A Different View of History

Over the President’s Day Weekend we took a drive up the great I-95 toll road to visit the cradle of the Declaration and Constitution.  We spent a great weekend in Philadelphia and capped it off with a stop at Valley Forge on the way home.  The weather was really, really cold and the skies were grey almost the entire time.  Philadelphia is a modern city, with historical buildings tucked into the corners.  Part of the challenge in visiting a popular tourist location is finding the unique point of view that captures the spirit of the place, but isn’t something everyone else is also going to get.  As I am sure you recall from the last blog, we got to visit the Liberty Bell in its modern new home.  Usually, you have to get tickets and wait in a long line to get in.  Funny enough in January and February, you don’t need a ticket and the line outside the building is not too bad.  While we were shivering, I mean waiting; we saw a group of folks, not dressed appropriately for the weather and who were playing in the mud.  These guys had been up all night long raising money for the Green Beret Fund.  They had been going through a mini-hell night and were all pretty much done.  As we walked over to Independence Hall, we found a group laying a wreath for the president’s birthday.  I think some of these guys may have served with George.   Our hotel lobby had a unique take on Mr. Franklin.  His image is pretty much all over the place.  Of course there are exceptions to all the rules.  Some snapshots have to be taken.  Even in a cold snow blizzard.

We did manage to warm up by wandering through the Reading Terminal Market.  We kind of got there as they were closing up, so much of the vibrant bustle of the place was winding down. 

Valley Forge, in that kind of biting cold served as a good reminder, just how difficult those conditions must have been.  We had car heaters and good Gore-tex jackets.  It is interesting to witness how close “civilization” is encroaching onto the historic sites.  We stopped by Washington’s Headquarters, but evidently just missed him.