This is an excerpt of a trip report I made for a business trip to Pottstown, PA in 2006. I really wish I had pictures to go along with this, but I think the prose does a decent job at documenting the insanity of it all.
[Cut boring work stuff]
At this point it was about 12:30, and we wrapped up and headed for Philadelphia for a couple hours of (as it turned out, incredibly ironic) sightseeing.
Upon arriving in the city and parking at "One Independence Mall" (conveniently located across the street from the Hall), we were pleased to learn that there is now a rather heavily guarded fence around Independence Hall. I thought that was both fitting and appropriate. It was adorned with American flag-themed banners, so this made it acceptable, not to mention aesthetically pleasing.
From there we slowly made our way through the hellish heat (100F + Humidity) to the Liberty Bell building where we met an impressive display. An airport security-style checkpoint had been set up, along with another much less decorated fence. I expressed concern that the security clearance personnel were not checking our shoes for weapons, but they seemed to think that was excessive...
In retrospect, I regret not having thrown my shoe at the bell to earn my place in the history books as the reason why everyone must visit the Liberty Bell barefoot. But hey, hindsight is 20/20.
Once inside, we were informed that the liberty bell will never ring again. I'm not so sure. I bet with the right style shoe it just might.
Once we got all that out of the way, we decided to head for the airport to learn that our plane was perpetually delayed due to a storm in Pittsburg. Also, airport air-conditioning was on the gimp, so the weather inside mimicked the weather outside. The City of Brotherly Love wasn't done Brotherly Loving us apparently.
Southwest offered to provide a discount stay at a local hotel and a free rebooking the next day, but we decided to save some money and just wait it out. This was made easier by the fact that the airport did have WiFi access. Unfortunately this was commercial, paid access, but we were able to save some more money by sharing the service of a generous stranger.
Later, we found someone also was kind enough to bridge their own Ad-Hoc card to the paid service for everyone to use. Showoff.
Eventually, the plane did arrive, and we touched down safely in Oakland at approx 3am.
Well that's it. Back to the old grind. Sex. Work. Death. Um Yeah Whatever.