I roust the boys for a run up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Rocky Steps, where we’re greeted by a sea of sweaty runners in selfie mode. We snag tickets to an Independence Hall tour on the way back and learn from our guide that the motion for independence was voted on by the colonies on this day in 1776.
Two blocks over, we begin a self-guided tour along “Mural Mile,” which showcases more than two dozen of the city’s 3,600-plus murals. It seems like every available inch of wall space over parking lots and on row houses has been appropriated by an artist with a message ranging from racial equality and women’s rights to community food gardens and more.
If there’s an idea I’d offer to Mayor Bill Peduto to help revitalize our urban core, this is it.
Wilting in the afternoon heat, we head for the Reading Terminal Market, one of the country’s oldest and largest public markets and food halls.
“We need one of these in Pittsburgh!” exclaims Graham.
“It reminds me of the one in Toronto,” chimes in Stevo and, in fact, the Market is reminiscent of the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto that the boys enjoyed on a previous baseball tour.
Bellies full, we dash through City Hall — literally right through as the building’s ground level is open on all sides — with the objective of snapping a few final pix at Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture located kitty-corner and inextricably linked to Philadelphia.
On our way back to the Monaco, we pop into the lobby of The Ritz-Carlton for a look-see around its ornate lobby, a stories-high replica of the Pantheon in Rome. At the far end of the space, Fen spots an umbrella-topped ice cream cart doling out free, full-size cups and cones. We don’t hesitate.