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Plucky 2009

2009 Home Page

About The Trip

Day 1
Los Angeles to Washington DC

Day 2
Washington DC to Baltimore

Day 3
Baltimore to Philadelphia

Day 4
Philadelphia to Hershey

Day 5
Hershey to State College

Day 6
State College to Cleveland

Day 7
Cleveland to Pittsburgh

Day 8
Pittsburgh to Washington DC

Day 9
A Day in DC

Day 10
Washington DC to Virginia Beach

Day 11
Virginia Beach to Los Angeles


    September 15, 2009
    Sorry it's taken us so long to post the last day of the Red, White, and Plucky trip. We were experiencing a bit of re-entry sickness - the bends, if you will - and needed to reacclimate to our every day lives.

    But now Day 11 is posted with the journal and pictures so enjoy!

    So thank you all again for coming along with us. Our thoughts are already turning to PSSA 5, with Mary wondering whey we have to wait a whole year for it. Rick points out that any excursion called "Plucky Nor'Easter" is going to have to wait until at least the late spring so we don't get caught in an actual Nor'Easter. Oh, and Mary will write up her family reunion. She swears. Swears! By tomorrow at the latest.

    Even though the trip is over, we will continue to update this site at least once a week. All updates will happen on the Home Page so go there now to find out what's coming up for PluckySurvivors.com!


    September 11, 2009
    We have concluded the penultimate day of our trip as we travel into ham country! Read the journal and check out the photos of Day 10!


    September 10, 2009
    Our day in DC takes us through American history, lets us gaze at fine art, encourages us to work out our inner spy, and experience a little crime and punishment. Read all about it and see pictures from Day 9 of our trip!


    September 9, 2009
    It's been another long day, but we're finally starting to catch up with everything we needed to do in terms of site updates. Well, most everything. Mary swears(!) that she is going to write up the time she spent with her family and post some pictures tomorrow. Swears!

    Meanwhile we have posted the Day 7 journal to go with the pictures we posted yesterday.

    We've also posted the Day 8 journal and photographs that chronicles our day going from Pittsburgh to DC, including a stopover in Cumberland, Maryland, which has become one of our favorite places ever and not just because of all the great food we found there.

    Also, we wanted to send a special thanks to all the people who have been e-mailing us. We have been busy but we will reply as soon as we can and we really appreciate the suggestions, comments, and advice you all have given us.

    One reader suggested that we had not been particularly fair to the World of Chocolate by skipping the factory tour ride at the place (the line was long and we were kind of "done"). We have to agree that we made an oversight and we will go back and update that page as well to admit to our road trip-up.

    Tomorrow, a rare full day in one spot!


    September 8, 2009
    It got late, so we will post the write-up about Day 7 tomorrow. But we went ahead and uploaded the photos from today, so take a look at those to tide you over on the Day 7 page.


    September 7, 2009
    It rained today and we got a little wet but that didn't stop us from our primary Plucky activity: eating. Read all about (and see pictures of) our various edible indulgences as we leave Pennsylvania and visit Cleveland in the newly updated Day 6 page.


    September 6, 2009
    Today we designed our own candy bar and our own donuts plus visted several museums, a cornfield, and a house shaped like a shoe. The journal and photos for Day 5 have been posted!


    September 5, 2009
    There are certain days on Plucky Survivors that will live in legend. The day we broke into Dinosaur World. The day we got to shake hands with a future president. The day we got to judge a cooking competition.

    But today may have very well been Best. Day. Ever! Find out why in the newly posted Day 4 journal and photos.


    September 4, 2009
    We tackle Philadelphia and Philadelphia tackles right back as we struggle with hours of operation that are not at all Plucky. But we saw a lot, did a lot, and ATE a lot so get to reading all about it on the updated Day 3 page.


    September 3, 2009
    It's someone's birthday! Find out what Rick gave rewarded himself with for making it to 43 and read all about our visit to the home of 44 - the 44th President that is. Read all about it on the updated
    Day 2 page.


    September 2, 2009 10:00pm
    The first day of Plucky Survivors See America 4: Red, White, and Plucky is complete! Today we spent a lot of time in an airplane, in a car, and in a hotel, but it was a nice airplane and a nice car and a nice hotel. And there were donuts, so that's something! You can check out the photos and road trip journal on the Day 1 page.


    September 2, 2009 6:00am
    It's kind of stupid early, but we're on the way to the airport as Plucky Survivors starts now!

    And we're off....


    September 1, 2009
    So not much going on... we're just leaving on an 1,800 mile, 11 day road trip in about 12 hours. No big deal.

    Mary called Rick earlier this afternoon and left a voicemail suggesting that she simply wasn't going to pack, but instead that an outlet mall somewhere between Washington DC and Baltimore was going to be added to the day's itinerary. Although he was totally okay with that concept, cooler heads have prevailed and she has started putting clothes she already owns into a bag. We'll find out tomorrow if Rick has to carry a bag for Mary or not.

