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New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Mon, Dec. 6th, 2004 11:32 am
New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania

So this weekend I took off for Philadelphia again to see the balance of the sights I had not yet seen, and to visit ultimatepsi. I ended up taking Amtrak down. I haven't taken an Amtrak train since I was a little kid, so it was a fun experience for me. The approach to New York City from New Haven is just something else. The train travels along a bridge so high you're looking down on the elevated lanes of 95, and you can see clear across the city into New Jersey.


When I reached Philadelphia, I met ultimatepsi, and we wandered back to the University of Pennsylvania. The next day I set out around 1100 to visit the Battleship New Jersey across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey. Unlike the USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove, the New Jersey has not been retrofitted for civilians to wander around, so there are guided tours of the ship. I took the Firepower Tour, the highest level available. It turned out to be a good call. While were were standing by the number 3 turret talking about the difference between armor piercing and high velocity 16-inch shells, we noticed a jumbo jet flipping out over the city across the river. It was turning pretty hard, and flying pretty low. We just stared at it for a bit, and soon it turned its side to us, where we could see it was a white plane with a large blue streak up front with a very familiar seal on the side. In perfect chorus, three of us in the group and the tour guide said "That's Air Force One!" It turns out the President was flying into Philadelphia to watch the Army/Navy game at the stadium there. The tour was improved even more when we got to watch the Blue Angels flyover of the stadium from one of the port CIWS turrets high atop the superstructure. I also noticed that the models they had on display in the exhibit section of the ship were built-up versions of the same Tamiya models I have sitting around my work desk and home. So on the way out I picked up a BB-62 baseball cap which I promptly left in Philadelphia, and a motorized model of the New Jersey, at something like 1/600 or 1/650 scale (it didn't give an exact scale on the box), which I plan to have completed for tomorrow. I suspect it will replace the now-aging USS Fletcher that currently sits atop my monitor at my office.


On Sunday I went with ultimatepsi to the Liberty Bell and Indepedence Hall, where I receieved a gold star for knowing that the Declaration of Independence was signed on 2 August 1776, as opposed to the popularly believed 4 July 1776. Go me! At the end of the day I boarded another train back to New Haven.


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