Independence Hall for Independence Day

Once again, I’m interrupting the finish-up-Panama series, to bring you a special United States post for the 4th of July! Last month, we took a last minute trip to Pennsylvania to surprise Daniel’s brother for his birthday. It was another fun weekend, which included some R & R, reading, canoeing, and fun times with friends and family.

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Seth and Daniel rushed out to wash our car Sunday afternoon, just for the fun of it.

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Natasha had a blast playing with her new friend, Jordan, and the paper dolls I played with when I was little, were quite a hit.

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On Monday, Daniel, Natasha and I took a day trip to Philadelphia. When you’re on that side of the state, you might as well see a few things since you’re “in the area”. So we did! We started off with the Mint:

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We were able to see actual coins being produced, and it was pretty neat. They are incredibly…SHINY!

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We walked past Benjamin Franklin’s grave, but didn’t actually see it due to not wanting to pay to go inside the cemetery, and his actual gravestone being blocked from our view by about 20 elementary students all wearing blue shirts. So we peeked through a gate down the sidewalk a little ways, and looked at unknown gravestones instead:

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Independence Hall was next on the list of places to see!

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Daniel did some push ups out front…

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Inside, it was just like all the pictures, but without all the historical figures and important people from the famous paintings.

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We did see the original chair that George Washington sat in though! That’s the one which Benjamin Franklin declared the sun carved on the back of, was a “rising sun and not a setting sun” indicating the “rising of a new nation.”

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I’ll share a secret about the chair. Our tour guide told us not to tell anyone, but you all know how to keep a secret, right? Well, it seems that whenever a president or a foreign dignitary comes, their one request is always to sit in the chair that George Washington sat in. Well, here’s the secret: The President may be powerful, but he’s not that powerful. The original chair is switched with an identical replica, down to the last scratch,  before the famous visitors arrive.  So the one they might get to sit in, is not the original chair. Shhh now…you promised not to tell. Wouldn’t want to hurt the President’s feelings…

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After having some Philly Cheesesteaks (which turned out to be rather disappointing) for lunch, we popped in the only Post Office in the United States that doesn’t fly an American flag. Because, when Franklin started this post office, there wasn’t an American flag yet!

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Lastly, the Liberty Bell. Natasha was thrilled to see the real thing, because a tour guide had previously handed her a stack of trading cards with notable pictures on the front, and one was of the bell, which is what she’s holding up in the below picture.

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We came back to Seth and Harm’s for a relaxed supper and some frisbee out in their front yard.

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Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day, full of good food, relaxing company, brilliant fireworks, and treasuring the freedoms we still have. We may be the “Land of the Free” but it’s just not as free as it once was!

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