    Meanwhile, Rick had really good intentions about packing less this year. He's not good at packing, usually bringing enough clothes for a weekend getaway to change every hour on the hour and still have stuff left over. So an 11 day road trip is especially challenging because as everyone knows, there has to be not only outfits for normal travel but alternates based upon how much was eaten the night before and for emergencies like how much was spilled on whatever was being worn while eating the night before.

    This year, he had figured out that some strategically placed laundry facilities and services along the route would allow him to put a lot less in his suitcase and then simply wash them during the trip.

    But then he started packing and, well, things just didn't work out the way he had planned. To be fair, his first pass, which involved 3 pairs of pants, 6 pairs of shorts, and 24 shirts, was recognized as overkill and was appropriately winnowed. He is still bringing way too much stuff but at least the suitcase closes and he's been working out a lot with a personal trainer so it may not actually be lighter but certainly feels like it.

    Besides... who wants to do laundry while on vacation?

    Okay, gang, that's it for the pre-Plucky updates. We fly out of Los Angeles tomorrow morning and will be in DC late afternoon. The Day 1 journal and photos will be posted sometime tomorrow night.

    Don't forget that we're on Twitter now (@pluckysurivors) so follow us there for periodic musings during the day before the journals are posted.

    Until tomorrow!!


    August 31, 2009
    As the commencement of Plucky Survivors nears, it's probably time for us, for the benefit of those new readers - Hi! Thanks for joining us - to discuss the phrase "Plucky Survivors."

    As indicated elsewhere, Mary has been dealing with breast cancer on and off for the last 12 years, while Rick has a bunch of crap wrong with him that you can read about in the About Us section if you are so inclined. It's not that we're minimizing Rick's distress, though Mary is impressed by how he somehow manages to do so, it's that Mary has managed to be in active treatment for no less than three out of four Plucky Survivors See America trips.

    The first few times it didn't really seem to matter much, but this approaching trip comes on the heels of the most angsty time of her relationship with this disease since the first few days after her initial diagnosis. Which is to say, even the most up to date chemotherapies are failing to do their chemical jobs but she is now on a treatment so experimental and new that the medical journals are only just now starting to write about it.

    Coinciding with this is the first time she's ever been sick from the cancer itself rather than the attempts to control the cancer. It's been a lively few weeks, and by "lively," we mean we weren't actually sure that Plucky Survivors was going to happen until about a week ago.

    Don't get us wrong, we weren't trying to gaslight you - we've just been acting "as if." In other words, as if everything was going to be fine. So all of the posting for the last few weeks about routes and stops and hamburger festivals and grilled stickies and everything else has been our version of "Hey, look, something shiny!"

    But everything IS going to be fine. While Mary is only at about 75-80% capacity, she's confident she can make up the remaining percentage via naps in the car and while this may dramatically lower our Cow! score (the game is suspended while Mary naps), we feel it's a sacrifice we will happily make if it means more energy to go to a hamburger festival and eat grilled stickies.

    As for the long haul - the metaphorical one, not the road trip one - we don't make promises, and no one is making them to us, but Mary's superb doctor, upon hearing the roster of Plucky Passengers for this year said, "And next year, Plucky Doctor."

    "Next year."

    See what he said there?

    But you know, all we've got is today, anyway. Well, that and the promise of hamburger festivals and grilled stickies, not to mention this bacon intensive dish called Solana that Mary's Herczog relatives are promising her. And while we do have a meticulous schedule that Rick has been putting together painstakingly - some (not Mary) would say obsessively - believe it or not he's quite sanguine about it. If Mary's not up to something, "Eh," he shrugs, "We'll just sleep in."

    And you know us - unless you're new in which case, Hi! Thanks for joining us, you'll get to know us soon - no matter what route we end up taking, we'll sniff out something good. Or weird. Or caloric. Ideally all three.

    And now, we can't tell you how relieved we are to be saying this: Red, White, and Plucky starts day after tomorrow! Really.


    August 30, 2009
    Plucky Survivors starts in about two and a half days and to say that we're excited about it is understating things by about a mile or three. We're pretty much just counting down the hours now, eager to get started and get someplace where there is a little less smoke in the air, hopefully. In case you didn't know, we live in the Los Angeles area and yes, a lot of it is on fire. Although it's not near us, specifically, the smoke and ash has been pretty much blanketing the entire region. Our thoughts will remain with all of those directly affected even after we have flown to the other side of the country.

    In the meantime, we thought we'd take this opportunity to remind you a little bit about Cow!, the Official Road Game of Plucky Survivors.

    On the surface, the game sounds simple... you count cows... but you'd be amazed how cut-throat and competitive it can get. It's a great way to wile away the hours as the scenery flies by but be warned: friendships and loyalties will be tested.

