Sunday, March 25, 2012

Madame Tussauds.....

#141 go to Madame Tussauds in NYC
DONE!  3/18/12

I love when I spend the day with the right person that makes my day complete.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Aisha.


Aisha is a great friend.  She make you laugh at the silliest of things & she is truly the Queen of the One Liners.  She has this certain gift for being funny at just the right moment.  And when I knew I was getting the tickets to go to Madame Tussauds, there was only one person to invite along.

Aisha. 
Clearly she is the right person for todays mission.

Madame Tussauds....where do I even begin?  This mission was a riot.  To be honest, I have to say that so far, this mission has had the most laughs.  My face is still achey from laughing so hard!  And this mission will also include more photographs than any other mission, some a little naughty!

So let's start with a little background on Madame Tussaud....
Madame Tussaud was born Anna Maria Grosholtz in Strasbourg, France.  Her mother worked as a housekeeper for Dr. Curtius in Switzerland.  Dr. Curtius was a doctor who was skilled in wax modelling.  It was Dr. Curtius who taught Anna Maria this skill that would make her famous.  She would go on to make many famous figures in her side show, starting with Voltaire.  She married Francois Tussaud & called her show Madame Tussaud's.  In 1835, she would end up in London & open the first museum.  One of the main attractions was the Chamber of Horrors which featured victims of the French Revolution.  The gallery showed off more than 400 figures.  Fire damage in 1925 & German bombs in 1941 destroyed most of these figures.  The original molds for these figures are on display at the London location.

Interesting facts -
1 - The Beatles 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' album cover uses several of Madame Tussauds wax figures.
2 - In 1933, the London Madame Tussauds unveiled an Adolf Hitler figure.  It was constantly vandalized & in 1936 it was heavily guarded to prevent any further damage.
3 - In July 2008 a German man got passed the guards & decapitated the Hitler figure.  It was rumored that he did it as a protest, but later it was told he did it to win a bet!

Madame Tussaud locations -
North American - Vegas, DC, Hollywood & NYC
Europe - Amsterdam, Berlin, Blackpool, London & Vienna
Asia - Bangkok,  Hong Kong, Jakarta, & Shanghai
Australia - Sydney
Feel free to check out all the locations if you can!

So I went to the Madame Tussauds in NYC....Times Square to be exact.  Outside you can find a statue out for display & yes, you are expected to go up to it & take a photo with it.  Outside on this day, Morgan Freeman.  I had taken a picture with this figure about two years ago.  I can't find the picture now....bummer....but that's okay, for today I will take plenty of amazing pictures.

So we start with Benny Hill. 
I loved his show when I as a kid.  It was very naughty, but truly funny.


You start by going to the top...the 9th floor.  A guide will greet you in the elevator & direct you to follow the signs to get from room to room, & floor to floor. 

When the elevator arrives at the top, you walk into this room that is dimly lit & is clearly going to amaze you. 

You will be greeted by this gorgeous water fountain.  Atop the fountain is RuPaul.  And she looks fierce!  This will be my favorite display in the museum.  It's perfect.  Truly over the top, flashy & just right for RuPaul.



Nicolas Cage & I chatting...

Chilling with Samuel Jackson & John Travolta...

Hanging with the Osbournes...Ozzy & Sharon are so sweet!

And then I ran into Susan Lucci...

And I was happy to brag about running into Brangelina...I was pointing out her tattoo...

I tried to get Aisha to grab Denzel's junk, but she only laughed...

 Belting out a song with Billie Holiday...

Hanging in the Man Cave with Tony Goose Siragusa...

Maya Angelou told a joke & cracked Aisha & Princess Diana up!

Marilyn Monroe was gorgeous in person...

Josephine Baker showing off her curves...

I love old horror movies...so seeing Boris Karloff as Frankenstein & Bela Lugosi as Dracula was a great highlight for me!


Aisha was getting freaky with Michael Jackson...


Why yes, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, I am that short when standing next to you!

Why yes, that is Joe Namath I'm huddled in front of....

...and Joe grabbed my butt!!

I warned her not to make the Hulk mad....but she wouldn't listen!


And now for the best photo on the day....that's right...it's me & the Great Satchmo, Louis Armstrong...



