Tag Archives: Philadelphia

If We Were Having Coffee-Catching Up

If we were having coffee… on this blustery South Jersey morning, I would invite you in, offering a cup of strong French roast or tea if you prefer. I would apologize for my long absence from the Coffee Share siting that life simply got in the way for a bit.  You’d completely understand, I’m sure.

Things have been happening around here, I’d explain. In the months I’ve been away, young Mr D has graduated from college and moved into the working world, still finding his way but moving forward just the same. My darling Miss Dee is working her way through her collegiate junior year,  shuttling between home and a university 45 minutes north. She’s become very disillusioned with said university, both the classes and living away so has decided to return to our local college next semester. This is a happy decision for me because it will lighten my worry field a bit!

As for me and the D-man, we’ve just been tap dancing through the school year, working on some home renovations and enjoying time with friends and family. What more could we ask!

If we were having coffee…I would say that while on the topic of friends, I was happy to spend this past Sunday in the company of my oldest and dearest, four girlfriends I’ve know for over thirty-five years! How wonderful and relaxing it is to keep company with people who know you so well and share so much of your history.  We’ve grown into such diverse, busy lives; one a single working mom, one a divorcée with grown children, one a retired widow and one like me, married and finishing up raising her children. We find it impossible to get together more than a few times a year and yet, despite the time and our differences  we still connect the moment we get together, talking in an abbreviated language only we understand and laughing at old jokes only we would get. One friend just returned from London where she went with her daughter to cheer on our local Philadelphia Eagles football team, and one just returned from Spain where she visited her daugher who is studying abroad. As you can imagine, we had lots to talk about!

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that we took advantage of our school holiday yesterday by hopping on over the bridge to Philadelphia and visiting the Museum of the American Revolution.  It’s been open for a few years now but we’ve never had a chance to go before. My whole family are history buffs, in fact, my father-in-law taught high school history several careers ago! He is like our own private tour guide when we visit historic places! This trip, however was just me, D-man, and Miss Dee.

The Museum, located at 3rd and Chestnut, right near the historic district, is set up wonderfully efficient, starting with an introductory film about the Revolution, then winding through a circle of displays chronicling it from year to year.  There is a giant replica of a liberty tree complete with an actual section taken from the last one that stood in Boston.  They have artifacts and stories from soldiers on each side and the civilians caught in the middle as well as lots of interactive displays. I found it interesting and informative especially the section on how the Revolution effected the Native Americans, which is a subject that isn’t given nearly enough attention. Probably the most important artifact on display there is the tent that housed General George Washington through out the war. Amazingly it survived in remarkable condition, handed down from generation to generation and donated along with his personal duffle bag to the museum when it opened.  What an incredible part of American History.

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Miss Dee channeling her inner revolutionary by sitting in a replica chair from the first Continental Congress.

It was a great way to spend a rainy Friday and I would highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the Philadelphia area.  Tickets were more than reasonable,($19 for adults with a discount for students and educators) and parking at a nearby garage was less than $20.

Well, if we were having coffee…I would probably notice that it was time to start my day.  The bathroom won’t clean itself and the groceries won’t magically appear in the pantry.<sigh> Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me catch up a bit.  Hop on over to Eclectic Allie and catch up with a few more friends or even join in Weekend Coffee Share yourself.  I’d love to hear what you’ve been up too!

Happy Saturday!

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Christmas Postathon Day 12

A holiday outing you looked forward to as a child

The outings I most remember are the trips I would take each year with my mom and my grandmother (my mother’s mom) to see the Christmas displays in Philadelphia. We would hop on the Patco High Speed Line near our home in Jersey and 20 minutes later we would be in center city Philadelphia right beneath 8th and Market Street. I remember climbing the stairs from the subway station being completely awestruck. The hustle and bustle of the city combined with the holiday decorations was mesmerizing.

The windows of the stores were filled with elaborate displays; fancy dresses and toys and little Christmas scenes. Remember the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie has his nose pressed against the store window ogling the Red Rider B-B Gun? That was me! Mom had to drag me away.

Our first stop would be the light show at Wanamakers department store.  Every two hours this magical show with music and lights and colored fountains would play in the center of the first floor. You had squeeze in and find  a comfortable place to sit or stand, if you were a kid you could usually get away with sitting on the bottom of the displays. By the time the show ended (I think it was about ten minutes) I always had a kink in my neck from looking up but I didn’t mind at all!  You can still see the light show now almost the same as it was then only now the store is owned by Macy’s instead of Wanamakers.

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Next stop was lunch in the restaurant on the upper level of Strawbridge and Clothiers, usually just sandwiches and tea. My grandmother loved their tuna club! I was usually too anxious to eat much.

After lunch we would head to my favorite place-Lit Brothers Enchanted Christmas village! Display after display of holiday scenes, candy shops, toy shops and anything else you could imagine. We would walk along a little wooden fence gaping at the animatronic people and animals enjoying their Christmas celebrations. I could have stayed there all day but unfortunately there were lots of other excited children waiting in line behind me.

For some really great old photos of the Enchanted village check out this neat blog called Life in the So-Called Space Age.

Unfortunately Lit Brothers closed down and the Village was relegated to a basement or storage area and all but forgotten. For a while it was in the care of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Then disappeared again. Recently though, I’ve heard that parts  have resurfaced, one section in Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum.

I’m glad that other children will get to enjoy it. I would like to see it again in its original state, all together but I guess it would never look the same as it did when I was eight.