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Philly Love

I have found a new favorite city. Philadelphia. For this self-confessed history geek, what is there not to love about a city that not only embraces its historical roots and significance but shows it off at every corner?

Love, love, love, Philadelphia!

I was there for the Public Library Association meeting (Check out the tweets via #PLA12 or #PLA2012–bless those librarians, they needed two hashtags to get it all in!) and had a blast.

The view from my hotel room of William Penn's backside.

Leaving Seattle at 0-Dark-30, (that is an official time–basically it is dark and no one in their right mind has any business being up), I arrived in Philadelphia many hours later to be greeted by the always delightful Nicole Burnham. We got caught up over Greek food, and agreed that Philadelphia was a perfect city for walking around. She regaled me with stories of her tours and sightseeing, which only jazzed me up for my plans on Friday. The airport shuttle driver had already whetted my appetite for sightseeing, as he’d spent the entire drive in pointing out places in this off-handed manner, like “Oh, yeah, and there’s the Liberty Bell.” The Liberty Bell! The actual, live and cracked, Liberty Bell? Be still my still beating heart.

But my desire to go all tourist and get out and see EVERYTHING had to wait. Work always comes first. Not that the work isn’t just a kick in the pants.

Betsy Ross's House. Narrow? Well, houses were taxed by their width.

The next morning found Nicole and I, bright and early (which is akin to 0-Dark-Thirty, especially if you are a West coaster suddenly thrust onto East Coast time) on a panel with the lovely and enchanting Deanna Raybourn, Madeline Hunter, and Leanna Renee Hieber, talking about romance to a packed house of librarians. I was, of course, the rowdy one. But I don’t think anyone minded as I discussed the significance of sex in romance novels–even first thing in the morning. The crowd of librarians were enthusiastic and excited, probably as much as we authors are appreciative of all they do for us–who among us hasn’t just about died with delight when some superhero librarian finds that out-of-print, impossible-to-find research book via inter-library loan?

The day continued to get better when I went out to the panel signing and found that HarperCollins had sent boxes of advance copies of Along Came a Duke for me to sign and giveaway after the panel. So worth the early hours! The librarians who came to our panel scored a huge haul!

Elfreth's Alley-the oldest residential street in the US

Then it was a rush to do more signings–one at the RWA booth and another at the Harper booth, then off to a tea at the Four Seasons. No one does tea as nice as the Four Seasons. By the time I got back to my hotel, it was dark again and I was exhausted. Thrilled with the day, but exhausted.

Yet Friday dawned bright and lovely, and I was ready to explore. I went and saw Independence Hall, the portrait gallery in the 2nd Bank of the US, Betsy Ross’s House, Elfreth’s Alley and the Liberty Bell. Along the way, I geeked out on Twitter and gushed about the history that gave me goosebumps (Betsy Ross’s actual signature!), laughs (the Starbucks located nearly across the street from Betsy’s house), and the beauty of historical architecture where the details were done with such care. I realized I do know a lot about my country’s history, but–and this is the cool part–I have a whole lot more to discover.

Loved this transom over one of the houses--who wouldn't love it--Books and a pen!

My thanks to PLA for inviting me to be part of their conference and my appreciation for them choosing such a perfect city to host their conference.

My question for this week’s blog drawing is easy: What historical site would you LOVE to visit?

Comment below to enter this week’s blog drawing.

The Rules:

1) Leave a comment below and let me know which historical site you would love to visit:


2) Tweet the following: Enter to win a signed book by #JuliaQuinn and other author swag at http://elizabethboyle.com/blog/?p=2084 #contest

Do both and you are entered twice! I’ll give you all until midnight, PT, Saturday, March 24th to get your entries in.

Make sure to check back here Monday, March 26th to find out if you won. You’ll have a week to claim your prize.

Last week’s winner is: Sue K, who was poster #4 and made her comment on March 12, 2012 at 9:34 AM. Sue, contact me with your address and I will send you your prize. You have a week to claim it.

55 comments to “Philly Love”

  1. Karen H in NC
    March 19th, 2012 at 5:29 am · Link

    Those are some great pictures of Philly. Not something we see published all the time. Love the stained glass transom window. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Since I’ve never been to Philadelphia, I guess that’s the historical place I’d like to visit.

  2. Lory Diocampo
    March 19th, 2012 at 9:33 am · Link

    Don’t really know if you consider it historical, but I really would do anything just to visit the Grand Canal in Venice. Want to ride those gondolas with the man of my dream. Sigh!

