Friday, June 20, 2008

Day Thirteen - Land of the Free

Zimmermans and Lathams

The crack has silenced the Liberty Bell since 1846.

Frisbee in the parking lot

General Washington's headquarters

Soldiers' hut at Valley Forge

June 19 - Puppy, now on its fourth name (though I can't remember what it is), dominated the morning agenda. Kallie even got up at 9:30 to play with her.

At around 11:30 we had things together well enough for our afternoon history expedition. We planned to go to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in center city Philadelphia and drive through the Valley Forge National Historical Park on the way.

The Valley Forge part of the trip worked great. The park is beautiful and green this time of year. We stopped at the soldiers' huts and at Washington's headquarters to look around. Kallie, Dan and Liz played frisbee while others went to the bathroom before we headed on to Philly.

The trip to downtown included our first "crisis" with Sac. Kay programmed "Independence Mall" as a destination--the area that includes Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell is often referred to this way. As expected, Sac took us down the Schuylkill Expressway toward downtown, but surprisingly sent us onto I-476 after just a few miles. Even more surprisingly, when we got to the intersection of I-476 and I-95, she directed us south on I-95, away from downtown. We were already far off track, and this move just made then problem worse. When I saw the Chester City Limits sign (a city between Philly and Delaware), I knew I needed to turn around. I cursed Sac and exited, eventually to get headed north on I-95 and back toward the city. In the meantime, Kay analyzed the problem--there is an Independence (shopping) Mall in Chester--Sac was taking us there.

We arrived at the intended Independence Mall just a few minutes after the other car in our caravan (being driven by my nephew Dan, who knew where he was going (or whose GPS was properly programmed)). Unfortunately, all the tickets to see Independence Hall had been distributed, so our tour was limited to the Liberty Bell and lunch. This may have been just as well since Kallie was starving, having not eaten breakfast. She got something to eat at the City Tavern at about 4 p.m. The food at City Tavern was just OK, but the Thomas Jefferson 1774 Ale was great. I drank two big glasses and slept almost all the way home while Dan drove. My sister Judy (one glass of chardonnay) drove the CRV. Thanks, Dan and Judy!

Back home we played with puppy and found the LSU-UNC game from the College World Series on TV. Very sadly, lightning and rain postponed the game. After one episode of Law and Order, SVU, most of the crew stayed up to watch a movie. I went for some reading (JR Moehringer's memoir, "The Tender Bar", about a '70s childhood on Long Island being raised by men in a bar) and an early bedtime.

This afternoon we'll head to the north side of Philly to visit June and her family. She's been my friend since high school. Her concern during my medical odyssey has been very heartening. We saw her in NYC a couple years ago, but it will still be fun to see her again.


kellyandmark2005 said...

Wow, apparently it has been a really long time since I saw the Lathams (minus Laura). Dan is so tall!!!!! Looking forward to seeing you later in your adventure.
Kelly Schlafman, formerly Ilse:)

dadlak said...

Thanks for the note, Kelly. We are looking forward to seeing you as well. Yes, Dan is 25 years old and a recent law school grad. Younger sister Liz just graduated from Penn State with two bachelor's degrees.