Thought I'd take you on a little tour of historic Philly since I've just come from there. I was part of the Faith and Freedom Tour hosted by The Providence Forum in mid-July. This was a walking tour of the historic district and let me tell you, we made tracks from dawn till dusk:) But I never felt tired as the history there is so rich and awe-inspiring.
Our hotel was in Old City Philly and was bordered by a brick wall that had been erected in 1793 during the yellow fever epidemic. Betsy Ross's house was just a street away as was Christ Church where many of our founding fathers worshipped. I could see the steeple clearly from my room and it was a sight to behold at night, all lit up and backed by a full moon! Imagine my delight when I checked in and learned I was to stay a week on the very sight George Whitefield built his preaching house and preached!! Those of you who follow this blog and know what a hero Whitefield is to me can imagine my delight. Needless to say, my sleep was very sweet upon this hallowed spot:)
Here's our fearless leader, Dr. Peter Lillback, (author, historian, and seminary president) wearing a William Penn hat. Since Philadelphia is essentially a Quaker city, this was very fitting. Plus all that glorious sun was HOT!
Here I am smiling as I'm about to eat! In back of me is the historic ship, Moshulu, where we began the tour with an unforgettable dinner. See below:)
Best crab cakes I ever tasted! Isn't the presentation lovely?
Guess I'm a member of the clean plate club as I ate everything they set down in front of me;) And then they served dessert! Of course I ate all that, too.
There were so many memorable moments during the tour. But if you asked me to choose one I'd confess it was meeting George Washington at Valley Forge. This re-enactor had me smitten the moment he opened his mouth:) His voice was so rich and his manner so commanding and eloquent he belongs in a novel!
I'm not a small woman but George was SO TALL I felt a little like Martha Washington beside him. He kindly reminded me that no lady would ever stand to the left of a gentleman and so I corrected my error. Oh, those 18th-century customs!
Here is George Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge, one of the most amazing sites I've ever seen. This is the original house and I have pictures of the interior rooms I'll share with you in a later post. Stone houses are very common in Pennsylvania and are so very charming. Hard to imagine the very tall Washington stuffed into this house with Martha, officers and wives, and regular soldiers. There's a tranquility here that is hard to describe.
Our group at Valley Forge posing beside a Revolutionary War cannon on the site where soldiers had their huts. That particular winter was very brutal and many of the men went without shoes and were dressed in rags and had little to eat. To say it was a moving experience to even stand upon the same ground is an understatement. We owe those men and women so much.
This is a charming 18th-century garden behind Dolly Madison's house not far from my hotel. I went there every chance I could:)
Remember Morrow and Aunt Etta's mantua-making shoppe in Courting Morrow Little? I placed it here in Elfreth's Alley, the oldest existing street in America. See that "to let/rent" sign? You can imagine what I wanted to do! I think this would be a wonderful place to live and scribble stories.
Ben Franklin made his home in Philly and there are a gazillion bobble head Bens in his honor! I passed on these but chose some books and CD's instead. My favorite for the moment is Thomas Jefferson's Fiddle as he was a fine violinist.
I have over 1500 photos from this trip and will share more as the month of August unfolds. Please stay tuned as I'll post more reader/TLC pics later this week! Bless those of you who are sending them to me. I light up like a Christmas tree when they come in! Next Monday, the official launch day for The Colonel's Lady, we'll begin the giveaways - can't wait!