Some of our road trips simply needed more days that what we allotted. We thought we’d learned that lesson on our 2005 drive to San Antonio, when we spent more time in the car than we did on foot in Texas, because their state is like a separate continent compared to home. Our trip to Philadelphia encountered similar issues but for a different reason. We’d found so many interesting sights to see near Philly that we barely left any time for the city itself. We’re considering making up some of that lost time in this summer’s vacation. At the time, though, we did what we could with the moments we had.
Before writing this chapter, Anne and I watched the first episode of the BBC’s inspiring, horrifying, utterly gorgeous Planet Earth II on Netflix, and now I’m ashamed of every inadequate animal photo we’ve ever taken. But let’s proceed with another batch of zoo memories anyway.
Dateline: Friday night around 7-ish in downtown Chicago. Twice per year my wife Anne and I travel three hours northwest from our Indianapolis home to visit their two big comics/entertainment conventions, meet comics creators, have our photos taken with actors from some our favorite movies and TV shows, and enjoy a weekend getaway from the workaday world.
Sometimes we need moments away from the convention scene and the thousands of like-minded bodies crammed into those cavernous yet ultimately finite spaces. After a successful first day at C2E2 and checking in at our hotel, we grabbed dinner a few blocks away from Geno’s East Pizzeria, one of many renowned establishments in the Windy City and one we’ve visited in the past. It’s always busy and it’s weird at first to find yourself in a place where customers are permitted and encouraged to write on any and every available surface (you’ll note one such culprit caught in the act behind Anne), but you get used to it after a few minutes.
More Philadelphia! More American history! More icons of Americana! More really old things! Finally we were getting to the part of our road trip that Anne had been dying to see.
At last, the day my wife was waiting for on this Philadelphia trip: some American history! And some Philadelphia!
When we decided to devote one day of our ostensible Philadelphia vacation to visiting the Statue of Liberty a reasonable distance away, we had no idea what to expect from the journey. We certainly didn’t envision it as a prequel to future vacations. And yet, there we were, and there it was.