Rocky and the BellPosted on October 11th, 2007 after 8760 miles by Dean Croshere.
“Be good and eat your veggies,” said the man in the tri-corner hat.
I suppose if you must depart with a piece of wisdom, mother’s favorite is as good as any.
I’m back up north a bit in Philadelphia. Philadelphia the much vaunted home of the Aramark corporation headquarters. I couldn’t possibly have taken a road trip across the country without getting a picture in front of Pacific’s much loved food service provider, now could I? (Feel free to apply as much sarcasm to that statement as you wish.)
I should have planned out this section of my trip ahead of time. I didn’t do it right. I drove down to DC, then back up to Philly. Next I’m going back down to Baltimore. I guess I figured that since all these big interesting towns were within a few hours of each other, I could jump between them in any order.
I forgot about toll roads.
It cost me $20 to get to DC, then another $10 to get back up to Jersey, then another $3 to get into Philly. This is just to drive on the roads. Whatever happened to just charging the states’ taxpayers for the roads so I can mooch off of them to drive on the interstates for free?
There was only one picture that was essential to take in Philadelphia. I needed a picture with Boxer and the Liberty Bell. This was an entertaining event. First, the security was the tightest out of any place I’ve yet to be, yet they did not have an X-Ray machine. They had signs that listed all of the banned items. The list was only outdone by airport security, no knives of any sort, even pocket knives, were to be allowed near the bell. They carefully examined Boxer and every pocket on my camera bag, but they did not ask my to empty my pockets or to have me walk through a metal detector.
I had to lay on the ground to get this picture, but when I stood up to take a look at the bell from the front, the guard told me that if I didn’t stop immediately to pick Boxer up, she would have to evacuate the building and confiscate the statue.
The bell is a national artifact, a symbol of freedom (or at least it became such near the civil war, according to the tour I mostly ignored). I can certainly see why they need to protect it from explosives, but knives I don’t understand. I understand why they searched my bag and kept me near my strange hollow thing, but why didn’t they have explosive sniffing dogs or metal/x-ray machines?
They also all asked me strange questions. I guess there is a school nearby with the dragon as their mascot so they just assumed that he was representative of them. It didn’t help that the school had a strange name that sounded like a grunt, leading me to mistake many a question as an uninterested observation. Ignoring security guards’ honest questions leads to suspicion, suspicion that I was trying to avoid.
Anyway, after the liberty bell, the next obvious destination is Independence hall, especially since it is right outside.
This is where I finally figured out what Boxer was, as I posted yesterday.
Jubilantly, I returned to my car where I ran into the man in the tri-corner hat. He drove one of those tourist horse-carriages. He was really energetic and really interested in the whole Boxer thing. After we went through the normal conversation, he suggested I go take a picture in front of the Rocky statue at the Museum of Art. He even told me what bus route to take to get there.
I got off a little early, accidentally. This is fortunate because it put me right in front of Rodin’s “Thinker.” I had always assumed that this was in Europe somewhere.
After a little while trying to figure out where the museum actually was (and totally missing the huge “museum of art” letters written on the map), I found those famous steps. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to climb them with Boxer. Instead, the statue is at the bottom of the stairs, off to the right. Since there was nothing preventing me from putting Boxer on the statue, I did just that.
While I took these pictures a couple came up and started taking pictures on their own, totally missing the son-of-dragon (I’m going to stick with dog, actually) at Rocky’s feet.
On the way back, I did take a picture at this fairly entertaining graffiti.