Tuesday, August 2, 2022

History, Skylines, Bridges, Art, and Hogwarts :-)

 July 26 - August 2, 2022
Green Lane (for Philadelphia), Pennsylvania

I'm grateful our drive is a very short 58 miles on Tuesday because the highways are rough. Getting to Quakertown we're again on extremely narrow, high crowned roads with deep edges getting to Homestead Family Campground in Green Lane. It's in need of grounds maintenance, and the office is very rundown, but the sites are all mowed with decent spacing. We have the requested open sky site with 50 amp and electric/water only. 

Picking up our packages from the original campground, Boulder Woods, we're so glad for the snafu that means we didn't end up here! Not only is the road getting there even worse, and the sites very tight between trees, but the hate-agenda flags at the office are a huge deterrent. 

Balancing forecasted heat and rain and weekend crowds means getting into Philadelphia on Thursday. After our disastrous attempt to tour Chicago in May, I'm determined to make it happen here! Finding parking at the Independence Visitor Center gets us easily where we need to be, and we're able to walk right on the Big Bus with tickets in hand. It's hot when we aren't moving, and Tessa moves around under the seats finding shade, but we see and learn a lot in the 90+ minute tour of this special city.

A beautiful combination of historic and modern buildings.

Philadelphia Bourse

One of two dragons in Chinatown.

Chinatown Friendship Gate, 1984.

The art deco bank built in 1930 is now a Marriott Residence Inn.

Gorgeous detail.

I can't imagine the brave and devout Joan of Arc ever pictured herself or her horse in gold.

George Washington the hero soldier on top, allegorical figures of his life in the center, and below are the flora and fauna of America. 

Best known as the Rocky Stairs - at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Reach High and You Will Go Far - Josh Sarantitis, 2000.

Comcast Technology, the tallest building in Philadelphia.

This glass and block building has been home to the Liberty Bell since 2003. Climate control means a blessedly cool place to read about its history, and visit the bell itself.

Dignitaries from around the world have visited the iconic symbol of freedom.

My first impression is that it's much smaller than I expected, and then that it doesn't look real. Still, it's a powerful artifact, and I'm glad we've come to see it. A bit depressing given the freedoms being attacked outside the glass.

Independence Hall - these walls saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Beautifully maintained, it looks like it was built yesterday.

Leaving the city as the rain arrives.

So unlike Southern California, just 15 minutes outside the metropolis we're surrounded by forest.

I sleep late Friday and mid-day we check out a farm-to-table eatery. The Farmer and the Chickpea is a nice surprise in a town of mostly chain and fast-food options. 

Delightfully repurposed industrial space.

Like lighthouses and waterfalls, covered bridges are fun and romantic and make for fun exploration of a new area. They were also something my mother loved to paint. I think the list I have is in driving order, and I don't figure out until we've crisscrossed the same area a couple times that they're alphabetical!! Oh well, they aren't that far apart, and the fieldstone farmhouses and old barns add to the pretty countryside. 

Crossing Cabin Run Creek, an area frequented  by a gang of Loyalists during the Revolutionary War.

All the bridges are still functional and are nearly identical.

We come upon the Van Sandt Historic Airport just as this biplane takes off.

Erwinna Bridge was built in the 1850's and crosses Lodi Creek. At 56-feet long, it is the shortest bridge in the county.

Love the beauty of these fieldstone homes.

Built in 1876, the Sheard's Mill Bridge, spans the Tohickon Creek. Just beyond the bridge is a family campground where dozens of kids are enjoying a warm summer Saturday.

Covered Bridge Park near Pine Valley Covered Bridge.

I love the character in this old gem.

Knecht's Bridge was built on the path of the 1737 Walking Purchase, an agreement between the Penn Family and the Lenape Tribe. The bridge was completed in 1873 over Durham Creek. 

Many of the narrow roads take us through tall hardwoods.

