Day 2 in the City of Brotherly Love, Jason & Karena had to work, so we headed to the Adventure Aquarium really close by, in Camden, New Jersey.
We had read some mixed reviews online, so we were a little nervous, but decided to go for it! And we are so glad we did, it was wonderful!
Adventure Aquarium is just minutes from downtown Philadelphia on the Camden Waterfront and features one-of-a-kind exhibits with more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water. The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States, the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world, a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care and exhibition.
After we pet the sharks and watched the hippos get fed, we headed up and down the different floors of this beautiful 3 story building!
Next up, the Shark Bridge, Frog exhibit and a super cool 3D ocean adventure movie!
Such amazing aquatic displays!
Needless to say, it was a SUPER fun day! We headed back to the RV park to make dinner, relax and enjoy our beautiful KOA RV park.
One of our FAVORITE things about KOA, is all the fun things they offer for families, including the infamous bouncy pillow our kids go nuts over. Momma gets on their once in a while too! ;)
The next morning, our kids went back to the bouncy pillow, and met the nicest photographer, looking for a KOA family to photograph for some advertising. SO FUN! :)
Can't wait to see the final pics! The KOA ladies were wonderful to work with!
After this we met Jason and Karena for lunch at the neatest place, Reading Terminal Market!
One of America’s largest and oldest public markets, housed since 1893 in a National Historic Landmark building, the Market offers an incredible selection of locally grown & exotic produce, locally sourced meats and poultry, plus the finest seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and confections.
The widest variety of restaurants under one roof!
Interesting history behind this place! Check out this quick read:
Guess we like choices because at our table we had Chinese food, a Gyro, Nacho Supreme, Amish Pretzels and more! haha :)
We decided to beat the heat in the Philadelphia Art Museum for the afternoon.
Of course, we had to go out front and do the Rocky steps!
And just like that, our time in the City of Brotherly Love was done. We had such an amazing time! Thank you to Jason and Karena for showing us around your beautiful city!
This must be the summer of BIG cities, because we are hitting Philly on our way to New York City! We are anxious and excited all at once. ;)
We had a 5 hour travel day as we headed towards New Jersey, where we will park for the duration of our stay. I usually take the front seat, pop the recliner and get some work done, and this trip was no exception.
My cute little waiter brought me some yummy "food" and a bell to call him back when I was done eating it.
We got in a bit of a traffic jam outside of DC, so the kids passed the time by yelling Hi and Happy Birthday to the other drivers. lol :)
Don't you dare get out of the front seat, not even for a minute. We have a chair hog in the house!
We got settled in for the night and made plans to meet them at 10 the next morning.
We took a toll road and headed in to the city, crossing over the Benjamin Franklin bridge.
You know our goal is always to eat the local culture and see the local sites. When we ran to the grocery store, we found a little Water Ice shop. Dale had just seen a food show about Water Ice and how it was first served here. Cool AND delish!
We are super thankful to have family in the area to show us around!!!! My cousin Jason and his lovely wife, Karena are going to take some time and hang out with us. YAY!
They have a BEAUTIFUL modern home on the most darling street! Our hosts told us their neighborhood used to be the horse stables or block home slave quarters. I am telling you, this area is so full of history! If the walls could talk!
We chatted a bit in the living room, while Dale taught Ty to juggle, and then we were off, a short walk to the city square. I could not get enough of the gorgeous brick homes! Most are 3 levels with a room on each.
We walked through the most beautiful neighborhoods and stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Revolutionary war. The thing we love most about Philly is you are literally walking through history!
There seemed to be extra many people gathered about the town square.
Then we realized, WHY! Even though we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence wasn't actually signed until the 8th.
Guess what day it was?!
It was July 8th and EVERYONE wanted to be here for this special day. There was a reading of the DOI and the line to go see the Liberty Bell, wrapped well around the corner.
We aren't picky and a window view did us just fine!
We walked through the area where the first Presidential House was built. You can see the foundation and they have erected walls to help you imagine the size and lay out. All this is free to walk by and enjoy!
The Chinese Lantern Festival was happening in Lincoln Square that we enjoyed! The lanterns were SO beautiful and detailed. Again, this was free to walk through, unless you went at night.
We headed over to Chinatown for lunch!
It was LEGIT. It was delicious and we tried some fun new things like SOUP DUMPLINGS!!!! Oh my heavens. You nibble the top off, let it cool, slurp the soup and then eat the dumpling and meat. We also completely fell in love with BUBBLE TEA! Have you ever had one of those? We got it cold, and did the black milk tea. I want one right now!!!
Now that our tummies were nice and full, we had some fuel to walk around this amazing place. There is so much to see at every turn!
Aren't those GIANT game pieces and old buildings cool?
And of course we had to take photos by the iconic LOVE sign!
It was VERY hot at this point, so we headed down by City Hall to the free giant fountains so the kids could play.
It was a FUN first day!!! We walked over 20,000 steps! Dinner back at Jason and Karena's then out for an evening walk. What can we say? There was more to see!
We walked by beautiful murals and headed past the dog park down to the water to watch the sunset.
Good night, Detroit! See you again tomorrow.