Tuesday, July 29, 2014


since being in DC, i planned on at least going to one other major east coast city. originally i was going to go to boston, but it was farther than i thought and the plane ticket was too expensive. i was also thinking about going some place in the south, like charleston, but once again, it was too far and i did not think it was worth the plane ticket. about a month ago, i finally decided to go to philadelphia. everyone told me i should go to to new york, but i opted out. i found it a bit too intimidating (way too crowded) and too big for a quick visit.

i am glad with my choice of philadelphia. it was the nation's first capital and is filled with american history. also, it is the perfect place to go for a weekend. there is not too much to do and everything is relatively close together.

i left very early in the morning on a megabus. it was a good option. the buses were in expensive, pretty roomy, and i got there earlier than the printed arrival time.

they dropped us off at union station. the station is in the art deco style and has this pretty statue.

my first stop was the university of pennsylvania's archeology and anthropology museum.

their big artifact is the sphinx. it has been in the museum since 1913 and is the largest sphinx in the western hemisphere.

after, i got a mushroom philly cheesesteak at jim's.

if bob saget (aka danny tanner) approves, then i approve.

after, i stopped at the independence hall visitors' center to get a map. there, i found out about the todd house, where dolley madison lived with her first husband and their two young children. at the time, there was a yellow fever epidemic in philadelphia. almost 1/10 of the city's population died within four months, including her husband and one of her young boys. i signed up for the tour (you can only go in the house through a tour). til then, i walked around the area.

i found carpenter's hall 

after scadadling for a while, i went to the todd house. i really enjoyed the tour. the ranger was great. unfortunately, i did not get very good pictures. 

the second story parlor.

after, the ranger took us to the bishop white house. he wanted to compare both the todd home (a middle class home) and the bishop white home (an upper class home). bishop white was a reverend and an important figure to the episcopal community.

the white family's second kitchen.

after, i took a walk to washington square. philadelphia loves two men the most: benjamin franklin (their #1) and george washington. franklin was raised in the city, while washington lived in the city during his presidency.

the tomb of the unknown revolutionary soldier. many soldiers were buried in mass graves under the park.

on my way to the hostel, i got a coffee malt milkshake.

i stayed at the philadelphia house. it was very different from my experience staying at the HI hostel in downtown san francisco. first, it does not look like a hostel. i was outside on my phone confirming i was at the correct address when the receptionist came out. second, as soon as you walk in, you have to take off your shoes. third, there are no locks on the individual bedrooms, only a security code lock on the front door and small lockers in the commons big enough for a school backpack. fourth,  it was significantly smaller. it could not have fit more than 16 people. 

even though it was different, i still enjoyed my time. they try to make the place much more homey. in reality, if you want to do anything, it has to be in commons, because the rooms are so small and there are only two bunks inside. it worked out well, because i was out most of the time.

now for a song! as i am typing, this song popped up on my pandora station. it's very good and is really self-explanatory when you take a listen. it makes me sway.

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