So with this latest celebration done, I am now at the half way mark.  20 celebrations done, 20 celebrations left to be completed.

I'm feeling good.  I'm excited about the things I've done to celebrate turning 40.  My 41st birthday is less than two months away & I am not even concerned about finishing the rest of these 40 celebrations.  I was looking forward to finishing them before my 41st birthday, but now I just don't care.  I feel like this was meant to be & if it takes a little longer that's okay.  I'm still doing my list.  I'm still having fun.  And I'm done worrying about other people's schedules.  I'm going to get out & have fun at my pace.  Anyone who can't make it, can read about the fun they missed.

Good things are coming up.

Whoever said 40 was the new 30 was wrong.
40 is amazing! 
40 is wonderful!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nothing beats running into an old friend....

I had the best summers of my life at North Shore Day Camp. 
I learned how to swim thanks to Myra.
I learned how to dance thanks to Ivy.
I learned how to make a God's Eye thanks to Janice.

I met some of the best people on Earth who would go on to be my summer family.

North Shore Day Camp...we were better than those brats at CYO!

North Shore Day Camp...uncle's Jay & Rich always looked out for us.

North Shore Day Camp...where you learned to swim, roller skate & play dodgeball all in one summer.

Oh the good old days....

the lunch coolers that stunk
the bug juice we all fought for
the smashed lunches
the cookies
ices at the end of the day; fudgies on Fridays
pizza parties for your birthday
Laces for rollerskating
Adventureland
teen night going to see the Mets & going to Carvel for flying saucers afterwards
Monkees
Gems & Rubies
Ravens & Flames
Teens
(sorry....I don't remember all the boys groups...Cubs?  Indians?  Royals? Chiefs? do I have that right?)  Probably should have ask Mo before posting this....oh well...
movies at the Bellerose Jewish Center on rainy days
the best friends ever
singing on the buses
making out in the woods at Alley Pond Park...when you were old enough!!
swimming at the Aquacade or Jeffrey Garbage
the concession stands...my first job!
sports with Mike & John
dance with Ivy
arts & crafts
Carol the nurse
playing outside all day....regardless of how hot is was
swimming every day
everyone played together
no kid was left behind
talent shows
knock hockey at the pool
going to White Castle near the Aquacade
bus #6


Wow!
Just thinking about all the things we did makes me happy.  My heart gets filled with joy thinking about the amazing childhood I had thanks to my time at North Shore Day Camp.

So why tonight do I wax romantic about my time at summer camp?
It's all thanks to Carol.

A few months ago I was mentioning on Facebook that I wanted to learn to knit.  Myra, my amazing first group leader from North Shore Day Camp suggested that I talk to Carol.  Ahh...Carol....an old buddy from camp.  So that lead to a renewed friendship.

Fast forward to tonight....a trip to a local supermarket & running into Carol.  Oddly enough Carol & I live in the same neighborhood.  Turns out we are a mere two blocks away from each other.  And even odder....I haven't run into her till now!

After a good chat, Carol will call me later on.  A wonderful chat & we are making plans to get together. 

So that led me to review my list & add getting together with old North Shore Day Camp friends.  I think we're going to have to do something...........maybe a reunion at Alley Pond Park.  That would be fun.....hmmm....I'm going to have to work on it.

But for now....here is the list.....

