Header image by Dave Z (Flickr: CITY HALL PHILADELPHIA) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Today’s post comes from Jacque.
In early October Lou and I travelled to Philadelphia for a long weekend in the City of Brotherly Love to see the sights and climb some ancient branches of the family tree. We made our plans with my sister and her husband, who wanted the climb the family tree with us.
We were scheduled to leave on Wednesday. Tuesday, my sister and her husband were packed and ready to head North from Iowa. She picked up a knife to scrape a label off a can. The knife slipped. A perfectly positioned ½ inch cut at the base of her thumb severed the tendon. She called from the Dr.s’ office to report that instead of going to Philly, she was going to surgery. The surgery appears successful, but her hand and arm are swathed in an enormous splint because it is of great importance not to move the thumb while the tendon heals. Not only did she miss the trip to Philly, she can’t even drive in Iowa. She called SW airlines, cancelled her plane tickets and put them on hold for another trip.
We left for the airport early, early Wednesday morning; 530 am early, to arrive in time for a very delayed flight—plane repairs. The layover in Chicago was even more delayed—more plane repairs. That plane they finally just replaced after 2 hours of waiting. HMMM. In what condition does Southwest Airlines keep their planes? So our ETA of 12:55pm stretched to an actual arrival time of 5pm. Argh.
We arrived famished and tired. However, we were delighted that the train into Philadelphia was simple to locate and right on time, zipping us right into the Center City area. Yippee. We were on our way. We walked to our B and B through the beautiful neighborhoods surrounding Rittenhouse Square, noticing an array of restaurants with really great looking menus. Philadelphia is a fabulous city in which to be hungry. It has great restaurants, one of my favorite parts of travel. My first meal of crabcakes was delicious.
Highlights of the sightseeing and family tree climbing are as follows:
- A tour of Independence Hall which revealed that the Founding Fathers rented the space to meet from the Colony of Pennsylvania. The USA owns it now, but we did not own it then!
- The National Jewish Museum which provided me with a list of Jewish Geneology sites and which confirmed the presence of many Jewish soldiers from the Philadelphia area in the American Revolution. Maybe my 7th great grandfather, Michael Klein/Kline/Cline will reveal himself there.
- I was blessed by a cardboard Pope Francis in City Hall.
- Reading Market—a fabulous Inner city market with more great food (see sandwich picture).
- Rittenhouse Square—a lovely park that hosted a wonderful art/craft show over the weekend—is filled with jugglers, mimes, families with children, dogs and musicians.
- The Betsy Ross House where I learned a lot more about the Free Quakers from whom I am descended. And there I learned that my cousin, Timothy Matlack, was the scrivener of the Declaration of Independence. His grandfather, Mark Stratton is also my 7th great grandfather whose grave I located at the Medford Friends Meeting Cemetery, 20 miles from Center City Philadelphia in New Jersey. And I had not heard of this man before.
- LaReserve B and B. We had a comfy stay there with excellent breakfasts.
- And did I mention the food? The Osteria on S. Broad was the highlight.
What a great city to tour! I would do it again; however, I will not fly Southwest again. We arrived back at the airport early Sunday morning to fly home, where we found the Southwest computers all down and the agents printing and collecting tickets.
So we arrived home late. The flights were delayed due to computer failure. Of course they were. Sigh.