PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet that will contain your name tag, updated schedule, and other important information we will review during orientation.
ORIENTATION: We will gather for a warm welcome and introductions, followed by an orientation to the program. We will review the schedule and any changes; discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures and contact numbers for key staff; and answer any questions you may have.Dinner: Dinner is at Davio's Restaurant located off the hotel lobby. Widely considered the leading Northern Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, Davio’s at Club Quarters has been featured in Philadelphia Magazine’s “Best of Philly” and awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for five consecutive years. The dramatic dining room, with high ceilings and arched windows, is a backdrop for expertly prepared regional Italian foods.Evening: FREE EVENING: The evening is free for you to explore the neighborhood on your own, enjoy making new friends, or just have a good night's rest to prepare for the full day ahead.Lodging: Club Quarters HotelMeals Included: Dinner
Dr. Physick was among the few courageous doctors who remained in the city to care for the sick during the terrible Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 and rose to fame as a 25-year-old hero, treating many and surviving the disease himself. At that time, Philadelphia was the nation’s capital and the most cosmopolitan city in the U.S. In addition to notable figures of American history, the population included thousands of immigrants. Among them were refugees fleeing the slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue where yellow fever was endemic. The epidemic decimated Philadelphia and ended its ascendancy in the young nation.Morning: FIELD TRIP: Physick House. This piece of living history provides a glimpse of life in the early 19th Century. Now owned and maintained by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, Physick House was built in 1786 by a Madeira wine importer. Dr. Physick took up residence in 1815 and lived there until his death in 1837. The four-storey brick building is the only free-standing Federal townhouse remaining in Society Hill, an exceptional example of the style. In addition to beautiful period rooms, the second floor of the Physick residence is devoted to a medical museum depicting the amazing career of Dr. Physick, as well as a collection of medical instruments from that era.Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch in the adjacent park (weather permitting).Afternoon: WALKING FIELD TRIP: Pennsylvania Hospital and Christ Church. Located at 8th and Spruce Streets in the historic Society Hill district, Pennsylvania Hospital was founded in 1751. It has provided the setting for many firsts of our nation including many other noteworthy medical, historical, and cultural milestones. Dr. Physick served on the medical staff from 1794 until 1816. One of his colleagues who was also valiant during the Yellow Fever epidemic was Dr. Benjamin Rush, regarded as “the father of American psychiatry.” We will explore several historical exhibits.
FIELD TRIP continues: From the hospital, we will move on to historic Christ Church, known as "The Nation's Church" because of the famous Revolutionary-era leaders who worshipped here. It was founded in 1695 as the first parish of the Church of England (Anglican) in Pennsylvania and became the birthplace of the American Episcopal Church. Those who wish to do so may accompany the Group Leader to the burial ground -- three blocks from the church -- one of America’s most important Colonial and Revolution-era graveyards, the final resting place of Dr. Physick, Benjamin Franklin and other signers of the Declaration of Independence, and numerous notables.
The group will return to the hotel from the church at the conclusion of the field trip. Or, if you prefer, you may remain, continue to explore, and return to the hotel on your own. The Christ Church Burial Ground is directly across from the Visitors Center of Independence National Historical Park (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell) and the National Constitution Center.Dinner: We will have dinner at a popular restaurant.Evening: PERFORMANCE: Concert or Theatre. As this program was developed approximately a year prior to commencement, we do not have the schedule of available performances yet, but will select something from one of Philadelphia's outstanding performing organizations and post the information on this website as soon as available.Lodging: Club Quarters HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
FIELD TRIP: Independence Seaport Museum. Located on Penn's Landing waterfront, the museum preserves Philadelphia's maritime past and present through art and artifacts, interactive exhibits, and two historic ships. The museum is also the repository of numerous collections including the Conner Family Papers with Susan Physick Conner’s journals, which we will see during our expert-led visit.
In the 19th century, steamships or "steamers" would transport the first tourists from Philadelphia to Cape May at the southern tip of New Jersey for the summer, or a month, or even for a week-end. The most luxurious, the steamship Republic, advertised transit "from hot Philadelphia to cool Cape May" and back for $1 -- half-price for kids!Lunch: Lunch is on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice from the available options. There are many restaurants to choose from to sit and relax and watch the lively passing scene.Afternoon: WALKING EXCURSION: In the Steps of Ben Franklin. Returning from Penn's Landing, we will walk the same route Ben Franklin took on his arrival via boat from Boston to the Delaware River to Market Street. Our educator will point out the historical transformation of Philadelphia from a colonial town to a modern metropolis.Dinner: City Tavern. When it was established in 1773, City Tavern was the finest tavern in the largest and most cosmopolitan city in British North America. It soon became the favorite watering hole and dining establishment for Philadelphia’s leading figures. City Tavern today interprets and delivers culinary experiences inspired by the customs and foods of 18th Century America. The staff, garbed in period costume, not only serve you but also complement your meal with brief descriptions of the rich history and traditions. Dinner at City Tavern is one of the many unique elements that make Philadelphia America’s most historic home town.Evening: Return to the hotel, relax, and get a good night's rest before tomorrow morning's transfer to Cape May.Lodging: Club Quarters HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
ARRIVAL IN CAPE MAY: Approximately 11:30am with time to register and get settled.Lunch: Lunch will be at approximately 1:00pm at the Blue Pig Restaurant of Congress Hall with your choice from the sandwich menu.Afternoon: ORIENTATION: We will have a relaxed session to review the Cape May schedule and discuss any updates.
