GETTING TO KNOW APPLE HOSTELS AGAIN

I decided at the last minute that since it was July 4th coming up, why not do a 30 Plus Teams Tour of the City of Brotherly Love even if it’s two days?

I actually just stayed for one day, July 4th until July 5th since Philadelphia is less than two hours from New York City .

Besides, hockey season is less than two months away, so I can spend a longer time in Philly then.

You can’t say the Sports Diva doesn’t have her priorities in order right?

I hadn’t been to Philadelphia in more than two years, which is surprising since it’s so close by.

I used to stay at the hostel that’s in the Historical Area of Philadelphia known as Center City, Apple Hostel.

This hostel is part of the Hostel International organization , so if you’re a member like I am, you can get a discount on your stay.

Apple Hostel is located at 33 Bank Street close to Independence Hall .

You can take a Greyhound bus or even better, the Megabus which goes to 6th Street, across from Independence Hall.

You can walk down to Bank Street from there.

If you have a lot of luggage, Megabus is the way to go

When I first stayed here, there was one hostel building .

Now, there’s two as the reception area has located to the the modern building across the street , known as the “West Wing”.

The rooms in the hostel are in the old building , known as the ” EastnWing”.

There’s no elevator in the building , which has three floors, so don’t look for one,

I stayed on the second floor in the 18 bed female dorm .

Each bed has outlets, a reading lamp, and a privacy curtain, which I don’t remember them having before.

The lights go out at 11pm and on at 10am, but if you have to get out before that time, just try not to disturb your fellow hostelmates.

Everyone is given a key card to get in out not just the hostel front door, but the door to your dorm or private room.

There’s also a code to get into your room.

While many of the hostels have free breakfasts every day, Apple Hostels only does on weekends , and that’s just cereal and oatmeal .

Since this area is filled with restaurants and stores , finding a place to eat breakfast isn’t a problem .

While the East Wing still has a kitchen, the main kitchen has moved to the new building , which looks like something out of one of those fancy interior magazines or commercials.

If your own 30 Plus Teams Tour brings you to the City of Brotherly Love , Apple Hostel should be the place to stay.

Believe me, you won’t be disappointed .

PICTURES FROM MY SHORT 30 PLUS TEAMS TOUR OF PHILADELPHIA

I was only there for a day, but it was July 4th and what better place to spend it than the birthplace of America , Philadelphia .

You might not get to the City of Brotherly Love , but let the pictures take you there if only for a few minutes.

ENJOY!

HELLO CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE

It’s July 4th and what would this day be without celebrating the birthday of the country in the place where the Declaration of Independence was written , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania .

I have been to Philadelphia many times but not in the past couple of years and especially not on July 4th.

I rode the 2:35pm Megabus ,which starts at 34th Street and 11th ave.

It’s supposed to be a 2hr ride depending on traffic , but with the way the driver was driving it might be shorter.

It seemed as though he either wanted to get home to eat some food , see the firecrackers or maybe he had a plane to catch because he went through the Lincoln Tunnel really fast.

When I and the other passengers finally settled in , the driver made several announcements .

One of which I really wasn’t in the mood to hear.

‘This bus will only be making ONE stop in Philadelphia today. Due to the July 4th parade , we will NOT be stopping at 6th and Market Street . ‘

Wouldn’t you know it?

That’s the stop that’s the closest to the hostel that I’m staying at .

It’s only 3-4 blocks away from 6th and Market.

I was going to have to do one of two things .

Take the SEPTA train from 30th street down to 2nd Street or walk 27 blocks to the Hostel.

As I’m only staying one night, I don’t have that many bags.

As the bus is getting closer and closer to Philly , I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet.

No matter what I decide to do , all that matters is that I’m spending America’s 243rd birthday in America’s first capital , Philadelphia .

HOW I LEARNED  TO  LOVE PHILADELPHIA  

Some of  the  cities  on the  east coast  of the  United  States  seem to  have  some  kind of  rivalry  with  each other . 

