Posts Tagged With: Hotel

1787 and 1968

8/17/13

I woke up and got dressed while watching Scandal. We checked out of the Loews. They told us there was free coffee in the restaurant. My mom added to her cup. We left our bags with the hotel.

We went straight to the National Constitution Center. I’ve been wanting to go to this museum since it opened. I never went because of time and the price. We decided to go this trip because there’s also a 1968 exhibit. So we felt like we were getting two museums for the price of one. I got in as a youth ($13). I always say I’m 17. My mom got in for the AAA adult rate ($12). The woman giving us our tickets was not nice and didn’t give us any info about the exhibits. I took all the brochures I could find (not knowing one of the items was a fold up constitution-if I had known I would have taken some for my students).

We decided to do the 1968 exhibit first. I was happy that they allowed photography in the exhibit. I had just taught a 1960’s class so I was excited to see everything I just taught. My mom felt like she was looking at her childhood. The exhibit covered the assassination of MLK and RFK. It also covered Vietnam, the Black Panthers, moon race, music, toys, clothes, the Olympics, etc. I liked the Vietnam helicopter, the clothes, the items from the kitchen where RFK was assassinated, and the albums.

After the 60’s exhibit we went upstairs to the We the People exhibit. It’s an interactive exhibit on the constitution. It focuses on the 3 different branches. There were sections where you could watch videos. You could be sworn in as the president. You can simulate the jury duty experience. There were election booths where you could vote on ideas and it would match you with a past president. They had judicial robes you could try on. There was even a jeopardy game you could play against people. I got all the questions right. There were little sections where you could listen to Paine, Jefferson, Adams, FDR, etc. I liked that they set up FDR’s audio section to resemble a fire side chat. My favorite part of the exhibit were all the artifacts. They had items from different presidents, judges, and other historical figures. They had items from the Dred Scott case, the Scopes trial, prohibition, Sandra Day O’Connors’ robe, etc. There was an old copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and one of the first public copies of the constitution.

Our next stop was Signers’ Hall. The hall is the same size as the room where they signed the constitution. The room is filled with the delegates from the convention. The statues are very life like. My mom and I posed with several of them. We both signed the constitution. Supposedly you can print a copy of your signed constitution in this room. I didn’t see anyone doing that. You also can give people a link at home and they can watch you in the room.

After that we took pictures of Independence Hall from the second floor. By the staircase they had plaques in the ground of when each state ratified the constitution. We headed down to the gift shop. I got some postcards. I wanted postcards from the 60’s exhibit but they didn’t have any. I got 3 press a pennies (that will be a separate post).

We caught the 1:30pm Freedom Rising show. Sandra Day O’Connor called it the best 17 minute civics lesson. I couldn’t agree more. The show was extremely engaging and made me feel very patriotic. I just kept wishing I was rich enough to bring my students to see these exhibits. They would love them!

We left and walked through the visitor center. I took a picture with Rocky. We crossed the street to the President’s house. I haven’t seen that area before. They found it in the last couple years when they were trying to build bathrooms for the liberty bell.

We walked over to the Graff House, which is where Jefferson drafted the declaration. It was closed, which I knew but I still took pictures from the outside. My mom and I did some more shopping at Ross stores. We went back to the hotel to pick up our bags. We hopped on the train and had about 40 mins to kill at the 30th Street Station.

We boarded our Amtrak train on time. We were able to get quiet car seats again this time we were facing the right direction. Time to head to New Jersey.
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Categories: Family Vacation, History, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating and Shopping in Philly

8/16/13
My mom and I caught a 2:10pm Amtrak train to Philly. We picked the quiet car and chose a two seater with a window. However, we chose seats that faced the wrong direction. I hate that!! I get motion sick. This meant I couldn’t read. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. I closed my eyes and listened to music.

We pulled into Philadelphia 30th st station around 3:45pm. We crossed the street and caught the train into the heart of Philly. We took the train to 13th st and walked the half a block to our hotel. We were going to try the Loews Hotel for the first time. Every time we come to Philly we either stay at the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing or the Hyatt Bellevue. The lobby was really elegant. We were checked in right away. The lady at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. They had free lemonade by check in. On our way to the elevator we noticed the giant vault door. We took the elevators to 22. We got upgraded to a deluxe double. We asked for a room away from the elevators and the ice machine and they actually listened to us. We had room 2212. Right away I noticed they left us gifts. There was a note welcoming us, a snow globe, and a mini LOVE sign. What a lovely touch! The room had a nice view of the bridge and the city. The decor was modern, but classy. The bathroom could easily fit two people at the same time. The shower was also roomy. They even gave us cotton balls and Q-Tips. They gave us two ropes made of silk and terry cloth. There was even a magnifying mirror. The windows seemed to be sound proof and the ceilings were pretty high. There was a coffee machine with coffee from Emeril. Everywhere I looked there were outlets. Finally a hotel that has a lot of outlets and in sensible places. The room had a flat screen tv with 63 channels. We dropped our stuff off and went out to shop.

We went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below. We then dashed to Reading Terminal Market to catch our favorite cookies on sale. We wound up getting 7 cookies and a marshmallow cup from the Pennsylvania General Store. My mom got a blueberry fritter from the Amish. We then went back to Burlington. We also did Claire’s and Pay Half.

