Last Saturday, Megan and I flew to Philadelphia for the Sungard Summit (the software company we use at work). Our flight left from John Wayne early Saturday morning and we made it into Philly via Atlanta around 8 pm...long day! Sunday we slept in and went to the opening session in the afternoon. The weather wasn't too cold I think the high was in the high 50's. That night we went out to eat at an old Irish Pub, McGillins. I had shepherd's pie. The food was great. Monday morning however was really cold. I think when we left the hotel it was around 32 degrees...BRRrrrr! After our seminars were done we went over to the historic area and walk around. The first thing we went to see was the Liberty Bell. What a piece of history! I had somehow imagined it to be bigger than it was but nevertheless it was beautiful. There were no more tickets left for Independence Hall so we decided to walk to several other sights. Washington Square was a block or two away so we went there. We saw the tomb of the unknown soldier and and eternal flame. It is always sobering to reflect on so many brave Americans who have given their lives for our freedom. Next we walked by the City Tavern and then stopped by Christ Church. This church dates back to Washington. It was an experience to go in and see the place where George Washington worshipped. As we were taking pictures we found the Washington's private pew and even got to sit in it. Lafayette also sat there. So much history! If only the walls could talk. We then walked over to Betsy Ross' house. It was closed so we just admired it from the outside. It is quite a small house. Next we went to Elfreth's Alley, our nation's oldest residential street. It was like walking back in time. And people still live in these houses that were built in the 1780's! We happened to come by Christ Church Burial Ground where Benjamin Franklin is buried. It was closed but we saw it through the gate. Just down the street from there was the United States Mint. By this time we were pretty tired and ready to sit down. We did just that at Spasso's, an Italian restaurant where we met the rest of the Biola group for dinner.
Tuesday we had a full day at the conference but we got up really early to go to Independence Hall as soon as it opened. When we turned on the TV to see what the weather was like...ready for this? It was 26 degrees but 17 with the wind chill!!! I have never been in weather that cold ever! So with lots of layers, coat, scarfs and mittens we were off. We got there right before they opened so had to wait in the cold for a bit, but it was worth it. We went in to Independence Hall and got a very informative narrative from our guide. Imagine standing in the room where they signed the Declaration of Independence! Right across from the Convention Center was the Reading Terminal Market with many booths food, produce and products from the local area. The food at the Dutch Eating Place was delicious! But even more delicious were the freshly baked good from the Amish and Mennonite country. I had an absolutely delectable pecan caramel cookie...mmmm!! On our final night in Philadelphia we had dinner at the old City Tavern where they use original old recipes and serve dinner in pewter ware. Megan has Martha Washington's chicken pot pie and I had a huge pork chop with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. For dessert we shared a warm apple crumble with cinnamon ice cream. So delicious! Wednesday we grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks and were back for the final conference seminars. For lunch we took one last round in the market for some lunch and some treats to take home. Then we were finally off to the airport for the long flight home. I was really glad to be back in sunny and warm weather! You can see all the trip pictures by clicking here.