Tag Archives: the franklin institute

Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia – Day 3

Today was our last full day in Philadelphia. And it was a rainy one. Which meant my hair looked a lot like what it looks like every day of the summer back home in New Orleans. (Stupid humidity.) And, in an effort to cover a lot of ground quickly, we opted to buy tickets for one of those hop-on/hop-off sightseeing buses. You know the ones? The double deckers and such? (Don’t make fun. They’re popular for a reason.) Anyway, here are a few highlights.


Do we have any It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans out there?


The owners were very cool. They even invited me behind the bar.

We also stopped off at the U.S. Mint, Philadelphia branch. NO PICTURES ALLOWED! (Sorry.) And it was an interesting albeit completely self-guided tour. Seriously, we needed to show ID to get in, submit all bags for inspection and even be checked out a little ourselves. And then it was like someone said, “Make yourselves at home. There’s some soup on the stove. Just lock up when you’re done.” We didn’t see an employee anywhere in the entire place. So I probably could’ve taken lots of pictures.

We missed the Chinatown stop (Oops! No foot massage today) and got off instead at the Reading Terminal Market. You might remember it from day one in Philly. And guess what Viv and I got for lunch … again? If you’re not silently mouthing the word “cheese” at your computer screen, then you must have just landed in ODNT country. Cheese it was … and it was good. And we shopped a little while there, too … until the bus called.

The kids and I got off next at the Franklin Institute. You might remember it from day two in Philly. (We are a loyal people and know what we like.) Apparently, Dean and Vivien had some unfinished business to take care of there, including walking through a ginormous replica of a working heart. With me in tow.


Of course, the thing came complete with a deafening heartbeat. I felt like an Edgar Allen Poe character.

From there, since the last bus was rolling around, we opted to hop back on and ride it to the end. It sounded easy (we’ve walked an average of 80 blocks every day … I counted) and educational (because the dude never stops telling you about the city). Once at the end, we jumped in a cab to spend time at one of the stops for which we weren’t able to de-bus.


Seriously, you guys had to see this one coming, right? Me and the Rocky Balboa statue. (Spoiler: I took a few other pictures there and, duh, on the steps, too. I’ll be using them later.)


Because who’s going to pass up this opportunity?


We walked about 247 miles back to our hotel, stopping only once to take the requisite picture by the LOVE sculpture.

Sorry, Philly, but the NYC LOVE statue kicks this one’s butt.

* * * * * * * * *

To read about the trip so far …

ODNT Takes Manhattan Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3

Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia Day 1 – Day 2


Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia – Day 2

I’m checking in at a decent hour tonight so I can finally get some sleep on this trip. Plus we’re supposed to lose electricity and water at the hotel for a few hours tomorrow so we’re clearing out of the room early in the morning. That said, I will totally be hanging out the sign I fashioned for the housekeeping department … since my room didn’t come equipped with one.


Perhaps this post should be called Ellie Mae Clampett Goes to Philadelphia.

We got a late start today. I’ll blame it on the rain. (Yeah, yeah) All nine of us … my parents, my kids, myself, and the four-man According to Mags band … met up at Casa Betsy Ross. (She probably didn’t call it that. But she totally should have.) And, honestly, I think it was my very favorite part of the Philadelphia portion of the trip so far. The whole experience was pretty interesting. That entrepreneurial woman was widowed (and by “widowed” I think it means she killed two husbands) twice before she was thirty. Then, she married a third time to a man with whom she would enjoy several decades. (I’m guessing she finally found someone who put the seat down and knew how to answer the question “Does this hoop skirt make me look fat?”)


We actually met “Betsy” at her house today. Darling woman. Completely unflappable. She’s still “living” in 1776. … Oh, but I wanted so much to tell her who shot JR.

We also took in Independence Hall, most famous for serving as the place where both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were debated and adopted. After seeing the place today, I picture a team of SNL-type writers sitting around the table smoking cigarettes, eating take-out and telling fart jokes until the wee hours of the morning. And then going home and telling their wives “what a hard ass Old Man Jefferson was” at the office that day. I’m probably at least half right, don’t you think?

After that, we went to The Bourse at Independence Hall food court for a fast lunch. (It was raining a good bit by then.) And I had something there that would hardly sell me on the whole concept of a Philly cheesesteak. But it’s probably partly my fault because, besides being from the land of amazing cuisine, (1) I opted for the chicken cheesesteak and (2) I omitted the peppers. Whatever. It wasn’t so good. I’ll try again tomorrow.

And it was following my delicious lunch that we had to bid farewell to our visiting friends. As Mel said on her Facebook page, it’s too bad the kids didn’t get along at all. (wink)


I should explain that we said “Make a crazy face!” And, apparently, CRAZY means THUG to Dean.


We then went to the Franklin Institute where, amongst many other things, my kids gave the local weather report. Journalism was my college major so I totally made them do it. And you can tell if you look at Dean’s face. (He smiled in the other pictures, but I thought the scowl was funnier.)


And I took this cool panoramic picture with my iPhone. Yes, I’m sure you people have been knowing how to do it since, like, 2010. But for me it’s new … and exciting. SO JUST ENJOY IT!

We walked for hours this evening, grabbed a little dinner here and a few beers there and just basically soaked in the city. And I want to compliment Philadelphia on its thriving performing arts presence. There are so many musicals, plays, operas and other concerts being presented right now that I was truly taken aback. Who cares about your stupid cheesesteaks? I outstretch my hand in friendship for having a community that can support the amount of productions I saw up and down Broad Street this evening.

Bravo, Philadelphia, Bravo. 

* * * * * * * * *

To read about the trip so far …

ODNT Takes Manhattan Day 1 – Day 2 – Day 3

Mrs. ODNT Goes to Philadelphia Day 1