Was a bust, thanks to The Pope.
There was an East Coast/New England trip scheduled for me without my input or knowledge. It was to be a whirlwind trip from DC, to Philly, to Cape Cod, then Boston and NY via plane, train, car and bus. I wasn’t thrilled about such a chaotic sounding trip, especially since it had been all hashed out without my two cents (which is usually something like seventy-five, really). The thought of traveling to 5 cities in 7 days caused me severe anxiety, plus my cat came down with pneumonia two days before the trip. I was looking forward to seven days of alone time, but after the first night, guilt started to set in and Ms. “We Can Compromise” appeared. I offered to join the rest of the team in Philadelphia, but we HAD to got to the Mutter Museum before our train to New England left…no excuses. If I was going to bend, this was my reward for playing fair.
Upon stepping into the Philadelphia airport, I noticed a large amount of Pope merchandise. I thought it was strange since he was in DC, not Philadelphia. I walked the entire length of the airport with my suitcase to get to my metro station. The train was to arrive in 20 minutes, instead it arrived in an hour and a half. I was concerned that I’d miss my museum time, but stayed optimistic. I thought the delay was due to construction, but after noticing a large number of police with K-9s, I figured something else was up. After the lengthy wait, I boarded a jam-packed train, with a number of priests filling the seats. Then, I saw the signs saying Pope Francis was coming to town and considered myself lucky that I’d miss the bigger crowds as he wasn’t due until the following day.
I met up with the team and we took the long, hot walk to the Mutter Museum. When the building was within sight, I picked up the pace, even losing a suitcase wheel in the process. As I approached the entrance, my heart sank. The gate was locked! I took my hauled my broken luggage around the entire building in hopes of finding an alternate entrance. No such luck, the place was closed and I was busting a hole in my bag. After checking the website, I learned it was closed due to the visit of Pope Francis. Should have checked out the website ahead of time. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess, but I thought I’d make the best of it and try to do some sight seeing.
I was in the City of Brotherly Love, so I figured I’d trek to Love Park and see the famous Robert Indiana statue. WRONG!!!! Next, I thought maybe the famous Rocky steps, which happen to be at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, were doable. How the hell can you close steps, right?! WRONG AGAIN!!! They didn’t close the steps, they closed all the streets. To avoid breaking my bag completely, we attempted to get a taxi ride to the steps. So much of the city was blocked off that the driver had to take us all the way back to the train station because he couldn’t figure out how to get to our destination. Spent about $30 to sit in traffic and scope a few murals at a distance. The city was on total lockdown for Pope Francis.
The 30th Street train station was the only part of Philadelphia I was able to see. Luckily, there was a Taco Bell to help me drown my sorrows and I had the flippy train schedule board to entertain me…while my train was delayed. ONLY DELAY OF THE DAY!!!
Hooray, Philly! Me and you are going to have a better date next time. Let’s keep Francis at home though, please.