Alas, today was our last full day in Philadelphia. The day began as normal with an early wake-up call and Mass in the chapel above St. Francis Inn at 8:30am. The celebrant was Fr. Bill DeBiase, OFM, one of the seven friars who live and work here. Following Mass, we all went downstairs to prepare for lunch. The inn only serves lunch on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays to give them some time off. Therefore, all of the work and prep has to be done before 11:30am. Some of us helped get lunch ready (chili and rice), others bagged cookies, and others went out on pick-ups. Today was a slow day (299 meals) and didn't feel as ragged as dinner times do. We were all cleaned up by 1:30pm or so and we took off for the afternoon.
Usually we spend Friday afternoon seeing some of the touristy places in Philadelphia - the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc. But this year one of the girls suggested we go to the Philadelphia Zoo which sounded like a fine idea. After grabbing lunch at another Philadelphia landmark - Wawa - we headed to the zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo is apparently the oldest zoo in the country and was quite lovely. The girls broke off into groups Mrs. Trachim and I meandered our way through. The zoo has tons of big animals like hippos, a rino, tigers, lions, and bears, zebras, giraffes, etc. They also have these see through mesh "tunnels" throughout the park that the tigers and monkeys can go through and wander above everyone, it was quite neat. Although we didn't see the big cats in the tunnels we did see some of the monkeys in them (you can see what I mean by watching a video here).
We then made our way to dinner at Dave and Buster's, a sort of Chuck E. Cheese for grown-ups. This is our custom on the last night and the kids have a blast after working hard all week. We got back to the house around 9pm and cleaned up and packed. We will work again tomorrow and be on the road by 2pm and hopefully back in Manchester by 9pm.
Please pray for safe travels. See you soon.