Well, those goofy rodents missed the flight to Philly. We were halfway to the airport last Thursday when we realized that they weren't with us. We assumed that they had opted to spend a quiet weekend at home. Fortunately, Snickers was along and was willing to work extra hard.
I had indexing meetings Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, so Fred took the kids (and Snickers) around to see the sights:
Thursday night we planned on making our obligatory visit to the local Hard Rock Cafe, but alas, when we got there it was closed for a private party. The kids were pretty tired, having spent the afternoon hiking all over town, so we just headed for the Olive Garden and called it a day.
Friday night we went out to dinner with some of my indexing friends. We asked the concierge to make reservations for us, and we wound up at this really cool Mexican restaurant called Tequila's. We didn't actually HAVE any tequila though, as we opted to share a pitcher of sangria.
I blew off Saturday's meetings so that I could play tourist, too. We started off at the Liberty Bell:
From there we moseyed over to the Betsy Ross house, where we met a gentleman in period dress. I asked him if he would hold Snickers for a picture, and he said, "Well, we're really not supposed to, but I will." I said no worries and asked instead for a picture of him with the kids while Annabelle held Snickers:
Afterwards Mike was asking why the colonial dude wouldn't hold Snickers, and I said that I thought it was probably because it would be an anachronism, like George Washington with a cell phone. "Maybe," Mike sniffed disdainfully, "but I am pretty sure that if somebody had offered George Washington a stuffed anteater, he would have accepted it."
Here is a bloggy bonus for you! I don't often post pictures of myself, mostly because I am usually the one holding the camera but also because I seldom see a picture of myself that doesn't make me cringe. But Fred took this one of me with a stone cat in the courtyard of the Betsy Ross house, and I think it's kind of nice:
After the Betsy Ross house, we stopped at a t-shirt shop so that Mike could get a shirt in some color other than black in hopes that it might help him stay a little cooler in the sweltering heat. He chose the anti-black, Pepto-Bismol pink:
Saturday afternoon we were joined by my friend Gretchyn and her daughter Alex. (You may recall that Gretchyn and Alex visited us in Europe in November 2004 while Fred was deployed.) We grabbed a bite of lunch and then went to Independence Hall for a tour:
Gretchyn is one of a number of moms I have been communicating with for years via an online message board. These are my "invisible" friends, and I love having them as close as the nearest keyboard no matter where in the world I may go. We had a real-life meet-up of some of these friends Saturday night when we went to City Tavern.
We were quite a crowd! Besides the 4 of us and Gretchyn, her husband Troy, and Alex, we had Deana and her husband Steve, Evey, and Laurie. We sat girls on one end of the table, men and children at the other, and laughed all night long. Unfortunately there is no photographic proof of this meet-up in which everybody looks reasonably good, so you will just have to take my word for it.
Sunday was our last day in Philly and the day that we had saved to visit the anteater at the zoo. We had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and then took the bus out to the zoo. I got to spend more time with my invisible friends, as Deana joined us with her kids and so did Jodi and her family. I was able to get a decent picture this time (that's Julianna--Deana's eldest--making bunny ears behind her mother's head):
Naturally, the first exhibit we visited at the zoo was the noble anteater. Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be seen. This could have put a distinct damper on the mood, as not every zoo has an anteater and we make it our business to see them whenever possible. Julianna's favorite animal, the red panda, was also MIA, and after the initial jolt of disappointment had worn off, the girls were able to make jokes about how the animals had ditched the zoo and gone to the mall to get out of the heat.
At the end of the afternoon, we made one last visit to the anteater exhibit, where Snickers was thrilled to meet up with one of his Philly relatives:
In fact, he was so thrilled that he didn't want to leave, even though the zoo was closing:
We were halfway across the 34th Street bridge when the bus we needed to be on pulled away from the bus stop. Fred got hustled for some bus tokens and a few dollars, and I decided that I really didn't want to hang out on this street corner waiting 45 minutes for the next bus. So we did the only logical thing and started walking. We passed by the playground that was in the intro to the TV show "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and Mike wanted to stop for a picture. About that time though, I stepped over a used hypodermic syringe, and the urge to stop for photo ops drained away.
We made it to the Museum of Art before the next bus came along. If you're not familiar with Philadelphia, let me just assure you that that is ONE LONG HIKE!
From there, we went back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, took a cab to the airport, ate supper, and then sat on our plane for over an hour waiting for the thunderstorms to go away. Needless to say, it was very late when we finally arrived back at Fort Knox. It had been a wonderful trip though!
Oh, remember the rodents and their nice, quiet weekend? Apparently it was one nonstop party:
2 weeks ago