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Thursday, November 2, 2017

One Liberty Observation Deck - A Must See!

See Philly from the top as you travel 883 feet above street level for an extraordinary 360 degree view of the City of Brotherly Love!
Once you're on top, there is an interactive environment that serves as your guide as you view from each direction which also provides a comprehensive educational experience.

The deck is located on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in downtown Philadelphia. This is the best place to discover the stunning view of the Philadelphia skyline.

They offer guided tour as well if you prefer to get a more detailed information or if you have queries in mind you might want to be answered.

One stunning view

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cruiser Olympia & Becuna at Independence Seaport Museum

The Independence Seaport Museum has two floors (st and 2nd) and mostly contains galleries and exhibits. The first floor has a theater and it is where the gift shop is located, while the 2nd floor has the galleries and exhibits with a playhouse, an education center and a library.

Part of the museum are two historical ships few meters from the museum towards the dock; - the Cruiser Olympia and the submarine Becuna!

Top deck of Cruiser Olympia

Getting down inside the submarine Becuna

Entrance going inside Cruiser Olympia

The museum is located at Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Cruiser Olympia, the oldest steel warship in the world was launched in 1892, and the only surviving naval ship of the Spanish-American War. Its role in the battle of Manila Bay was so vital because of its victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, making the US's emergence as a world naval power, which was commandered by Admiral Dewey.
Its last naval mission was its transport of the body of an unknown soldier from France to the US in 1921. In 1996, it become part of the Independence Seaport Museum and became a National Historic Landmark.

Here are some photos inside Olympia:

Another historic ship worth visiting is the submarine Becuna. It was launched in 1944 and served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was decommissioned in 1969 and became a National Historic Landmark and part of the Independence Seaport Museum in 1996.

Just a heads up if you want to explore the submarine on the inside. It doesn't have any AC and is not recommended for people who are claustrophobic.
For those who are interested and quite more adventurous, don't miss out the opportunity to visit the torpedo rooms, control and sonar rooms.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Historic London Town & Gardens

London Town is just minutes away from Annapolis, Maryland. It is one of Maryland's earliest settlements on South River that has a museum and park and features history, archaeology and horticulture in a 23-acre area of space.

One of our tour experience was a chance to get a free taste of a dessert unique to Maryland; - the 10 layer Smith Island Cake. It was superb! ( I should have taken a photo of it...ugh!, but you can easily find one online if you get curious how it looks! )

Here is one: (photo is not mine:)

They offer a colonial hearth cooking demonstration to visitors, so this was actually the highlight of our tour! :)

There is a garden sanctuary on the South River at the crossroads of the Chesapeake Bay, but due to time constraints, we didn't visit the gardens.

We were able to visit one of the historic areas though, - the Lord Mayor's Tenement. It's an old colonial house and inside of it showcases the lifestyle routine of a daily living in a typical colonial home. Quite an interesting experience!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Annapolis Harbor & US Naval Academy Boat Cruise

This is just yet another quick way to catch up a nice relaxation by the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis cruises depart at City Dock. There are few small cruise boats from the City Dock that offer 40-minute narrated cruises equipped with beverage and snack service available on board except for water taxis.

This short cruise talks about historic Annapolis, the culture and fun of the Chesapeake Bay region and the history of the US Naval Academy.
You will get to enjoy seeing downtown Annapolis from the water and even getting the chance to catch a glimpse of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge while cruising the Annapolis Harbor and the banks of the US Naval Academy.

I and my husband enjoying the cruise ;)

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Visit to the Maryland State House

The Maryland State House is the oldest state house in America still in continous legislative use, and the first peacetime capitol of the US, and the only state house ever to have served as the nation's capitol.
There are many thins to see and learn about inside, history wise.

I visited the Senate and the House Chambers, the stairwell rooms and did a quick glimpse of the Rotunda (unable to take a photo) and the newly restored Old Senate Chamber with a statue of George Washington.

inside Old Senate Chamber

On November 26, 1783, the Congress started meeting in the Old Senate Chamber until August 13, 1784. Gen, George Washington at that time came to the Congress to render his resignation as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, and so the Treaty of Paris was ratified which marked the official ending of the Revolutionary War. 
Congress then appointed Thomas Jefferson minister to France, the first diplomatic appointment by the new nation.

The Maryland State House became a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior, the year 1960, the same day as Mt. Vernon and Monticello. It was the first state house to win such designation.

Tours are self-guided mostly, although they can also help you provide a tour guide depending on your preference.
A valid ID with photo is required if you are visiting...part of security measures!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Guided Tour of the US Capitol

This tour starts at the US Capitol Visitor Center. Please be aware that security screenings are done prior to going in. You are not allowed to bring liquids (including water), food, pointed objects and other potential weapons.