Lots of rain on Sunday night gives us a cooler Monday. Perfect for my return trip to Philadelphia. My first destination is the Franklin Institute where I have a ticket for the Harry Potter Exhibit. I have 90 minutes to explore the museum of science and technology before the exhibit. It's definitely geared toward kids with lots of interactive and hands-on activities. Every room is high energy, with all the kids playing.

As inventor, citizen, statesman and scientist, Franklin influenced us on many levels.

Exhibits on the Changing Earth, the Heart, the Brain and Electricity fill one floor.

In 1851 Jean Foucalt proved the Earth turns using a pendulum like this one that hangs four stories. It's mesmerizing.

Wright Brothers' Model B, the first to be mass-produced, 1911.

A room full of items made with a 3D printer includes this full-size motorcycle. Headlight, tires, engine and mirrors added after printed - it goes 15 mph!

Few fantasy worlds have embraced as many people as that created by JK Rowling. For 25 years Harry Potter and his allies and enemies have been part of our lives. For my bedridden mother that world was where she spent many, many happy hours. When I sorted her home after her passing I found both hardback and paperback copies that were nearly worn out. It still makes me so sad that she passed before the last book was published. I'm sure in her next life she'll find her way to the rest of the story. 

If you're a fan you should enjoy these :-) If not, we can still be friends. 

Two walls filled with the Marauders' Map shows all of us who have entered - way cool.

Luna Lovegood is one of my favorite characters - I wish I could read her copy of the Quibbler! 

One of Luna's fun outfits :-) 

Each of the four Hogwarts' houses have their own area.

Robes worn by Gryfinndore's famous threesome - Ron, Hermione and Harry.

Dumbledore's most powerful wand - the Elder Wand - part of the Deathly Hallows. 

Worn by the two potion masters - Professors Snape and Slughorn. 

The Great Hall - wish I could wave my wand and fill my table with food!

Love this - tea cup with the Grim in the Divination Class.

Tri-Wizard Champions

Tri-Wizards Cup - it's beautiful. 

The Golden Snitch

Black Family Tree wallpaper - another favorite of mine.

Full size Chamber of Secrets - I wish the snakes moved :-)

Dumbledore's Robes when Harry finds him across the veil in the Deathly Hallows.

The last thing on my list is Carmen's Cheesesteaks and the Reading Terminal Market. Like the Franklin, there's a parking garage at the market so very convenient. Unfortunately I get there at peak time and end up standing in line for over an hour to pick up two sandwiches to take home. They're very good, but boy do my feet hurt by the time I get back to the Jeep!

The Market is phenomenal, with every kind of food you can think of!

The line is two blocks long, friendly people to spend an hour with.

The goal's in sight!

Contrafuerte by Miguel Antonio Horn, installed in 2021 across from the Market.

Philadelphia is such a beautiful city, I wish there was an RV park closer. I'd love to return and see all the museums and street art!

Elliott set up his own home office by himself, next to Daddy's desk :-)

Reese rockin' her Minnies.

Tuesday we're on to Delaware for 10 days. 


  1. Jodie, your photos are totally awesome!

  2. You had me at Hogwarts! LOL!
    You guys have courage to do Philadelphia in August for sure.
    Love the covered bridges and of course lighthouses and waterfalls (obviously). Do you think those are universal loves?
    I don’t get 3D printing or how you can get an object from a printer and I’m too lazy to look into it.
    I want to own Luna’s skirt and sweater. You’ve made me want to go back and reread all the books and see all the movies again although they got rather violent toward the end for me. I assume all the stuff collected for the exhibit was donated by the movie folks???
    Those must have been some fantastic hoagies to wait an hour for them. I've never even heard of them. Not sure anything would be worth that kind of wait for me.
    Elliott is too funny is his home office. And Reece is looking mighty sassy there.

