Yesterday was my final day with my cohort in Philadelphia. We woke up a little earlier than Saturday for breakfast at Spread, where I got another wheat bagel but with a different spread on it.
After breakfast, we got our luggage ready to leave at the hotel while we continued our tour around the historic area in Philadelphia. We then made our way to pick up our tickets for the Independence Hall tour. We arrived rather early so we walked around the visitor center for a while, reading information from several small exhibits.
|Bottom view of Independence Hall|
We went through security to wait in line for the tour and soon enough we were getting rounded up to enter Independence Hall. The tour began with the room on the left, which happened to be the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at the time. Just like the courts today there were pews for the jury and it was obvious where the judge sat. The biggest difference was that there was a cage in the middle, where the person being put on trial would stand. We discussed how guilty a person might look, already standing behind bars. There was also the witness stand, which was literally just a place for a person to stand. Because court hearings were a public thing, there were no doors just doorways where people could stand and fill up the room.
The next room across the hall is the more exciting one of the tour because that is where both the Declaration of Independence and the Consitution were created. That room did serve several other purposes since it was one of the bigger buildings in the area and could be rented out for events. The room itself doesn't seem too grand but they had the actual chair where George Washington sat, which I find pretty exciting. It's also simply interesting to think that something so significant happened in that same room so many years ago.
|The iconic room where it happened|
The tour itself was just those two rooms, so it was really short. Afterward, we went to the Liberty Bell exhibition. It went over the significance behind the Liberty Bell and what it later symbolized for different groups of people. They even had x-rays of the bell, where they found more internal problems other than just the crack that didn't allow it to function anymore. At the end of the exhibit, they had the actual Liberty Bell so of course, we had to take a photo with it.
We did a bit more walking until hunger, as it usually does, got the best of us so we decided to get lunch at the Reading Terminal Market. I think that indoor market does a great job at representing how diverse Philadelphia is. Quite literally all the food smelled so good and it had many stands with nifty souvenirs and random artifacts. Cammie and I decided to do a lap around the market before finding something to eat. We came across a bookshop that had a very unique selection of books, Mein Kampf in paperback included. There was also a Philadelphia souvenir store, where I got a mandatory Philadelphia Pretzel t-shirt.
Once we had our souvenirs we decided to get some actual food. There were too many options to choose from, and somehow we ended up getting Pad Thai. Although my noodles lacked tofu, I was still very satisfied with my lunch. By the time we were done eating, it was time to meet up with the whole group and head back.
On our way to our car, we stopped by Thomas Jefferson's house, but we didn't spend too much time there since there wasn't much there but it was a nice sight from the outside.
We also went by to the cemetery, where Ben Franklin and several others significant to Philadelphia are buried. There were pennies on top of his grave, but I cannot remember why people put them there. After a few minutes of walking around there, we finally got to the car to go get our luggage from the hotel.
It was a short drive to the hotel and then to the airport, where we had to say goodbye to the beautiful Philadelphia.
The flight from Philadelphia to Chicago felt pretty short, and yet again I sat with Evan and Cammie. The layover in Chicago left us just enough time to get something to eat, but there was no pilot yet so we actually had to wait a little to get onto the plane. I was pretty ready to get on though because I was really hungry.
The flight from Chicago back home was one of the longer ones we had taken in a while, which gave Cammie and me plenty of talking time along with donut eating time. This time Evan didn't get to sit with us, and the guy next to the window was pretty interested in taking a nap. He made it evident by closing both of the windows next to him.
Arrival at El Cerrito High School was pretty exciting, and I was really looking forward to getting some sleep. It was also bittersweet though, having my last ILC experience come to an end. We took some last cohort photos and said goodbye, at least for now.
|Last cohort photo|