Philadelphia
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Tuesday evening we were invited for dinner at our good friend’s home, Alex and Michelle Palamarchuk.  They treated us to an authentic home cooked Italian meal.  It was wonderful to see them again and enjoy their company.  They live in a renovated historic townhouse on Catherine Street.  Their neighborhood is a beautiful example of urban living.  They are close to everything in the city, with good restaurants and shops close by.  The city is very livable and charming.
Alex and Michelle with Tony and Monica
Wednesday we visited the Liberty Bell at Liberty Bell Pavilion, in the park just across from Independence Hall.  Since our visit, the Liberty Bell has been moved to a new location, just about 100 yards from its original to a new facility that will give viewers more room and better viewing of the bell.  From here we went to the National Constitution Center, just opened on the 4th of July, it is the only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution.  With its numerous multimedia exhibits, it makes the visit fun and educational.  The center is dedicated to documenting how the constitution has affected the lives of Americans.  It does not however contain a copy of the U.S. Constitution, that document remains displayed in the National Archives in Washington D.C.
Constitution Center
Monica at the Constitution
Center w/statuesof signers
Thursday was yet another fun filled day.  We started with a scenic trolley tour that had a professional tour guide who brought the old and new Philadelphia to life on this narrated tour.  The trolley took us past many of the historic sites.  We jumped off at The Academy of Natural Sciences, this natural history museum operating since 1812 offered us a unique opportunity to learn about the Philadelphia and surrounding areas environment and its unique species.
Painting of the signing of the Declaration
The old Exchange Building
City Hall
We then crossed the street to The Franklin Institute Science Museum.  It is a multi-story city block packed with hands on learning about astronomy, space exploration, electricity, physics, meteorology, life and earth sciences, transportation, and history.  There are excellent displays of Ben Franklin’s contributions and inventions.  We scarcely had time to see it all. 

Later that evening we met Alex and Michelle for dinner at one of their favorite neighborhood restaurants.  We enjoyed the restaurant and the company.

Friday was used as a “catch-up” day, doing some grocery shopping, cleaning and other chores.  We did squeeze in a visit to the Betsy Ross house that we toured.  It was interesting to read about her life and know the history behind why she was selected to make the first flag of the United States with its 13 stars and stripes.

Saturday we set out back down the Delaware river with a goal of reaching the Chesapeake.  We hated leaving Philadelphia as we enjoyed our time there immensely.  It is a very livable city with its convenient transportation, great restaurants, and cultural spots.  We will look forward to our next visit to this lovely city.
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