The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore a bit on your own or just relax on the verandah with new friends.
RECEPTION: We will have a "Welcome to Cape May" reception at 5:00pm for shared conviviality before dinner.Dinner: Enjoy a three-course dinner in the hotel or another of Cape May's fine restaurants.Evening: PRESENTATION: Dr. Emlen Physick and His World. Our living history interpreter will provide an introduction to the Victorian era as seen through the eyes of Cape May’s most notable citizen and lay the groundwork for the notable characters you will “meet” over the next several days. Cape May had been attracting Philadelphians and others who "resorted" here for more than a century. Emlen Physick was the descendant of two famous and wealthy Philadelphia families, yet chose to move here at the age of 21 upon earning his medical degree from Pennsylvania Hospital.Lodging: Congress HallMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
We will have a short break with refreshments between the two presentations.
PRESENTATION: Consuming Passions. This richly illustrated lecture looks at the advancements and improvements in food preparation, service, and storage that brought Victorians the luxury of baking, ice boxes, and cocktails.Dinner: Enjoy a three-course dinner in the hotel or another of Cape May's fine restaurants.Evening: PERFORMANCE: Patriotic Music. Every era has produced its own patriotic music. This audio-visual program by a professional musician gives an overview of America’s proud literature of patriotic music.Lodging: Congress HallMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
FIELD TRIP: Victorian Cape May. Aboard our trolley and led by an expert guide, we ride through town to see highlights of architecture and Cape May history.
FIELD TRIP continues: Physick Estate. Enjoy a guided walk through the landmark 1879 Physick Estate, home of the eccentric Dr. Emlen Physick. The magnificent "Stick Style" mansion is attributed to renowned Victorian architect Frank Furness. The 15 beautifully restored rooms give you a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Victorians.Lunch: Lunch is out at a popular local restaurant.Afternoon: LIVING HISTORY: Tea and Temperance. As we linger at the restaurant, a living history debate pits a saloonkeeper against a member of the WCTU. Patrick Collins and Jennie Wales were both Cape Mayans, who found themselves on the opposite side of a prickly debate as well as on the opposites side of Decatur Street, where Collins Café occupied a plot of ground directly across from Jennie’s Presbyterian Church. Dr. Physick, as Cape May’s leading citizen and civic gadfly, is the natural moderator and tries his best to maintain decorum as this debate heats up.
LIVING HISTORY PERFORMANCE: Meet the Physick Family. In this historical reenactors presentation, Dr. Physick brings his mother, Mrs. Francis Ralston, and her maiden sister. Aunt Emilie, to meet you. They are returning the call paid upon them earlier in the day at their Victorian estate. The three discuss a variety of topics of their everyday life, including Emlen’s one-horse carriage, the dearth of suitable mates for both Emlen and Emilie, pic-nicking at the cemetery, and Mrs. Ralston’s proclivity for marrying well.Dinner: Dinner this evening is on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice from the various available options. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.Evening: PRESENTATION: John Philip Sousa. Learn about America's renowned "March King." John Philip Sousa had a long attachment to Cape May. He and his wife honeymooned here for six months as he composed one of his operettas. He returned with President Harrison’s Marine Band and played on the lawn of Congress Hall Hotel. To commemorate the occasion, he composed a march in its honor. This audio-visual program provides the history of Sousa’s life as well as the patriotic fervor of his music.Lodging: Congress HallMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
FIELD TRIP: USCG Base and Fisherman’s Wharf. Cape May’s Coast Guard Base is the only recruit training center in the country, where young men and women are trained to be guardians of the sea, responsible for rescue, drug interdiction, and policing ports wherever the U.S. has a presence.
Then we're on to Fisherman’s Wharf, home to Cape May’s commercial fishing fleet. Cape May is the third busiest port on the East Coast and its primary catch is scallops.Dinner: Our closing dinner is at the Merion Inn. Choose from a menu of several dinner options and enjoy live jazz piano music while you dine. First opened in 1885, The Merion Inn has retained the charm and graciousness of the Victorian era. Its traditional favorites, specialties, and ambience have kept generations of locals and visitors alike returning again and again.Evening: Relax after dinner with a stroll or simply enjoy your time with new friends.Lodging: Congress HallMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
We hope you have enjoyed this new program connecting Philadelphia and Cape May, and will return for other rewarding Road Scholar learning adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!Meals Included: Breakfast