Sunday, July 27 2014 23:12

The Great American Road Trip: Philadelphia, The Liberty Bell and the ROCKY Experience...

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When I last paused my story, we'd arrived in Philadelphia on nearly no sleep after our drive from Chicago, but with two girls that were ready to roll. We'd stopped by the DoubleTree Philadelphia, but knowing how early we were, as expected, our room was not yet ready. Fueled only by coffee, we set out for Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell to jump right into that true Philly experience. Being a Sunday, we were ahead of the crowds, and managed to stop by Carpenter's Hall and the Betsy Ross house as well...


As we made our way up to The Liberty Bell, there was no good way to get a photo as people were just squeezing in for a good spot. We opted for the family selfie, and with no sleep and maximum goofiness setting in, if we've ever come close to looking like Clark W. Griswold and the family, this was probably that moment...

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From here, we hopped back in the car and headed for the art museum - home of the famous steps from ROCKY. We found street parking near a great fountain, but it was farther away from our destination than we'd thought - especially due to the whole lack of sleep thing happening. Regardless, we made the trek. 

The outside of the museum is an interesting scene - a lot of homeless people, along with shifty individuals looking to get your camera in exchange for a few bucks to snap your photo. There's an endless, yet manageable line to get a photo with the ROCKY statue, and the top of the steps are visited by an equally endless stream of tourists looking to recreate the triumphant moment in which Sylvester Stallone made it to the top and raised his fists into the air. 

Addie and I did it... while my wife and Finn followed behind.


Oh the way down, we were pitched by a sad Stallone look-alike that was repeating "Take a picture with Philly's Rocky. Welcome to Philly, folks." like a broken record. It was like the impersonators in Hollywood, but more depressing.

Finally, we made it back to the DoubleTree to get settled in for the afternoon. It's location and view (we had a corner room) cannot be beat, but it has the worst parking situation I've encountered in a hotel in years (garage is cash-only, extremely tight and many spots are "held" for employees using garbage cans, cones and junk), along with just one proper spot for drop-offs, and that was constantly jammed-up. Factor in minor inconveniences like no directory of services in the room, ice not available on every floor, and pay for internet (it's free at most hotels), and I wasn't impressed. But the room service was decent, and the whole family took advantage of the pool.


But the first order of business? After settling in and setting up Rock Father Mobile HQ: Philadelphia, the girls straight-up passed out. Meanwhile, I went off on a solo adventure for some Cheese Steak.

To Be Continued.... Next Stop, SESAME PLACE...
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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