It starts by watching a 13-minute film called "Out of Many, One" in one of the visitor center's orientation theaters, It shows a journey through our country's struggle to establish the world's first truly representative democracy and introduces you to the magnificent building which houses the Congress. The parts that will be visited are the Crypt, the Rotunda, and the National Statuary Hall.

The Crypt

At the Rotunda is a captivating painting on the ceiling

The US Capitol Visitor Center is the newly added building to this historic complex. It almost measures 580,000 sq. ft., considered to be the largest project in the Capitol's more than 2 century history and is approximately 3 quarters the size of the Capitol itself. This entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol.

The US Capitol is considered to be a symbol of the American people and their government and the meeting place of the nation's legislature. It also houses an important collection of American art and is among the most architecturally symbolical and impressive important building in the world.
It functions as a working office facility as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions of tourists every year.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Our Guided Tour of the Pentagon

I've been wanting to visit the Pentagon ever since, so that when Rill's Bus offered the tour, I and my husband signed up for it.
It takes a while before you can get in due to security checks and all, but it was worth it! :)

The tour was approximately an hour duration with a walking distance of about 1.5 miles through all the Pentagon's corridors and staircases. So, there was a lot of walking. You need to wear shoes that are comfy.

The tour is a dynamic one; - it highlights the mission of the Department of defense, explains and shows the historical facts pertaining to each of its branches of service, and showcases numerous displays that highlight and depict those significant moments in military history.
The highlight of the tour was a visit to the memorial placed inside the Pentagon near the Sept. 11th Memorial Chapel. 
The Hall of Heroes can also be seen wherein names of all the recipients of the Medal of Honor are on it, as well as an up-close look at an actual Medal of Honor.

Take note however that what you see inside, stays inside, which means strictly no photos allowed!

Another heads up...every visitor is subject to security screening. You need at least one proper ID which must be current with a clear, recent photo, such as US passport or US passport card, DL, State ID, etc...
No large bags, pointed instruments and other potential weapons that can inflict bodily harm. Cameras and cellphones are permitted but should be turned off.
Cameras are allowed at the lobby/visitors area though, so get a good photo there ;).

We had our photo souvenir taken! :)

The Pentagon is one of the world's largest office buildings and is the headquarters of the Department of Defense.

Before taking a Pentagon tour, all visitors are required to provide their full name, address, DOB and SSN. For non-US citizens, your citizenship and the name of your country should also be provided.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sight & Sound Theater - "SAMSON"

The Sight & Sound's Millenium Theater has once again touched the hearts of the public portraying the life of "Samson" - one of the Bible characters' first superheroes; - the strongest man who ever lived.
He was not only considered a hero because of his physical strength, but also because of his faith in God.

Samson's life is one of the most captivating stories in the Bible. You can read his story beginning from the book of Judges chapter 13. His father is Manoah from the tribe of Dan.
The play was filled with colorful characters with amazing special effects that you will always love. You will witness the peak excitement when Samson stands between the two colossal columns and started to push, - showing the audience an immersive scene that literally brings the house down!

The life of Samson conveys a message of hope for the wayward, comfort for the weary and the incredible grace of God that enables each person to become truly be strong in Him.

Me and my husband

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Visiting Nemours (Estate & Mansion)

Nemours Mansion is an estate owned by Alfred DuPont who was an influential member of the DuPont Company. It is considered to be the grandest residence ever constructed in Wilmington, Delaware with a 300-acre of space.
The mansion has 5 floors (only 3 floors were currently accessible to the public when we were there), encompassing 47,000 sq. feet with one full acre under a roof! 

Nemours Mansion was created by Alfred DuPont as a gift for his 2nd wife, Alicia in 1909-10 and got its name from DuPont's great, great grandfather, - Pierre Samuel DuPont de Nemours, - a French writer, publisher, economist and government official of France.
Furnishings consist of eclectic collection of fine European, American and rare 18th-century French furniture, tapestries and outstanding works of art.
The Long Walk

At the sunken gardens

The gardens remained as the finest example in North America of a formal French garden which are exquisitely landscaped with pools, fountains and surrounded by natural woodlands. The grounds were inspired by Versailles in France covering 222-acres of lands.

Both the mansion and the gardens were renovated and restored and re opened on May 1, 2008 with a $39 million budget in a 3-year timeline renovation.

So far, basing on our experience during our visit, this is one of the mansion tours that allows photography inside and outdoors! Self-guided tours are always offered with some of the staff standing by for any further answer about any questions people would like to ask. At that moment, there were no guided tours available as we heard they were having a transition stage with their management.