Friday, November 7, 2014

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness had to be the title of this blog post. It is the famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence, and as I walked around Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, I couldn't stop thinking about delight. 

I love that my idea of "finding delight in everyday life" echos part of our national doctrine. My philosophy and photography could easily be described as the pursuit of happiness
I was in the open spaces where our founding fathers walked, talked and made the monumental decisions for our future, thinking about how I would describe this experience to you. 

Remember when I traveled to Washington, D.C. and was able to visit the National Archives? I saw the original Declaration of Independence document in person behind protective glass. Now, a few years later, I stood in the Assembly Room in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed.
I absolutely loved this trip. We walked through the Visitor Center and I noticed these antique (1700 and 1800's) china pieces that were recovered during excavation of the site. These items were part of everyday American life in early Philadelphia. Does the pitcher look familiar? Remember my collection of Spode's Blue Room?
Part of my message is sharing two travel tips. 

Tip #1 You don't need to stand in the huge line to see the Liberty Bell.  We saved at least 2 hours of our day trip by skipping the "Liberty Bell indoor museum and viewing" line and walking around the side of the building, where you can see an unobstructed view of the Liberty Bell. I waited behind 4 people (for 5 min?) to get my chance to take that photo of the Liberty Bell (top of page) through the glass. I don't think it could look any better. 

Tip #2 There is a lot of parking in the underground Mall parking lot. You take an elevator up into the Visitor's Center. Get your free tickets to Independence Hall as you pass through.

Tip #3 I hinted at this above. You need to have a "time slot" assigned to you for entrance into Independence Hall. This timed ticket is free and available at the Visitor Center. Get one as you pass through, instead of walking all the way back for a ticket as we did. Expect to go through security check point before entering Independence Hall. No, I did not see Nicholas Cage.

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