Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness

You thought this blog post would be called, “West Philadelphia born and raised,” didn’t you? Well yes that was the original plan, but the saying,” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” from the Declaration of Independence captured my attention. And American history is what today has mostly been about. Enjoyable it has been too.

I’ve been craving a good protein breakfast since I’ve arrived. Everything is so carby and full of sugar. I miss my banana protein shakes 😩 I didn’t find anything of the sort, but I did come across a stand that sold eggs and cheese for $2.50. I didn’t know what it actually was, other than the obvious. It turned out to be a 12″ sub 😂👌🏽 and yes it more than satisfied my needs. A bit of hot dog sausage and I would’ve been sorted.

We picked up tickets to Independence Hall, which is actually titled, Pennsylvania State House. A man shouted facts to us, like the notion of independence was actually agreed on July 2nd, and the declaration took a further two days to write and be agreed upon, hence why July 4th stuck. I also discovered that Americans say “burned.” I was rather dismayed by that fact. Burned?! Burnt, darling, burnt. The topic, colonists burnt our royal coat of arms back in the day, causing outrage on our side of the pond.

Our next stop was Liberty Bell across the road. Now not to cause any outrage to any Americans reading this, but it was a pretty crap bell. I learnt today that it first cracked during testing. They tried to repair it, but it cracked again ensuring its inability to never be used again. The bell basically didn’t work from the get go. Nevertheless, I got my Nicolas Cage National Treasure hat on, and tried to be all intelligent like I was code breaking some great American myth.

Inside the centre, I got a lovely pic of Independence Hall too. No filter!

We then went to visit Benjamin Franklin’s grave, which was currently being restored. The grave needs a drainage system, which is being funded by donations to the cemetery (a dollar, hardly breaking the bank). Everyone there was taking it very seriously. No one was allowed past the cones.

Time to eat! A Philly Cheesesteak was on the cards; we were recommended a place called Gino’s Steaks about 40 minutes walk from the historic part of the city. And it was definitely worth the walk.

I ordered an American With. Meaning, American cheese with onions. It was $10.

Yup. I had another 12 inches. Twice in one day.

It was gooooood 👌🏽 afterwards I wanted something a little sweet. Walking through the Italian Market, we walked past a shop that had a sign in the window for chocolate covered bacon. I went in and that’s exactly what I ordered. I went for the PB one, of course.

It was really well balanced. The bacon added a chewy consistency, and the salty peanut butter and bacon both balanced out the dark chocolate, which I don’t usually like. It really wasn’t sickly in the slightest, but maybe that’s because I had just the one! In the Italian Market, we saw a pasta shop. All it sold was fresh pasta. Isn’t that the dream?!

Throughout the streets of Philly, is decorative wall art. Using broken bits of glass tiles and mirrors, plus glasses, bowls and cups. Even bike wheels! It’s actually rather beautiful, and you’ve got to credit the creativity.

We also found a Price is Right style wheel, that helps you solve life’s mysteries. Didn’t solve any of mine.

On the way to the Rocky Steps, also known as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we passed City Hall. I gave a dollar to some classical music buskers; the sounds echoed off the walls and with the cherry blossom petals shining above it, it was incredibly calming. A dollar might have been a bit cheap; it was either that or $20 and I’m not that generous.

Near City Hall is JFK Plaza where the big LOVE sign lives. To our horror, we discovered the sign had been removed for renovation and the whole park was a building site! Typical. It wouldn’t be the first time that love had eluded me 😭😭😭 But then some 15 minutes walk later, we found a different LOVE sign. AMOR ❤️ I posted the below photo on Instagram with the caption that I was carrying a lot of love 😷 haha.

Someone offered to take a photo of me and Emily, but they had cut out most of the AM, rendering it mildly useless 😂 it’s the thought that counts, right?

We carried on towards the Musum of Art, and it was obvious from some distance away that I wouldn’t be able to carry out my plan of running up the Rocky steps. Why? Because the NFL Draft is coming to Philly and they are setting up their stage right in front.

I was still able to see the statue though.

The view was amazing from the top of the steps; shame the stage was in the way. Disappointing. I want to come back to Philly anyway so something for another time.

After a long walk back to the hostel, it was time for tea. I was sat in the kitchen having a cuppa when an American chap sat at the table next to me… The eating noises he was making, made me want to gag. SLAP SLAP SLAP of his lips, getting pizza everywhere. Burping. Slurping. I was so repulsed. And this is coming from someone who is a noisy eater! It was next level, especially as I was trying to write up this blog. LEAVE ME IN PEACE YOU DISGUSTING MAN. I got my own back, by listening to BBC clips on speaker about the news there is going to be a general election. He soon moved.

Time to head out for dinner, and we passed Liberty Bell again. The reflection of Independence Hall looked 👌🏽

This was our first dinner out since arriving in America. We started off with blood orange frozen margaritas.

Shared a portion of nachos that could’ve fitted at least two of my faces in. And I have a big face.

For my main I had butternut squash purée and sea bass tacos, with a side order of this amazing rice and cream corn. It was basically rice, sweet corn, cream and cheese. Oh my days.

I ate way too much, I was a walking meme. We also discovered that our server was called R. Kelly. I had to say the obvious.

On the way back I thought I’d see if Benjamin Franklin was at home. He wasn’t.

Total walked: 12.3 miles / 30, 217 steps. Along with 21 flights of stairs… well we have to walk up three flights just to get to our room!

Wednesday morning we are picking up our car and driving to The Big Apple!


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