Philly, Prisons and Magic!!

Philadelphia turned out to be a better stop that I had anticipated but not because of the city itself. As usual, Cathy found a lot of great things for us to do. If you ever need a travel agent, let me know and I'll give you her number.

We left Yogi Bear campground Friday morning but didn't have a place to stay that evening (we practice "just in time" camping). We made calls during the morning and found a campground out in the middle of corn-country with a small lake!! That was new to Cathy so she naturally booked it. It was a nice little campground but it seemed like it was inhabited by mostly locals. Older trailers, "permanent" guests and plenty of late night partying. Any ways, the staff was really nice, the lake was a huge hit but the internet was, unfortunately, terrible. We spent the first day setting up, swimming in the lake (the girls made new friends as usual), eating dinner and planning the weekend in Philadelphia.

We got up Saturday morning and prepared for the day. The plans were to head into Philadelphia and then back in town for the local Cowtown Rodeo (the longest running weekly rodeo in the United States, it was started in 1929). So we packed up late morning and headed to Philly to see the USS New Jersey Battleship. Everyone had a blast touring the Battleship!! We toured the innards of the ship, the kids got to load rounds into the 16" main guns and even "fire" them from the command center. Super cool! Kira was a little freaked out by the narrow, steep stairs but besides that she was fine. After the 1 1/2 hour tour, all three girls road the flight simulator by the gift shop. No one got sick but they weren't too thrilled with it.

After the battleship we went across the river into Philly's "Old Town" and had half-price appetizers before heading home. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we ended up spending way too much money. Not sure why, but afterwards we even stopped at a nearby Dairy Queen.

We had purchased ticket to the local rodeo the day before so everyone had to get their cowgirl gear on before we left. The rodeo was better than expected but super long. It didn't start until 7:30pm and by 9pm or 9:30pm, the girls were dead so we headed home. We had set the tent up the previous day and the girls slept in it by themselves for the first time.

Sunday was our big day for touring Philadelphia so we headed into the city and did a "hop on hop off" bus tour. We saw some pretty cool stuff but the day was rather disappointing. I guess it's hard to follow Washington.

The girls had fun with the audio tour at Betsy Ross's house and Kira loved Ben Franklin's grave down the road. It was mid-day after Ben's grave so we stopped by a local pizza place for lunch. The girls had "mega slices" and I had my first Philly Cheesesteak. They didn't serve beer at the restaurant (what!! pizza with no beer!?) but our waitress encouraged me to run across the street and fetch a couple of bottles. Good call!

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After lunch we hopped back on the bus and headed over to the Constitution Museum. However, the Constitution isn't actually housed there; it's in DC (#fail). The remainder of the tour was spent mostly at the old prison, Eastern State Penitentiary. Super spooky and strange but everyone seemed to like the audio tour. We got some really nice pictures of the girls behind bars. We contemplated leaving them there for awhile. ;) We rode the bus around town for awhile and then headed back home. The girls watched movies for the rest of the evening in their tent while Cathy and I brought our reclining lawn chairs into the RV and watched TV (yes... red-neck).

Monday was our last day in NJ and we decided to head into Atlantic City after I finished work. The drive wasn't that long and we arrived around dinner time. We had a quick bite at Ruby Tuesday's as the kids were on the verge of death. Afterwards, we walked over to Caesar's Palace so the kids could see it's "splendor". We enjoy showing the girls the finer things in life. After roaming around their mall (the have a super huge candy shop!) we headed outside to the boardwalk and the beach. It was actually cooler than we expected. They have adult-size strollers that you can rent to have your fat @$$ pushed from casino to casino. Fantastic idea!! They had a "bikini bar" on the beach (the waitresses all wear bikinis) with live music so we stopped for some hot dogs for the girls while they played in the sand for awhile.

We'd bought tickets to a magic show on the ride in so we headed over to the Tropicana and got there just in time. The show (Kevin & Lord Caruso) was fantastic. It has a Cirque du Soleil vibe to it so everyone loved the costumes, music and dancing. The magic acts were incredible and the girls were blown away. We met the magicians and dancers on the way out and then headed back home. As usual, we arrived home late and poured the girls into their bunks.

The next morning we simply packed up and headed north towards NYC. Big plans for the big city!

Dates: July 18 - July 22
RV Park: Four Seasons Family Campground, Woodston, NJ