It doesn’t  matter  whether it’s  in music ,  museums ,  history ,  politics, and especially  sports ,  there’s  sure to  be  some kind of  rivalry.

Boston  and Philadelphia  seem to  have  a rivalry that’s  gone on since Colonial  days.

People  in Boston  love to  remind everyone  that  Ben Franklin  was actually  from Boston . 

People  in Philly LOVE to remind Bostonians that Ben Franklin  LEFT Boston and MOVED to  Philadelphia . 

Bostonians and Philadelphians agree on one thing.

They HATE New York  and this has gone on  since Revolutionary  War times.

Growing up in New York  City ,  Boston was always an afterthought . 

As for Phily, that was another story.

They were either “that city below New Jersey  ” or the city with all those losing sports teams.

You never confused someone  from New York  with somebody from Philadelphia  and vice versa . 

If you did, you must have wanted to be put in the hospital very badly.

It might be that both cities have citizens that you really didn’t  want  to  mess with.

Although, I’d  say  that  people  in Philadelphia  aren’t  as rude as they are in New York  City . 

My first visit to  “the City of  Brotherly  Love  “came about  six  or seven  years  ago . 

I went with  a friend  and her cousin . 

To say that I  had a terrible  time and never wanted  to  come back would  be  an understatement . 

I didn’t . 

We did all the tourist  things, the Liberty Bell ,  see Independence  Hall ,  but not go into it, visiting Reading  Terminal  Market  and walking around  the  city ,  but not really getting  to explore it .

Looking back on the visit ,  it was easy  to  see why I  had such a lousy time.

The trip was a bust, let alone a wasted time.

We were supposed  to  stay for the weekend ,  but we didn’t . 

We came back to  New York  City  the next night, with my friend and her cousin  complaining  about EVERYTHING  that seemed to  be  wrong with the  city, from the hotel to the location . 

Not for  nothing ,  but this is one of the reasons I travel  by myself  a lot.

It wasn’t  the city, it was the people who I traveled  with . 

When it came time for another trip, this time I followed my own advice and decided to  give Philadelphia  another try.

This time three people  were going- me, myself  and  I . 

I not only saw the Liberty Bell  and went inside of  Independence  Hall, which you can do, but I visited Chinatown ,  City Hall with the statue of founder  William Penn on top of it, the African  American  Museum  of  Philadelphia ,  Constitution  Hall and The Bourse, which is  a smaller version of  Reading  Terminal  Market.
I also  saw the University  City section  of  the  city  and visited three of the colleges in town, Temple  University ,  University  of  Pennsylvania ,  and Drexel  University . 

I  even had a real Philadelphia  Cheesesteaks ,  not from the places where the tourists  go, Pat’s  and Geno’s, but the place where the  locals  go go their Cheesesteaks ,  Campos . 

Because  this was my first 30 Plus  Teams  Tour ,  I went to  Citizens  Bank Park to see a Philadelphia  Phillies  baseball  game and to the Wells  Fargo  Center to see a Philadelphia  Flyers hockey game.

I was getting  to like the  city a lot.

If you can take the  subway  in  New  York  City ,  you can take it anywhere.

I did.

I got to  be  such an expert  on SEPTA, (the Southeast Philadelphia  Transit  Authority  ), and the local  subway  that I  even know which train would take  me to  Philadelphia  International  Airport  and what train stop I  have to get off to go to  games. (It’s  the Stadium  Stop, in case you ever go to Philadelphia  for a baseball ,  basketball ,  football  or hockey game.)

Speaking  of  Philadelphia  Airport ,  many times it’s  cheaper  to  leave from this airport  than JFK, and it’s  not as hectic . 

This summer, I made another  trip to  the  city for the NFL  Draft . 

There were STILL more places that I  hadn’t  seen  and restaurants  that I  hadn’t  eaten  in.