    The basic rules for two players are as follows:

    As you wind your way through the countryside, the driver counts cows (in fields, pastures, barnyards, etc.) on the driver's side of the car while the passenger counts cows on the passenger side of the car. You are totally responsible for the cows on your side of the road. If you miss a bunch, it's your own darn fault and your opponent cannot be blamed if you don't see a herd until its too late.

    The cows must be real, live cows. Pictures, statues, signs, or other inanimate versions of the animal do not count. Similarly, it is worth noting that a bull is not a cow. It's a bull. Admittedly it can be difficult to tell when the four-legged beasties are in a far off field and you're whizzing by at 70 miles per hour, but try to be honest about it.

    For your cows to count, you must count them off out loud - individually for the passenger and by twos for the driver so he or she doesn't have to take their eyes off the road for too long.

    Now here comes the kicker... pass a cemetery on your side of the car and your score gets wiped out - you go to zero and start over. Players should be on the lookout for cemeteries on their opponent's side of the car since some people (who shall go nameless) have been known to conveniently "not notice" the big, freakin' cemetery that is right outside their window.

    To be fair, the passenger should be limited to cows that can be seen ahead and immediately to the side as the vehicle passes. No craning of necks to count cows after they have passed since the driver can't do that unless you want to wind up in a ditch.

    Likewise, some drivers have been accused of cheating by speeding up when a field of cows appears on the passenger side or slowing down when one appears on the driver's side. Some drivers merely suggest this is playing defensively, however it is still frowned upon. Stopping the car, turning around, and backing past a herd so they will be on the driver's side is also discouraged.

    The game is over when you hit the official city limits of whatever burg in which you are ending your day's journey. The reason for this is that in our experience, there are usually a lot more cemeteries past the "Welcome to..." sign than there are cows and this has ended in a heartbreaking 0-0 score for us more times than we'd like to acknowledge.

    Whoever has the most cows wins!

    You can read more about Cow! including the police car variant, customizing your game, and Cow! for more than two players in the Games section of the site.


    August 29, 2009
    As we write this, we are 3 days, 15 hours, and 40 minutes away from the start of Plucky Survivors See America 4: Red, White, and Plucky!

    Normally, this would be the time we'd start to panic about all of the things we still need to do before the trip but for some reason this year we're fairly sanguine about the whole thing. Part of it is good planning. All of our hotel, flight, car rental, and itinerary item details are set (have been for a couple of weeks now) and the routes have all been mapped out.

    Rick's two big projects are now complete so he's feeling better about things. First, the Big Book O'Fun is done. Since we are doing the maps digitally this year, the book is slightly smaller than it was in years past but it still a big book of fun, hence the name The Slightly Smaller But Still Big Book O'Fun.

    Second, he has completed the road trip music selections, all loaded onto various playlists on his iPhone. There are updated versions of Plucky Survivors classics including "Disco That Doesn't Suck" (Donna Summer, Earth Wind and Fire, Thelma Houston, etc.), "Chicks That Could Kick Your Ass" (Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Pink,etc.), and "Road Music," which is a combination of songs that evoke the open road , driving, or cars ("Driving My Life Away" by Eddie Rabbit, "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett) and songs that just sound great while cruising down the highway ("Love Shack" by the B-52s, "Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker).

    We do have two new playlists for this year's trip. The first is Red, White, and Plucky and contains some songs that are specific to locations we'll be visiting, mostly Washington DC and Philadelphia. It features "America the Beautiful" by Ray Charles, "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John, "Good Morning Baltimore" by Nikki Blonsky, and of course "The Star Spangled Banner" by Jimi Hendrix.

    The other is dedicated to the Rock Hall of Fame and Museum, which we will be visiting during our stop in Cleveland. This playlist has songs from many of the inductees to the Hall of Fame, although not all of them partly because not all of them have songs available on iTunes and partly because it was getting too expensive - it's a long list!

    But we did get nearly 100 songs from The Tempations, Elvis, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, Little Richard, U2, Stevie Wonder, The O'Jays, James Brown, The Platters, Blondie, The Doors, Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin, Queen, Bee Gees, and many more. It's an eclectic playlist, but it's certainly classic.

    The only thing we really haven't address yet is the whole packing issue, but that will probably be done last minute like it always is while cursing and crying a little bit. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    3 days, 15 hours, and 26 minutes now!


    August 28, 2009
    Continuing our look back, we have gone through the literally dozens of sights we've seen and places we've visited on our Plucky Survivors trips to pick what we consider to be the cream of the crop. It was not easy - we've had a LOT of fun on these trips - but we're pretty sure these are our favorites. You can click on the name of each attraction to read more (and see pictures) in our Guide section. In alphabetical order...

    Top 10 Attractions From Plucky Survivors See America 1, 2, and 3
    Ahlgrim Acres, Palatine, Illinois
    We love wacky mini-golf courses and have visited several of them but this one out putts them all with its irreverent graveyard theme. The fact that it's in the basement of a working funeral parlor seals the deal.

    Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman, Alabama
    One of the most peaceful and reverent places we visited, this Grotto features miniature replicas of everything from the Parthenon to the Basilica, all created by a hunchbacked monk over decades. Lovely.

    Forevertron, West Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Looking like something out of a Tim Burton movie, the Forevertron is the centerpiece of a virtually hidden park full of junk as sculpture. If all art was this interesting, a lot more people would go to galleries.

    The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri
    It's iconic - the spirit of America in the form of a big arch, familiar at least in pictures to just about everyone. But there's something about seeing it in person, from a distance and up close, that held remarkable power for us.

    Hobo Museum, Britt, Iowa
    Melding nicely with our "freedom of the open road" themes, the Hobo Museum is a paean to those men and women who ride the rails. As one of their sayings goes, "It's not how far you got, but the distance you traveled to get there."

    Kewanee Hog Days, Kewanee, Illinois
    Also known as Hogfest(!), this small town festival has everything you could possibly want - a parade, rides, food booths, and largest outdoor park barbecue in the world.

    Lowndes Interpretive Center, Hayneville, Alabama
    A visit to this facility along the Selma to Montgomery March route should be required for, well, everyone. Emotional and evocative, it speaks to an era that we would love to forget but never should.

    Museum of Appalachia, Clinton, Tennessee
    We weren't sure what we were expecting when we put this on our itinerary, but it sure wasn't this expansive, multi-acre facility that traces the roots and culture of the region and people it represents better than any big-city museum ever could.

    National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee
    Created out of the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, this multi-building museum traces the history of the civil rights struggle in a simple, yet powerful way.

    Rock City Gardens, Lookout Mountain, Georgia
    we may have just lucked out by timing our visit when the place was relatively deserted, but we found this natural wonder to be remarkably calming and darned pretty to boot.

    FOUR DAYS UNTIL RED, WHITE, AND PLUCKY!!


    August 27, 2009
    The update from the 25th, where we listed our top food items of previous trips, got us to thinking about everything else we have done on the past three Plucky Survivors trips. So as we look forward to Red, White, and Plucky (IN 5 DAYS!!!), let's take a look back, shall we?

    Today, we pick our favorite hotels and inns from the past three years. Granted, the full list is only a couple of dozen places long, but picking ten of them was harder than we thought. You can click on the name of each hotel for our review in the Guide section of this site. In alphabetical order...

    Top 10 Hotels From Plucky Survivors See America 1, 2, and 3
    21 C Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky
    This is, without a doubt, the most original and evocative hotel in which we've ever stayed. Part luxury boutique and part modern art museum, the 21 C is a feast for both the body and the brain.

    Decker House, Mason City, Iowa
    Located in the town that the Music Man made famous, this stately manor has been converted into a charming bed and breakfast, complete with a third floor suite that was good enough for a former president.

    Gratz Park Inn, Lexington, Kentucky
    When we visited, this property was in the middle of a rehab, but we got enough of an idea of what they were doing to give it a thumbs up. The historic Gratz Park has a great location in the center of Lexington that draws guests... and ghosts!

    Inn at Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina
    Modern and yet somehow classic, this resort on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate has gorgeously appointed rooms that are only outdone by the sweeping vistas of the countryside around it.

    Maison Louisiane, Natchitoches, Louisiana
    More understated than the other bed and breakfast we visited in Natchitoches, the Maison Louisiane still has that charming B&B air that one comes to expect from a property like this.

    John Rutledge House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina
    Built in the 1700s, this elegant inn was full of sumptuous details from the wrought iron balconies to the ornate fireplaces. If it was good enough for George Washington, it's good enough for us.

    The Peabody, Little Rock Arkansas
    Although the '70s era building is nothing to get excited about, the room appointments, the service, and legendary Peabody Duck Parade more than makes up for it.

    The Peabody, Memphis, Tennessee
    Take everything that is good about the Peabody in Little Rock and add a historic, 1920s building with perfectly maintained period detail.

    Planters Inn, Savannah, Georgia
    This small hotel is lovely on its own but it's really the location on one of the city's historic squares that seals the deal. Try to get the room with the big balcony overlooking said square. You'll never want to leave.

    Renaissance Ross Bridge, Birmingham, Alabama
    A true resort, the Ross Bridge is a replica of a Scottish castle, complete with the bagpiper who plays every afternoon on the terrace. Beautiful rooms, a lovely spa, recreation, and gorgeous views make this a winner.

    Tomorrow, our Top 10 Attractions


    August 26, 2009
    Today's update is all about changes. Every year when we do this trip, we start with sort of a general idea where we're going and then get more and more specific the closer we get to the actual trip. This past week has been where we get REALLY specific by doing the turn-by-turn routes, checking our timing, and verifying that the things we want to do are doable on the days we want to do them.

    During this process we have found that a few of the stops along the way are not going to be open or that the timing isn't going to work out so we've had to make some changes to the itineraries.

    Because of our White House Tour on Day 2 we had to drop the Edgar Allen Poe House and Gravesite from our day's travels. We'll be looking for ravens along the route to warn us if that was a bad decision.

