Friday, September 13, 2013

The Lazy Girl's Trip to Philadelphia

If you get lost, just look for the William Penn statue

So, I am recently back from a trip with the boy to Philadelphia.  Surprise!  We went to attend the Budweiser Made in America music festival and stayed a few extra days to do tourist-y stuff.  Seeing as how I'm really terrible at reading maps on the computer and figuring out which way is up and what distances are actually walk-able, I did next to none 'pre-planning'.

The concert had quite a few people I like but wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to see a show.  I was mostly in it for Beyonce, Imagine Dragons, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  We enjoyed ourselves even though it felt ridiculously hot and humid to us desert rats. 

We passed the time between bands we actually knew people watching.  It might have been the highlight of the concert really.  This small town girl did not know that high waisted shortie shorts and fanny packs were back in style.  We saw too many to count.

A few months ago, when I flew out to my sister's house in Illinois, I missed out on a 5K bagelfest run and getting free bagels and a fabulous neon green shirt.  Why?  Because I didn't know.  Who knew really that such a thing existed and would be happening the exact weekend I would be in Illinois.  I was really kind of bummed.  And I don't even eat bagels!  So two days before we left I googled runs and Philadelphia and found this:

We picked the 10K strictly based on starting location in relation to our hotel.  Quite possibly the best impulsive decision we made on the whole trip (that didn't involve food or beer in an way).  Our running guide was a local teacher.  We got a good tour of the city along with brief histories of most of the historical sites along the way.  It also allowed us to see what the options were and what we wanted to go back and spend more time at later in our trip.

This was one of the statues we ran past.  Created with the help of old keys and 1.8 million pennies collected from local schools.  We also ran past Ben Franklin's for profit fire house, the cemetery where he is buried, and the first bank of the United States.

We went back and checked out Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, too.

While we were at the concert I made a random Canadian friend.  He had this to say:  That we as Americans take a lot of our freedoms and our treasures for granted.  That at the end of the day, everyone else still wants to come and visit America and we should be prouder of what we have.

I left Philadelphia feeling the same way.  How could people live this close to all this history, the history of our country at its very beginning and go about their day without appreciating it?  I will admit that when I think of American history my first thought is Washington D.C.    I had forgotten that before the White House, there was Philadelphia.  And it's begging for us to appreciate it.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Emmers has all the spunk and confidence that I lacked in my childhood

I hope she never loses that

Which is why I never say no to pink hair or getting her hands dirty

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

I am slowly working my way through my list of "American classics".  Most recently, I read Betty Smith's, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.  Written in 1943, it's the tale of an Irish-American family living in Brooklyn in the early 20th century.

I don't have much of a review of the synopsis (you can read it on wiki if you like).  But I really enjoyed it!  I have tried to talk the boy into reading it but so far he hasn't picked it up yet.  It felt like reading a mix of the Laura Ingalls Wilder and Frank McCourt books.  Not a terribly suspenseful story but the every day struggle of a family just trying to work and have enough money to pay the bills and raise a family.

Anyone who is a little house fan would enjoy this one too.


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