July 23, 2008
Trivia Q & A: (answers will be given in a day or two)
1. What city lies across the river from Philadelphia, on the New Jersey side, that makes you think of a small round fruit? (had a meeting there today).
2. What important early colonist was the mastermind behind Philadelphia's streets and organization? (you know his name well)
3. Name the famous bell in Philadelphia (we saw it, and took pics)
4. On July 4th each year we celebrate what about the Declaration of Independence? (be careful with this one).
5. How many years did the US government reside in Philadelphia while Washington DC was being built?
6. Which of the following wars have memorials in Washington DC: WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War
7. Which boy in our family and which girl are alike, in that as children they never seemed to be able to keep very clean? (hint: as evidenced in our day today with certain chili dogs)
8. The Lincoln Memorial has inscribed on its walls two important talks by Abe Lincoln; name either one of these.
9. What important cemetary is across the river from DC, which we spent over 1 1/2 hours trying to find (but never did enter into)? (hint: we have a relative buried there)
10. What is the tallest structure in Washington DC?
We learned these things, and many others today, as we spent time in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC -- not bad for a day's work.
In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, we toured Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were created and signed), and also the nearby Congress Hall. Here it is important to note that we were able to fully complete the tour of the upstairs. Many years ago, when our children were young, we were forcibly evacuated from this area in the middle of our tour, because someone tripped a security alarm that caused the floor to be cleared immediately. We aren't mentioning names, but Dustin might be a good source to quiz regarding this story from the past.
In Philly we sampled the local cuisine -- Philly cheesesteaks and chili dogs; Tyson did his best to wear his food as long as possible on his face. We also took a horse drawn buggy ride through the streets (the horse's name was "Spot" ??) learn all about the city as we clip-clopped along. For example, street names were of trees, so that even the illiterate could know that Walnut Street was Walnut Street, since it has that kind of trees planted down it. Chesnut Street had chesnut trees down it, and etc. for other streets. Benjamin Frankin was a Philly-ite and we also saw where Dolly Madison lived before she married the man who later became the 4 president of the United States (James Madison). We learned that many Revolutional War prisoners held by the British were buried in a mass grave here; we saw a memorial built for them.
At noon we sped down the road through 3 other states to visit Washington DC. for the afternoon, after checking into our Capitol Heights, Maryland hotel. A quick dip in the pool for the boys and we were off for a frustrating search in Virginia for a certain important and very large cemetary. We finally found it, only at the last minute to take a wrong turn that had us back over the Potomac River and into DC again. So we spent the next 30 minutes trying to find a place to park -- arrggghhhh! Then spent an hour walking around seeing the important memorials and sights of the USA's capitol. As it began to get dark we enjoyed seeing the lights come on the buildings. Then we noticed the sky was unusually dark. Then a drop of rain. Then another. Then it started to come down lightly -- we were in the most open part of the "mall" (grassy area near the Washington Monument) you could be in. Wisely, mom started to run!! And then it came - almost a cloudburst of rain, descending on us like the innocent targets we were. We had brought our umbrellas, but they were in the car! By the time we arrived at the car, some several blocks away, we were a very wet, bedraggled mess. Mother Nature got us again! But then, as we drove around DC for a final look at the important buildings (like the White House and the Capitol) the heavens opened up with a downpour that made it nigh unto impossible to see but 10 feet in front of us, notwithstanding the wipers were on full speed and we were driving 10 miles per hour. This kept up for almost 30 minutes before it slowed sufficiently for us to at least reach a restaurant for dinner and our hotel after that. The rain was also accompanied by lightning and thunder -- bright and flashy, but the thunder was not as crackling loud as we experienced Sunday in Boston. But it is clear -- this country can really get rain when it wants to. Riley has definitely determined he wants to live here in the East, just for the rain.
Blisters, sore legs, wet hair (mom hates that!!), and an always hungry Tyson have brought us to the close of another eventful day. Hope yours was a good one too!