    On Day 5 we had a nebulous hole in the schedule where we were going to visit Amish Country and just find something to do. Well, we will be visiting the area but there will be no buggy rides for us. Instead we'll be checking out Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, which in addition to animals and rides, has a corn maze shaped like the state of Pennsylvania. Savor that for a moment and then get this: the last name of the PR person for the farm is Kornfield. No, we're not making that up. We love it already.

    Day 6 is Labor Day and that has thrown more than a few monkeys into the wrench (or something like that) in terms of things we wanted to do. We already yanked Punxustawney Phil off the itinerary and now we've had to pull both the Chocolate Kingdom and a donut shop that we had heard is a must-visit. We're bummed about all of it but no matter how much we beg, we can't get them to open up just for us on their day off.

    The next day, otherwise known as Day 7, we've actually added a stop in Cleveland at the West Side Market. In business since 1840, it is the oldest publicly owned market in town and has local vendors offering up everything from meats and seafood to pierogis and fudge. There will be road snacks purchased here, we're pretty sure of it.

    We are now less than one week away from the start of Plucky Survivors See America 4: Red, White, and Plucky!


    August 25, 2009
    We swear that Plucky Survivors is not just an excuse to go get different types of food than we can get in Southern California. No really, we swear. But it definitely has been a benefit and the fact that we have planned entire days around the acquisition of a hot dog or a whole bunch of barbecue is really nothing more than happy coincidence. Okay, we did pretty much decide to do the 2007 trip solely because of an opportunity to visit Hogfest, the world's largest outdoor pork barbecue, but other than that, coincidence.

    We were thinking about food past and food future - the things that were our favorites on previous trips and the things that we are really looking forward to on this trip so that's what today's update is all about. The items on both lists below are in no particular order - we can't possibly rank them against one another. Sophie's Choice indeed.

    Top 10 Favorite Foods From Past Plucky Survivors Trips

  • Chocolate Cream Pie at Mary's Family Pie Shop, DeValls Bluff, Arkansas
  • BBQ Pork Sandwich at Hogfest, Kewanee, Illinois
  • Barbecue Sausage at Arthur Bryant's BBQ, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich at Butts on the Creek BBQ, Maggie Valley, North Carolina
  • Frosted Bismark filled with Custard AND Cream, Duchess Bakery, Cullman, Alabama
  • Devil's Food Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting, Gigi's Cupcakes, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Deep Fried Hillbilly Hot Dog, Hillbilly Hot Dogs, Lesage, West Virginia
  • Fried Chicken at Gus' World Famous Chicken, Memphis, Tennessee
  • BBQ Sandwich from Craig's BBQ, DeValls Bluff, Arkansas
  • Cream Candy, Ruth Hunt Candy Company, Mt. Sterling Kentucky

    Top 10 Foods We're Looking Forward To On This Year's Trip

  • Grilled Stickies (State College, Pennsylvania)
  • Cheesesteak (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Smithfield Ham (Smithfield, Virginia)
  • Half Smoke (Washington DC)
  • Hamburg-er Festival Hamburgers (Hamburg, Pennsylvania)
  • Seafood (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
  • Anything Garlic (Shawnee Mountain, Pennsylvania)
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate (Hershey, Pennsylvania)
  • Hershey's Dark Chocolate (Hershey, Pennsylvania)
  • Hungarian Food (Cleveland, Ohio)


    August 24, 2009
    People keep asking us what we're doign on this year's Plucky Survivors trip. Our response is usually, "Go look at the website, that's what it's there for." But we understand people are busy and we have a tendency to be, uh, verbose in our travelogues so perhaps you just haven't had time to click to each of the day's itineraries and see for yourself. So, below is a full list of the anticipated sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that are currently on our agenda:

    Serious Museums

  • American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD (Day 2)
  • Museum of Mourning Art, Drexel Hill, PA (Day 3)
  • Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA (Day 3)
  • American Philosophical Museum, Philadelphia, PA (Day 3)
  • National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg, PA (Day 5)
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, OH (Day 6)
  • Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (Day 7)
  • Smithsonian Museums, Washington DC (Day 9)
  • US Army Women's Museum, Fort Lee, VA (Day 10)
  • DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, Fenwick Island, DE (Day 11)

    Not So Serious Museums

  • Baltimore Tattoo Museum, Baltimore, MD (Day 2)
  • National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, PA (Day 5)
  • Degenhart Paperweight Museum, Cambridge, OH (Day 7)
  • Toy and Plastic Brick Museum, Bellaire, OH (Day 7)
  • Big Mac Museum Restaurant, Huntingdon, PA (Day 8)
  • International Spy Museum, Washington DC (Day 9)

