Philadelphia Freedom Tour {part 1}

We are a road-tripping family.  Our boys learned to love long car rides early on as we have never lived less than a 15 hour drive to visit family.

Originally we had planned to make the three day drive to attend our 20th high school reunion (gasp!) back home but with all the flooding going on there we decided to postpone that trip until next summer.

Suddenly we had no plans for the fourth.  We looked at the map and threw an imaginary dart.   It landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The perfect place to learn about the beginning of the United Stated of America!  Since my husband had work in DC on the 5th , we extended our trip to include the fireworks in Washington DC on the 4th.

Philadelphia is a beautiful mix of old and new buildings.  We began in the Historic District where we toured Independence Hall.


It was in these rooms that the First Continental Congress met in 1774 to discuss ways to respond to the actions of the British Parliament.  

At these tables sat representatives from each of the 13 colonies.  It is known for certain that George Washington himself sat in the chair still located at the head table.

At this table sat John Adams.  An eerie shadow cast by the tour guide at first glance resembles Mr. Adams' ghost!

Housed inside this gorgeous building is the original Declaration of Independence.

 It is humbling to realize that these men were risking their lives by inking their names to this piece of paper.

It is one thing to declare independence and quite another to achieve it against the greatest world power at that time. 

I loved the hand-written notes along the margins even though I couldn't read what they said.

This statement by Pope Benedict XVI reminded me of the signers of the Declaration.

It is becoming ever clearer that only moral values and strong convictions, and sacrifices, make it possible to live and to build the world.  If there is no moral force in souls, if there is no readiness to suffer for these values, a better world is not built; indeed, on the contrary, the world deteriorates every day, selfishness dominates and destroys all.
from Benedictus : Day by Day with Pope Benedict XVI  

Who are the political leaders today that have the backbone and vision of the  men of the First Continental Congress?   I pray that Americans still have the strength of conviction to prevent the total deterioration of the freedoms that this document is meant to provide.  

A statue titled The Signer.  I wonder what our founders would think, now, to realize how many other countries around the globe have based their own governments upon their daring experiment.

Our brave forefathers were men of faith and this beautiful church was one where many of them are known to have worshiped.

The slabs on the ground are burial sites of seven of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, including Ben Franklin.

The Liberty Bell.

No trip to Philly would be complete without running up the Rocky Steps.  Notice the wedding party at the top!

View of Philadelphia from the top of the steps.

Even though there was a lot of walking the boys loved the visit.

Most of the time!  (Just keeping it real!)

See Part 2:  a trip down the oldest residential street in America 
See Part 3:  a visit to Amish country.


  1. What a great trip! And what a beautiful family!

  2. Oh, I LONG to be a member of your family. :) What wonderful memories you always create with your kids. Love that you are a 'road-tripping' family. Love your new phone pics. And LOVE that last photo of KC. Keep it real! H2U!

  3. It is fun to see Philadelphia through your camera lens. I am taking a day trip there on Friday to do a little shopping with some girlfriends. I live a little more than an hour away, and I have visited it so many times that it is not so exciting to me anymore, but reading and seeing your excitement is so refreshing! Thanks! I really need to plan an educational trip there for my boys. I can't wait to read about your trip to Amish country! We are surrounded by Amish farms here.

  4. Thank you for sharing your Fourth of July trip with us in this beautiful post. My boys had a great time looking at pictures of the places where history was made. What an amazing and educational adventure for your kids!

  5. Your boys are adorable. Even the cranky one :-)

  6. I love reading part 1 and 2 of your trip. What a wonderful "field trip"! ;)


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