A whirlwind in Philly

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When I was young, I was such a history buff.  Maybe it was the movies, maybe it was the architecture, but visiting Philly and feeling that East Coast heritage made me squeal with glee (not out loud though, just in my head).

A whirlwind in Philly

I only had about 2 days to spend (and even fewer free hours) so I had to make quick decisions on where I wanted to go.  My hotel was right in the heart of downtown and of course the gorgeous city hall was just a 5 minute walk away so this one was obvious.

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I wandered all around the square and came upon the Masonic Temple:

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Those details though!  Next on the agenda was the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, which was conveniently right next to each other.

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The bell itself was relatively unimpressive but then again most historic objects tend to get built up in people’s head to levels of unattainable awesomeness that it was to be expected.  It was odd to me though that there’s this super modern structure built around the bell itself; it somewhat detracted the air of authenticity.  Nonetheless, it was absolutely worth seeing.

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I simply walked around the Independence Hall itself, since entering it required doing a tour group which I definitely didn’t have time for.  I wandered into the nearby American Philosophical Society building and took a peek at The Signer.  He looked serious.

Then it was off to the Reading Terminal Market for some food.  I intentionally seek out these diverse markets in every state I go because I feel that a lot can be learned about the local culture from them!  I managed to make it out with just a good lunch.

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I had time to stop by one more place before my afternoon flight, and I decided to make it the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul.  Having never been to Europe (where I imagine the churches are probably out of this world), this was one of the most gorgeous places I’ve seen in my life.

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In addition to the surface beauty, the incredible height, the intricate spaces, and even the smell of the air contributed to a massive feeling to peace.  I think it was good that I made this my last destination because I felt incredibly weary afterwards; it’s like the last few days of stress finally just came crashing down after the mental relaxation.  I jetted back to the hotel and relaxed until my 6 hour flight, which I had to endure an anxious flier who talked and downed alcohol non stop throughout.

It’s good to be home.  Have you been to Philly?  Let me know your favorite spots!

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