I  wanted to  see, eat, and do as much as I could.

I even stayed two days longer than I was supposed  to . 

Who would have  known  that this city would turn out to  be  one of  my favorite  places to  visit . 

I can’t  wait to  go back to  Philadelphia  and discover  even more  new things.

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – VISITING THE MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION .

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Philadelphia  is  known  for  just  as  many  museums  as  New  York  City .

Everyone  knows  about  all  the  historical  museums  in  the  city  as  well  as  the  Liberty  Bell  and  Independence  Hall .

I recently  visited  Philadelphia  and  went  into  the  newest  museum  in  the  city .

It’s  called  the  Museum  of  the  American  Revolution  and  it  opened  on  April  19th  of  this  year ,  which  just  happens  to  be  the  day  the  colonists  fired  ”  the  shot  heard  round  the  world  ”   at  Lexington  and  Concord .

The  museum  in Philadelphia  is  located  at  South  Third  Street ,  not  that  far  from  Independence  Hall .

Before  you  enter  the  building ,  you  notice  the  cannons  pointing  towards  you ,  right  above  the  name  of  the  museum .

Also  above  you  on  the  wall ,  is a copy  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence .

When  you  enter  the  lobby ,  which  is  very  impressive ,  including  the  marble  staircase ,  you  pay  your  admission   fee.

Hold  on  to  your  ticket ,  because  if you  come  the  next  day ,  that ticket  is your  admission .

Believe  me ,  you  will  need  two  consecutive  days  to  see  everything  in  this  museum .

Even  then ,  two days  just  isn’t  enough  to  see everything .

As  you  can  gather  by  the  name ,  this  museum  tells  the  story  of  the  American  Revolution .

But  it  doesn’t  start  from  the  events  at  Lexington  and  Concord ,  but  what  LED  up  to  those  events  and  what  happened  to  our  country  after  we  achieved  independence.

This  museum  may  seem  boring  to  you  and  possibly  your  children .

However ,  if your  children  are  old  enough  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War ,  they  really  need  to  see this  museum  even  if  you  aren’t  doing  a 30 Plus  Teams  Tour  of  Philadelphia .

You think  that  you  know  all  there  is  to  know  about  the  Revolutionary  War  because  you  learned  it  in  school  all  those  years  ago .

After  you  visit  this  museum ,  you  realize  that  you  really  didn’t  know  ANYTHING  about  the  Revolutionary  War .

In  school ,  the war  was  only  talked  about  from  the  Colonists  and  British  side .

There  was  actually  two  other  groups  of  people  whose  point  of  view  we  were  never  told  about .

The Native  Americans  and  the Slaves .

This  museum  makes  you  look  at  the  Revolutionary  War  from  four  different  sides ,  something  a lot  of  American  children  didn’t  learn  in American  History  class .

In every  room  of  the  museum ,  there  are  exhibits .

Children  will  definitely  enjoy  seeing  the  life size  replica  of  John  Paul  Jones’   boat  and  what  it  was  like  to  be  a  sailor  during  the  war .

I  particularly  liked  the  story  of  George  Washington’s  headquarters  at  Valley  Forge .

It was  a  tent ,  just  like  his  men  had .

You  are  allowed  to  take  pictures  at  the  museum ,  but  for  the  exhibit  on George  Washington’s  headquarters ,  no photos  are  allowed  at  all .

Once  you  see  the  exhibit ,  you’ll  understand  why .

I  was  saddened  to  see  the  exhibits  showing  that  while  the  colonists  were  fighting  for  independence  from  England ,  half  the  population  in the 13  colonies  were  slaves .

To  say  that  I  really  enjoyed  myself  at  this  museum  would  be  an  understatement .

As  a  history  major  in  college  oh  so  many  years  ago ,  seeing  the  exhibits  on  Lexington  and  Concord ,  Yorktown  and  all  those  Revolutionary  War  battles  fascinated  me.

