I’m sleeping in Philadelphia tonight. From my hotel, I can see out over the Delaware River. I love visiting new places!
We spent yesterday in New York City with my brother and his family. The kids ran wild in Central Park and then we headed to Time Square. My brother reminded me of the last time we were there together. It was four years ago at Christmas, and it was so packed that we could hardly walk down the street. His then four-year-old son had told us that it felt like “a wildebeest migration.” It was busy, but not quite a wildebeest migration this time.
This morning we drove the rest of the way to Philadelphia. The last time I was in Philadelphia was two years ago when the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Conference was here. My tourist activites then lasted a total of about three hours. Besides, that was Philadelphia without children, which as you know, is not at all the same as Philadelphia with children.
The tickets were already gone for Independence Hall, so we will have to hit that in the morning. But here we are at the Liberty Bell.
Here’s another picture of it (Christian isn’t in the picture because he was asleep and Rachel looks like this because she is in the middle of yelling “Taylor keeps bumping me with his arm!” This is, of course, why Philadelphia with children is not the same as Philadelphia without children.)
The high point of the day was a multimedia presentation at the National Constitution Center about – of all things – the Constitution. It talked about the freedom the Constitution provides. As a genealogist interested in immigration research, I was most affected by the scenes of immigrants entering the U.S. – especially being here in Philadelphia, one of the major points of entry for immigrants in earlier centuries. Not to be sappy (because I really hate sappiness), but I couldn’t help thinking of my own ancestors and the millions just like them who took incredible risks to start new lives here where they believed they could find opportunities to create better lives for their families.
(By the way, if you are interested in immigrants who came to Philadelphia, check out one of my all-time favorite websites, German Roots. You can read about early arrivals to Philadelphia (1700s) here and about later immigrants (1800s) here.
The second high point of the day was finding Christian’s missing pacifier on the street corner of 5th and Market right outside the Independence Hall Visitor’s Center after having lost it a couple of hours earlier.
Tomorrow, I’ll speak at 1:30 p.m. at the American Swedish Historical Museum. I’m excited!