    1. Oppps make that Reese - I've got peanut butter and chocolate on my mind.

    2. Not much choice for weather when coming all the way here from the West - we have to be somewhere in August on our way to Virginia :-) Wish we could travel everywhere in the Fall! And this current heat wave in Delaware is making Philadelphia seem like a cool memory. Yes the artifacts were either on loan from or collected from the movies. Remind me when we see you about Audible books - don't forget! Sadly the cheesesteaks weren't as good as we'd hoped but I think it's because they were so slammed and just couldn't keep up. Our grands definitely keep us smiling :-)

  3. The first time I was at the Home2 Suites across from the market, the hotel didn’t have the windows installed yet. All those wonderful smells were swirling up into the building. I asked one of the workers where I should have lunch over there and he said “Carmens!” So delicious!

    1. It's so fun that I had captured the building as one of the pics :-) You could spend a month and not eat at all the offerings in that market - so fun!!

  4. Those eyes of Elliot’s!! I did read the first Harry Potter book and Mike’s Dad Nat read the first and second. How fun for you getting to visit the Harry Potter museum! When I see a covered bridge I think about the book Bridges of Madison County.

    1. I can't imagine only reading one of the books :-))) That exhibit was a great surprise for our time there. We enjoyed visiting the bridges while in Madison County - but that's a movie that I haven't seen!

  5. That above comment is me, Janna, not sure why I’m anonymous!

  6. Great tour of Philly! I'm sorry those sandwiches weren't worth the long wait, though I doubt any sandwich would be. I'd love to go to the Hogwarts Museum, who knew there was such a thing? I just read a couple reviews of your "original" campground dated in 2021, Sounds like a positively charming place, glad you didn't end up there.....

    1. I don't know if the exhibit will travel but I know it's only at the Franklin for a limited time. They built such an amazing "world" that I can't imagine it being anywhere else! Oh man we would have been miserable at that campground, definitely not our tribe.

  7. How cool that you got to go to the Harry Potter exhibition! We love the Harry Potter books and have read all of them. And have seen most of the movies. I'm ready to go back and reread the books! Listening to them would be fun, too, as you suggested to Sherry.

    We've never been to Philadelphia, but it's definitely on our list. And it looks like your tour was great! For some reason, I also always assumed the Liberty Bell was huge. And I definitely want to go to the Farmer and the Chickpea!

    1. There were references to the Harry Potter Broadway play and I was ready to reroute us there! You and Eric will love Philly, so much art and progressive history - and that market is incredible. Yes, I always thought the bell was enormous so a big surprise!

  8. Boy, lots has changed in downtown Philly. I lived in King of Prussia for 12 years and my father worked in Center City. He had a favorite restaurant in Chinatown that we loved. The Liberty Bell used to be out in the open. It was much simpler back the. The Franklin Institute was much small and the heart wasn't as pretty. Glad you got a little flavor for the city. The Constitution Center is fairly new (2000). A must on your list next time. The covered bridges are beautiful. Elliott is so cute and Reese is rockin' it.

    1. Chinatown was the busiest place we saw in the city. What a great city to live in with all that history and art. I was tempted to stop at the Constitution Center after your note, but my feet were done in at the sandwich line :-( On that hot day I was really glad the bell was in an air conditioned building!

  9. It’s Gay…Big city skylines are always a wondrous sight for this small town Georgia girl. Love the covered bridges and gigantic green trees, but the gorgeous field stone homes stole the show for me!

    1. I can't figure out why the Comment area doesn't give you the option to add your Name/URL like it does me. It's a pain that I now have to type in my name every time, but at least I can get past the Anonymous. I love those skylines, looking straight up at all those giant structures looming overhead :-)) That field stone sure gives old barns an added boost - they're gorgeous.

  10. I'm so glad you like and visit cities, I do love the architecture but probably wouldn't go there. I like those country places the best. Now the museums, I'd want to spend days at.

    1. We wouldn't want to live in those cities but really enjoy visiting and seeing all the history. I'm a big museum fan!