In the beginning…

I struggled with whether to do this blog in the order that we visited sites or attempt to do them by the way that they happened chronologically.  Well, I am not sure why I want to make more work for myself, so I will post them in the order that we visited them.

We started when we moved to Virginia, but because we didn’t finish the Shenandoah Junior Ranger Program until much later, I think we will start with a place that is very important to American History and the U.S. A. in general,

Independence National Historic Park (


Our first stop…the Liberty Bell!  G got her Junior Ranger booklet and we started searching for the answers to her activity questions.  She also learned about her very favorite part of historic sites, the TRADING CARDS!  We have continued to search for them at all of the historic sites, and I hope that they will expand this program to the National Parks.  Sometimes it is necessary to ask about special elements of the park service.  There are many programs that aren’t well advertised, the trading cards being one of them.  Another element is the Track Trail program (  This program is slowly expanding, but it is so much fun! We’ll talk more about them when we get to parks that have trails affiliated with this program.

Our next stop…



Independence Hall!

In this building is where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed.  Prior to coming to this building we were lucky enough that our public library had a copy of the musical ‘1776’.  Although you may not think that your child is interested, set them in front of it, coloring, or doing something that doesn’t take a lot of concentration  and see if they don’t perk up when the singing begins.  My daughter particularly like it when NY continued to do what everyone else was doing, but wouldn’t think for themselves, and she was justifiably upset that South Carolina refused to sign unless Madison took the part about slavery abolishment out.

While we were there we visited a lot of other areas:

Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier


Ben Franklin’s Printing Press


Ben Franklin’s Museum


National Constitution Center –where G gave Ben a much needed massage, he seemed a bit stiff.


We were a little rushed in this building, since it was almost closing time, so we may go back another time.  And last but definitely not least…G’s first badge!


There were still a few places we wanted to see before we headed home…


Elfreth’s Alley – the oldest residential street in America



Both the Betsy Ross House and Edgar Allan Poe’s home were closed, so we will have to go to those the next time we visit Philadelphia. It is always a good idea to plan ahead, but since we were only there for the day, we stopped by for the quick photo opportunity.

Also, G couldn’t leave without…DSC_0068‘someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door’.

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