#107: The Liberty Bell

When we first began discussing a trip to Philadelphia, I, of course, realized that seeing the Liberty Bell had to be on The List. After all, how could I go to Philadelphia and not see its most famous icon?

Here’s a clue: everyone else who goes to Philadelphia wants to see the Bell, too. We went at the end of the day, when there was actually not a line out the building, as there had been all throughout the rest of the day. Nonetheless, we still faced a crowd of people inside. When you walk into the building where the Liberty Bell is housed, you can read lots of information about its history–the casting of the bell by Paul Revere, when it was rung and where it was located (including a tour that brought it to SC!). Or, you can skim most of that information and head straight to the bell. You can then join the crowd of people hovering around the bell at the end of the room, and you can wait your turn to stand next to the bell and have someone take your picture.

I’m glad I saw the Liberty Bell. It’s a fascinating piece of history. We’ve just been spoiled by having been the sole participants in tours at literary house-museums that it’s a little weird to have to fight crowds just to get a glimpse of history.

Is it worth it? Yes. I like bells. I like Paul Revere. I dislike crowds, especially in big cities that I’ve walked around for hours. But that’s mostly just my issue. If you’re in Philly, go see the Liberty Bell. Just don’t expect to spend some solitary quality time with it. What you don’t see in this picture: all the people staring at me while I stand there awkwardly. 🙂

“The 2nd Annual Road Trip of Epicness”

Friday night, my best friends Harvin and Ticcoa and I held a planning session to finalize the details of our upcoming vacation. Last year, we spent 10 days on the road and around New England, and it was so wonderful! This year, on our “2nd annual road trip of epicness” (so dubbed by Ticcoa on her blog), we’ll be road-tripping again, though not quite as far: nine days on the road to Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

The potential itinerary:

Saturday, July 31: Leave SC; drive to Annapolis, MD, to stay with our awesome friend Karen.

Aug. 1-3: Washington, D.C., where we’ll tour the Library of Congress, several of the Smithsonian museums (specifically, the Mus. of American Art, American History, Air & Space, and perhaps the Postal Museum), and as many of the monuments that we can fit in. We’ll also have dinner on Melville’s birthday at Moby Dick House of Kebab (I’m dead serious!) and sometime get a meal at Eatonville’s (themed after Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God). Also, used  book stores galore.

Aug. 4: leave Annapolis and head to Gettysburg, PA, for the day.

Aug. 5: Hershey & Lancaster, PA

Aug. 6-7: Philadelphia, including the Edgar Allan Poe National Historical Site, Independence National Historical Site (the Liberty Bell is there!), Elfreth’s Alley, maybe Valley Forge, and maybe this awesome museum called The Museum of Mourning Art. That last afternoon, we’ll leave Philly for Baltimore, where we’ll once again stop at the Annabel Lee Tavern, before heading back to Annapolis and then home on Aug. 8.

This trip is less literary and more historical, but it’s still going to be awesome. I can’t even believe that two weeks from now, I’ll be touring D.C.! Yay!