I had waited for this day since 1979 when I missed the original exhibit in Seattle â€¦King Tutankhamun at the Franklin Institute. I ditched the wheelchair since we knew they would have electric cartsâ€¦yes, folks, electric chairs!!! For some reason Kj wasnâ€™t very excited about my new-found freedom. She didnâ€™t have to push me around, which I thought was great for her. However, about 60 seconds into driving the electric cart, Kj was ready to take it away and put me back in something she could drive. Did you know that they go really fast around corners? Well, I tested it repeatedly and was enjoying the freedom. Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kj was so nervous she didnâ€™t even notice in the main lobby of the Franklin Institute the 30 ton statue of Ben Franklin! Really? Heâ€™s 4 stories tall and she missed him.
I donâ€™t know if she thought I was going to mow down a troup of cub scouts or what, but she was really, really nervous!
Due to the gimp factor we were able to get special access to cut in line in front of others. The beginning of the exhibit contained the artifacts of King Tutenkhamunâ€™s predecessors and half-sister/wife, Ankhesenamon. The artifacts were even more beautiful than the photographs I have seen. The intricate work was amazing and I must admit to being completely overwhelmed thought-out the exhibit. To think that an ancient civilization was capable of producing such beautiful works of art that have lasted well over 3,000 years is just mind-boggling. I was hoping Kj wouldnâ€™t turn around, but she did, and there I sat in my wheelchair, big tears rolling down my face and trying to hold back sobs like some kindergartener told they canâ€™t have recess.
How embarrassing. But after a lifetime of waiting, it was so emotional for me.
King Tutankhamun's chair
Of course, with people being the wonderful, considerate species we know them to be, there was a bit of drama with every self-centered, inconsiderate person we dealt with. Did you know electric carts are an effective way to clear a path? Seriously, more times than not, someone would actually take the time to step over my extended leg and wheelchair to stand directly in front of me with their face almost pressed against the glass, just to make sure they had the best view. After a few of those experiences, I learned to apply the gas and just run them over.
I also learned that a large chest and a button horn on the cart do not go together. Each time I would lean forward to read a display, my horn would honk, which of course, would set Kj and I off giggling.
It was hysterical!
Betsy Ross House
We spent several hours touring the museum and really having a good time, but needed to move on. I begrudgingly returned my electric cart and got back on my crutches. I was so sad to see it go!
We hit Sonnyâ€™s Cheese Steaks for our first taste of a cheese steak. It was good and the fact they used Cheeze Wiz on it and the fries didnâ€™t bother us at all. It was good, but not as amazing as I thought it would be. Then I tried Ginoâ€™s a few hours later and know nowâ€¦.they are to die for if you go to the right place!
After Sonnyâ€™s we hit the Betsy Ross house, which is just cute as can be.
Unfortunately, there is no handicap access, so I sat in the courtyard enjoying myself while Kj wandered the house and had fun. Actually, I think we had more fun in the gift shop playing with the hats and toy guns. They really should not allow us in gift shops. Maybe it was the painkillers, but damn, I had fun!!!!
At Betsy Ross House
The Constitution Center was our next stop and it was so great! I wanted to ask for another electric cart, but Kj was having none of that. Maybe it was my sound effects I used in the Franklin Center â€¦who knows? The Constitution Center was cool to death (per Kj).
We attended a presentation in a theatre in the round called â€śWe the People.
â€ť This is an absolute, cannot miss if you visit Philadlephia. It was wonderful!! A narrator walked us through American history and the fight for freedoms throughout the ages. When you leave the theatre it takes you directly into the interactive hall of history where we played for over an hour. It was fun to see so many children getting excited about the government and history.
We should never be allowed in gift shops!
Once that was done, back on a bus to the Franklin Institute for iMax movies. The first one on King Tutenkhamen and the second on Mummies. It was trippy, to say the least. Flying over the Nile made us both a bit airsick. The movies were very informative an lots of fun to watch.
We then hit the town, walking/wheeling around Philly at night and it was BEATIFUL! Fountains and artwork abound and are lit in a way that just takes your breath away.
We only had a few close calls crossing the street, but laughed our way through the incidents and had a good time! It took forever to find a cab, but when we did, we hit the mother load. His name was Bill and he was born and raised in Philly. We were so hungry, but didnâ€™t know what we wanted. Bill talked to us a bit, but kept mention that you hadnâ€™t tried Philly Cheese steak unless you tried Ginoâ€™s. Ginoâ€™s is one of the top places to get cheese steak in Philly, rated at the top with Patâ€™s. After already having eaten cheese steak we didnâ€™t really want more, but he was talking about the steak and the onions and the peppers and the cheese whiz. Yes, the cheese whiz. He kept going back to how good Ginoâ€™s was. But Patâ€™s was supposed to be good. But weâ€™d already eaten cheese steak. He made it sound so good we ate cheese steak again today. Damn, he was right. If you havenâ€™t tried Ginoâ€™s you havenâ€™t tried cheese steak! What a difference between what we had tried and Ginoâ€™s. Kj wanted to get some Ginoâ€™s and walk across the street and get some Patâ€™s and see who really had the best cheese steak in Philly, but didnâ€™t think Patâ€™s would appreciate her bringing Ginoâ€™s into their place!
Our cabbie was so great that while Kj got the cheese steak, he drove down the street and got me a six pack of beer to go with it. It was nice to have a local drive us around and give us the local rundown on everything!