Trip to Pennsylvania - Part I

Max’s civics club worked very hard this last year to raise enough funds to go on a trip to Pennsylvania. They did: bake sales, a car wash (did I mention it was 36 degrees the morning we started washing cars?), calendar sales, bulb sales, and more. Enough funds were raised to pay for seven students and two chaperones. Several other parents and two siblings (Colette included) went along on the trip as well. Technohubby had originally planned to go, but he used quite a bit of his vacation time with his hospital stay and recovery earlier this year, so opted not to spend most of the rest of it on the civics club's trip.

For our lodgings, the group rented a large home in the Pennsylvania countryside, right in the heart of Amish country. The house had three levels, five bedrooms, two baths, two kitchens, and was beautifully situated on 45 acres of land. The expansive lawn in front was so beautiful, and we all enjoyed watching these geese parents and their brood of goslings meander all over it every day. This is just some of the front lawn, looking towards the house. The boys discovered that there was an otter living in the pond too!

We traveled down to Pennsylvania on Monday. On Tuesday, we drove into Philadelphia for a full-day of touring the historic sites. The first stop of the day was the National Constitution Center.

Here is our group waiting to go into the National Constitution Center, with Independence Hall in the background.

The boys with their wristbands for admission.

Two quotes in the lobby poignantly display two opposing viewpoints on the Constitution.

Our visit there began with a multi-media presentation that was a quick lesson in American history with an emphasis on the Constitution. The major part of the museum has excellent displays depicting various aspects of the Constitution (no photography allowed). Then as you exit that part of the museum, you enter a room full of life-size statues of the men who were the delegates to the Constituional Convention.

Above the lobby is a display of all the state flags.

Then it was time to move on for our tour of Indpendence Hall, my favorite place in Philadelphia!

The Assembly Room in Independence Hall. Oh, if these walls could talk! In this room, the wording of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and finalized. We held a special fondness for the table at the top left of the room, because that’s where the delegates from New Hampshire sat.
I love the beautiful, simple furnishings in this room. It makes me think of the small tables where Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott wrote their famous novels, in the sense that it reminds me that great thinking happens best when ensconced in simplicity.

The lovely room we exited through to the outside. All the paint colors in Independence Hall are exact reproductions of the origianl colors.

The group then walked a few blocks on the cobblestone streets of historic Philadelphia…

…and arrived at Benjamin Franklin’s print shop, post office, and the site of his home. The post office is still a functioning U.S. post office, although it deals only in stamps and letters. It is also the only U.S. post office that does not fly the American flag, because its existence pre-dates the founding of the United States.

Between the post office and the print shop (the print shop not being in its original location) is a brick tunnel. Benjamin Franklin’s home was originally situated through this tunnel.

The print shop was a re-creation of print shops of the era.

I love the tools of historic print shops!…ink and letters and words and paper and smudgy aprons!

One of the best things about this print shop was that hanging everywhere were Benjamin Franklin’s words!

Then it was a short walk back to the main historic area to view the Liberty Bell.

We returned to the house for burgers and hot dogs for dinner. The guys did the grilling!

The students loved the volleyball court, where many, many games of volleyball took place during our stay.

Once it was dark, it was time for s’mores…every night! In addition to preparing all the dinners ahead of time (even hamburger patties were seasoned and formed and frozen ahead), our family also provided the group with homemade marshmallows for s’mores. We made plain marshmallows and coconut ones. And let me just say that a coconut marshmallow…well…it takes a s’more to a whole new level!

Trip – Part II coming soon.

A Visit

A luna moth spent the day on our deck! We were thrilled! We haven’t had one come for a visit for two years.

It was a good day for hanging out on the deck!
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