Thursday, November 18, 2010

Class Trip To Philadelphia

After studying the events leading up to the American Revolution, the 8th grade class at my school took our annual trip to one of our nation’s most historic cities, Philadelphia. We were required to be at school by 6:00 am to board the bus that was going to take us to our destination and back. After our teachers checked to make sure we were all present, we set off. One of my best friends and I sat next to each other and talked with our classmates for a while. We ate snacks, watched a movie, and played Sudoku.

Finally, after a three hour ride, we arrived in Philly. Once we got off the bus, we met our tour guide, a woman dressed in colonial clothing. We all took a quick pit stop and then began our walking tour of the city. Our first stop was the grave of Benjamin Franklin and his wife. Our tour guide gave us a short background story of how many people were at his funeral (something like 20,000) and that the reason that there were many pennies on his grave is because of his famous saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

We continued walking down the street and stopped at the historic Quaker Meeting House, built in 1809. As we walked, we would see other groups on tours, obviously doing the same thing we were. Our next stop was Betsy Ross’s house. Our tour guide explained to us that Betsy Ross only rented the place and that she was a flag seamstress for Washington’s army. Also, according to our tour guide, she was not the designer of the famous flag, but only the maker.

We then stopped and took a quick peek at a street that was supposedly what a colonial street used to look like. As we walked, we asked our guide some questions and took a lot of pictures. We passed the first Bank of America, an elaborate, stone structure with columns and carvings on it.

We then went into Christ Church. The inside was all white with no stain glass, only clear windows. On its second floor was one of the biggest organs that I had ever seen. It was so big that I thought that it had to have come from a Dracula movie. There were also grave stones built into the aisles. To get to the pews, you had to walk directly over them. In the back, they had a gift shop. We were told that it was there to raise money for the church because it was not government run.

After a man gave us his five minute presentation, we walked over to Carpenter’s Hall. Then came the Liberty Bell. Our class did not have tickets to go into Independence Hall, but the other class did. After the last of our class went through security, we realized that we were missing a bunch of people. Almost all of the boys and several girls had disappeared. After several moments, we realized that they had sneaked in with the other class. Once we realized this, we headed over to Congress Hall for a tour of the building. A woman gave us a lecture about the first and second floor and the government. We then took a tour of the upstairs and the downstairs.

In the downstairs section, we met several Chinese men. I began talking to them in Chinese about where they were from, what they were doing here, and where they were going next. I had my picture taken with them, and then our class went to meet up with the other class.

Our combined classes went through the security check and then entered the Liberty Bell building. We looked at it and took pictures for a few minutes and then went to the Boars Building for lunch. I quickly ate my pizza that I bought and went with my friends to the candy shop. We realized that the candy shop was really expensive, so we went to the Travel shop, where candy was cheaper. As we browsed the store, I saw a laser that came with 42 different caps that made different shapes. The price was really cheap and the quality was pretty good, so I bought it. When all of my friends saw how cool it was, a bunch of them went back and bought the lasers.

We walked around until we were due back at the bus. Our next and final destination was Valley Forge. After about half an hour, we unloaded from the bus and went into the gift shop where I bought Julie a gift. The room next to the gift shop had all facts about Valley Forge and what went on there. After about fifteen minutes, our guide was ready for us and we all drove up to a certain point of Valley Forge. When we stopped, our guide told us that the huts that we saw were replicas of what the cabins used to look like. We took pictures and then continued on. As we drove, the guide pointed out places and structures such as memorials and barracks. At the end of our tour, we all got out of the bus and went to check out a house that was owned by rich people in colonial times. We toured the small house, took pictures, and then hit the road.

On the ride back, three of my friends and I were playing blackjack and poker, betting candy. We arrived back at school at about 7:45 pm. My dad picked me up, and we headed home.



At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Success said...

Thanks for sharing! I look forward to taking our family out to visit historic sites such and this one. I have memories of these visits from when I was a child over 30 years ago.


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