It's not youse, it's me
I recently had jury duty and, long story short, those of us “summoned” that day didn’t need to report; however, due to a faulty phone system, no one was notified beforehand. Oh, Philly *scrunches face, wags finger* So, I had an unexpected solo day in the city.
After making a couple of scheduled visits, albeit a lot earlier thanks to the unexpected dismissal, I ventured out on my own. When thinking about this blog and different places I wanted to visit, my mind drifted to the United States Mint at Philadelphia. I never made the obligatory grade school trek to the Mint (or Disney World either, for that matter—thanks for nothing, mom and dad!) so I took it upon myself to visit it for the first time in adulthood.
An aside, I did make it to Disneyland in SoCal in December 2010. The trip was my first-ever taste of business travel, first flight alone and first experience of company planning gone awry: My hotel reservation was canceled unbeknownst to me, and I had less than two hours to set up for the next day’s exhibit and arrange new lodging. Jet-lagged, I carried boxes and pushed a 60-plus pound booth back and forth to the conference center in the rain. If you don’t know, it never rains in Southern California. With some help from staff members here, I re-booked elsewhere, had a couple of Coronas on the company and learned to make my own travel arrangements from then on.
The tour at the Mint is free, self-guided and full of humor. I love puns. Throwing around the term “mint condition” and a photo of an upsetting machine paired with the caption, “How upsetting!” kind of makes my day. Important to note: You need a federal ID to enter the building, and you can bring your beverage in. No need to force massive amounts of hot coffee down before entering (ever again, in my case).
Next stop was across the street through Independence Mall to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Shout-out to the security guard on Market Street who made the suggestion. I checked out the Money in Motion Exhibit, which is also free. I love nostalgia and American history, and I was glued to the first set of screens at “Monitoring Monetary Policy.” From the 1950s to the 2000s, I watched 60-second clips on each decade and studied charts listing stats on unemployment and GDP. I also visited “Payments 2200,” and tested my skills at banking by working my way up from trainee to investment manager at another display. Important to note: No drinks allowed, and pay attention to which door you enter and appropriate security proceedings.
You could say I found both experiences priceless. Money pun! All in all, I learned some neat history about currency in America.
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