1 - full body massage
2 - take a hike
3 - frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity in NYC
4 - Gravity Hill in Bedford, Pa
5 - learn to speak Spanish
6 - read 'War & Peace'
7 - get a tattoo
8 - take Salsa lessons
9 - take a cooking class
10 - get set up on a blind date  DONE 9/12/11 (with #82)
11 - hostess a tea party    DONE 5/22 & 5/28/11
12 - ride a Harley
13 - buy 40 different pairs of socks
14 - get a make over
15 - get 40 people together for a picnic in a park
16 - go whale watching
18 - cook a Thanksgiving dinner
19 - karaoke night w/some friends    DONE 5/20/11
20 - visit the gravesite of Billie Burke, Glenda from 'The Wizard of Oz' in Vallhalla, NY
21 - learn sign language
22 - paint my bedroom
23 - clean out the living room closet
24 - go to Niagara Falls
25 - Spend the day in Philadelphia   DONE 3/5/12
26 - go on a "spiritual Retreat"
27 - rodeo riding
28 - bungy jumping
29 - walk across the Brooklyn bridge  DONE 11/5/11
30 - go to the Statue of Liberty
31 - start a book club
32 - go skinny dipping
33 - go on a photo taking tour of Queens
35 - get a group of people to walk in the Breast Cancer walk at Jones Beach DONE 10/16/11
36 - write the next great American novel
37 - go to a movie every day for one week
38 - learn to knit
39 - go to a Zumba class
40 - go to a hot yoga session
41 - try the belly dancing class at the gym
42 - visit a state/city that you've always wanted to visit
43 - try pole-dancing
44 - chop down your own Christmas tree
45 - donate to a charity you never thought you would give money to
46 - volunteer at a soup kitchen
47 - volunteer at an animal shelter
48 - go Christmas Caroling
49 - horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park
50 - ice skating at Rockefeller Center
51 - make holiday cards & gifts
52 - trip to Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC
53 - go to Junior's for a slice of cheesecake
54 - volunteer at Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
55 - go to Melba's in Harlem for chicken & waffles
56 - take a trip to the Long Island vineyards
57 - check out the Montauk lighthouse
58 - visit a cranberry bog
59 - go see a Broadway play
60 - visit Mark Twain's house in CT
61 - go to Atlantic City & lay down a $40 bet
62 - hot air balloon ride
63 - stock car racing
64 - white water rafting at the Delaware gap
65 - take a picture w/the Naked Cowboy in NYC
66 - go to Medieval Times
67 - go to a Murder Mystery Dinner
68 - go for good Cuban food in NYC
69 - go to the circus
70 - go to a football game
71 - go cayaking
72 - Fleet Week in NYC
73 - Circle Line cruise around NYC
74 - Hayden Planetarium laser show
75 - Hershey Park, PA
76 - visit a dude ranch
77 - take a photography class
78 - bike riding with Hippie Dave
79 - go on a vacation alone
80 - go to the beach looking for seashells with Hippie Dave
81 - Howe Caverns
82 - go see the Mets at Citifield  DONE 9/12/22 (with #10)
83 - rock wall climbing
84 - fly a kite
85 - archery w/Anthony
86 - go to the Halloween parade in the village
87 - go to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria
88 - go line dancing
89 - Governor's Island
90 - ride the Staten Island Ferry
91 - ride the Roosevelt Island tram
92 - go to a midnight movie show w/Tracy wearing your jammies   DONE 7/15/11
93 - go to the Noguchi Museum in LIC
94 - go to the King Manor Museum in Jamaica
95 - go to the Fisher Landau Center for Art in LIC
96 - go to the Sculpture Center in LIC
97 - go horseback riding
98 - ride a mechanical bull (Johnny Utah's in NYC)
99 - Mystic Aquarium, CT
100 - stop to see the sun rise and sun set on the same day
102 - plan a surprise party for someone
103 - ride the Cyclone & see the Freak Show in Coney Island
104 - midnight bowling
105 - plan a girls night out
106 - try a new hair color
107 - hostess a come as your favorite character/celebrity party
108 - go to the Museum of Sex in NYC
109 - be a nude model for an art class
110 - disco rollerskating
111 - go for pizza in all 5 boros; Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx & Staten Island (Brooklyn 11/5/11)
112 - tour the Brooklyn Brewery
113 - plant a garden
114 - get a drivers license
115 - go vegetarian for a week
116 - find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
117 - go to Adventureland   DONE 7/24/11 with #155
118 - sail in a rowboat on the lake in Central Park
119 - sail a toy boat on the pond in Central Park
120 - make a boat out of materials found in nature & see if it floats
121 - go to Five Guys for breakfast, lunch & dinner so you can say you had 15 guys in one day
122 - go on the ferris wheel in the Toys R Us in Times Square  DONE 8/20/11
123 - go to Alice's Tea Cup in NYC   DONE 1/28/12
124 - go to the Top of the Rock
125 - paint a realistic flower
127 - take a Hudson River cruise
128 - buy a telescope to see the stars
129 - bounce on a trampoline
130 - make a paper mache artwork
131 - go for a helocopter ride over NYC
132 - go to a concert
133 - get new clothes
134 - go through the Corn Maze at the Queens County Farm ~ see if you can get out in 40 minutes or less DONE 9/18/11
135 - grow out your hair for Locks of Love
136 - go for breakfast at the Belmont Race Track
137 - go to Build A Bear    DONE 8/20/11
138 - go to a Cirque deSoleil show
139 - go see 'TheLion King' on Broadway
140 - go see a foreign language film
141 - Madame Tussaud's in NYC
142 - Magical Nights magic show & dinner in NYC
143 - take a jewelry making class
144 - go to Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC
145 - visit the Lous Armstrong house in Corona
146 - go see 'Blue Man Group' in NYC
147 - do a zip line run
148 - take Sara to White Castle
149 - have a party at Laser Bounce
150 - go to Ellen's Stardust diner in NYC   DONE 8/20/11
151 - go for banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery in NYC
152 - go to a tea house with Raul
153 - lose 40lbs
154 - take a pottery class
155 - plan a brunch at 3 Brothers   DONE 7/24/11
156 - hostess a Tupperware party
157 - go to Lucky Chang's in NYC
158 - go to Mudd Works
159 - hostess a Stella & Dot jewelry party  DONE 8/21 & 9/2/11
160 - go for tea at the Plaza
161 - find a second job    DONE Jan 2012   
162 - ride a subway line you've never been on
163 - give up Facebook for 40 days    DONE 3/8/12 
164 - go to Puerto Rico
165 - walk the Great Wall of China
166 - have a cake party
167 - go for Indian food with Awilda
168 - 1984 with Awilda & Denise
169 - buy a new bag
170 - buy a hat
171 - have a wine party
172 - have a slumber party
173 - have a Super Bowl party
174 - go to Bingo night with friends
175 - go apple picking
176 - go pumpkin picking
177 - start a Joy of Cooking monthly dinner club
178 - hostess a Rocky Horror Show at home
179 - learn to play Mahjong
180 - share something beautiful with a friend
181 - visit Natalie in London
182 - make a new friend
183 - go to the Guggenheim in NYC
184 - go to the Brooklyn Museum
185 - go to the Coffee & Tea Expo    DONE 2/26/12
186 - get together with old friends from North Shore Day Camp

