April 10 – 17, 2023 – One of our sons relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last year. I had never been there before, so was curious to see his new home, and to see some of the locations of significance in the founding of the United States. We also visited family in rural Pennsylvania, and in Connecticut, while on this trip.
We flew to Newark, about 6 hours nonstop, with views of the still frozen midwest, and the skyline of New York City.
We rendezvoused with our daughter at the airport, as she was joining us for a day. We drove across the Delaware River from New Jersey into Pennsylvania at the Washington Crossing Bridge.
Our son is living in the Center City neighborhood.
Our hotel was in nearby Old City. We walked through the historic district several times over the next few days, touring the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and other historical sites. We had beautiful, sunny, almost too hot, weather, with lots of trees and flowers in bloom.
We walked through the Benjamin Franklin Court, where his home had been:
We walked walked past the Betsy Ross House
on our way to Elfreth’s Alley Museum:
The Liberty Bell – We waited in line about twenty minutes to see the exhibits, and the bell, from inside the museum. We also got beautiful views from the exterior as we walked by in the evening.
We went to several other popular sites while walking around :
Reading Terminal Market, where we had a delicious lunch one day.
We had gelato at the Italian Market, and passed this yarn shop, with creative window display:
Philadelphia Magic Gardens – I think this was my favorite place we visited – for sensory overload of creativity, color and beauty. The mosaic-transformed ruin of a building, started as a movement against neighborhood demolition for freeway building, has spilled out onto other local buildings. Contagious and delightful!
Delaware River Walk – On our balmy last evening, we walked a loop along the Delaware River, passing the Cherry Street Pier, then back up Market Street. It seemed a fitting end to a couple of lovely spring days in Philadelphia.
Our son is enjoying life in the city center. It was not as crowded or loud as New York City, which was what I was expecting. The famous Art Museum was closed so we will put that on our list for our next visit.
April 13th – John Heinz Wildlife Refuge – We left the city the next morning, to visit relatives who live in a rural part of Pennsylvania. Along the way, we stopped at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge, only a short way from the city, close to the airport and other industrial locations, yet a beautiful slice of reclaimed wildlife habitat. We stretched our legs on a short walk, and saw a few turtles and geese.
April 14, Mt Cuba Center, Delaware – The Mt Cuba Center is an estate that was developed from farmland to preserve native plants. It is not far from our cousin’s home. They are interested in adding more native plants to their landscape, so this was an instructive as well as beautiful walk on a hot day.
We were delighted to find a whole section devoted to various species of trillium, and they were in bloom!
And before, we leave Pennsylvania, I present the cats:
April 15 – On to Connecticut. We said farewell to our Pennsylvania cousins, and drove north, back through Philadelphia, and eventually over the Tappan Zee Bridge to Connecticut.
We enjoyed a few relaxed family days in Connecticut.
April 17 – We drove back to Newark for our flight home to Portland.
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