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Day 49 - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

We went directly to Harrisburgs' Capitol Building but no one was home? Odd, but true. Must be because of the 4th of July. While we were there, I told Ziggy, "Pennsylvania was the 2nd state in the USA and it became a state on December 12, 1787." We decided to head on down to Philadelphia to meet some pretty cool folks and visit the The City of Brotherly Love!

You ever hear of the Pensylvania Dutch? They were the first who settled Pennsylvania. There's so much history, I don't even know where to begin. However, subscribers Mary M., Skeeter (Skipper) and her daughter Karen were there to greet me and Ziggy when we got off the train from Harrisburg. How did they know where to meet us? Heck if know. I'm just the one writing the story. Skeeter was already for Ziggy to put her Amish hat on but she surprised us all.

Ya can't figure it out? Well, that's OK. I can't believe she had this one at the bottom of her bag the entire trip. It's a Ben Franklin wig. Take another look. I'll wait.

We went to the City Hall first. Philadelphia was the first capitol of the US. Did you know that?

The second place we visited was Valley Forge.

Skeeter said, "Kieto and Ziggy? General Washington rented this house, owned by Isaac Potts, during his stay in Valley Forge. Although the majority of the troops residing at Valley Forge through the winter of 1777 and spring of 1778 lived in huts, many of the General Officers shared or rented local farm houses. This practice was customarily done to accommodate the needs of a general's staff and aides."

Her daughter Karen contiued, "Valley Forge stands as the ultimate symbol of suffering, sacrifice, and ultimate triumph of the American Revolutionary War. During the winter of 1777-78 thousands of American soldiers died here after the British razed this key supply center. In return, Washington and some 12,000 soldiers contained the British Army in Philadelphia at the expense of starvation, poor sanitation and sheer cold."

The it was on to where Betsy Ross made the American Flag for our country.

Wendy took over, "Betsy Ross made her living by making flags, including the first Stars and Stripes here. The home itself is a Colonial-style house with period furnishings. The adjacent garden, Atwater Kent Park, has a fountain with a cat sculpture. It also features a small stage where a troupe of actors tell the story of Philadelphia's historical significance daily during the summer."

We really wanted to see where Ben Franklin hung out, The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall so that's where we went next!

Mary M. said, "Independence Hall originally served as the State House of the Colony of Pennsylvania and is best known as the place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It was also where the Continental Congress met again eleven years later and wrote the United States Constitution. The highlight of the hall is Assembly Hall, where the Second Continental Congress met behind closed doors and drawn curtains to discuss their desire for independence from the British. This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington was chosen as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army."

All this made us hungry so we asked mf Mary M. what could we eat that Pennsylvania was known for. She said, "Kieto, we have all types of recipes we are know for, but let's go foa Pennsylvania Dutch favorite, Rivel Soup."

That sounded good to me and Ziggy! Let's go eat!

Rivel soup, also called Dough Ball Soup, is great for when company drops by. In an old Dutch home, you'd never get company without feeding them, no matter how unexpected they are. The ingredients are considered staples in most old dutch kitchens. Here's the recipe.

Pennsylvania Rivel Soup
Serves 6

8 cups of chicken broth (I use canned)
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cans corn
2 cups chicken, cooked, and diced (this is optional)

Bring the broth to a boil.

In a bowl, mix flour, salt and eggs until you have a crummy mixture (not smooth, itíll make crumbs). Rub mixture between your fingers over the broth dropping small amounts in. These are called rivels. They should not be big, that is a dumpling. Maybe pea size.

Add corn and cook about 10 - 15 minutes.

If you want, add the chicken just before you take it off the stove.

When I was making soup one night,
My true love she came in,
And I was put in such a fright,
I got my soup too thin.


I told Mary, Wendy, Skeeter and Karen that before shooting down to Delaware, I wanted to swing by Ellis Island and also see the Statue of Liberty. They were happy we were going to do that because we all know how I forget and should have visited it when we were in New York.

I rented a car to drive up to New York so once again, we could enjoy the scenery. So we said our goodbyes and off we went. Bye Mary M.! Bye Wendy. Bye Skeeter and bye Karen. Oh, and meow too!


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