Thursday, July 4, 2013

Okay, Now I Get It

I couldn't think of a more fitting topic for today's post than my recent trip to Philadelphia.

I grew up outside of Philly, in rural Pennsylvania Dutch country. My school classes took field trips to local dairy farms and apple orchards. But with so much history close to home, there were many times we'd load onto buses for the approximately 50 mile trip to Philadelphia. I have fond memories of those field trips. It was a thrill to go to the city. I know I'd been to Independence Hall and Betsy Ross' house and I'd seen the Liberty Bell but what I remember most about those trips is buying freeze dried ice cream and over sized pencils in the museum gift shops.  Having grown up in that area, I have a lot of love for the city. I know I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to go. Plus as I got older, I learned about all the other fantastic things Philly had to offer such as concert venues, sports teams and cheese steaks.

When I began planning our trip to Pennsylvania early this year, I wanted to be sure we spent a couple days in Philadelphia. It meant a lot to me to be able to show my other half where I grew up. He had never been there and he's a bit of a history buff. His father is a retired history teacher so it's in his genes! One of my closest friends lives there and I hadn't spent quality time with him in years so it was sure to be a fun couple of days.

I haven't lived in Pennsylvania in almost 20 years and I haven't lived in a big city in almost 7 (and that was in the south so it's not quite the same). I don't think we were in Philly for much more than 12 hours by the time I realized I didn't like it anymore. It hit me after being brought close to tears from the rudeness of a Dunkin Donuts employee and hearing myself walking around whining "What stinks? What is that noise? Why isn't anyone following traffic laws?"  I guess I'm just not a city person anymore and I'm okay with that...

But despite my complaints, as soon as we entered the historic district I felt uplifted. I looked around and remembered why we'd gone there. It was a beautiful May day, sunny but not hot. People wandered around but it wasn't crowded. There were tour guides in historic costumes leading groups of school children and shouting out facts about the landmarks. It was easy to see why I'd been so excited to come back and see these sights again as an adult. While looking at the Liberty Bell or inside Independence Hall, I felt a little overwhelmed by the knowledge that our country started here. I don't think I ever realized that as a kid. And to watch someone else who really cares about history take it all in was pretty cool.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you were uplifted even though people were rude (ah, I miss dunkin donuts though!). The roots and history of our country are pretty amazing!