Saturday, November 2, 2013

Philadelphia, PA

The fall colors were still spectacular, although we thought that maybe the season might be near its end, as we made our way from Allentown to Philadelphia to visit our friends Carole and Fred. Our timing could not have been better - Fred had both his knees replaced two weeks earlier. Having parked the RV on their driveway we joined Carole in visiting Fred at his rehabilitation hospital; he was due home the following day.

Pennsylvania is a very big state with a shore line on Lake Erie and access to the Atlantic by way of the Delaware River. The states founder William Penn’s father was a friend of King Charles 2nd; the younger Penn became a Quaker much to the King’s displeasure and was summarily sent to the colonies to sort himself out – Penn’s Charter pointed the way for freedom of religion among other things in the US today. Pennsylvania and America certainly benefited from his banishment. Interestingly, the name Pennsylvania means Penn's woods.
While Carole dealt with bringing Fred home we took the Metro into Philadelphia for which the senior fare was $1, the adult fare is $7 so being a senior has some advantages. Two years ago when we last visited the 99percenters were camping around the City Hall which prevented us taking a tour as there was no access. We got off at Reading Market a wonderful fresh food market with its many Amish produce stands and wonderful home cooked food. From there we walked around the city which was very busy hosting the International Police Chiefs Conference. It was not that we were lost, we just did not know where the entrance to the Metro was so we asked a policeman and ended up being escorted by him to the entrance; of course we got a few funny looks from passersby who must have been wondering where the handcuffs were. When we got back to Carole and Fred's we found him walking slowly up and down the hallway on his walking frame; he was in great pain but not complaining as he is determined to get well as quickly as he can.

Sunday was spent relaxing and marveling at the various pieces of equipment Fred had been given to help him dress; different contraptions for socks and shoes all very innovative and amazing. That evening their son Steve joined us for dinner and entertained us all with his stories.
On Monday we headed once again for the city center stopping first at Reading Market for coffee and muffins; Adele's hazelnut coffee needed to be brewed, and…yes she waited for it! By the time (at least 10 minutes) Adele arrived at the table Tom was having a great time chatting up two female Police Chiefs. Tom asked one of the Chiefs if she would arrest this bothersome woman to which she replied “just how long are you guys married?” Foiled! By noon we were comfortably seated in Macy's listening to a Wurlitzer Organ recital in the great hall which has a giant eagle statue; this is the infamous meeting place for locals – “meet you at Eagle!” Then at 12.30 we embarked on a tour of the magnificent City Hall which architecturally resembles a French Chateau it has a huge statue of William Penn on top – the City Hall houses over 400 Courts. After a quick lunch we walked to the Barnes Foundation Art Museum which houses the largest collections of Renoir in the world; Dr. Barnes was a patron of Renoir and started his vast collection well before Renoir was well known. The museum has an eclectic collection of art and artifacts all displayed exactly as Dr. Barnes had them in his home. By the time we finished studying the art it was time to return to Carole and Fred's where we discovered that he had progressed to using a walking stick to get around.

The weather was warm and sunny in the middle of the day but cold at night. We had autumn colors all around us as we walked around the countryside where Carole and Fred live - it is lovely here.  We like really Philadelphia; it’s a lovely historical city.

No comments:

Post a Comment