rittenhouse Square after dinner
The next day, we got our presidential ambition on at the National Constitution Center.
Looks like Sam took his cue from a certain presidential candidate!
I, meanwhile, was more like the other one.
Something about American politics certainly seems to bring out the snark in Sam!
A view of Independence Hall. We went there later.
A little bit of home-state pride for Peter. The donkey was from the Democratic National Convention, which had been held in Philly a few weeks earlier.
Declaration House, where Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
This is just one of many historic buildings throughout downtown Philadelphia.
We went on an open-air tour on top of a bus so the kids could see the city. It was blazing hot and humid that day, and then the bus had some kind of a problem and we had to wait to get on a new bus during the tour. We were dying for some a/c! But the sights were cool (no pun intended) and it was a fun (hot) way to see the city.
Roasting in the heat on top of the bus. This tour guide was so great, though, and he made it worth it.
Keeping cool(ish) with the mister fan we thankfully brought.
The bus broke down outside of the Art Museum. You know, the one where Rocky runs up the steps? If I had attempted to do that that day, I would have fainted.
There's the temple! Right down the street from the Art Museum! That is some prime real estate!
After the bus tour we went to Independence Hall. The boys hadn't been there before. It is such a neat place and you can really feel something special in the air there.
This room is awesome, but...
...this is the room where it all went down (the Declaration of Independence getting signed and the official start of our country and all).
From Independence Hall above to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple below (with a quick stop between the two at our hotel to freshen up and change our clothes).
The temple was beautiful inside and incorporated the elegant federal style of the historic buildings of the city really well. The outside was of course beautiful too, and I like how the temple is interposed with the skyscrapers and other buildings of the city. It's like an oasis of peace and calm in the bustle of the city. I wish it had been there when Peter and I were students at Penn.
There's Sam on the left. A future college student of this city, perhaps, following in his parents' footsteps?
So perfect for Philadelphia.
I love how temples make us look up, literally and figuratively.
After the temple we went to Penn's campus. It was so good to be back! A lot of changes have happened there since we graduated in 2002 but it still felt the same.
We ate dinner at one of our old favorites, New Deck Tavern.
We went to the Penn Bookstore, where I used to do a lot of studying (and napping). It was a full-circle experience to be back there again, this time with my children.
I'm calling it! Sam is going to go to Penn as either a business major in Wharton or as an Engineering major at Penn Engineering. Or maybe both!
We walked through campus and sat on the Ben Franklin bench but it was getting pretty dark out so the pictures are not the best.
I first sat on this bench as a 17-year-old high-school senior when I came to check out Penn after I'd been accepted and was deciding where to go to school. And look at me now! I'm so glad I decided on Penn instead of Georgetown, BYU, or Syracuse.
We had the campus to ourselves on that hot summer night!
Bags from the bookstore. The one on the left was cheap and free; the one on the right was overpriced and expensive. Ha ha!
It was a great little trip to a very special place.