  3. Lisa Hutson
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:05 am · Link

    Mt Rushmore. Does that count as historical? I have been to DC. But would love to go again. What an amazing place!

  4. alisha woods
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:14 am · Link

    Want to go back to Bath. I was between 10 and 13 when I was there last. Would also like to go back to Edinburgh

  5. Jana Ferguson
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:17 am · Link

    The historic site I would like to visit is the battlefield of Gettysburg.

  6. Marianna
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:18 am · Link

    I would love to visit the Boston area or the deep South. As I live outside of Philly, I’ve seen all of the sites in town!

  7. jackie frye
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:26 am · Link

    For the past several months I have had the urge to visit Boston. I will tell you my favorite historical city/town is Savannah, GA.

  8. Kristen S.
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:26 am · Link

    Philly is my home! I love that you loved it 🙂 Thanks for sharing the goodness of Philly with those of us not currently located there!

    I recently drove through Memphis and passed by Graceland. It counts right on my historical places to visit list?!

  9. Rhonda Jones (Philly)
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:32 am · Link

    I would love to visit the Statue of Liberty again, I visited on a 6th grade class trip but would love to visit and enjoy the history as an adult. I’m also glad that you enjoyed my city, its nice to see positive things about it for a change. I wish I could have been to see you and the other authors, but I’m not a librarian. I hope you visit us again for meet and greet. I have plenty of questions about your books. Can’t wait for Along came a Duke.

  10. Jessica
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:33 am · Link

    I would love to visit Europe. I consider all of Europe a historical site. More specifically I want to visit Jane Austen’s house.

  11. Dottie Legatos
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:41 am · Link

    So glad you loved my hometown!! I wish I would have known about the booksigning. Philly loves you back!!

  12. Michele Hayes
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:50 am · Link

    I would love to visit Boston. I’ve never been up to that part of the country.

  13. Michele Stegman
    March 19th, 2012 at 11:14 am · Link

    I’ve always wanted to visit Angkor Wat, an ancient temple complex in Cambodia. And, of course, the Great Wall in China.

  14. SharonA
    March 19th, 2012 at 11:38 am · Link

    I don’t think there is an historical site that I wouldn’t love to visit! I’ll go with all over the deep South, as that is where my family is from and I’ve never been. Philadelphia and Boston are both on the list, too, and so many places in Europe, too many to list. I love that transom window, I’m going to try to recreate it in a quilt. It would be great in the old stained glass paint that I used to enjoy, too. Hmmm….time to get creative!

  15. Linda Morrison
    March 19th, 2012 at 11:46 am · Link

    I had the honor of visiting many historical sites this past summer. Still on my list: Stonehenge. Will you send me there if I win? 😉

    • Elizabeth
      March 25th, 2012 at 10:37 am · Link

      LOL. Only if you take me.

  16. Rhiannon Rowland
    March 19th, 2012 at 11:54 am · Link

    I love the old Plantation Homes that are all over the south. I’ve been to one in Missisippi so far. I want to go to many more of them. It’s amazing to see not only the house, with the colummns but also all the out buildings needed to keep plantations running.

    • Karen H in NC
      March 20th, 2012 at 5:32 am · Link

      If you love plantation houses like I do, then I highly recommend visiting Natchez, MS during their Spring or Fall Pilgrimages. In fact, the Spring Pilgrimage is going on right now. This is what their website says about the Pilgrimage: “Thirty antebellum mansions, most of them private residences, open their doors to visitors during this five-week Pilgrimage every spring. Your guides are costumed family friends and descendants of the original owners, whose stories are as real as the bricks and mortar in their hearths. Each house is unique with 18th and 19th century furnishings, porcelain, silver, clothing, tools, documents and diaries.”

      I was there in March 1998 for 3 days and I still remember the beautiful homes that I visited. It’s outstanding and Natchez is close enough to travel into Louisianna to visit the plantations homes along the Mississippi River.

  17. sue p
    March 19th, 2012 at 12:07 pm · Link

    Have been to many places over the years! In fact, we are heading to Gettysburg again next year for the 150th anniversary reinactment! But one place we haven’t visited yet is Monticello, Jefferson’s home, which would be fascinating. Also, Fort Sumter is on our list!

  18. Rose (MI)
    March 19th, 2012 at 12:09 pm · Link

    England, Ireland, Scotland. To see the castles.

  19. Michelle carlin
    March 19th, 2012 at 5:05 pm · Link

    I would love to visit the castles in Ireland(with my Irish husband of course), Hyde park in London, the lake district, Jane austen’s house, hilltop farm (beatrix potter) and generally any main historical features of the regency period so we better add some castles/homes of the English titled!

