Day Twentythree

The Birthplace of America
Cradle of Liberty
The City that Loves you Back
City of Brotherly Love
Back to Square One

‘lo and behold, this morning we actually got to park in the Independence Visitor’s Center, well, under it, as it was open for a change (unlike three weeks ago). Yeah, we knew about the debate this night between Clinton and Obama, and, much to my pleasant surprise, I already saw a few campaigners with their signs. My hopes quickly rose that, today, I’d finally get my hands on some Hillary gear. It’s amazing, but in hindsight logical, that it is almost impossible to get campaign stuff shipped to Germany. But take a step back to think about. They do not sell at cost, instead, they earn a penny or five. That’s contributing to campaign funds. Now in order to make sure that, say, Paris/France doesn’t think ‘Hey, we would rather have Xyz in office, let’s buy campaign gear for 40 billion dollars, this should give them enough spending money for their campaign’, they make sure that only people who are legal residents of the US are able to order stuff. Which I am by now, but, well, with a shipping address in Germany this is difficult to prove… Anyhow. we did take the already previously mentioned Big Bus Tour…and I strongly recommend that one. The weather was awesome. Sunshine, temps in the 70s, blue sky, and an open double decker with a good host. We finished the tour, got off the bus and hiked around Indepence Mall, Market Street, took in the sights, Carpenter Hall, etc, ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe as we were not able to really find a seating place at the Reading Terminal Market…and didn’t feel like juggling our food today. We did come back though for ice cream from Bassett’s. Yummy. 

As the tour was so nice and the weather was awesome, we decided to make use of the stop at the Hard Rock Cafe that the Big Bus Tour is taking and hop on again for another go…. And all of a sudden, it was 5 PM already….and we decided to head back to the hotel. Mel didn’t quite feel like following up the invitation we got. Ah, invitation. Before we headed over to the HRC after the first tour on the Big Bus Company, I tried to score some Hillary merchandise. Unfortunately, they had no stand per se, as opposed to the fully stocked Obama stand on the other side of the road that was selling t-shirts for 20 bucks a pop and tons of other stuff. They only had a bunch of posters they were handing out. I approached one campaigner, reckon she was maybe mid-20s or so. Turns out they were already out of everything and don’t sell anyway, no wonder their campaign needs money. Seeing my rather crestfallen look (I can be good at that), she organised a button though. None of the cheap kind, it’s a rather quality one…and invited us to their rally tonight at the Holiday Inn. As in….Chelsea’d be joining them at the Holiday Inn, then they’d head back to the National Constitution Center, get their own, private part of the debate and later on’d likely meet the Senator (Hillary, who else?). Sorely tempted, but that’s nothing Mel’s comfy with so I decided against it, as all by myself wouldn’t have been feasible. It is amazing though, the amount of people volunteering. In Germany? Impossible. We had our annual city fair last weekend. Apparently, we didn’t even have enough people to man the booth we have each year for the duration of a single weekend. And over here? Tons of people carrying signs, distributing flyers, working the phones, etc. and they volunteer. Why can’t I have THAT in Germany???

Ah well. Now, we’re back in the hotel and start re-arranging our gear. Somehow, our suitcase and bag procreated and we now have another bag…and the laptop trolley bag multiplied into an additional laptop backpack for me…so…yeah…ummm…reckon we now have more luggage than before. And as we have 50 pound limits on the to be checked luggage, we have to distribute the weight evenly between those three. I hate packing. A lot. Mel *is* heaven sent, especially in times like these. I might not always show my appreciation…and especially during events like the packing from hell I manage to stand more in the way than be of much use or help, but at least she knows that I am grateful. Even though at times I am a bit obnoxious and useless, but, hey, her fault. Back when we got together, I believed in black jeans, black t-shirts and black sweaters, she introduced me to colors which resulted in more luggage…. 😉

So…tomorrow…it’s the Philadelphia Zoo most likely…and then we’ll see how much time is left. We have to return the car…and the plane takes off at around 8 PM. I *do* look forward to Germany a bit as I am getting a tad tired of living out of the suitcase and changing hotels every three days or so…and I am looking forward to our cats, but, well, there is this small ache about leaving the US…again. But this time, it is leaving with the certain knowledge that we can return anytime for as long as we want, no long lines at immigration, no ‘purpose of your visit’, etc. Looking forward to that one quite a lot.

I likely won’t be able to blog tomorrow, so the next entry will be when back in Germany *sniffle*

Bye-Bye, USA. See you soon.

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