Morning came early, as morning does; at night we could hear the clocktower bells chiming during the night, and a rowdy group of partiers somewhere else in the hotel, but other than that, a peaceful night in the large, soft beds.
With dawn, we can survey the area better – from the window, we can see far to the east and across the river, the old Battleship USS New Jersey between hotel towers. Further to the south is the Delaware Bridge, the second largest twin-span suspension bridge in the world. And the urban sprawl of Philadelphia spreading out into the distance between us and the river. Below is the Independence Park, with the grey hulk of the old Second Bank of the United States across from us, and to the west, Independence Hall.
After ordering breakfast to be delivered – a fine meal, delivered on a cart that expanded into a table – we cleaned up, cleared out and hit the streets, with Trixie in her carriage.
At the Liberty Bell’s museum, Pops left Mum and Trixie at the entry to check the Visitor’s Center for tickets into the Independence Hall – there were none for that day, but his glimpse inside the visitor’s hall was interesting. It was made for the mass movement of tourists, with theaters, a large information desk and a wide corridor all along a north-south axis – very roomy and spacious – and of course, it had a rather large gift shop.
Between that monstrosity and the Liberty Bell was the original Executive Mansion – a trivial brick building no one paid attention to until it was gone. All that remains are the ruins of the foundations far below ground level, and the raised up ‘reconstruction’ of what the walls may have looked like. Washington and Adams spent their time here while Washington DC was prepared for future Presidents to occupy.