philly - through the eyes of a tourist

since i'm dealing with a missing camera and broken laptop - i've decided to write a post i had wanted to do last summer.  i live in the burbs outside philly and have gone into the city for a variety of reasons over the years....theatre, dinner, special events, airport pick-ups or drop offs.......but its not unless we have out of town guests do i visit as a tourist. 

philadelphia is a beautiful city rich with history and full of beautiful little side streets and old buildings.  i remember as a child the standard 3rd grade class trip was to see the liberty bell.......that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.  so last summer i found myself in the city with the boys and decided to pretend i was a tourist and view the sites as an outsider.  we tried to hit as many tourist sites as possible...as well as some off the beaten path spots.

there is a wonderful free program called Once Upon a Nation.  it is a walking tour of the key locations in historic philly.  there are storytelling benches set up throughout the area where you sit and listen to a story about some not so well known events in history.    kids can pick up a flag at any bench and receive stars for each story they hear.  the boys really enjoyed looking for each bench and listening to the different types of stories. 

then there were times we didn't even have a specific destination in mind.  we just walked towards the direction we needed to head into and if a particular street caught our attention - we headed down it....just looking at the architecture of the buildings and the cobblestone streets......

at one point we stopped to play in an urban playground.  we have playgrounds a plenty in our neighborhood where grass is not hard to find...the boys didn't really like to be playing on old, broken cement....but they did like the water towers.  i remember them asking if it was ok for them to actually let themselves get wet!  it was all so foreign to them - being a city kid trying to just be a kid and have fun.

we met up with a friend who took us to see the magic gardens  which is an amazing place to be.  if you ever get the chance to be in center city i would highly recommend going to visit there.  i've posted pics of some of his other mosiacs in this post.   it is the perfect place for kids to run around and just play hide and seek or simply get lost.........

like any city - while there is miles of cement - you can still find some green
and catch a performance or two

i'd highly recommend taking the time to visit your neighborhood as a tourist if you ever get the chance.  so often we take our family and friends and even our surroundings for granted.  just as its important to reconnect with our family and friends - its just as important and fulfilling to reconnect with where we live.  there is a reason why we live there - sometimes we need to be reminded of that reason and appreciate all it has to offer. 

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