I  even  liked  the  exhibit  showing  the  slaves  who  fought  for  the  British  side  because  they  were  promised  freedom .

I  would  strongly  advise  visiting  the  museum  of  the  American  Revolution  while  you’re  in  Philadelphia .

The  museum  gives  you  a  perspective  of  our  history  from  a  different  view .

One  that  is  very  refreshing  to  see .

Spending  two  or  three  hours  in  the  museum  won’t  bore  you ,  nor  will  you  be  disappointed .

LIBERTY TALES- PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA- THE HOUSE AT 325 CHERRY STREET

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I spent last weekend on my own 30 Plus Teams Tour in the “City of Brotherly Love”, aka Philadelphia.

I was there for the NFL Draft Fan Fest.

That’s the National Football League, folks.

When I’m in town, I normally stay at the Apple Hostel down on Bank Street.

Not this time, thanks to Booking.Com, I think I’ve found a new place.

No, I KNOW I’ve found a new place to stay while I’m in town.

It’s located in the Old City section of the city near Independence Hall among other famous landmarks that Philadelphia is famous for.

If you walk down Market Street and Third, you just might miss the building.

This building reminds me of the type of colonial buildings back home in Boston.

The official name of the building at 325 Cherry Street is the Old City Philly House.

It’s a hostel, and like so many other hostels, you do need a code to get in.

Once you have and you’ve checked in, your shoes do have to come off so as not to mess up the floors, so bring some extra socks with you.

There’s no free breakfasts here, but free coffee and tea all day.

On Thursday through Saturday, there’s Happy Hour from 8pm, where you really get to know your hostel mates.

The decor of the hostel reminds me less of a hostel and more like one of those boutique hotels.

The fact that I was in a mixed dorm wasn’t a problem.

I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

At some hostels, you could say that you got to know your hostel mates.

At Old City Philly House, I can truly say that I did.

True to this blog , a lot of people staying at the hostel were REALLY doing their own 30 Plus Teams Tour.

They were there for the NFL Draft Fan Fest and just like me in my New England Patriots jersey, some of my hostel mates were representing their favorite football team.

As for the staff, I really did feel at home and even was told by a staff member how much fun I was.

Thank you, Jude! You and your staff ROCK!

When I go back to Philadelphia for another 30 Plus Teams Tour, I’m going to stay at my new go to place in Philadelphia, the house at 325 Cherry Street.

LIBERTY TALES – PHILADELPHIA , PENNSYLVANIA – FIREHOUSE PARK

The  first  thing  you  notice  as  you  walk  down  Arch  Street  in  Philadelphia  is  that  humongous  bust  of  Benjamin  Franklin .

This  being  Philadelphia ,  be  surprised  if  you  DON’T  see  anything  that  has  to  do  with  Benjamin  Franklin .

This  happens  to  be  a  working  firehouse  as  you  can  tell  by  the  fire trucks  getting  ready  and  firemen  going  about  their  business .

But  look  a  little  bit  closer .

To the  right  of  the  firehouse ,  there  seems  to  be  a  small  public  park .

On  this  particular  day ,  as the  temperature  is near  90  degrees ,  people  are  cooling  themselves  off  by  sitting  on  benches  near a fountain  that seems  to  sprout  out  water all day.

Some people  are  even  dipping  their  toes  into  the  cooling  water .

The  sign  by  the  entrance  tells  you  that  this  isn’t  the  place  to bring  your  dog .

It’s  not  a  doggie  park ,  it’s  a  people  park .

It’s  away  from  the  tourists  area  of  the  Old  City .

As  I’m  walking  by ,  I  wonder  if  anyone  who lives  and  works  in  this  area  knows  about  this  little  bit  of  peace  and  tranquility  in the  middle  of  Liberty  Bell  City ?

Somehow ,  I  doubt  it . FB_IMG_1500994739798