#7 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 10 - May 14, 1989
Wednesday,, May 10: The Society Hill Sheraton — a swank brick edifice with central atrium and posh accommodations in the heart of Independence National Historical Park — was headquarters for Mini #7. "Come Ring Our Bell" had been the call to visit Philadelphia — this very historic city that once served as the nation's capital. Early birds attended a reception at the Thomas Bond House and a Dutch Treat dinner across the street at historic City Tavern. Chair Bob Smith and wife Karen distributed hospitality packets with P'50 monogrammed insulated bags at a reception in the Presidential Suite.
Thursday, May 11: Morning on one's own to learn more about the City of Brotherly Love. Some walked to Elfreth's Alley, longest continuously inhabited street in the U.S., visited Betsy Ross' home, saw Franklin's tomb in Christ Church cemetery, and took in the self-guided displays at the U.S. Mint. Mini program continued with a guided walking tour of Society Hill's gardens, parks and residences. It concluded at the Visitor's Center to view a John Huston-produced movie, Independence, a dramatization of our country's "radical" moves in the 1770s. Bookbinder's second-floor Patriots' Room was the scene of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a gala dinner.
Friday, May 11: All to Ballroom D for breakfast. Enjoyed Thacher Longstreth's observations of Philadelphia politics. The Class of '41 grad was twice candidate for mayor. Exploring the city on one's own in the morning was an opportunity to see more of this historic city, site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Some went to Penn's Landing, saw Franklin's post office, saw the Liberty Bell, strolled through the gallery in First Bank, and toured Independence Hall. An option was the enchanting Academy of Music where the Philadelphia Orchestra's matinee program featured Mozart. Dinner was at the nearby Downtown Club which offered a superb view of the city.
Saturday, May 13: A full day. After breakfast in the Nicholas More Room, we boarded Greyhound buses for a trip south to Wilmington, Delaware, where we visited Winterthur — the 200-room country estate of Henry Francis duPont with its 60-acre naturalistic garden designed in the Olmsted tradition which was a blaze of blooms. On to Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford for a box lunch. Its two glass towers let visitors enjoy the landscape. They overlooked the river which was afloat with canoeists. Housed in a restored Civil War gristmill, the museum featured paintings by three generations of Wyeths: Andrew, N.C. and James. After visiting a nearby Revolutionary War battlefield we went on to Longwood Gardens — an expansive horticultural wonderland. We had refreshments in the Terrace Room before strolling around the grounds and touring the 27-room Peirce-duPont home. The property was the country retreat of Pierre Samuel duPont. The evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served in the ballroom foyer followed by dinner and dancing to music by Dave Ellis. A spirited bunch took to the dance floor even after a full day.
Sunday, May 14: A day to see more of the sights in the Bicentennial City, then a late afternoon "do" for those staying over.
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