  20. Karen
    March 19th, 2012 at 7:10 pm · Link

    Love Philly! Lived in Delaware and worked in Philly several years back and some of my favorite people live there. Got to see the Liberty Bell before the nutcase attacked it and they put it behind glass. Other than that, though, it was mostly lost on me as I am not a history buff.

    After watching Ken Burns PBS documentary, I’ve got many of our National Parks and Monuments on my to see list starting with Mt Rushmore.

  21. Cynthia
    March 19th, 2012 at 7:27 pm · Link

    It is hard to choose just one. I would love to visit the historical sites of London.

  22. Winnie P
    March 19th, 2012 at 10:58 pm · Link

    I would love to visit England.

  23. Enikő K
    March 20th, 2012 at 8:40 am · Link

    I would like to visit Prague and England (especially the castles as they fascinate me). Fortunately last autumn I have been in Vienna which was amazing. I highly recommend it, such a beautiful city!

  24. Chris Bails
    March 20th, 2012 at 9:04 am · Link

    There are tons of places that I would love to see. I would love to visit Washington DC and see everything, like the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and The Tome of the Unknown soldier. I would also love to see the Alamo. Too many other places to mention, but those are some of my favs.
    Would love to win and read this book. Big fan of historical romance and love Julia Quinn. My favorite historical romance author.

  25. SaraLC
    March 20th, 2012 at 10:50 am · Link

    I would love to visit London and Bath and see the places I read about in historical romances 🙂 Closer to home, I would also like to visit Plymouth and see the Mayflower II since my ancestors came to America on the Mayflower.

  26. Maureen
    March 20th, 2012 at 2:48 pm · Link

    I would like to go back to Ellis Island again. The last time we went was years ago when our kids were young and they wouldn’t stand still long enough for me to see everything.

  27. Linda Mc
    March 20th, 2012 at 5:43 pm · Link

    I’d love to see the castles in Great Britain, and I’d love to see many historical sites in Italy. And Egypt too!

  28. Susan Cole
    March 21st, 2012 at 9:48 am · Link

    I would love to see Gettysburg and Antietem. I love anything to do with history and have visited many civil war battle sites around my area! My husband and I are planning a trip to the east coast to visit as many sites as we can!!

  29. Molly
    March 21st, 2012 at 9:56 am · Link

    I have fond memories of Philly from touring the historical area to having lunch with Bill Guarnere of Band of Brothers fame. You really captured the essence.

    There are a lot of historical sites I would like to see. Several places in England (The Vyne, Hampton Court, the War Rooms, Bletchley Park…I could go on), various battlefields in Europe but most especially the Normandy beaches and Bastogne and anywhere we could find out my Grandpa was. I’d like to revisit Fort Ticonderoga and a number of the Revolutionary War and Civil War sites I’ve been to including Gettysburg.

  30. Jennifer leiker
    March 21st, 2012 at 10:48 am · Link

    There are more places that I’d love to see in England! I have already started that list. Beside in England I would love to see Germany and Austria.

  31. Shannon Vitale-Wilson
    March 21st, 2012 at 10:53 am · Link

    There are a couple of places I would love to visit….Rome, castle ruins in Scotland, locally (United States)…I would love to visit Philadelphia, Washington D.C, and New York….oh if wishes were fishes….

  32. Adrienne
    March 21st, 2012 at 11:03 am · Link

    I’m so excited that you enjoyed my city! I need to go to the Edgar Allan Poe house in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. I can’t believe I haven’t been yet. (Lame excuse coming up in 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …) In my defense, we have so many historical sites in this city (many kinda hidden) that I always have a new one to explore.

  33. Laura Smith
    March 21st, 2012 at 11:22 am · Link

    I was also in Philly for the conference. After walking down Elfreth Alley my coworker and I went back to the hotel to look up the 2 houses that were sale so we could see what they looked like inside.

    I also got to see Independence Hall & Constitution Hall & the Liberty Bell AND our hotel room overlooked the cemetery where Benjamin Franklin is buried so that was an absolutely fantastic view in my opinion!

    I am also a history nut (and a genealogy nut) so there are so many historical sites I’d love to visit, but one of those in the U.S. would be to drive the Natchez Trace and explore along the way.

