The average temperature in our neck of the woods is 77.5 degrees for the month of February. Naturally, we decided to venture to a part of the country where the average high barely reaches teens this time of the year. We were greeted at the PHL Airport by a Baja Yellow ray of sunshine that warmed us up immediately. Jeff D’ Ambrosio Auto Group in Downingtown, Pa., has a great selection of Jeep Wranglers, especially in bright colors!
Our friends at Quadratec Jeep accessories really prepared us for the ultimate journey to explore the Historic East! They transformed the yellow Wrangler to the perfect on-road/off-road machine! We were ready for anything! More on the snowstorm that graced our presence later.
With President’s Day nearing, the goal of our trek was to explore some of the nation’s most patriotic sites, which we divided into three unique parts; Philadelphia, Alexandria, Va., and Easton/Hershey, Pa.
We braved our first challenge; rush hour into downtown Philadelphia. Nonetheless, we pointed our bright LED headlights toward the city’s center and at the nation’s first skyscraper, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
As night fell, we marveled at the spectacular view of the city from the 33rd floor. Built in the 1930s, the building is rich with history and derivative of true iconic art deco style. Through the lobby one can see the original bank vault doors, impressive marble floors and Cartier clocks. With such a convenient location, the Loews Philadelphia is a great place to meet friends at the bar or stay over for a long weekend.
The next day, we woke up early to check out some classic Philadelphia sites and once again we were greeted with golden light reflecting off of the surrounding buildings and pouring into our wall-to-wall windows. Our first stop was Bank & Bourbon, the hotel’s restaurant. What we appreciated most about our breakfast stop was that it serves as really a great neighborhood restaurant that just happens to be located within a fantastic hotel. In other words, it’s a cool place any time of day and we felt like locals as we dined. The ingredients are sourced within the region and the menu offerings change frequently. Though we didn’t have bourbon for breakfast, we did have a long conversation about the unique barrel-aging process that the house Bourbon Master procures at Bank & Bourbon. Frequent patrons can even rent a locker to age their own, and we think that’s pretty neat. We also loved the proximity of the historic Loews Philadelphia Hotel to key historic sites. Driving a Jeep Wrangler is always a good idea, but some roads are best traveled on foot. Traversing to the Liberty Bell, only six blocks away, was one of those things.
Just across the street from Liberty Bell lies the Historic Philadelphia center. We stopped in to view the Liberty 360 3D experience, which highlights the events of the American Revolution in a unique in-the-round theater that is interactive and brings to life the locations where key events actually occurred.
We learned that Historic Philadelphia as an organization is dedicated to strengthening Philadelphia’s role in the education of America’s history through preservation, interaction and mindfulness. Here one can also inquire about tours such as the Colonial Pub Crawl and Ben’s Kites & Flights. We have plans to revisit these!
We did however make a stop at The Betsy Ross House, just blocks away.
The birthplace of the American Flag is on display both through Betsy Ross’s storefront as well as her living quarters. Visitors can meet Betsy, as she demonstrates her design pattern, recounts the bravery and secrecy required of her efforts. She never sewed her flags in her store, only up in her bedroom by candlelight. Children can ask her any question, but are sworn to secrecy of the construction and design of her iconic five-pointed star.
After visiting a few more sites such as the Rocky Steps (which we did drive the yellow Wrangler to), and Pat’s King of Steaks, we grabbed our bags, and said good-bye to the Loews with a champagne toast and cookies hosted in the beautiful lobby, and drove towards the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
We can’t wait to tell you more about where the yellow Wrangler visited in Washington D.C. and Hershey, but until next time, “Have fun out there!”
Ashley & Brittany
The Jeep Girls