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can I survive without Facebook for 40 days?

163 - give up Facebook for 40 days  DONE!

So I gave up Facebook for 40 days to see if I could even do it.  And I am proud to say....I did it!

On Jan. 4th I announced I was going off of Facebook for 40 days & promised I'd return on Valentine's Day.  And yes, I did plan it that way. 

So how did I survive those 40 days of no silly status updates? 
Hmmm...could it be that Facebook is just a crutch to avoid real life contact for some people?  Now there's a thought....


I admit that I missed making silly status updates.
I also missed reading silly status updates from others.
I missed messages from my friends.
I missed playing Words with Friends. 
I missed seeing new pictures & making comments on them.

But I sure as hell didn't miss the drama!  You know...the nonsense of this one talking about that one or the silly he said/she said crap.  And don't even ask me about the exes wife still wanting to friend me.  I didn't miss any of that drama for one second.

So what did I do for 40 days without Facebook....

I got back into playing my Sims 2 game.  Thanks Sara for getting me addicted again!
I had fun making a Sim character for myself....

My chick doesn't work.  Sorry...I work in real life, in this fake game I don't want the real world drama.  However, nothing in the Sims world is easy!  My character made friends with a vampire.  The Count was a good friend....at first anyway.  Things progressed pretty quickly & he became a boyfriend.

After some time together, the Count was kind enough to turn me.  One bite & I was a vampire.

Sadly, things took a turn for the worse & my vampire characters both died.  Guess I should have read the cheat codes on keeping them happy....but alas I did not & so the Grim Reaper paid us a visit.


My sister character in the game moved into the house now available since the Count & I died.  My poor sister...she was so sad about losing us...

I love playing this game!  If only because I love building really wild homes.  And I love not having to play the game fairly by making my people work.  Oh yes...I cheat & give them unlimited money to buy whatever the hell they want.  It's awesome.

