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Blog #1049

Fort McHenry and John Mulaney - 10/5/2021

Sarah and I drove to Philadelphia to see standup comedian, John Mulaney and took in a couple of sights along the way.

On the drive through Baltimore, we stopped at Fort McHenry.  This is the site of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.  On September 13th and 14th, 1814 the fort successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy.  In the early morning of September 14th a large American garrison flag was raised over the fort which signaled American victory over the British.  The sight of the flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort McHenry" that was later set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" and became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.

Visitor Center

The site is now known as the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.  We entered the visitor center and began to view the exhibits.  After a short time, a film presentation began.  It told the events leading up to and throughout the Battle of Baltimore.  The film was both informative and dramatic.  The National Anthem played at the conclusion of the film and the screen rose up to reveal Fort McHenry and an American flag waving high above it.  This was an awe inspiring moment.

Sarah and I then explored the grounds in and around the fort.  We toured inside many of the fort's buildings, quarters and powder magazine.

Fort McHenry

Surrounding the fort are many large guns.  Most of these are Civil War era weapons.

Fort McHenry

It was time for us to conclude our visit at the Birthplace of the American National Anthem and continue the drive to Philadelphia.

We arrived in the City of Brotherly Love and walked around downtown visiting a few sights and dodging the light rain.  Both Sarah and I have been to the city before, but I wanted to introduce her to a couple new sites.  First was City Hall, which at 548 feet, including the statue of city founder William Penn atop its tower, was the tallest habitable building in the world from 1894 to 1908.

Nearby we stepped into Macy’s department store to avoid the rain and also to show Sarah the Wanamaker Organ.  It is the largest fully-functioning pipe organ in the world, based on the number of playing pipes, the number of ranks and its weight.

We walked to Monster Vegan on Spruce Street for lunch.  Sarah was happy to get a vegan Philly cheesesteak.

Once we arrived at the Academy of Music on South Broad Street we were ready to see John Mulaney perform.

John Mulaney

We made our way through the theater's Covid protocols and through security.  This also required us to place our phones into a locked bag which would only be opened as we left the theater after the show.

John Mulaney

John was great.  The performance was so funny throughout.  A large portion of the show was talking about his recent experiences with his intervention and recovery with his drug addiction.  In addition to being an immensely funny show, at times it also felt like John's therapy session.  He had great stories and dropped just the right amount of celebrity names.  By the way, Pete Davidson is not to blame for John's drug issues.

John Mulaney

I was very happy that Sarah suggested that we attend this performance.

After the show we made our way back to the car and we were quickly on the freeway back to Sarah's apartment.  Even with a stupid detour through a random town in southeast Pennsylvania due to some poorly placed road construction signs, we managed to get back in about three hours.  And we were in bed shortly after midnight.  This was a really great day with Sarah and now I realize how convenient Sarah’s place is to so many things on the east coast.

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