We had 6pm reservations at Maggiano’s but I called and pushed it back to 6:15pm because we got stuck on line at Pay Half. The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there. We got the slowest waiter. We ordered a flatbread pizza, fried zucchini, and an apple crostada. I had the flatbread, which was yummy as usual. My mom had the fried zucchini. They usually give us 8 pieces of zucchini. We got about 5. I had one piece and it was good as usual. My mom had the bread and thought it was delicious. The apple crostada came and it was perfect. My mom had the ice cream that was on top. Dinner was great.

We went back to shopping. We hit K Mart and Walgreens. We then headed back to the hotel to drop our bags off. Since it was still light out and we wanted to walk off our dinner we decided to walk around the Rittenhouse Square area. We window shopped at several closed stores. We stopped in H&M and Insomnia Cookies. At 9pm everything shut down so we walked back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and ate our cookies. They never fail to disappoint. They are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever had. I had my chocolate dipped butterscotch cookie and my regular butterscotch cookie. My mom had her butterscotch cookie and her turtle cookie. We tried to watch TV, but the batteries in the clicker died. We called down and they sent a guy up with a new remote. We settled in and eventually went to bed.
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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hotel Rant

More Boston and Philly posts coming soon. However, I need to rant about hotels for a bit.

People go to hotels to sleep, eat, and have all the comforts of home in another town, state, or country. Then why do hotels make it their mission to make sure guests get as little sleep as possible? I’m not talking about hostels or even 1 or 2 star hotels. That’s expected with those hotels. I’m talking about 3 star and higher. If I have to shell out over $100 a night I want to sleep and if I have to shell out over $300 a night you bet your bum I want to sleep. Anything over $300 a night means I should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep without a problem.

So why do hotels have paper thin walls? Doors that are so heavy that they make a noise that wakes the whole hallway when they slam shut? Build guestrooms near ice machines, elevators, and maids’ supply rooms? Build hotels on top of nightclubs? Put their event spaces above guestrooms? Put their gym above guestrooms? Only put one pane of cheap glass in their windows? Not to mention the saddest excuse for pillows and blankets. All of these things lead to no sleep.

I should not hear my neighbors TV nor should I be able to hear them talk or flush a toilet. I should not jump an inch off the ground every 5 minutes from the sound of a door slamming. I should not be able to hear the maids at 7am, the ding of the elevator, or the rumble of the ice. I should not have my room vibrate from music that is so loud it could be heard in the next country. I should not be able to hear dumbbells dropping on my ceiling. Nor should I hear every beep, honk, siren, and rumble outside my window. I should be able to wake up without a stiff neck.

SOUND PROOF YOUR ROOMS! That means thicker walls and double paned windows. Pick a smart location for your gym and ballrooms…cough…cough…below the guestrooms, like above or below the lobby. Do not build a hotel above happening nightclubs unless you sound proof the rooms. Put the ice machines and maids’ room by the elevators and then don’t put rooms near this location. One location of sound can be avoided. 3 or more locations becomes difficult. Make your doors lighter and make sure they come to a slow stop. It is possible to create a door that doesn’t SLAM shut. Invest in some better pillows. You never change the pillows just the pillowcases so it isn’t that expensive.

I value my sleep and absolutely can’t stand when one of the reasons above leads to no sleep. I go on vacation to get more sleep than home (unless I’m with a tour group) not less. Feel free to share your hotel complaints below.

Categories: Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Short Man Huge Sarcophagus

July 27 2012

After the Eiffel Tower our plan was to walk to Invalides. My mom decided to stop a couple blocks away from the tower to look at souvenirs. I didn’t eat on the plane so the hunger was starting to kick in. I waited outside the stores and ate crackers while she browsed.

I had walking directions to the Invalides, but they seemed wrong. We kept stopping people to ask for directions but everyone told us our directions were correct. We just under anticipated how long the walk would be in a straight line. We finally found it.

We walked around to the front of the building, which has great architecture. We took out our Paris Museum Pass to use for the first time. We bought a 2 day pass at the airport. We walked right in and they stamped our pass.

The courtyard looked like it was undergoing renovation. The statue of Napoleon was very life like. We made our way to the area that his tomb. My mom was surprised how large his tomb was. It actually was a beautiful sarcophagus. There were two floors to walk around and a mini gift shop.

Next we did the bottom floor of the museum. We saw lots of armor from different time periods! It was all very fascinating. We decided not to do the second floor because we still had so much to do. We used the bathroom and left. It was raining so I decided not to walk to our next destination. We hopped on the metro and headed to the Madeline.

Once we came out of the Madeline I decided I was still hungry so we stopped at Fauchon. Everyone told us to go here. They have beautiful but expensive macaroons. I just bought a cheese roll. It was good and hit the spot. We crossed the street to the Madeleine. The view from the steps was fantastic. You could see the obelisk in the distance. The Madeleine is free and I was glad about that. It only took us about 10 minutes to walk around and see everything. It was pretty, but boring.

We then walked back to our hotel to see if our room was ready.

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris July 2012-Hyatt Hotel

We have stayed in Hyatt hotels all around the world and this definitely was one of the best. The staff were all helpful and friendly. We asked for a quiet room and actually got one! No noise at all. The free chocolates in the room were a nice choice. The bed was extremely comfortable. The room was a great size. The bathroom was quite large with both a shower and tub. There was a walk in closet and lots of outlets. The breakfast was very extensive and delicious. We loved the quiche, breads, and cheeses. The location can’t be beat. It is within walking distance to the bus for the airport and two train stations. It is also close to many great shops and restaurants. Cons: Our toilet barely flushed. It would take 3 times to flush before anything would go down. The internet was very spotty. It only worked for me in the closet. Click here to visit the hotel’s website.
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris
Photos of Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome, Paris

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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