Then fast forward to Jan. 26th & a certain friend RENNICK, calling me out on this no Facebook for 40 days mission. 

Apparently since I was posting links to my blog after each entry to Facebook, without actually logging into Facebook, this was considered cheating.  So Rennick was kind enough to text me & call me out on this cheat.  He felt the need to make sure that I did my 40 days of no Facebook fairly. 

After some thought, I asked my friends what they thought & most agreed it was sorta cheating.

Fine.
No worries.
Fair enough folks.

Now where did I leave that start over button?

So Jan. 27th I went onto Facebook & declared that I accepted I was cheating & would gladly start over.  And thus I started over.....


So let's discuss what I missed sharing on Facebook.....

2/11
Whitney Houston found dead....what a shame....another crackhead dies....seriously?  This didn't come as a shock.  Sorry for Whitney's fans.....but what did you expect from her life  after Bobby turned her onto the pipe?  And when oh when will these celebrities learn to stay the hell away from drugs?  And where the hell is her mother while all of this is going on?  So sad.

2/26
Coffee & Tea Festival....great time....sorry you all missed being invited....guess some people better learn to read e-mails & stop whining!  Plus maybe learn that a phone works both ways....so when you ask me why I didn't call, don't act surprised when I say I have a life!


2/29
Davy Jones dies....this is sad news.  Sorry, but I loved Davy when I was a kid.  He'll be missed.



So now I'm back to Facebook & I have to say, I don't like the new layout.  It's a mess.  It's hard to figure out.  I have no clue what the heck happened to my posts & I don't like it.

Hmmm....maybe if I disappear for another 40 days someone will magically change it back to the old version? 

Or maybe I'll have to find the bonehead at Facebook who thought this change would be good & beat them senseless till the fix their mistake?

Or I could delete my Facebook page completely & get back to having a life?

Yea....like that's gonna happen.  Let's face it.....my friends need my stupid status updates to get through their boring lives.....right Rennick?

So to Rennick & Koz, you both owe me an apology or a really awesome birthday gift or else I'm calling my mom & having her call you & yell at you both!!!  Face it....mom's gonna do more damage than I can even dream of doing & you both know what a sneaky bitch I am! 

So what did I accomplish by giving up Facebook for 40 days?
I found time to work on some projects; went to Queens college for a lecture with an awesome friend & then we found a Glatt Kosher Mexican grill....oh yes, it does exist; I finally hit Home Goods in Port Washington; I spent a day in Philly; I got hooked on Mama's Empanadas in Jackson Heights; I found a new favorite tea....well, several new favorite teas; I read 'Who Moved My Cheese' & realized I hate being a rat; I found my smile; I left my Christmas tree up....seriously, ambient lighting makes me happy; I broke my toe; I left the drama stored on-line; I drank plenty of pots of tea; I found a ring that I thought I had lost; I bought new teacups; I started some trash talk at work with the Dead Weights; I considered getting a fish; I ate a taco; I bought a new bag; & I took on the challenge of having women agree to get together for dinner....but that is still a work in progress!

And most of all, I challenged people to wonder why I was even doing this whole mission of giving up Facebook for 40 days.  So let's see who proves me wrong....let's see who reads this & makes some remark.  I might be surprised to see who really is following this or just pretending.....

19 celebrations done....21 more to go.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Philadelphia Freedom!!!!

25 - Spend the day in Philadelphia  DONE 3/5/12

Oh Philly....home of the Cheesesteak, the Flyers, the Phillies, the Pretzel Factory, the stunning buildings, the steps that Rocky ran up, & of course the amazing American history that happened here. 

I love Philly!  For all it's offerings, Philly is truly amazing.  A great city for anyone looking for a great day filled with history, sights & food. 

Oh....the food!!  Seriously, there is no way for you to go hungry when you are in Philly.

So let's start with the food.....

After a two hour bus ride from the Big Apple to Philly, you get hungry. 
So where do you go first? 
That's right...the Philly Pretzel Factory.  And let me tell you, I could have eaten more than one!  But I was thinking about my Biggest Loser team at work & I don't want to see The Electric Mayhem fall in the standings because I was being greedy....so I'll have one & be done.  And let me say, I enjoyed the one!  It truly hit the spot.  Warm & soft with a little salt, this is a perfect way to satisfy my hunger pangs after a two hour bus ride. 




