The fun part of our visit to Philly was to be with my parents. This trip was my daddy’s idea. He had seen it in a movie and he knew Philadelphia has a lot of history to teach.
It was in Philadelphia that the Declaration of Independence was signed. This city is full of historical sites. The tour bus is only good if you are with children or seniors, otherwise it’s a waste of time. This city is well signalized for tourist to find their way around. However, downtown seems to be abandoned by city officials. The giant City Hall and all the buildings around were well maintained but the streets were dirty with broken sidewalks. The LOVE Park had loose cement tiles, people sleeping on the floor and few young people attempting to skateboard, even though it is prohibit.
I don’t know if it was because I got the flu there but I didn’t really like Philly. I had to drag myself around every day, maybe that was it. On the other hand, my parents offered us a lot of fun.
My parents are very religious people. One of the tour bus stops is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. Mom had to find out the mass schedule. Not even on vacation, she would miss it. Later on the same day, we had to go to mass… Did you know that basilicas are the highest ranking churches and it must be declared – basilica by the Pope? And Cathedrals is “the office” of the bishop, which is where his throne is. If this bishop is the head of the diocese, this cathedral will outrank any basilica in his diocese
My mom is very skinny but eats like football player after a game. I had to carry snacks for her but nothing would fill her up. We stop at an Italian restaurant for an early dinner. It was a family style restaurant, where dishes are made to share, but she had to order one plate only for herself. My father was unable to eat everything and we were all amazed how mom was able to eat everything. When we were leaving, she said ‘It would have been better if I had switched plate with your dad. His plate came with a lot more food.” I was speechless. My dad said: What? You are still hungry? Paulo only laughed. We passed by the Terminal Market on our way back to the hotel. My mom made Paulo see if it was open, she wanted to eat oranges. “Dear Lord! Mom how come you are so fin?! You eat all the time!” Well, it was closed. Paulo had to go on a wild goose chase to find oranges for her. Luckily, he found oranges at 7Eleven around the corner. This may be the reason she seems to love him more than she loves me.
I hope my negative remarks do not stop you from visiting Philly. The Independence National Historical Park is a nice place to learn the US history. This city offers plenty to do depend on your interests. Go to http://www.visitphilly.com/things-to-do/ for more ideas.
photos by Paulo Dasilva Photography