  34. Kathryn
    March 21st, 2012 at 11:40 am · Link

    My husband and I decided before we were married to visit all the US presidents homes. So far, we’ve been to Hoover’s in Iowa, Polk’s in Tennessee, Harrison’s in Indiana, Lincoln’s in Illinois, and Hayes’s in Ohio. It has been quite fun.

  35. Lennette Daniels
    March 21st, 2012 at 11:52 am · Link

    England, definitely.

  36. Lennette Daniels
    March 21st, 2012 at 11:53 am · Link

    I tweeted the giveaway here https://twitter.com/#!/SoccerMomKnits/status/182538624028512256

  37. rahayu
    March 21st, 2012 at 1:25 pm · Link

    i’d love to visit Borobudur Temple once again. it’s the biggest ancient temple in Indonesia and one of the most visited tourist attraction. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The monument guides pilgrims through an extensive system of stairways and corridors with narrative relief panels on the walls and the balustrades. So we can traveling and studying at the same time 🙂

  38. Melissa Porter
    March 21st, 2012 at 5:01 pm · Link

    Ireland and Scotland are on my need to visit list. London would be nice also. B-)

  39. Maria Blake
    March 21st, 2012 at 5:15 pm · Link

    Scotland, Edinburgh Castle for sure. I’ve planned to go there many times but never made it. My folks are Irish, so I’ve done the London & most of Ireland. But even more than the rest of England & Wales, I’d really like to see Edinburgh.

  40. Ilene Jones
    March 21st, 2012 at 6:51 pm · Link

    I really want to take the grand tour – I have never been outside of the US, so visiting England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and all of the history that your books have helped me fall in love with, are all on my list 🙂

  41. Donna M
    March 21st, 2012 at 8:01 pm · Link

    I would love to see historical sites in England and Ireland. And I would love to see Washington DC. I have traveled a few times to the east coast, but never to DC. I think it would be a very fun and educational place to visit.

  42. Alison
    March 21st, 2012 at 10:15 pm · Link

    I’d love to just travel all over europe looking at all the historical sites. Europe is so rich with culture dating back centuries.

  43. Rosemary K.
    March 24th, 2012 at 12:03 pm · Link

    I would love to visit the Spanish Missions in California with my husband. He visited them when he was in the Army in the 1950s.

  44. Diane Sallans
    March 24th, 2012 at 12:48 pm · Link

    There are several I’d love to visit, especially Mt.Rushmore & The Alamo.

  45. SusannahC
    March 24th, 2012 at 12:58 pm · Link

    Having already been to Philadelphia, Boston, and the majority of the most interesting sites in the U.S., I would love to visit the battlefield sites of the Peninsular War in Portugal and Spain.

  46. Betty Hamilton
    March 24th, 2012 at 1:15 pm · Link

    I was born and raised in the Philly suburbs. What a wonderful childhood in a 6 bedroom Victorian with my 8 siblings, parents, and grandmother. However, it wasn’t untill my own son was in his mid 30’s (he was born and raised in South Florida) that he and I vacationed in the Philly area and visited the historical sites. Those that we particularly liked were: Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s House, Elfreth’s Alley and the Liberty Bell.
    We also Loved visiting Lancaster and “Amish Country”. I am of PA Dutch ancestry. Wonderful state… great city. I love your blog. TY
    Best Wishes with the book!!

  47. Beth Mast
    March 24th, 2012 at 2:14 pm · Link

    I would like to go and visit the historic party of the colonies as well as the old South.

  48. Robin W
    March 24th, 2012 at 3:21 pm · Link

    I’d like to go back to the Louvre. I only saw a tiny fraction in the day my high school tour visited there.

  49. Mary Rude
    March 24th, 2012 at 3:40 pm · Link

    The Georgetown section of Philadelphia would be my 1st choice for genealogy research and Washington DC for history. Maybe New England … would love to travel back east.

  50. Nesbi Maret H
    March 24th, 2012 at 4:08 pm · Link

    I would love to visit Brighton, Regency era.

  51. eli yanti
    March 24th, 2012 at 7:40 pm · Link

    i love visit venice, so romantic place 🙂

  52. Patsi Kennedy
    March 24th, 2012 at 8:14 pm · Link

    I have been to Phlli and yes Betsy Ross’s house is small. We did a walking tour and we also did a bus tour. It was fun. I would love to go tour Scotland, England and Whales.

  53. Hvitveis
    March 25th, 2012 at 11:08 am · Link

    I’d love to see Alhambra (granada, spain)and the university of Salamanca. Herculaneum and Pompeii. Do a canalboat trip through England, and cycle through the loire valley..

    The list is endless.

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