No trip to Philly would be complete without stopping for a Philly Cheesesteak.  You must order it the true Philly way....Whiz & Fried Onions....otherwise, stay home & make it yourself!  I ordered this bad boy at the Reading Market at a stand called Spartans.  Definitely worth the trip!!!!

Raul & I will stop for some tea in the Reading Market.  Granted it took us several minutes of wandering around before we will find that wonderful map of the stands.  'You are here' are wonderful words when you are trying to find where you are versus where you need to be!  So we made our way over to the Tea Leaf tea stand for a cuppa tea.  I enjoyed a delightful cup of Bourbon Vanilla & Raul had a green tea.  Both were really good.  Mine was mighty hot for too long.  I had to let it cool down long before I could drink it.  But I enjoyed the sitting time & the time to chat with my friend.


After tea time, we will walk around the market & I will get a craving for ice cream.  Bassett's Ice Cream....mmmmm....so yummy...so sweet....so perfect!  I must have some!  So I'm going to treat myself to a cone.  Why not?  I've been walking all day....minus the few minutes we sat to drink tea.  I get on line & then it becomes a challenge to pick one flavor....I end up with butterscoth vanilla.  I love vanilla!  It's the best flavor no matter what you add to it.  So I get the waffle cone filled with delicious butterscotch vanilla ice cream.  Delish!


For dinner, we will end up in Chinatown.  My friend the vegetarian will not need to twist my arm on this choice.  We end up at Singapore Vegetarian.  It's a quaint little Asian vegetarian restaurant.  I feel like eating healthy now since I was sorta bad with my earlier choices....but no guilt!  I would gladly eat everything all over again!!  For dinner, I started with the New Year Soup, then I had the spring rolls & my entree was the Pineapple Chicken.  Everything was delicious!!  I would go back again!




My favorite stop on the day...the Betsy Ross House.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this visit.  If you make it to Philly, stop in.  Make sure you take the audio tour.  Stop being cheap...it's $6 for adults & the self-guide tour is only $2 less...so splurge.  Spend the $6 & thank me later. 

If you're lucky, you will meet Betsy in the sewing room.  She will welcome you to her home & offer out any information should you ask.  I did.  And yes, I addressed her as Betsy & she seemed delighted that I was playing along.  She was very informative & answered my questions in great detail.  One word of advice...take a picture with Betsy.  I can kick myself now for not taking one with her!!  It's the only room in the house where photographs are allowed.  The rest of the house is no photographs allowed.  So while I cannot share the inside of the house, I can share these photos from outside.....

The gravemarker of Betsy Ross & her third husband, John Claypoole.
Bet you didn't know Betsy had three husbands?




Independence Hall....another must for anyone spending time in Philly.  A wonderful stop & a great source of American history.  At this stop, you will enter the room where the Constitution was not only written, but signed.  Oh yes....you will feel quite a sense of awe as you stand in the very room that George Washington & our American forefathers stood when making America.  You will see the real chair that President Washington sat in & signed the Constitution.  You will be told that any President or Foreign Dignitary asking to sit in the chair will be given a fake chair to sit in.  You will learn how the Senators were true American rebels during this time period.  And you should feel amazed.  Otherwise...get out of this country!  You don't belong here!

Our tour guide, Mike, was awesome.  I love people passionate about what they want to share with me.  This guy was definitely passionate about his American history.  I love that!

We start off in one room with a painting of the signing of the Constitution....


And then we are brought into the room where the signing took place....can you feel the goosebumps?  I felt like President Washington was there looking down over us....

This is the actual chair that George Washington sat in.......


And this is a replica of the original chandelier in the room....


The courtroom which is across the hall from the room where the Constitution was signed.
Check out the prisoner's box....


I loved this color of blue in the hallway....


A shot from outside...


Of course no trip to Philly would be complete without a stop to see the Liberty Bell....a free attraction...so stop in! 

