Day 1: September 20, 2017
Where US was born

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Technically the trip started yesterday when I left Ohio along with my uncle and cousin but it was a day of expressways that, even though there was some nice scenery, didn't yield a single photograph. I really thought today might be similar as we picked up another cousin at the airport and headed into Philadelphia but our hotel is in the heart of the old city and we ended up having a very productive afternoon. We walked to the visitors center at the Independence National Park and, finding things fairly uncrowded, decided to head across the street to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I caught cousins Kim and Lisa slipping around the bell to get a look at the uncracked side and they got uncle Eldon to stop for a picture next to it.

Then it was on the Independence Hall where there was a short wait for our ticketed (They're free.) tour. That gave everyone a chance to get some pictures of the exterior.

Although the building is basically a reconstruction, some pieces of the 1753 original are incorporated. The first picture is of the Supreme Court Room and the others are of the Assembly Room where the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution were debated and ultimately approved. The carved shell in the third picture is the only piece of original woodwork in the Assembly Room.

I found nearby Congress Hall every bit as interesting as Independence Hall. Presidents Washington and Adams were both inaugurated here and the Senate and House of Representatives met here until 1800. The furniture in the second floor Senate Room is original. Almost all other furniture is not.

After some rest time at our hotel, we strolled a few blocks to the historic City Tavern. It turns out that the current building is a 1976 reproduction of the original 1773 tavern but it fooled us. Great food, marvelous service from a staff dressed in period costume, and fantastic ambience that included some delightful harp music.

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