Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy 58th Birthday In Heaven

Today, would've been my dad's 58th birthday. He passed away after a two-and-a-half year battle with pancreatic cancer about a week before my 27th birthday.  I have many photos of my dad from the 1970's onwards, so a few weeks ago I asked my aunt if she would send me some of his childhood photos from my granny's 1950's and 1960's photo albums. Wasn't he a cute baby?

September 16th, 1958 - May 21st, 2013

Kiki Nakita

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Labor Day Weekend In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Good morning my dears,

This year we celebrated Labor Day Weekend in sunny Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before departing the news and weather reports called for Hurricane Hermine (yikes!), so we were blessed when we were greeted with sunny skies.

We had booked a hire car, or so we thought. We kept getting calls upon arrival and couldn't understand the man talking. It wasn't until we got our luggage and looked up where we'd booked our hire car that we realized we'd booked a standard car service instead. So we finally understood why this man kept calling to "take us for a ride". Ha ha!

We got a rental car and started driving through the Pennsylvania countryside, which I might add is picturesque. Amish and Mennonite communities - with their white washed homes, horse and buggy's, and children playing outside with modest outfits adorned with straw hats.

Wright's Ferry Mansion

Our first stop was the Wright's Ferry Mansion. The home was built in 1738 for Susanna Wright (1697-1784), who is a relation to my hubby's 9th great-grandfather and the only Pennsylvania English Quaker house that has been furnished in the first half of the 18th century that remains.

The house was surprisingly spacious, especially considering it was from the early 18th century, and had natural light shining through all the windows.

Susanna Wright was a poet, influential in politics, and kept the company of none other than Benjamin Franklin.  

The John Wright Store and Restaurant

After touring Wright's Ferry Mansion, we drove over the Susquehanna River to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. The town was named after Susanna's father, John Wright - where a store and restaurant are named after him.  

The food wasn't anything to write home about, but the experience of having family history in books about our Quaker relations more than made up for it.

The Nottingham Lots in Rising Sun, Maryland

After a late lunch, we drove off into the sunset...literally. We went to see the mile marker in a field close by to where my hubby's 9th great-grandfather, James Wright (1671-1759) farmed.

The sun began to set as we drove back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where we were staying. On our drive back we drove through Maryland, and Delaware.

This was our view from our room on the 11th floor, overlooking the City Hall.

That night, we decided to go to the restaurant lobby for dinner, where we shared platters of sushi and ceviche. Yum!

My hubby used to be a food photographer (back when I met him), so that's why when we're on trips he takes so many food photos.

We really tried to stay out late, you know. In the elevator back up to the 11th floor, I looked at my phone and it said 10pm. Another couple (who were all dressed up) said that was late, and we were all laughing about how thirty-somethings are all in bed by 10pm, even on a trip. Ha ha!

Walking around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The next morning we were up bright and early to spend the day walking around Philadelphia.

The City Hall

How Mother's Day was founded

We had brunch (too late for breakfast, too early for lunch) at the Hard Rock Café.

The Declaration House

I was surprised how quick the line moved to view the Liberty Bell.

The Second Bank of America

Benjamin Franklin's House

Christ Church is where Benjamin Franklin worshipped. The church is Episcopalian (the American denomination, of the Anglican Church of England). We learned that more than half our Presidents have been either Presbyterians or Episcopalians.

The Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross, is credited with making the first stars and stripes flag for the original thirteen colonies of early America.

Christ Church's Burial Ground

Christ Church's Burial Ground is where Benjamin Franklin is laid to rest alongside his family. There's a tradition of tourists tossing a penny on his grave, and if it's heads up, they'll have good luck. However, in doing so, the grave will require restoration. The guide said estimates are around $10,000 and should be done within the next year or so.

Afterwards, we stopped by the visitors center for a cup of coffee, and to look at our map. We decided to find Washington Square Park, which was only a few blocks away.

Washington Square Park

This park was such a lovely place to walk around. The light beamed through the trees, and families were sitting on picnic blankets chit-chatting, or reading. Dogs were happily walking past, sniffing and greeting everyone as they passed, and we strolled past the flowers to this iconic grave - the grave of the unknown soldier of the American Revolution.

I especially liked the engraving "Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness". We mustn't forget those who have sacrificed their lives for God, and our country.

City Hall

Our hotel, the Ritz-Carlton was originally built in a neoclassical style between 1904 - 1908. The rotunda building (the lobby), is a reproduction of the Pantheon in Rome. It is built of 9,000 tons of Georgia marble. Much of the marble is from a Carrera quarry in Italy - the same quarry where marble was mined for use in Michelangelo’s statue of “David.”  

We ended our trip with a date night at the Ritz-Carlton where we chit-chatted about our time visiting. The next morning we were up early, and headed home, sweet home.

We're already talking about when we'll go back.

Kiki Nakita

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Bloglovin'

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