Before we were married and for several years thereafter, whenever we visited Jim's folks we would take the train to Philadelphia, use the subway to transfer from 30th Street Station to Reading Terminal, and continue on the train to Pottstown. In the early 1980s the Reading ceased passenger operations and thereafter we had to drive to Pottstown, which was the end of our transit of Philadelphia.

As a child, Jim had made many excursions to Philadelphia with family and friends for educational and cultural experiences. Moreover he had gone to college and started his career with the USGS there so the city had been a major part of his life. It took almost 40 years of "suggesting" that he take me to Philadelphia to visit, before we finally made it.

We signed up for a Road Scholar trip to cover the major Philadelphia landmarks and added several days at the beginning and end of the formal program to explore on our own. We visited places associated with his days here and others that had struck my fancy in the intervening years. Our timing was perfect because, like many major urban centers, Philadelphia had struggled for decades, but it is now enjoying a vibrant resurgence.

There are a couple of ways to follow us on our trip. I've tried to make the narrative a complete summary, but I've used many links to other web sites to provide additional details and sometimes pictures. You can either stick with the basic narrative or explore the various links. At the time this album was created the links were all valid, but the WWW is in constant flux and that can change. If you encounter broken links, please send us some email.


Of course we had to take the train!

Jim decided we should leave from Charlottesville. There are more choices than the thrice-weekly schedule from Staunton.

Join us on our trip and the first day of our touring, which was highlighted by a visit to Manayunk via the local rail service.


On Sunday I visited a local church in the morning and we then spent the afternoon at the very interesting Mütter museum. From there it was only a short walk to the Drexel campus.

This was one of the few buildings that Jim recognized from his days there.

Join us on our second day.

Eastern State Penitentiary

The highlight of our program for the third day was a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. I had wanted to see this place since I first read about it several years ago. It lived up to all our expectations.

Back when it was still used as a prison, the landscaping didn't exist. The area around the walls was clear and stark.

That afternoon our fellow Road Scholars began to arrive and we began the official program that evening.

Independence Hall

The following morning started with a lecture about our founding fathers and mothers and one founding horse.

Following lunch we walked down to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Come along on the fourth day (first Road Scholar day).

Washington & Franklin

Our next day's activities brought us downtown again where we visited a variety of buildings -- the standout of which was the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.

Join us on this fifth day.

City Tavern, PhiladelphiaThe official tour on the sixth day focused on Colonial Philadelphia. This is the ballroom in the reconstructed City Tavern where the movers and shakers of the Continental Congress would hobnob.

Curtis Institute

There were two standouts on our seventh day: the National Constitution Center and the Curtis Institute Honors Recital in the evening.

Philadelphia Water Works

After the morning lecture on the eighth day our official Road Scholar program was complete. Jim and I were back on our own again and we headed for the water.

Barnes Foundation Arboretum

The ninth day was our final full day in Philadelphia. We headed into the suburbs to visit the Barnes Foundation Arboretum. I could have spent many more hours here.

Spirit of Transportation

On Monday, after a relaxing morning of not doing anything but packing, we headed to 30th Street Station to catch our train home.

Traveling by Amtrak is so superior to flying within the NE corridor. It takes roughly the same amount of time and you get so much more room. The scenery is better too.

This relief sculpture in 30th Street Station is called "The Spirit of Transportation."

What a wonderful trip – worth the wait!

Go to the Picture Album.