It's amazing when you see it.  I was stunned at how amazing it looks after all these years.  Yes, even with the crack...it's still in amazing shape!  Minus the crack & a few chips at the bottom, it looks like it could have been built fairly recently.  You have to appreciate good old fashioned American quality!  Ahhh.....so rare these days!  God bless our forefathers & their crafting abilities. 


Christ Church.....the church that welcomed George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, & Betsy Ross to name a few.  Founded in 1695 this church is still active today.  Open to the public for tours & a history lesson.  Not to mention open for worship for those that enter.

I am often fascinated by churches & their history.  And to know that Washington, Franklin & Ross sat among these pews gives me goosebumps.  I am honored to sit here & ponder some spiritual thoughts.  I wonder what their religous leaders spoke about.  How did they interpret the Bible?  What lessons were they taught? 

While sitting in my pew & giving myself time to rest, I am moved for some reason to open the Bible before me.  No joke....I had to take a picture of the page I opened up to at random.  I opened to Pslams 75.  Not being a religious person, I felt compelled to read it.  For some reason, I really enjoyed one line.....
'Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking,
I will make its pillars fast'
For some reason, that line made me think....it made me think about the buildings I'd seen today & how amazingly strong they clearly are.  For they are still standing.  Even over time & weather damage, they are still standing.  They are still here to be seen.  To be admired.  To be a reminder that Americans can build amazing things.

The Bible page I opened at random....

The outside of the Christ Church....


The inside of the church.....


One of the many gravemarkers in the church.  They were buried long after the church was built.  Odd, but really cool in a sick way.


Since we're looking at gravemarkers....let's move on to the Christ Church Burial Grounds.  Benjamin Franklin is buried here, among others from the Colonial & Revolutionary Wars.

Here lies Benjamin Franklin & his wife, Deborah.....


Random shots around the burial grounds....



This one made me laugh...check it out....this guy was a seaman, a soldier & yup, a safecracker!!!  Come on...that's awesome!!!


And now let's look at some random art around Philly....







And you should make a stop in the LOVE Park.....officially called JFK Plaza, Love Park is nicknamed after Robert Indiana's Love sculpture which overlooks the park.  We have one here in the Big Apple, but seeing another one is simply lovely.



Chinatown...I love Chinese culture.  It's bright colors of red, green & gold & lots of spirituality.  And definitely a great place for shopping & architecture.




This was taken at Shanghai Bazaar.  It was a little store that we stopped into after dinner.  I thought this was just too funny not share it.....


And now for some random gorgeous shots of beautiful architecture around Philly....








I spotted this just walking down some street....thought it was too funny to pass up....


The Hard Rock Cafe....



A really cool bike rack...


Mayor Frank L. Rizzo....from 1972 to 1980....



I thought it said Fine Stud...after doing a double take, I realized my mistake....



The Benjamin Franklin Memorial....



And of course, no trip to Philly is complete until you visit the steps at the Museum of Art...best known as the Rocky steps.  Oh yes....Rocky!  The American icon for best comebacks!  Let's face it....even if you don't like the movie (losers!) you must run the steps.  Or at least venture up them.....




And of course you must see the Rocky statue....goofy pose optional, but it'll make you feel good!!



I had a great time today.  I saw tons of American history come alive.  I was in the very room that our forefathers stood in to sign the Constitution.  I chatted with Betsy Ross.  I went up the same steps that Sylvester Stallone made famous.  I devoured a Philly Cheesesteak.  I drank tea with my friend.  I stood in awe of the Liberty Bell.  I found some strong words in the Bible by chance.  I walked through a graveyard reading markers of famous Americans.  I stood before the Ben Franklin Memorial thinking about his life & legacy.  And I did all of this with a broken toe & smile.

I don't want to talk about the drama on the day....the blister on my heel, the cold killing us as we waited for a bus that would be nearly 30 minutes late, the crazy nonsense of finding no E train to get us home, getting cranky, wishing for death....nope...I'm not going to blog about that.......buy me a drink & I'll explain it!


Instead.....


I'm happy I spent the day in Philly.  I have awesome photos of amazing memories.  I enjoyed my history lessons on the day as well as my great eating experience.  And while we walked non-stop all day, I feel stronger today for having done it.

This makes the 18th celebration done.  22 more to go!