In saying that, however, I have a couple of admissions to make. The first being that Philadelphia is not a new city to me, though it still is very exciting. You see, I lived in Philadelphia for a short time in college. The other admission, get used to seeing lots of pictures because I plan on uploading a few.
So what did we do on our first and second day in the city? Since the actual conference doesn't start until tomorrow, Diane and I have done a TON sightseeing.
After quickly unpacking, Diane and I took the city by storm. First on the list, was accidentally stumbling upon the LOVE statue designed by Robert Indiana, a Mooresville native. It is this statue that helped give Philly its nickname.
Next came a quick stop at the Liberty Bell as we were on our way to the Visitor Center.
From here, I highly encouraged Diane to make a trip to the Shane Confectionary with me. I remembered this very quaint and authentic candy shop from my previous stay in the city and thought she might enjoy it.
And last on the list was a nice stroll down Elfreth's Alley, which is the oldest continually inhabitated road in America. To say that this road is beautiful sounds a bit funny, but it truly is. I love this street so much that I have had my picture taken here twice.
We slept in a little bit on Tuesday. After a long day of traveling and sightseeing, it was nice to get a bit of a rest. Diane and I started our morning with a quick bite at the Reading Terminal Market. This placed is filled to the brim with food vendors as well as other novelty shops. It's a fun atmosphere to get a true sense of Philly while also having the added bonus of people watching.
After grabbing a quick bite, we headed off to get our tickets for Independence Hall, a Philadelphia must-see. If you miss Independence Hall, then you miss Philadelphia. This is the place where our country began. The place where the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams met with many other men to discuss the trials and tribulations of forming a country and lasting government. Can you tell I love this place?
Last on list of places to see was Eastern State Penitentiary. This was actually my third trip to this historical landmark, however it was just as amazing as the first two trips. ESP was the first penitentiary created. When it opened its doors, it's main focus was on reformation of the inmate. Through solitary confinement, an inmate was supposed to be able to learn a trade during their 2-6 years in prison, while repenting their misdeeds in hopes of becoming a contributing member of society once released. There were obvious flaws in the system and in 1971, ESP was forced to close its prison doors. You are now able to tour the stable ruin and experience what it might have been like to be in prison in the early 1800s.
After leaving ESP, we made a quick stop at the Free Public Library of Philadelphia. We are librarians after all. To be perfectly honest, the building is amazing, however there seems to be a large area of wasted space. The children's department, while staffed with wonderful and helpful people, was in the basement. It was a bit small as well. However, with 54 branches, I guess a large space isn't needed.
Diane and I decided to bus back after the library because we were EXHAUSTED. We rested for a bit, ate dinner at an overly crowded Maggiano's, an Italian restaurant filled to the brim with visiting librarians. On a full stomach, we hit the sheets to get prepared for the First Day of PLA. Stay tuned for more of our adventures.