Happy Independence Day, America! 239 years ago, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you declared your independence against British rule and started the journey of becoming the country that you are today.
Today is the day to celebrate this independence and in doing so, I’ve decided to take the step to embark on a travel excursion to the city in which this independence began. Yep, come November, I will be on a ten hour bus ride bound for Philadelphia! Needless to say, I’m excited about discovering this bit of Americana for the first time, and I can’t help but ask myself what do I do when I get there? Where do I go? Who will I meet? What will I see? What does the city sound like? Smell like? Look like? All of these questions keeps rolling excitedly around in my head and until that day comes in which I get to answer these questions for myself, I have my imagination to satisfy me and a story to give to myself.
It will be a cold and brisk day, clouds of grey will cover the sky overhead, but that won’t dampen my spirits as I stroll along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, climb atop the Rocky Steps and take in the larger than life statue of Rocky Balboa, and discover the flora and fauna of the Philadelphia Zoo. On my way around the historic sites of the city, I’ll meet women dressed in caps, gowns, and petticoats and men in breeches and coats, all of whom look rather distinguished with the added touch of their cravats. For a moment, I’ll slip into the 18th century and not only become a stranger in a new city, but in time as well. But then the hustle and bustle of traffic, the sounds of 21st century life, will bring me sharply back to earth and I’ll once more get jostled in the hubbub of modern life. My nose will be cold from the cold air outside, but it will come alive in Reading Terminal Market as the salty tang of fresh seafood, sugary goodies, and sweet flowers all clamber for the attention of my nostrils. The market itself will be a mini-Philadelphia, but when I go back outside, the rest of Philly will open up once more, waiting to be explored.
Only my own imaginary stories can satisfy me for now, but spinning a tale before the actual story always leads to the right direction. Happy Birthday, America! I can’t wait till I get to explore you some more this November.