Goodbye Orlando, hello Philadelphia.

Trip Start Dec 27, 2012
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15
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Trip End Jan 22, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday was our second day for Universal Studios.

We started off my lining up for a new "Despicable Me" ride. It's a 3D simulator ride. It was a lot of fun.

Next up we went on the "Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit" roller coaster which had a really steep climb that scared the crap out of me. You got to choose a song from the playlist on your armrest that would play during the ride which was cool.

We then did a bunch of other rides including the "Twister" ride which simulated a tornado, "The Mummy" ride which was an indoor coaster, the "Disaster" ride where we starred in a disaster movie directed by Christopher Walken, the "Men In Black Alien Attack" ride, the "ET" ride, a strange stunt show type ride called "Poseidon's Fury" and we went back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and rode on the "Forbidden Journey" ride again.

We also saw a strange rock show called "Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue" where Beetlejuice, Frankenstein and bunch of other monsters sang rock covers.

We ended the day with me saying a very sad goodbye to TWWOHP and having dinner at "Bubba Gump".

On Tuesday we had to wake up at 4am to make our 7am flight to Philadelphia. We weren't going to make the same mistake as last time where we almost missed our flight so we made it with plenty of time to spare.

The flight with AirTran was about a thousand times more enjoyable than the Detla flight to Miami so that was a bonus.

We arrived at our hotel on Walnut Street right in the middle of the city at about 11am. Needless to say our room wasn't ready and they almost didn't keep our luggage for us.

The Rodeway Inn, the place we'd booked, turned out to be the inner depths of hell. They were renovating so there was no elevator (we were on the 3rd floor), it took a lot of me looking at the receptionist blankly before she took our luggage (we were only in Philly for one day!) and it's run very poorly. She put our luggage, by the way, in the room that they were renovating in. The lobby is about a metre by a metre and the "desk" is literally an office desk surrounded by small heaters because it was so cold. The rude lady we encountered in the morning, we found out later, simply didn't check us in because it's not her job. She had a whole lot of unnecessary sass.

The rooms...now that's another story. We booked a king bed, we got 2 double beds. They sunk in the middle so I had the worst nights sleep of my life and the sorest back.

Rant over.

No, actually, it's not. To top it off, there had been carpentry union protestors out the front of this place because the people they'd hired to renovate pay their workers less. Yadda, yadda. Basically, we made a BAD choice.

So after I had convinced the stupid lady to take our bags, (WE HAD 4 FREAKIN BAGS! WHERE THE HELL DID SHE THINK WE WERE GOING WITH TWO 20+ KG SUITCASES?! Ok, now the ranting is over) we walked over to the Independence National Historical Park. That's where the Liberty Bell resides and other places like Washington Square and Independence Hall. 

At the Washington Square Park lies an unmarked grave of a soldier. There were hundreds of bodies buried there during the Revolutionary War. The grave is now there, along with a flame that is always lit.

The Liberty Bell was also very cool. We had to go through security just to see it!

We decided our best bet would be to book a hop on, hop off bus since we were only in Philly for the day. 

We learnt a lot of stuff on the bus, in fact, a little too much. Our tour guide spoke at about 100 miles an hour. We saw a few churches, Ben Franklin's burial ground, Betsy Ross' house (she sewed the first American flag), U.S. Mint (where they make money!), we went through China Town, Town Hall, we saw the Academy of Fine Art (and there was a music one too) and a lot of mural's along the way. People are allowed to paint murals in Philly. It's a great way to stop people from graffitiing without permission. There's some great artwork around the city. 

We stopped at the Philadelphia Museum of Art so we could take photos at the Rocky stairs (AS IF I WOULDN'T!). I ran all the way up and stood on Rocky's footprints. We then got scammed (this wouldn't have been a trip to the U.S without getting scammed), after doing so well to avoid them! A man asked if we wanted him to take our photo with my camera. Considering we've had SO many people take our photo, I didn't think anything of it. Ohhhh no...he didn't just take ONE photo, he took a whole portfolio worth of photos (most of them are horrific but hilarious), and we ended up tipping him. Damn trickster.

We hopped back on the bus and got off at the Antique Row stop so we could find the famous "Philly Cheese Steaks" we'd heard so much about. We walked through South Philadelphia which is very Italian influenced. There were heaps of delicatessen's, butcher's, fruit markets, and restaurants.

Once we found "Geno's" (this was THE place to buy cheese steaks), we ordered a cheese steak each. Oh my it was worth it. All it basically is a bunch of melted cheese on top of thinly cut steak in a baguette, but it is magical. It was so good I ate it all (and it was pretty big).

After we finished, we walked back to our hotel, making sure to stop at a few delicatessens and sampling some cheese.

We were FINALLY allowed to check in and we had a nap. 

We left our hotel at about 6pm and got the subway to the sporting complex where we saw the Philadelphia 76ers take on the New Orleans Hornets. It was an entertaining game, complete with the world's biggest t-shirt cannons (they reached people all the way at the back in the third level!) and a great comeback from the 76ers (they were down by 20) but unfortunately Philly lost. 

CaptainG
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