In Which I Visit the City of Brotherly Love

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." - Benjamin Franklin

Every year on a Friday in mid-April, a disability symposium is held at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. I've worked in the field of accessibility and disability services at Penn State since 2008. Friends and co-workers of mine were presenting, and had already planned on driving down (typically a three- to four-hour drive from central PA) and back. Since I'd never gone to it, this year, I decided to go. In all, four of us would be traveling together.

It has been years and years since I'd visited the city of Brotherly Love, as William Penn called it. (He actually called it the "city of Brotherly Love and
Sisterly Affection," but somehow that last part is lost to history, much to the chagrin of sisters everywhere.)

For once, our travels did not begin at the crack of dawn. We all showed up for work at our regular time in the morning, and just before noon, we climbed into a University vehicle and (with much laughter, chatting, and snacking) made our way to the city of Philadelphia.

With a quick lunch stop along the way, we arrived in Philly around 4 pm, just in time for check-in at our hotel. Two members of our group (the presenters) had a required dinner to attend. The other two of us strolled all around, taking in the sights, visiting the Tony Conrad exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art, shopping in an amazing bookstore, and eventually ending up at the New Deck Tavern on Sansom Street for dinner. (Yes, we sat outside, though it was a bit chilly. And yes, those loaded potato skins WERE delicious.)

We are still in Philadelphia as I write this, but we will be leaving directly after the program ends. This means we will spend almost exactly 24 hours in Philadelphia. And I have to relay that it is both exhausting and exhilarating to try to see all of what we are trying to see in what limited time we have. If there is one thing I would wish for, it would be only this: More Time!

I'm including two photos in this blip that are among my favorites, though I must admit I didn't even make it through all of the photos I took on Thursday yet. I never had the time on Thursday evening, and my feet and my little rare bod were tired; so tired. I've picked two shots to represent the city, as I've seen it, so far.

The photo above was a lovely scene on the U Penn campus. It is spring here in Pennsylvania, at long last and finally, and the trees are just beautiful; full of pink blooms. There's a statue of Benjamin Franklin in the picture above, as he is one of Philadelphia's best known (and eminently quotable) residents.

The picture in the extras is of the LOVE sculpture on campus, a Robert Indiana image known around the world. It is colorful and fun, and makes an engaging photo stop. Some of you who have been around for a while will remember the first stamp that contained the LOVE image in 1973.

There is so much to see and do in the city that I could go on and on. But I don't have any extra time. For now I must head back into my conference and finish out the day. So let me end by adding a soundtrack song for this great city: Elton John, with Philadelphia Freedom.

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