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Around Philadelphia by Sia Huff

Across the Delaware River from Philly in Camden, NJ, Battleship New Jersey is harbored. The U.S.S. New Jersey is America’s most decorated battleship in Naval history. Launched exactly one year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942, the New Jersey saw a lot of action until its final decommissioned in February 1991. She participated in the Pacific theater of World War II, the Korean War, and was the only battleship in the Vietnam War. She was thefirst vessel to fire a Tomahawk missile under President Ronald Reagan.
Today there are self guided or volunteer guided tours. They even have Overnight Encampment program, where you can sleep in the restored crew’s quarters. There are five levels of ship. The crew was as many as 151 officers and 2,637 enlisted sailors all working together on this floating city. For more information contact www.battleshipnewjersery.org .
Things I missed: The Barnes Foundation (art museum) The Franklin Institute, Mutter Museum (College of Physicians of Philadelphia), Penn Museum, Academy of Natural Sciences,Eastern State Penitentiary (former home of Al Capone), Reading Terminal Market, Free Library of Philly, Valley Forge, and Bucks County.
This picture was taken from out hotel room. This section is known as Avenue of the Arts because of all the museums.

Mary Preston - November 30, 2012 - 3:29 am

It’s been ages since I visited a museum. I must make an effort.

Marilyn Baron - November 30, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Another great travel column. The Battleship sounds very interesting.

Maxine - November 30, 2012 - 9:06 pm

Sia, I love your travel columns. This one sounds like it was a fantastic trip. It also sounds like you’d have to stay there quite a while to see just the Avenue of the Arts. I would love to go on board the U.S.S. New Jersey and see some of the actual history. If those walls could talk…

Laura Russell - December 1, 2012 - 1:09 am

You’ve seen so many neat things on your trip. I didn’t see USS NJ when we lived in Philly. Of the ones you listed that you missed, I’m not sure what I would highlight for next visit. Eastern State Pen was not a tourist site when I lived in Philly- it was a vacant building which I did tour once as part of a redevelopment group. The Free Library has amazing stuff. They usually have a nice exhibit in the lobby. Much material may be accessed on-line.

Sia Huff - December 1, 2012 - 9:17 am

Me too, Mary. I love art museums and it’s been too long. I didn’t realize there were so many wonderful museums in Philly and want to go back to explore them.
Thanks for commenting.

Sia Huff - December 1, 2012 - 9:22 am

Thanks, Marilyn. The Battleship was fascinating and the volunteers very helpful. I could see the huge gray ship moored in the river, but could figure out how to get there. (Don’t know if you remember my post about my GPS acting up.) Anyway, they were very helpful with directions.
I can’t imagine living on a huge ship like that for an extended period of time.

Sia Huff - December 1, 2012 - 9:31 am

Hi Laura,
We were able to see alot of wonderful things. I love to go to the Free Library. I’ll have to look online for now. Thanks for the tip.
They advertised the Eastern State Pen as a tourist spot – like Alcatraz. Not for me, but I’m sure there are people who’d be interested.
Maybe you’ll get to go back & visit the USS NJ. It’s amazing something that big floats.
Hope you enjoy your gift card.

Sia Huff - December 1, 2012 - 9:36 am

Hi Maxine,
Thanks, Maxine. It was fantastic and fast, but enjoyable. I was disappointed about not going on Avenue of the Arts. I didn’t have enough time planned. That what these columns about – sharing and helping to know how much time to dedicate. Oh well, there’s always next time.
I think you and hubby would enjoy the USS NJ.
Thanks for commenting.

Sandy Elzie - December 5, 2012 - 6:50 am

Sia,
I enjoyed your post. I’ve been to Philly…and enjoyed every minute. (back in 2006) We took an organized city tour so we could learn all the history of the city and it was great.

Thanks for reminding me of the great time we had in this historic city.

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