Today, Tara and I boarded the R5 and headed to Center City, Philadelphia. It had been quite some time since I was last in the City of Brotherly Love. I believe Tara was five when we last took this adventure, and we didn't much make it out of the Gallery (shopping mall that connects to the train station) when she was ready to go home!
We rushed to catch the 10:02 train, and I had to scrape together the $12 fare (I read the rate schedule wrong) because I didn't have time to stop at the ATM! With .22 cents to spare, we settled into our ride to the city. I have always loved watching the world go by from the train. I made the commute to the city for a short while during my Bell of PA career, and later would go about once a month!
Within an hour we had arrived at our destination - Market St East. I had forgotten how overwhelming the city can be. It took me a couple minutes to get my bearings and find an ATM. With that out of the way, and cash in my pocket, we headed out to the street. First we saw this awesome mural.
Once on the street, I immediately saw the "purple wings" I was looking for that designated the stop for the "PLASH" bus. This bus makes a loop around the city to the most visited tourist stops; the Liberty Bell area, the zoo, art museum, train station/shopping area, etc. You can pay $2/adult for each destination, or $5/day. I chose the $5/day per person since I didn't know how much we would be up for. My one "mistake" was not crossing the street to get the bus that was headed for the Liberty Bell, instead we got on the one just coming from there. It was a nice ride, and in my mind not really a mistake. I got to see where the bus stops for the next time, and I also got to see many things I have not seen in a very long time. I always seemed to be the one driving, so it was nice to sit back and enjoy the scenic tour. We never stopped long enough for photos, and I did not have a good seat for snapping out the window, so I have nothing to share from that journey!
We got off the bus less than a block for the Liberty Bell building, quickly moved through the line and bag check. We scanned the displays and then went to see the bell. There was a rather annoying school group there...they were "hogging" the bell, laying on the floor trying to take pics under the bell, and just plain annoying me. I just wanted 30 seconds of and unobstructed view of the bell for a photo! This was NOT the place to try and take a group picture of all the kids!
We then headed back outside and decided to take a carriage ride. This is something I have always wanted to do and Tara like the idea. Our horses name was DaVinci, and I think our tour guide/drivers name might have been Kim. We went through the historic area, Society Hill & Old City. It was an hour tour, and we learned some interesting facts. I thought it would be a great way to take pictures, and in some cases it was, but because it was "spitting" rain, she had put the top up which sometimes impeded my shot!
I personally could spend hours walking around ALONE with my camera, so many windows, doors, statues, sculptures, textures, etc to photograph. Here is just a couple!
Philadelphia has hundreds of murals on buildings, through the Phila Mural Arts Program
The ones I saw from a distance were pretty amazing. I think they need a mural tour!
Once our tour was over, we hopped on the "Phlash" bus and headed back toward 12th & Market. I was wanting some lunch, and wanted to take a swing through the Reading Terminal Market.... WRONG thing to to on a Friday afternoon! It was packed, and something made Tara sneeze. She sneezed from the time we walked in until a couple minutes after we left! I'm hopping the train early some Sunday morning and hitting it when it opens!
We both had decided we had enough of the big city for the day, it takes some adjusting to the ENERGY.
Before we left, I did catch a glimpse of Billy Penn a top of City Hall.
So that's it for our day, we caught the train and headed back home! Have to run to a much needed hair appointment!
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