Last week I was sent out to Philadelphia for a healthcare conference specifically for internal auditors. Sounds fun right? It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be... We'll just leave the work stuff at that...
On Sunday evening my flight was delayed for an hour and twenty minutes due to storms in Maryland and Isaac's outer-bands in Orlando. Our plane was in both of those locations hence the delay. We flew Southwest which does not assign your seats ahead of time so once you get on the plane it's a free for all. So I was stuck near the back of a plane by a very nice couple, however the lady had a wicked cough. great... I'm stuck on a germ tube and am sitting next to a lady with a cold... Once we arrived we picked up our bags and somewhere in between the front desk and the baggage claim in Philly the wheel on my bag had a big chunk taken out of it. awesome... The four of us who were travelling together waived down a taxi to take us to our hotel. That cab ride required a serious 'oh sh*t handle'. That was one scary cab ride! Once we arrived all I could think was I'm exhausted as it was 11pm at night and I was thirsty. I walked over to the vending machine, put my money in and everything was sold out and it ate my money! what the heck! I go back to the room and find a FIJI water for $5.50! WHAT!?!?! Who pays $5.50 for water? Insanely rich people? I called down to the concierge desk and told them the drama of the vending machine eating my money and they brought me up a cold FIJI water for free. thank goodness... Don't worry I made sure I drank every ounce of that water before recycling the bottle. I should have kept the bottle as a souvenir.
Monday morning breakfast was served at 7am and the conference started at 8am. I made sure to be early as there were a lot of people all over the country attending. The last session ended around 5pm and one of my old co-workers and friends from D.C. met us at my hotel. She lives and works in Philly these days so that was exciting! We walked a few blocks to see what historic sites were open that late and visit those first and from there we'd just have to look at the pretty buildings.
Here is your history lesson...
History: Independence Hall was opened in 1753 and was the colonial legislature for the Province of Pennsylvania. It was the principal meeting place from 1775 through 1783 and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. Here was where the United States Declaration of Independence was signed on September 17, 1787. This document unified the colonies in North America who declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Court Room in Independence HallThe painting between the two windows is the seal of Pennsylvania which replaced the King's seal during the American Revolution.
The Liberty BellThe bell tower steeple of Independence Hall was the original home of the Liberty Bell and today it holds a Centennial Bell that was created in 1876 for the U.S. Centennial Exposition. The original Liberty Bell is shown below was cast in 1752 and recast in 1753 by Pass and Stow.
The U.S. Congress served here from 1790 through 1800. During Congress Hall's duration it was the capitol of the United States and at that time admitted three new states: Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee, ratified the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and oversaw the Presidential inaugurations of both George Washington and John Adams.
Old City HallOld City Hall was built to serve as the city hall of Philadelphia and was the home of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1791 until 1800.
Second Bank of the U.S.The Second Bank of the U.S. served as the nation's federally authorized central bank during 1817 through 1836.
First Bank of the U.S.
The First Bank of the U.S. was a national bank that charted by the U.S. Congress from 1791 through 1811.
Alana (old co-worker, friend and Philly resident), Clyde (co-worker) and Trisha (co-worker)
Betsy Ross's House
The Betsy Ross House may be where Betsy Ross lived when she made the first American Flag. There seems to be a discrepancy about if she lived there and even if she sewed the American Flag? You can google that one. By 1876, several surviving family members said this was the location. The front house of the building was built around 1740 and the stair hall was added 10-20 years later.
Dinner!We stopped at Campo's Deli to get the #6 best Cheesesteak in Philadelphia! I of course got the Pizza Cheesesteak including: hoagie, steak, marinara sauce and provolone cheese. Ummm YUM!
Alana (left) and Me (right)
HotelThe PSFS (Philadelphia Savings Fund Society) building is the first skyscraper that was built in the US. It was completed in 1932 and received immediate recognition as a breakthrough architectural achievement. It was noted as the most modern building of its time and was the first building of its size to be fully air-conditioned year-round. The 27' high PSFS sign illuminated this landmark building with the red neon lights and was the first time that advertising was integrated into a building's design. Today, it is also known as the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. This is where we stayed! Pretty neat to live in history for a few days.
Walking back to the Philadelphia Loews Hotel...
This image was taken atop of the Loews hotel terrace. What a great night view of the city!
Don't worry, the following night we decided to go straight to the shopping district! My main goal was to hit up Zara as we don't have one locally and find an awesome local restaurant. Recommended by a local, we headed over to the Continental. It was delightful!