    Serious Attractions

  • The National Mall and Memorials, Washington DC (Day 1)
  • The White House, Washington DC (Day 2)
  • Independence Hall and Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, PA (Day 3)
  • National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, PA (Day 3)
  • Daffin's Chocolate Kingdom, Sharon, PA (Day 6)
  • St. Anthony's Chapel, Pittsburg, PA (Day 7)
  • The Virginia Aquarium, Virgnia Beach, VA (Day 10)

    Not So Serious Attractions

  • Hershey's Chocolate World, Hershey, PA (Day 4)
  • The Hershey Story, Hershey, PA (Day 5)
  • Cherry Hill Farms Corn Maze, Lancaster, PA (Day 5)
  • Shoe House, York, PA (Day 5)
  • World's Oldest Edible Cured Ham, Smithfield, VA (Day 10)

    Festivals and Events

  • Poconos Garlic Festival, Shawnee Moutain, PA (Day 4)
  • 6th Annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival, Hamburg, PA (Day 4)
  • Taste of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (Day 6)

    Gravesites

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA (Day 2)
  • Towson Cemetery, Grave of Divine, Towson, MD (Day 2)
  • Pen Argyl Cemetery, Grave of Jayne Mansfield, Pen Argyl, PA (Day 4)

    Wow, we're tired already and we haven't even left yet.

    We'll be writing about each of these stops during the trip and will post formal reviews sometime after the trip has concluded.


    August 23, 2009
    For today's Plucky Update, we thought we'd highlight the hotels and inns in which we'll be staying during our trip. We'll be writing about each place during the trip and will post formal reviews sometime afterward.

    Washington DC Accommodations
    The Dupont Hotel
    1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW
    Washington DC, 20036
    202-483-6000
    Website

    Baltimore Accommodations
    Brookshire Suites
    120 E. Lombard St.
    Baltimore, MD 21202
    410-625-1300
    Website

    Philadelphia Accommodations
    Sofitfel Philadelphia
    120 S. 17th St.
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    215-569-8300
    Website

    Hershey Accommodations
    Days Inn Hershey
    350 W. Chocolate Avenue
    Hershey, PA 17033
    717-534-2162 or 800-329-7466
    Website

    State College Accommodations
    Nittany Lion Inn
    200 West Park Avenue
    State College, PA 16803
    800-233-7505
    Website

    Cleveland Accommodations
    Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade
    420 Superior Avenue
    Cleveland, OH 44414
    216-575-1234
    Website

    Pittsburgh Accommodations
    The Parador Inn
    939 Western Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15233
    888-540-1443
    Website

    Virginia Beach Accommodations
    Virginia Beach Resort
    2800 Shore Dr.
    Virginia Beach, VA 23451
    800-468-2722
    Website


    August 22, 2009
    We're going to The White House! We're going to The White House!!

    It isn't easy to get a tour of The White House these days but we managed to do it and our first stop on the first official day of Red, White, and Plucky will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. How cool is that? And yes, we are totally convinced that while on the tour, The President and/or First Lady will see us, instantly want to be our best friends, invite us for lunch, and, perhaps, help them figure out this whole health care thing since we have a fairly unique perspective on it. We're up for all of the above, mind you.

    The fact that this is the first thing that we're doing on this trip AND it's happening on Rick's birthday is so unbelievably cool that we can barely stand it.

    We would be remiss if we didn't send a HUGE thank you to Gina Reyes in Congressman Howard Berman's office. Normally, to get a tour of The White House, you have to be part of a group of 10 or more and must make the request through your member of Congress' office much further in advance than we did. The fact they were able to work whatever magic they worked and get us in is deeply appreciated.

    Meanwhile, the preparation part of Plucky Survivors continues. Rick is busy being his typical obsessive-compulsive self and plotting out turn-by-turn routes to all the things we're going to see, printing maps, and basically just being kind of nuts about the whole thing. He's one of those people that refuses to get in a car until he knows where he's going (Branson vortex not-withstanding), so 1,800 miles is like a buffet of Type-A dementia for him.

    Every couple of days, Mary's sister Deb asks her if she can help her pack for Plucky Survivors. Mary keeps trying patiently to get Deb to understand that one does not pack for Plucky Survivors two weeks in advance. One packs the night before, weeping hysterically.

    And Plucky Passenger Steve (aka Mr. Mary) has booked his plane tickets so he'll be joining us in Cleveland through Washington DC and then flying home with us back to LA. We're happy to have him along, although per the above we feel that he must be cautioned that yes, in fact, Rick knows where he's going. There is no backseat driving allowed on Plucky Survivors See America.

    10 days and counting!


    August 21, 2009

    We promised some tips and tricks for road trips today. After all, when this year's Plucky Adventure concludes we will have driven nearly 10,000 miles through this great country of ours so it's not surprising that we have learned a thing or three on how to make a successful cross country jaunt.

    What should be even less surprising for those who know us is that most of our learning has come in the category of snacks, specifically what works and what doesn't.

    Yes, we could tell you about maps and planning your mileage and bathroom breaks and how far is too far, but really, unless you're road tripping through Alaska there's a gas station somewhere nearby that can supply you with most of what you need.

