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United States Mint

Day 3

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Benjamin Franklin’s grave

Our last day in Philly. Thankfully I was feeling tons better. Also, we were up in time to partake in our hotel’s breakfast service. It honestly felt like we were at a hostel, except with better rooms. I shan’t begrudge breakfast, but I was a bit disappointed. To rectify this, we headed back to the Reading Terminal Market. There is a place there called Beiler’s Donuts and it is awesome. You can watch them making the donuts from scratch. The donuts are quite unique and very rich. If you love sweet things, you will love this place. We did one of their specials, which was 2 donuts and a coffee. One of mine was topped with bacon. Mmmmmmmm so yummy.

From there, we headed to the highlight of my day: the United States Mint! I used to collect coins when I was a kid, so being inside the Mint was a total throwback to childhood. Of course you are not allowed to take photographs while inside as the Mint is still in operation as it has been since 1792! It was so cool looking down on the process and picking out the individual machines and materials and then reading about how each of them fit into the process. It was such a big deal to me that I took an eternity observing everything. My boyfriend was finished long before me. It was so fascinating. I highly recommend going there. Especially if you ever collected (or still collect) coins.

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Tomb of the Unknown Solider of the American Revolution

Across the street from the Mint is Benjamin Franklin’s grave. What we didn’t know is that the Christ Church graveyard is closed from December to February. Oh well. At least the grave was right next to the sidewalk so we could see it though the bars (as the graveyard is walled up).

From the graveyard, we walked down to Washington Square to check out the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution. It was such a peaceful and beautiful place. It is such a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made to obtain our own freedom, something I feel many people take for granted and even abuse. Despite being a chilly day, it is well worth taking a few minutes to just sit there, observe the monument, and dwell on how blessed you are. Very humbling.

At this point, there was really not much else for us to care to see. So we just walked around. The streets in downtown Philly gorgeous. I love how narrow they are. Reminds me of Europe (England and Germany especially). We were surprised at how many were actually for sale. I wouldn’t mind moving to Philly. Sure, we were only there a couple days, but it was such a nice experience.

2017-01-26 15.34.19After a while of wandering, we found our way to the Delaware River just beyond the Korean War Memorial Park. There are a few things to see there. Besides a fountain (that disappointingly wasn’t running), there is a cruiser and submarine museum, a ship that is also a restaurant, and the Independence Seaport Museum. If you have any maritime interest, this is the perfect place for you.

We then remembered that we hadn’t been to the National Constitution Center yet, so we made out way that way. We made a quick stop by the beautiful Christ Church as we were passing by it anyway. This is the same church associated with Benjamin Franklin’s grave, just a few blocks away. It is a lovely building. Amazing that it is more than 300 years old! One thing I found fascinating about the church was the tombstones in the floor. I’m never sure if people were actually buried there, but out of respect I still didn’t walk on them.

With the quick detour out of the way, we continued on but didn’t make it though because we passed Brave New Worlds, a comic book store. I wouldn’t have minded not going in, but my boyfriend knows how much I love comic books, so he prodded me inside. Per usual, I was there for a long time. By the time we left, we didn’t have time to go to the NCC. Instead, we headed back to the Starbucks we’d been to already to use the restroom and get something warm to drink. I ended up chatting with the barista about Trump being in Philly that day. 2017-01-26 16.26.51

The last thing we did was have a philly cheesesteak. You cannot go to Philly and not have one. We were set to go to Geno’s, but a girl at the Reading Terminal Market recommended us to go somewhere else. So we did. We went to Jim’s Steaks on South Street. I didn’t find it too bad, but it was definitely not the best thing we ate in Philly. I’m thinking I didn’t do it right. There is a science to ordering a cheesesteak and mine may have been too fancy. I got provolone and mushrooms with no onions. Next time, I’m going to have to go with the Cheese Whiz like it is supposed to have (so I hear).

So that was that. With time running short, we made our way back to our hotel to pick up our bags and walked to the bus stop. It was a nice, albeit it chilly, walk. We snagged ourselves some healthy-ish ice cream (made from coconut milk) from Trader Joe’s and sat in the absolutely beautiful 30th Street Station. This is basically the Grand Central of Philly. Such a beautiful building. Kinda annoyed I didn’t end up taking a picture of it.

After three days in Philly, it is a city we definitely plan on visiting again. There is so much left to see and experience there. The city has personality and a wonderful history. I highly recommend a trip to Philadelphia. Just go in spring or summer 😉

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