September 5, 2009 - Philadelphia

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
Click here for video #1
Click here for video #2
Click here for video #3

The morning started out with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. The kids enjoyed drinking "coffee" from the coffee cups (orange juice). And Graham ate and ate as always. We are only 15 minutes from downtown Philly so we were walking into the Liberty Bell as it opened. I have reviewed the kids so much on what we are going to see on this trip that they though they were going to see the "Statue of Liberty Bell"-oh, well they were half right and the Statue is tomorrow.

We had a few minutes before our tour of Independence Hall so we took our traditional back picture. Reagan and Anderson humor their Mom and Dad in so many ways. They know exactly what to do when we take our customary back pictures. The tour of Independence Hall was a little boring for the kids-Mom too. But we hung in there until the end (well, b/c Dad was still listening to the ranger!) Afterwards, we walked to Betsy Ross' house.

We had a pretzel in her courtyard and rested for a few minutes before going out front to take a picture by the sign. The Breedings were coming out of Betsy's House and got our attention. They have been on a 17 day East Coast tour and are about to head home. It was wild running into someone from home. Since everyone's parking meters were getting ready to expire we forgot to take a picture. We had a few more minutes so we walked a few blocks to Elfreth's Alley with its tiny street and cobblestone drive. Cobblestones were in one of the kids books so they enjoyed walking on them.

Down a few more blocks, we visited the Fireman's Hall Museum. With Anderson in tow, we had to stop. Since today he says that he is going to be a "fireman that rides on the back of the truck and waves to Reagan." The museum had fireman boots and coats to try on. Of course they were way too huge and way too heavy for the kids to wear but they enjoyed trying. Robby picked up the car and came to pick us up and we headed to the Please Touch Museum.

There was a park near the museum so we had our picnic lunch. There was a slide and swings nearby but we wouldn't let the kids play yet. They could not understand that better things were to come. We were at the Please Touch Museum for 4 hours. By the time we left, Graham had fallen asleep. There was water play, a grocery store, a kitchen, McDonalds, a hospital, cars and trucks to drive and the list goes on and on. It was quite expensive since we had to pay the $15 fee for everyone-including Graham. But I must admit that we definitely got our moneys worth. We only lost Anderson one time and I think that is pretty good. It was crowded but not crazy crowded so the kids were able to do what they wanted to do. We ended the day with the carousel ride. On our walk out, we finally let the kids slide down the slide in the park but the swings were very, very full. Anderson was about to have a meltdown over the swings but did calm down when we started looking for frogs on the walk to the car-whatever works.

In the car, Graham was asleep, Anderson was tired and Reagan was wired. We only had a few miles to go but knew everyone needed a short rest. We sat in our parking spot as long as we could until driving on. We drove around the Love Statue a few times and then began looking for a parking spot for the Reading Terminal Market. By this time, Reagan was asleep too. We loaded them all in the strollers and headed on with our 3 sleeping babies. At the market, we immediately found what we were looking for: Bassett Ice Cream. Reagan and Graham did wake up in time and we finally woke up drooling Anderson to eat his ice cream. He sat there a finished it off before waking up enough to talk. Robby again went to pick up the car and then picked us up.

Our next stop was Tara's favorite store: Ikea. It was great and we love the family parking. We walked around upstairs and then had supper-meatballs, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and a panini. After supper, we walked around downstairs and bought some tupperware and 2 nightlights. Even though the purchases were small, I don't know how we are going to get them home. The ride home was about 30 minutes so Grham slept and Reagan and Anderson watched a movie. Back in the hotel, the kids got baths and now Reagan and Graham are sleeping. Anderson has been talking on the phone while laying in his spot. No telling when he will go to sleep! NYC tomorrow.

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