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When I last paused my story, we’d arrived in Philadelphia on nearly no sleep after our drive from Chicago, but with two girls that were ready to roll. We’d stopped by the DoubleTree Philadelphia, but knowing how early we were, as expected, our room was not yet ready. Fueled only by coffee, we set out for Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell to jump right into that true Philly experience. Being a Sunday, we were ahead of the crowds, and managed to stop by Carpenter’s Hall and the Betsy Ross house as well…


As we made our way up to The Liberty Bell, there was no good way to get a photo as people were just squeezing in for a good spot. We opted for the family selfie, and with no sleep and maximum goofiness setting in, if we’ve ever come close to looking like Clark W. Griswold and the family, this was probably that moment…

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From here, we hopped back in the car and headed for the art museum – home of the famous steps from ROCKY. We found street parking near a great fountain, but it was farther away from our destination than we’d thought – especially due to the whole lack of sleep thing happening. Regardless, we made the trek. 

The outside of the museum is an interesting scene – a lot of homeless people, along with shifty individuals looking to get your camera in exchange for a few bucks to snap your photo. There’s an endless, yet manageable line to get a photo with the ROCKY statue, and the top of the steps are visited by an equally endless stream of tourists looking to recreate the triumphant moment in which Sylvester Stallone made it to the top and raised his fists into the air. 

Addie and I did it… while my wife and Finn followed behind.


Oh the way down, we were pitched by a sad Stallone look-alike that was repeating “Take a picture with Philly’s Rocky. Welcome to Philly, folks.” like a broken record. It was like the impersonators in Hollywood, but more depressing.

Finally, we made it back to the DoubleTree to get settled in for the afternoon. It’s location and view (we had a corner room) cannot be beat, but it has the worst parking situation I’ve encountered in a hotel in years (garage is cash-only, extremely tight and many spots are “held” for employees using garbage cans, cones and junk), along with just one proper spot for drop-offs, and that was constantly jammed-up. Factor in minor inconveniences like no directory of services in the room, ice not available on every floor, and pay for internet (it’s free at most hotels), and I wasn’t impressed. But the room service was decent, and the whole family took advantage of the pool.


But the first order of business? After settling in and setting up Rock Father Mobile HQ: Philadelphia, the girls straight-up passed out. Meanwhile, I went off on a solo adventure for some Cheese Steak.

To Be Continued…. Next Stop, SESAME PLACE…
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