We had a blast on our trip to Philly! While there, we saw the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute, though of course no photos were allowed. The exhibit was wonderful—at least twice as big as the recent Pompeii exhibit we visited in Mobile. A solid gold sarcophagus of either Tut's mother or grandmother was on display, and it was truly phenomenal, as was the small canopic coffinette of Tut himself, a glimpse of which you can catch for yourself at this brief National Geographic gallery of the exhibit. The kids were fascinated by many of the objects we saw, especially what was likely the young Tut's royal chair. One of the neatest things is being able to look back at some of the original Carter photographs and recognize items we saw on display like this dummy folding stool. Of course, the rest of the museum was loads of fun as well, and we explored electricity, air and flight, the body and, of course, the heart, and we also enjoyed the IMAX film Mysteries of Egypt.
Our plan was to stay overnight at the Hotel Windsor, just three blocks away, and finish the museum the following day, and we'd planned especially to come on a Wednesday because the museum has extended hours. Unfortunately, best laid plans often do go awry, and the museum was closed for a private event on Thursday! Gathering ourselves and the four free IMAX tickets that were our consolation prize, we headed over to the Academy of Natural Sciences to spend our morning. We had considered but ruled out a visit to this museum in favor of spending more time at the Franklin Institute, but apparently the universe was sending us a message. Although much of the museum was a replay of the taxidermy displays we saw on our trip to Cabela's, the butterfly room was loads of fun and in many ways the highlight of our trip. Sam thrilled when he showed the curator one of the butterflies ready for release. The staff in the butterfly room was absolutely delightful, and we really enjoyed our visit overall. Not a wasted day in the least.