It took a few days for me to recant this day. After the 8am traffic nightmare on Saturday morning we headed home only to turn right around go back to Philly. Insane? Quite. Not my idea.
And guess what, we got stuck in more traffic on I-476 South (The Blue Route). My head almost exploded.
We finally got to Nick's Original Roast Beef in South Philly for lunch. If you've never been, you must find your way. Without a doubt the finest roast beef/roast pork sandwiches you will ever have the priviledge of tasting. It was our lovely daughter's first Nick's Roast Beef sandwich and she loved it.
We didn't drive all the way back into town for a sandwich though. The end result of this trip to Philly was to be a visit to the Franklin Institute, in time for the 2pm NIGHT SKY Planetarium show. During the world-renowned King Tut exhibit all but one of the hourly Planetarium showing is the standard Night Sky, the rest are "Stars of the Pharaohs" (which I am sure is lovely, but we wanted the plain jane night sky version). Weeeeellllll...we entered the building with 5 minutes to spare only to find the admissions line about 40 people deep. AAAAHH!
The Franklin Institute might be the only major museum NOT to have installed automated ticketing machines to facilitate the crowds and complex menu of packages, add-ons, etc. So, instead a handful of probably-poorly paid workers must go over the variety of choices to each and every person. It is no surprise then that the line is over an hour deep. Completely flustered by this point, staring around the giant, packed full of people, great hall of the Institute I spotted the membership booth completely empty. 8 minutes later, I was a member at the 2xMyAge Under-35 member rate. This gets me one year of entry plus a guest each time. Since kids under 4 are free, it made no sense to spend $23 more for the family membership - only to get the same thing. We were offered, and took, $15pp King Tut tickets good between now and the end of the exhibit (9/30/07) - that is 1/2 price - so expect a full review in August.
We had a pretty nice time, although I was unable to shake the disappointment of not being in Vienna, VA for the Joe McDermott show. We never did make the Planetarium show either. The doors closed just as we ran down the steps after becoming members and because it is first come first served seating, the line for the next show begins to form as the doors close for the prior show - meaning someone in your group must give up an hour of their life to stand there are wait.
After leaving The Franklin Institute we walked across the block to the Logan Square fountain and played around in the water for about an hour. At one point, my girl was lying flat in the very public fountain water with her dress still on and soaked. Pretty funny. She had a blast and that is what counts. Dad was a sweaty mess ready to go home.
I have a lot of photos and info on The Franklin Institute and hope to turn all of that into a full review, at least of the membership options (very reasonable) and the sections we visited (Kid Science, Space Travel, Franklin Air and of course, the famous Heart). Stay tuned!