For the first time in our lives, we made the trip.
For the first time in our lives, we made the trip.
Last weekend, our family decided to take the trip to Philadelphia. The birthplace of America!
I'd been wanting to go for a long time and now that we live here, it seemed the perfect opportunity.
I'm hoping my longing to go to the birthplace of America means I'm not a "commie, pinko, racist, liberal" anymore.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I have never been any of those. It all started with my grandmother, Gladys Little, who taught me in no uncertain terms to love this country — and it worked very well.
I knew flag etiquette before most people could ride a bike. I have a deep love for this nation because we can call each other pinkos and the like.
That's what makes us great.
So it was with great anticipation that I was actually going to the place where it all went down so many years ago.
We left very early in the morning because, being country bumpkins, we had some fear of the big city, including driving and parking.
So it was shortly after 9 when we arrived in the city of Brotherly Love. There was hardly any traffic.
When we started driving around looking for parking, we went down what seemed like a small alley and turned right onto 7th Street.
My wife, Nicole, spotted it.
"Parking, all day, $6."
Wow, now that seemed like a deal. In we went and so the day began.
The first stop was, of course, the visitor's center where we found all of the paraphernalia about everything early American.
We got our tickets and headed to Independence Hall.
Wow, I thought, this is where George Washington and the others did all of the groundwork in forming our constitution and bill of rights.
As we walked into that room, there was the chair where Washington sat as he ran those very contentious meetings. And they were contentious.
The arguing was back and forth and there had to be compromise. Our current elected leaders could learn a lesson or two from the founders.
From there, we headed to see the Liberty Bell.
I must say, having to go through security to see the bell seemed a little ridiculous. Sometimes, government officials take things a little too far.
After about 20 minutes, we did get into the building. We didn't stay too long. It was good to see the bell, however, it wasn't my favorite part of the trip.
As I told someone, the bell "wasn't all it was cracked up to be."
By this time of the morning, the hunger pangs were setting in, especially for our son, Price, who is 10. Have you seen those Snickers commercials where people turn into raging fools when they get hungry? That's a 10 year old boy.
We wandered around downtown Philly for a while looking for a place to eat. We walked by some historic places and the old downtown area where we eventually found a little bistro called, "Gigi."
We were able to sit outside and enjoy the 70-degree weather.
Of course, since I was in Philadelphia, I had to have a Philly cheesesteak. It was delicious!
Just hanging out in a big city watching the Duck boats and the hustle of bustle was a fun experience.
From lunch, we headed to the Chinatown area. It's a place Price really wanted to see and it was well worth the walk. The people were great and we had a blast going into the various shops in the area.
For some reason, Price has a fascination with Chinese culture so that made the trip even more special.
After Chinatown, we decided to head toward the skyscrapers. There's something fascinating about skyscrapers to a boy who grew up in a town of 200, if you counted the dogs and chickens.
The walk was great and it was fun to see the different people doing whatever those city folks do on a weekend.
There was on architectural feature we couldn't resist and that was what turned out to be city hall. It's a massive structure with a statue on the dome of the building.
When we walked into the courtyard, there was a man playing the flute. And not just playing, but masterfully making music with the instrument. He should be in an orchestra.
My son approached him and we tossed a dollar onto the small table he had set up. The man then played a wonderful song for my son, who was fascinated by it all.
We then meandered down the street and there, in front of our eyes, was Macy's. One of our future goals is to go to the Macy's in New York City, however, the one in Philly seemed pretty large and tempting.
So inside we went.
Of course, Nicole and Price headed straight for the escalators. Up we went, simply riding the escalators and taking it all in. We went up to the third floor and there we found a spot to look down over the open first floor and it was fascinating. Just to see the scale of the store and how many people were inside was a fun adventure.
We also noticed there was a huge organ located on the second floor. We speculate it might be used during the holiday season. Maybe there is another trip to Philly in the near future.
In fact, that is likely.
There are so many things we didn't get to see because of limited time. The Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site has to be a must-see, as is the zoo and other stops. Riding the Ducks would also be great, as well.
So with the "big city" fears behind us, who knows where our next adventure might take us in the future. Baltimore? D.C.? Maybe even the big one, New York?
We shall see. Wherever it is, the country mice in us will be looking for that great adventure. You only live once.
Little, who is not a commie, pinko, racist, liberal, is editor of The Wayne Independent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.