Philly/Gettysburg/Virginia/DC 2018

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour

It was a trip more than five decades in the making, but I finally got to take my 8th grade field trip … at the age of 65.  With our friends Kim and Mary, Tracy and I visited the historical venues of Philadelphia, the battleground at Gettysburg, presidential homes in Virginia and ended our journey with a couple of nights in our nation’s capital.  We ate pretty darn well, too. I hope you come along on our trip exploring the nation’s history.

Chapter One: Square Roots

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter One: Square Roots Although it came 52 years late, my 8th grade field trip to Philadelphia, Gettysburg, presidential homes in Virginia and a quick stop in Washington DC finally came to fruition this spring. Our friends Kim and Mary joined Tracy and me on our time traveling adventure back to the early roots of our country. Our journey started in Philadelphia where one sight after another brought history back to life.  All of that walking meant we could partake in a variety of cuisines, including one of the most memorable meal experiences of my life.                                         … Read more…

Chapter Two: You Say You Want A Revolution

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Two: You Say You Want A Revolution Day Two – Subway Impaired, We Almost Dined There, A Walk Through American History, In Tents, The Streets Of Philadelphia, No Old Mary, Where’s Karen, What’s A Founding Father Like You Doing In A Bank Like This, Washington’s Pew, Don’t Drop The Font, Right Down My Alley, Fire!, Sew What, Ben Deserves Better, I (Don’t) Declare, Did You Write On That Bell, Black Sheep Of The Family, Glorious Gnocchi and Kitchen Aid We awoke to glorious blue skies, and after inhaling our morning coffee walked to where I thought the subway was located to take us to the vicinity of the Museum of the American Revolution, however … Read more…

Chapter Three: Philadelphia Freedom

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Three: Philadelphia Freedom Day Three: Independence Day, Act Of Congress; Tiptoe Through The Tulips, Let Freedom Ring, Phake Philly Phanatic, Skuggs The Squirrel, Go Fly A Kite, Stop/Start The Presses, Take A Ride On The Reading, Akia In A Kia, Not Exactly Hamilton, I’ve Seen This Movie Before, Afternoon Constitutional, Hanging With The Founders, We Need Uber To Give Us A Lift To Lyft and Meeting The Real Philly Phanatics Our Philadelphia Story (sans Hepburn, Grant and Stewart) started early on this Sunday morning.                                          We had a date with history at Independence Hall … Read more…

Chapter Four: Basilica, Barnes & Bones

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Four: Basilica, Barnes & Bones Day Four: Girder Guys, Peter Paul and Kathy, A Contentious Move, Rampant Renoir, Where Did Van Gogh Toulouse-Lautrec, An Artful Lunch, Disturbingly Informative, Skeletal Remains, I’ll Take Manhattan, The Streets of Philadelphia, Biking Bar, Marvelous Mexican and National Geographic’s “#1 Gelato In The World” After digging through KarenPhilly’s gift basket (you haven’t lived until you eat potato chips for breakfast), the Philadelphia foursome took off on foot early.  We were on the way to a famed art gallery where we had 11 a.m. reservations, but we had two stops to make along the way.  Well, actually three. Potato chips are good, but not very filling so we made … Read more…

Chapter Five: Philly Finale

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Five: Philly Finale Day Five: I’ve Got To Be Free, Rooms of Beauty, Walk Like An Egyptian, How About That Secret Handshake, A Rocky Time To The Top, Tracy Falls In Love with Two Sargents, The Bet, The Big Cheese, No Moe or Curly, We’re Still Closed, Stacked Burial Ground, Rambling Man, Majestic Mosaic and You Can’t Beat City Hall We hit the pavement early on our final day in Philly.  Knowing my lack of balance, that statement could be taken literally, however we safely navigated all of our walks.  First, we stopped by City Hall and reserved a 3:30 tour to the top.  From every angle, this one of the prettier city … Read more…

Chapter Six: The Battle Of Gettysburg

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Six: The Battle Of Gettysburg Day Six – Trying To Keep My Eyes Open, Gettysburg By George, History Comes Alive, Francis Scott Key’s Son & The General,  A Massive Screw-Up (Or Was It), Uni-Sickles, Warren Stands Tall, Home State Advantage Four Score, 1776, What State Are We In, Harper’s Bizarre, B&B Heaven and Getting Stonewalled Seven score and 15 years ago the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, found itself in the middle of the most famous battle of the Civil War.  It’s a spot we had all wanted to visit, and on this day we’d get our chance.  Awaking before 5 a.m., after a cup of coffee or three, we hopped into our rental … Read more…

Chapter Seven: Presidents Day

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Seven:  Presidents Day Day Seven – Waffling, Tom & Tom, Terrific Tour, Kids Ask The Darndest Things, Jefferson’s Coffee Addiction, Ash Lawn Or Highland, Payne In The Ass, Hush Hush Sweet Charlottesville, Can Never Get Enough Hamilton, Contentious Grounds, The Hills Are Not Alive, Orange On The Way To Orange, Ooh It’s A Holladay and The Odd Couple The Inn at Old Virginia does not usually serve their delicious breakfast until 8:30 a.m., but they nicely opened their doors a half hour early when we told them we were visiting a nearby president’s home at a certain time.  And, oh, what a breakfast it turned out to be.  If you have the opportunity … Read more…

Chapter Eight:  From Founding Fathers To Founding Farmers

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Eight:  From Founding Fathers To Founding Farmers Day Eight – Please … No Monty Python Reference, Home James, Hello Dolley, Better Than Monticello?, It’s A Small World, Tracy’s Pen Goes Wild, A Farewell To Arm, The Lone Ranger, The President & First Lady, A Nice Place For A Cocktail and Any Port (or White Wine) in a Storm Feeling better after a good night’s rest, we descended the stairs to the Holladay House dining room, where Sharon served thin-sliced green apples with walnuts, raisins and home-made elderberry syrup. When Tracy heard Sharon say “elderberry,” she gave me the “look,” which told me not to shout out, “Your mother was a hamster, and your … Read more…

Chapter Nine: Our History Lesson Concludes

Mai Tai Tom’s Magical History Tour Chapter Nine: Our History Lesson Concludes Day Eight: It’s A Magazine & A Museum, A Visit To Jerusalem in 3D, This Is Big, My Meeting With The Pope, Serving You Since 1856, Last Tickets Of The Day, Enlightening Museum, Absorb & Learn, Tommy Be Good and There Will Be A Test When You Get Home On our final day, we travelled to Jerusalem.  Fortunately we did not have to hurry to the airport to catch a flight, all we had to do was Uber over to the National Geographic Museum, a museum our friend Jeff had told us about before we left. Mary had secured a 10 a.m. National Geographic subscription (excuse me, reservation) … Read more…