Pennsylvania, United States

Arriving in Philly & The Franklin Institute

October 31 – November 5, 2019 

My trip down to Philadelphia was a bit wild. My plan was to drive to Logan Airport (about two hours south) and park there, but upon finding parking to be $50+ a day, I made a last minute (at 1 AM) decision to take a Concord Coach bus down. I quickly ordered tickets, and then after arriving at the Portland Transportation Center, I found I had ordered South Station tickets and not Logan Airport, so it was a mad dash to fix that before the 3:15 AM bus! I am awful at packing ahead of time, so I was left to pack around 9 PM and of course it was a whole process, so I ended up not sleeping. I have a whole intriguing montage of the packing process on my travel Instagram account @wanderlustadventures97 (see highlight “Philly ’19 pt 1).

I headed on over to the Portland Transportation Center and stopped at Denny’s for a good ol’ breakfast with myself seeing as I had emptied out 90% of my fridge and most importantly, needed coffee.

The bus ride down was uneventful, and I slept for most of it. Probably with annoying snoring due to my current allergies/congestion. I fell asleep on the plane before it even took off, too! I was also asleep long after it landed and was the last to get off the plane, forgetting my  personal item under the seat. I ran back to get it and apparently that is NOT okay, and I was roasted by a flight attendant about that and told me to never do it again. My response, “Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.” My favorite and most intriguing part of this trip was that I needed to wear a face mask because I was on steroids (which lowers immune system). It felt wild and embarrassing, but that’s the price you pay to avoid the flu.


After landing, my friend came to pick me up, and we drove about 20 minutes back to her house in Wallingford, PA (about 20 minutes outside of center Philadelphia). This is one of my sorority sisters that I was active with when I was in college. I had never visited her before (and never been in Philadelphia or Pennsylvania either) so it was bound to be a fun adventure from the beginning.

We got settled in, and while my plan was to take a nap, I decided I wanted to hit the ground running and head downtown.

We stopped to have brunch that would soon become a favorite for the week, Tom Jones, a local small-town diner.

My friend recommended us starting with the Franklin Institute, which is one of many museums in the science and culture-rich center of Philadelphia called the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Pricing is a flat rate of $23 for adults with additional costs for escape rooms, special exhibits, or the IMAX theater.

The Franklin Institute, created and named after Benjamin Franklin, is the most visited museum in Pennsylvania and top-5 tourist destination in Philadelphia. Founded in 1824, it is one of the oldest and currently one of the largest and leading science centers in the United States. The museum reaches over a million people each year and provides hands-on learning around science, research, culture, and innovation.

There are three floors, with most of the exhibits densely packed on the second floor.

FI map
Photo courtesy of
Ben Franklin statue located in the lobby of the museum.

“Giant Heart” exhibit, complete with a heart that you can walk through and mimic how blood goes through the arteries and lungs.

“Your Brain” exhibit

Miscellaneous exhibits

After visiting the museum, we walked around the parkway a little and enjoyed the area.

We headed back to Wallingford and then got ready to go out for the night. With it being Halloween, we wanted to find some fun event to attend. There was strong winds and rain, so a few things were actually cancelled. We got tickets to a ’90s party at Punch Line Philly and drove out there.

To be honest, it was a bust. There was almost no one there. But, it was still fun because we walked around and saw a different area of the city. We also did stay at the club for a little bit and enjoyed some music.

Then, we went back home for some very very much needed sleep.

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