musical notes

“On the road again -
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
On the road again -
And our way is on the road again.


Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love!

We had previously enjoyed two short visits to the City, and one of these was with two of our grandchildren. That time made Philadelphia a special City to us. But both of these trips were only for a day or so, and only touched the edge of what there is to do and enjoy. We returned this trip to spend a week in the City and then another week in the surrounding area. QTR. Wise use of our Quality Time Remaining!

Philadelphia, City of our Nations Independence.

Yes, Ole Glory Flies here, for on July 4, 1776 it was here that the United States of America declared their Independence from Great Britain. And it was in Independence Hall, that this Declaration was signed.

US Flag


One might ask why did the Colonist meet in Philadelphia? The 'City' in 1776 was the second largest English Speaking City in the World second only to London.

This is where the Continental Congress met, and it was here where the Constitution of the United State and the Bill or Rights were hammered out and ratified by the 13 Colonies in 1787.

Coniential Congress(download)

Immediately above the Congressional Hall was the Senate Chamber. You'll notice the Great Seal in the carpet and the Eagle on the ceiling. Oh! how close these are to our National Seal and Emblem of today..

Contiental SenateDownload

US Seal

All of this is located downtown; and the area is 5 blocks in length and includes Freedom Hall, The National Park Service Visitors Center, The Liberty Bell and then Independence Hall. What a powerful experience to walk these grounds, where our forefathers brought forth this Nation. In our book Philadelphia is historically the most important City in the United States and one deserving of your highest vacation considerations.

Walk the streets where our forefathers walked.

Christ ChurchChrist Church


Benjamin Franklin's resting place is in Christ Church Cemetery. This cemetery is shown below..



And this Bust of Franklin made with door keys, which you will notice on its base.


This is a 'Neat Place', and as our grandkids would say 'Cool'. We hoped to stay close in to the City; as in 2006 on our first visit we stayed in a KOA in Westchester, PA some 20 miles away. This year we found the most unlikely RV Park. It is part of the Campus Park and Ride in the railroad district but close to the Hospital Complexes, the University of Penn Hospital, the Penn Children's Hospital and the Veterans Hospital. What we had was a concrete parking lot with water and electric. BUT, with this came free service on the Park and Ride Bus to the Hospital Complex, and it operated 24/7.

Campus RV


From the drop off area we could hop on a City Bus and in 10 minutes be anywhere in the Metro area. Now for the Great Part. Senior Citizens in Philadelphia ride FREE on the Metro Bus System! We even toured a few parts of Philadelphia we hadn't expected to visit. We hopped on the Bus on it's outbound leg, and soon discovered we were neighborhood tourists for the next forty five minutes. No Problema, as we'd not been there before.

Philadelphia Museum of Art.

We had seen this structure previously but hadn't the time to stop; so we built this experience into our schedule early, when we started planning this trip.

(download)Phil Museun ArtDownload

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Welcomes You:

Museum entranceDownload

We spent some 5 hours wandering around in amazement; and at that point our Ole bodies gave out, but Oh! what an experience.

Painting of William Penn's purchase of Pennsylvania

Penn Purchase of Land

George Wahington, First President of the United States of America

George Washington

Knight in Armor

Knight Armor

A NUDE Sculpture in 1890 OMG!

the Nude

Medieval Head gear. Your choice of 'Helmets"

Battle Helmens

Interesting piece of furniture for a Dining buffet. The two 'Boxes' on each side are Wine Coolers! I like that!


The article on Louis Tiffany

Tiffany Description

Tiffany Glass Display

Tiffany Glass

No Museum of Excellence would be without a Rembrandt or a Monet and the Philadelphia has both.

Rembrandt's painting of Christ.

Rembrant ChristDownload



Monet 2Download

The spectacular display of this Museum is it's variety of objects.


Here we go from a Bust of Franklin to this 'Vise". Just like the one my grandfather had on the farm, but Granddaddy's vise was not an object of Art.


The uniqueness of this Museum is the vastness of objects on display. Great Paintings, Yes; Great Sculptures, Yes, World Wide Items, Yes: and complete structures of those times. Here is a great example; An Altar from Italy

This display is some 25' ~ 30' in width, and 18' ~ 20' in high. The Museum has collected these wonders of art from across the world for over 200 years, and you are welcomed to come and experience this delight.


The picture is of the Trilogy from the above altar. Just look at its ornateness.


And we leave this spectacular collection of art with this picture of a Italian Triptych so common in our Southwestern Culture in New Mexico. We have such a piece in our home, that my Father acquire when we lived in Santa Fe in the late 1930's. Enjoy this splendid work of Art of the 1600's.

Trilogy 2

When we left the Museum of Art, this was our view of the City from the steps. You'll notice the two cranes working in front of the steps. They were erecting a large 25' high scaffolded platform in preparation for the Labor Day weekend.

City from MuseumDownload
This Art Museum is equal in eloquence and ornateness to that of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

The Masonic Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania

This structure is located at 1 North Broad Street immediately north of Philadelphia's City Hall. The Grand Lodge occupies a full city block. A most prestigious location in this great City.

I have mentioned that Pennsylvania is the Art and Cultural Center of the United States. You have seen the beauty of Pittsburgh and Penn University, the magnificent Capitol in Harrisburg, and one would expect nothing less from the Masons of Pennsylvania. I learned of this edifice from PGM Dan Irick in Albuquerque, and we were very privileged to be able to tour this building. It is open to the public and the guided tour is about an hour in length. They installed an elevator in the building in 1958 so access is very easy. This is a priority item for any visitor to the seat of our Nations History.

I'll only include a few pictures here, and set up another page for those who are interested and my Masonic Brothers.

Gl Penn

There are seven (7) Lodge rooms in this building, and I'll show you a couple along with the entry hall and the Museum. One of these Lodge rooms is named the 'Norman Room," and 'You Betcha' you're going to see that one!

Interestingly, on this Tour conducted by a Docent who belonged to one of the Lodges that meet in the G.L., the 4 other guests were foreigners with one couple from France and the other two from South America. I was the only Mason on the visit. Flash photography or tripods were not allowed, so I had to take what was available at the moment, so there are more snapshots than photographs. This is one place where one could spend a day capturing it's beauty on film.

The Benjamin Franklin Room

GL Ben FranklinDownload

The Norman Lodge Hall

Norman HallDownload

The 'Grand Foyer'

Grand FoyerDownload

The Entry Staircase

Entry StaircaseDownload


The Symbol Masons are dedicated to live:



This is the hyper-link to the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge page on my Travel Logs, where I have many more pictures, and the links to the history on the rooms and the building. Click Here.

This will certainly be of interest to all Masons, and Shriners and maybe you too.

It's now time to for us to cross the Delaware just like George Washington did into New Jersey. Come and join us on the Broad Walk at Atlantic City, and at the Delaware Crossing where General Washington turned the tide of the Revolutionary War on December 25th in 1776.

Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road. 

DL & Nr

Norm & Dottie