    But those snacks… now that's where the real challenge comes in. Sit at our feet young grasshopper and we will show you the way.

    The most important thing about snacks in the car is to make sure you always have them. There is nothing worse than being out on the open road, making good time to whatever destination you are heading toward, and suddenly realize, "darn it… I'm peckish and there is nothing to eat in this car." So take some extra time before you get going at the start of your day to make sure you are fully stocked.

    Then comes the consideration of what works in the car and what doesn't. Obviously it makes a difference if you're driving or riding, but the perfect road trip snack should be appropriate for both passenger and pilot otherwise there may be jealousy involved. A sample dialogue:

    Driver: What are you eating?
    Passenger: Pudding.
    Driver: I want pudding.
    Passenger: You can't, you're driving.
    Driver: I can eat pudding and drive.
    Passenger: One hand to hold the pudding, one hand to hold the spoon, what are you driving with? Driver: My knees.
    Passenger: No.
    Driver: Bitch.

    As you can see, it ends poorly.

    Chocolate is always a good thing, but if you're traveling during the summer and/or through warm weather states, a candy bar can wind up being more trouble than it's worth, especially if you are thinking you will wait just a little while before diving in. It's usually a gooey, unrecognizable mess and too much of the chocolate is wasted on the wrapper and your fingers (and occasionally the upholstery of Plucky Mobile).

    So what makes the perfect road snack? In our experience it is this: mini donuts. You can get chocolate or powdered (or both, or some other flavor, or all of the above, we won't judge), but the great thing about them is that they usually come in a bag that you can open and close at will, they stay relatively fresh, and they are bite sized so there isn't a lot of holding (and melting) involved while you are snacking. You can eat a little or a lot depending on your mood so it's flexible that way, and the sugar boost is always a good thing if you're like us and averse to caffeine and need that extra oomph to get you the last 30 or 40 miles.

    And on top of all of that... dude, it's a donut, only in miniature! If you think about it, it really is evidence of a divine power.

    So, here it is, the official road trip snack of Plucky Survivors, the mini-donut!


    August 20, 2009

    Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia and we'll be visiting there on the second to last and last days of this year's Plucky Surivors trip. We have updated the Day 10 itinerary including a couple of new stops and a host hotel in Virginia Beach, plus we have finally added the Day 11 itinerary as we wind our way back toward a plane trip back home to LA.

    No, we haven't heard from the White House yet. Thank you for asking.

    So now we've got all of our itineraries complete, places to sleep in every city, the car is reserved, the plane tickets are booked... we can just sit back and relax until we leave, right?

    Yeah, sure.

    We still have a TON of stuff to do and, as usual, not enough time to do it. One of the biggest tasks on our list is to complete this year's Book o'Fun, which contains all of our maps, confirmations, tickets, and a few road bingo cards just to liven things up. The first year's book was called the Big Book o'Fun, then came the Bigger Book o'Fun, and last year the Biggest Book o'Fun. So what is it this year? The "Remember Last Year When We Said Biggest Well We Were Wrong Because THIS is the Biggest Book o'Fun." Either that or the "Whatever is Bigger Than Biggest Book o'Fun," whichever will fit on the cover.

    Then there's the music selections. We're figuring there will be a number of Americana selections but appropriately twisted to our musical tastes (Jimi Hendrix' Star Spangled Banner, for instance). "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John seems like a no-brainer. "Good Morning Baltimore" from the soundtrack of Hairspray. We'll need to look up the list of the official Rock Hall inductees so we can cover our trip to Cleveland. And of course we need to try to track down a copy of the Torch Song Trilogy soundtrack to see if there are any songs from Harvey Fierstein while in drag. Why? Because his drag name in the movie is Virginia Hamm.

    See what we did there?

    Then of course there's still the whole packing thing. We share a brain often and it hurts just thinking about it.

    In tomorrow's update we'll be talking about some hints, tips, and tricks we have learned from over 7,500 miles of road trips over the last few years.


    August 19, 2009

    Hi everyone! Two weeks from right now we'll be in Washington DC kicking off Plucky Survivors: Red, White, and Plucky.

    While we're there, we'll be staying at a beautiful new hotel right on Dupont Circle. You can read more about it on the revised Day 1 itinerary and also on the Day 8 and Day 9 itineraries since we'll be bunking down at the same place on those days as well.

    We have heard from our friends in Virginia Beach and tomorrow we'll be posting an updated itinerary for our last two days plus information on where we'll be staying.

    Meanwhile, we're a little worried about something of crucial relevance to any Plucky Survivors trip... Cow!

    For the uninitiated, Cow! is the official road game of Plucky Survivors, which you can read all about here. On past trips there have been completely cowless days so we're used to those disappointing 0-0 scores, but considering that several of our days this year will be on interstate highways between nearby major cities, we're concerned that our Cow! game is going to be fairly boring until we get to the open countryside of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. Are there cows in those states? We'll find out, we suppose.

