Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seeing the Big City

We did it  (and survived).   Today we headed into Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.   Getting there was a typical urban challenge but thanks to Ms. Garmin (our GPS voice), we were close enough so that we could use our "gut feeling" as to the directions for  the last few blocks.

Once we were near Independence Hall, we spotted the blue directional signs directing us to the underground parking lot under the Independence Hall Visitor's Center.  It was convenient  (just don't ask about the price for 5 hours of parking.)

As we were walking to the visitor's center, I realized that I had not properly prepared myself.  For starters, I didn't take my two Tylenol pain killer pills at breakfast for my hip pain.  Oh well, so be it.  The other problem was that I forgot to bring my walking cane.  I have lightly used one for years, especially if I'm going to be walking a lot, or standing around.   (When touring at national park service sites, seniors walking with a cane  get expedited service.)

At the visitor's center information desk, we picked up the tickets so we could get in line for the tour of Independence Hall.  Then we picked up a map of the area and marked the sites we intended to visit.  Finally it was time to use shoe leather to get to first site.   Okay we were 15 minutes early, but I prefer it that way.

As Sandy observed, the first tour guide did very well.  I can't say the same for the last tour guide in the morning.  His presentation was a zero in terms of enthusiasm for his subject.

In the PM, we went to the Liberty Bell site followed by the mint.  In both cases, it was "look or read".  No tour guide.  To tour the mint, the tourist is on the third floor in a very long hall, looking down  on the presses through sloping windows.  The presses are enclosed in noise reducing chambers, so there is really nothing to see, other than a belt delivering coin blanks to a hopper for pressing.   To fill in the very long hall way, they had numerous photos and samples posted behind glass panels.

The drive back to  the motorhome was uneventful; traffic moved fast (evening rush hour), but Ms. Garmin kept us in the proper lane and gave us advanced warning when turns were coming up.  GPS devices work!

Touring is nice, but getting back to the motorhome was great!


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