Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rich hits Philly solo

After Em and Bry returned, we had lunch then I decided to see the town on my own. It was raining pretty steadily so I raised the hood on my blue jacket and stepped out into the rain. Philly rain is cold! I walked up to Independence Hall, then over to the Liberty Bell building. I was able to see the Liberty Bell from the outside. I then walked through town to Christ Church and visited the graves of 3 of the signers of the Constitution. I didn't see Benjamin Franklin's grave however, because it is located somewhere else. By this point I was getting a little cold, so I found a little coffee shop and ordered a wonderful cup of hot chocolate.

I had met my goal for the trip with one exception, I wanted to find a geocache in the area. The nice thing about holding a cup of hot chocolate, is that I could put the GPS unit on my coffee lid and not draw too much attention. Previously it looked like I was scanning the landscape with my tricorder! There were 13 geocaches within a half mile of the hotel. I decided just to go to the closest one, which was along the shoreline, about 2 blocks away.

By now the rain had mostly calmed down and I had a good steam up from the walking so I was pretty comfortable. I found that I was walking by a huge building which turned out to be a maritime museum. I love the sea, and all things sailing, and I enjoyed just walking to the end of the building and saying hi to the Atlantic. I really wanted to touch the Atlantic, but there really was no place to get close enough to the water. The pier was always at least 10' above the surface of the ocean. As I rounded the museum (it was closed) I saw some ships moored together from many different shipping eras. A WWI Battle ship, a WWII sub, a tall ship, and on the other side of the bay I was the USS New Jersey, sistership to the Battleship Missouri, in Pearl Harbor. I kept following the GPS and it led me to a great big monument to Christopher Columbus. The cache was a micro cache, wedged into a crack in the foundation. I found it and would have signed the log, but I had no pen and it was still raining a little. I slyly replaced it and finished my walk. That's one of the things I love about geocaching, is that it takes you places that you wouldn't ordinarily go.

I started to head back and came across two war memorials, to Vietnam, and one (under construction) to Korea. After I got back to my room and warmed up a little, we ordered 2 authentic Philadelphia Cheesesteaks to our room and popped the movie "National Treasure" into the laptop and had our own personal movie night, giggling as they visited all the places we visited recently.

All in all, it was a great day. Tomorrow, another 88 mile drive to Newark, then a shuttle ride to our hotel in New York!

Aloha from Philadelphia,



At 4:41 PM HST, Blogger Gung Ho said...

Cool...very cool. I love those exploring moments by yourself when you step in a different city and see things for the first time.


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