Mom has dial up.  I know!  It’s like she lives in a yurt in Tibet.  So she has to pull up photo-heavy posts and then just go to bed.  They’ll be loaded by lunch time the next day.

First–Steve’s birthday was the 20th.  If you forgot to send him a present, or just couldn’t figure out what to get him, he likes money.  Ben Franklin is his favorite old dude.  I, however, made him a pie:

It’s the Alton Brown apple pie and it is FABulous.  Click here for my full pie post and lovely photos from the first time I made it.  It’s perfect.  And while time-intensive, not at all hard.

We went to Philly a couple of weekends ago.  We decided to walk across the Ben Franklin bridge and then meander around the Independence Hall area.  It was a gorgeous fall day (we thought about going into NYC but couldn’t quite work up the enthusiasm for the hassle of getting into and out of the city.  And it was a bit too far to walk).  Ben was a bit apprehensive as he’s going through a fear-of-heights thing, but he did fine.

That’s Grandma and Grandpa there with Lily.

Why yes, those are hot pink chickens on my pants.  Thanks for asking.  You can see Ben’s enthusiasm in this one as he nearly lifts off with the up-draft…

When we reached the other side, we found ourselves at the Christ Church Burial Ground.  The other adults did not share my enthusiasm, but the girls and I opted to go in.  They gave up ice cream to go look at gravestones.  I am so proud.  At first, I thougth I wouldn’t have nearly enough time, since there were so many so very old stones, but as it turns out, most of them were worn completely blank by city rain over 200 years.  And they were so very sad:

There were a lot of above-ground family crypts, which I found interesting.  is Philly particularly low-lying?  And there were a lot of these weird things that look like dining room tables.  Julianna and I were referring to them as such and Lily finally said, “Mommy, why do so many people want to have dinner in a cemetary?”

Nah, they just like to play cards with the dead, honey.

The original entrance is lined with family crypts:

Here’s the top of one of the legible ones:

So there are EIGHT people in that hole?  And the above ground crypts are similarly crowded.  And the deaths aren’t always that far apart, so do they just dump a body in there?  If there’s a coffin, how do they fit more in?  I referred to them as “just stacked up in there.”  And then Lily called, “Hey look mommy!  This one has a stack of babies!”

Um, yeah.  Thanks for that, honey.  I’m going to pretend it’s full of house pets, thanks.

Most of the stones were worn smooth, but some were newer (having been replaced by decendents) and some were of a better stone.  I’ve instructed my children not to give me a granite stone.  It just wears away.  It’s too bad they were blank b/c these old stones can be kind of wordy:

First–Ann Davis?  Didn’t she play Alice on the Brady Bunch?  I didn’t even know she was sick!  In cas you can’t read it, it says, “This stone is sacred to the memory of George Davis one other of the children of George and Ann Davis .  Who departed this life on 6th April 1826 aged 30 years, 1 month, and 12 days.  For rigid punctuality and love of order he was remarkable.  His mortal remains are here interred by the side of his dear relatives.  His immortal spirit is is believed have joined (unclear) in the realms of bliss.”  If they were charged by the word, this is a costly stone.  And he’s very near Ben Franklin’s grave,too.  I bet that’s prime real estate.

Once we’d scanned the whole burial ground, we met up with Steve and Ben while the grandparents walked BACK across the bridge to get the van.  We killed time by going to see the Liberty Bell.  The kids had just been a couple weeks before, so they weren’t as stunned by patriotic pride as they might have been.  Julianna faked it well:

I remember seeing the bell on some class trip or family vacation and I remember leaning on it with one hand to look up under it.  And it was outside, under a pavillion of some sort.

Then we hung around and waited for our ride.  Hey Lily, turn around!

Okay, now may I see your face?

In truth, the first pic is what I usually see.

Ben:

Nanna:

I think that may be the most times I’ve mentioned Ben Franklin in one post….

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