Day 4 was so much fun! Once we got home that morning, we packed up our gear (aka super warm jackets, hats, and gloves!) and headed out for an afternoon jammed packed of touristy things!
We started off by purchasing tickets to what is called the Big Bus tours. I loved this so much! The tickets are reasonably priced and the neat thing about the tours is they have 27 stops in Philadelphia and you can get on and off at whatever place you want for the whole day.
The boys and I totally digged being able to get on and off at whatever stop we wanted. We got to hit almost all the major sites of Philadelphia within a single afternoon. It was so fun!
We started out the day by catching the bus at The Hyatt at the Bellevue (Stop 18). It has a gorgeous view of City Hall. The Big Bus Tours was one of the best ideas we had while in Philadelphia. The Big Bus Tours are double decker buses with tour guys who point out lots of historical buildings and facts as you pass by. Even though we saw and visited most of the major attractions, there are too many historical facts we learned and I took way too many pictures to put them all in one blog post. So I’m just going to show the highlights of the tour. You’ll just have to go yourself and see everything for yourself. J
So after the Hyatt at the Bellevue, we rode the Bus around and stopped at Christ Church. Just a little background on Christ Church, it was established in Philadelphia in 1695. Not only did Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, and John Adams attend this church, but so did George Washington and his family. It is so beautiful inside. The neat thing is that it is not only a historical landmark but it is still a working church. We actually missed the last service of the day by about an hour. I would have loved to have been able to sit and listen to a sermon in the same place as our founding fathers.
As we walked around inside, I noticed that there were some plaques on some of the pews. So I went into one of the pews to get a closer look at the plaque. When I looked closer, I was blown away by what was on the plaque.
I was sitting in President George Washington’s pew. I was so in awe. As I sat there, I couldn’t help but think of how he must have poured his heart out to the Lord, begging for wisdom as he lead this fledging country in a war for freedom and independence. I sat where he and his family prayed to the Almighty to guide him as he lead the world’s first experiment for a democratic republic. I can’t lie when I say that chills raced up and down my spine to be in the same pew as the man who had one of the most profound influences on how our country was run. “It is impossible to govern the world without God or the Bible.” – George Washington
The next stop we made was to Betsy Ross’ house. We didn’t go into the museum part but we walked around her courtyard and saw the outside of her home.
We hit up Elfreth’s Alley next. I love this little alley because it is the oldest residential alley in America and it dates back to 1702. Two times a year the residents of Elfreth’s Alley open up their residences and allow visitors to tour their historic homes. The next time this event took place was a week after we went home and I was so devastated to miss it by a week! I loved Elfreth’s Alley because no two homes were the same. There is one house for sale and it’s starting price is a mere $800,000. So if anyone wants to donate towards my house fund, I won’t say no! 😛
Elreth’s Alley was amazing!
The next thing we hit up was The Rodin Museum. It was so beautiful and ironically, contains only Rodin pieces. Rodin’s most famous piece would have to be The Thinker. The brothers were super excited to the “I’m thinking” skit from Night at the Museum.
The details on these gate doors below is absolutely insane. I loved seeing the intricate details that Rodin painstakingly carved into the metal. It took him 37 years to work on the original doors for an arts museum in Paris. The inspiration behind The Gates of Hell came from Dante’s Inferno. (For more information on the Rodin Museum or any of his sculptures, click here)
That’s all for part 4 (part 1)!