day 35

"Anyone here from the UK? No? Good, because we'll be talking about them."
- Ranger Rick, Independence Hall Tour Guide
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Philly Phacts:
Phounded: Early 1600s
Phirst Const. Congress: 1774
Phlag Creator: Betsy Ross
Phranklin, Ben: Statesman, Scholar, Inventor, Philosopher, Kite Phlier
Phootball Team: Phillies*

Claim to Phame: Besides Cream Cheese, Philidelphia is best known for The Syng Inkstand. This legendary inkstand was the inspiration for the very backbone of American history. Without it, the Declaration of Independence would not have been signed, and thus, America would still belong to England.

Toast of the Day
What to see on a Half-Day tour:
Visitor Centre
Carpenters' Hall
Independence Hall
Congress Hall
Liberty Bell Pavilion
Franklin Court
Great Essentials Exhibit
What to see on a 1 to 2 Day tour:
Visitor Centre
Carpenters' Hall
Independence Hall
Congress Hall
Old City Hall
Declaration House
Liberty Bell Pavilion
Franklin Court
Portrait Gallery
Bishop White House
Todd House
Deshler-Morris House
Thaddeus Kosciuszko NM
Edgar Allan Poe NHS
Great Essentials Exhibit

Cheese Steak!

200 Years in 2 Hours
Sept 30 - Philidelphia: A city that simply reeks of American History. It's ripe with it, emanating from the city's metaphorical pores. After visiting, it will take days to get it out of your clothes.

You go to the Visitor Center. They hand you a map. Then they proceed to pound you with more historical information than an encyclopedia salesman, and just as aggressively. Your head will be so clogged with historical information, you'll need to take a shot of Drano to get it all down.

Give us a moment to jot down everything we learned so we don't forget any of it. Excuse us.
  • The country's forefathers were only one to two feet tall, and had a skin tone much akin to that of clay. Their lips did not move when they spoke, but rather they were illuminated from above such that everyone knew they were the ones talking.
  • The Carpenters were the first tradesmen to discuss separation from England.
  • Tories speak with an English accent. Patriots speak with a Carolina accent.
  • The Franklin family lived in a steel shell of a house. The walls and roof were open,.making them very miserable when the weather was cold. His descendents thought the land was a waste of good real estate, so they tore it down and put in a double row of smaller houses, this time with walls and roofs. (The original steel shell house was restored some time later by park rangers.)
  • Benjamin Franklin invented swim flippers when he was 14. He was also strongly against gum, candy, and running in his museum.
  • According to the experts of the day, a crack in a bell can be fixed by making the crack even bigger. After this, the bell can only be rung one more time, so you'd better ring the shit out of it.
  • You are equal to a king, and the king is fat.
  • Ben Franklin would have been the nation's first president, had he been able to walk on his own.
  • Jefferson needed piece and quiet to write the Declaration and the Articles. He could not work in the bustle of the city, so he moved to the outskirts of the city. Thus, Jefferson can be credited with the invention of the "suburb".
  • When Jefferson moved out, he stayed with a young, broad shouldered, wavy haired blacksmith. Though it was only a one page document, he stayed at the blacksmith's house for three weeks, where late at night they could oft be seen by the light of the mighty forge, locked in a tight embrace, Jefferson's bodice hanging loosely from one shoulder as he gripped Jacob's bare arms with a passion that quaked as loudly as the ripples of justice that echoed through the halls of the palace in England when the Declaration arrived.

  • Above: Benjamin Franklin's Crapper.
    "This brick-lined circular "necessary" (privy) pit was probably built when Franklin expanded his house in 1786-87."
  • The Philadelphia crest was painted by a man who had never seen a bald eagle before. Thinking no one else had either, he painted something that looked like a cross between a goose and a toucan.
  • Betsy Ross's "flag" fad caught on so well that she opened a gift shop behind her house that is still thriving today.
  • Besty made made so much money from her gift shop that she opened the U.S. Mint, located two blocks away.
  • When everyone had finished signing the Declaration of Independence, they all went over to Benny's Place, a local pizza parlour.
  • It took 3 weeks to write the first draft of the constitution and put the American system of govenment in place. Once the American government was established, it took 13 years to write the second draft. This incredibly slow system of government is still functioning today.
And there you have it. American history, in a nutshell*. Should you wish to use any of this information in a project or book report, please feel free to quote it, word for word, and footnote the National Parks Organization as the source.

*For an equally accurate synopsis of American history, we suggest renting Mel Gibson's "The Patriot".

historical insignificance...

History as told by Aimee

There she is... Old Faithful

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Benjamin Franklin
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Incidentally . . . .
The Phootball team here is the Eagles . . . the baseball team are the Phillies, basketball is 76'ers and hockey is, ahem, the best in the league at least on the Mihalus Ranking scale - The Flyers!

I still can't believe it, in Philly a mere 3 weeks ago, I could have taken you on a real tour through the slums, by all the street walkers, the bums, the heavy crossfire area's. Oh, and by a killer cheesesteak place!

Hope you enjoyed your brief stay in Philthadelphia -- you never know you had air to breath so good until you visit here!
- Ryan, Philidelphia PA
(Sent Oct 21)

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Current Location
(get out your push pins)


Next Stop: Atlantic City

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Pouring. Again.

Daily Stats
Gas: $16.63
Sites Seen: 13
Cheesesteaks Eaten: 1

Sleeping Quarters
Bass River State Park

We set up in the rain, slept in the rain and woke up in the rain. But we were all suited up in our new sleeping bags, so we stayed dry!

Cost: $10.00

D&R State Park
Both:Best Blueberry Muffins - Ever!
Thanks Rich, Barb, Kyle and Kelly!
Grande Ole Cheesesteak
Historic Philly
Shared:Philly Cheesesteak
Shared:Bag of Banana Chips

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Now you know... the REST... of the story.