    So we're busy at work trying to figure out something else we could count on those days when Cow! doesn't seem like a good option, such as on the route from Washington DC to Baltimore and from Baltimore to Philadelphia. We were thinking SUVs but we really can't count that high. We'll figure it out.

    Also, we want to once again thank all of the hard-working folks that have helped us set up this year's Plucky Survivors trip. Trying to arrange hotels, find cool attractions, figure out the best routes, get recommendations on the best places to eat, and making sure that we're seeing as much as we possibly can in a very short amount of time is a challenge, and all of these agencies have helped us out enormously. Take a moment and visit their sites - bookmark them if you think you are going to be heading to any of their areas at some point:

  • Destination DC
  • Go Philadelphia!
  • Hershey/Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau
  • Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Postively Cleveland
  • Visit Pittsburgh
  • The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

    We also REALLY want to thank Vegas4Visitors.com reader Brian Tucker. He knows why.


    August 18, 2009

    Our site has been down for most of the day - sorry about that. It's not our fault, we don't think. Although we do have a history of breaking the internet so anything is possible.

    Just in case you missed it, be sure to take a look at the updates we made to the Cleveland portion of our trip, especially the cool hotel in which we'll be staying.

    We were going to be announcing our accommodations for Washington DC today, but a last minute change has occurred and we are still working out the details. More info should be posted tomorrow or Thursday. Ditto Virgnia Beach.

    We're still waiting on word about our hoped for tour of the White House. Although we're sure that nothing in our background checks will raise any red flags, we're completely paranoid about stuff like this and have become convinced that at any moment men in dark suits are going to show up at our respective homes and ask to "have a word" with us. If that happens, it's been nice knowing y'all.

    Perhaps what they are concerned with is our seeming ability to have influence over the weather.

    Those who have been with us since the beginning may remember that we have had some brushes with hurricanes on past travels. In the days leading up to the first Plucky Survivors trip, Hurricane Ernesto was heading directly toward New Orleans and would have arrived at roughly the same time as we were. Thankfully for the entire region, Ernesto disapated and spun off rather harmlessly in another direciton.

    For The Plucky Shall Rise Again trip, not one, but two hurricanes were threatening the southeastern part of the US including Georgia where we were starting and ending our trip. Once again, the weather Gods smiled on us and the residents of the area and it all turned out to mostly be heavy rain that we hardly even saw.

    This is coincidence and timing of course - our fault for booking trips in the peak of hurricane season to areas that are often affected by hurricanes.

    But now there's this Bill thing going on. The latest forecasts show that it will most likely stay far off in the Atlantic and not be any trouble, but some of the models show that it could go into the Eastern seabord... you know, around Washington DC where we are starting this year's trip! Seriously?

    Granted, the chances of that happening are very small and if it does happen it will be about a week before our trip, but still we are now convinced that we have some power over the weather that we are unaware of. we hope to harness it and use it for good at some point.

    Tomorrow we are officially 2 weeks away from the start of the trip and we should have some more news about DC and VA.


    August 17, 2009

    Red, White, and Plucky starts in just over two weeks!

    Starting today there will be daily updates on the site all the way up to the trip and then the daily journals will commence once we hit the road. We have a lot of things still pending and within the next few days we should have some more details about what we're doing in Washington DC and Virginia Beach.

    Today, however, we have updated our visit to Cleveland. In addition to what looks like a fabulous host hotel we have a new itinerary item brought to our attention by the fine folks at the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland. You can read all about both on the newly updated Day 6 page.

    Speaking of Cleveland, that's where we'll be meeting one of this year's clown's car worth of Plucky Passengers. Mary knows folks who want to tag along in DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia plus family in Cleveland. And for the first time Mary's husband Steve is going to come along for a few days on the road. This is momentous if for no other reason than Steve has finally acknowledged that he has actually been invited to go along every year despite his denial of same. It usually goes something like this...

    Mary and Rick: Hey Steve, we're going on Plucky Survivors in September.

    Steve: Cool, maybe I'll come along for a part of it.

    Mary and Rick: Oh yes, do!

    Steve: I'll check into arrangements and let you know.

    Cut to several weeks AFTER the trip.

    Mary and Rick: We had such a good time on Plucky Survivors.

    Steve: Yeah, it looked like fun. I wish I had been invited.

    Mary and Rick: Uh....

    Rinse, lather, and repeat until the following summer when it starts all over again. But this year it looks like it's really going to happen and Steve is going to join us from Cleveland through to Washington DC so he'll be along for the Rock Hall, the Paperweight Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Smithsonian museums among other things.

    One may be wondering what it takes to qualify as a Plucky Passenger and really it's just the desire to come along, not be a back seat driver, and not interfere with our Cow! game. Also important is the ability to hold on tight should we be driving 60 miles per hour and then spot a roadside stand selling some sort of food product that we think sounds good. Whether or not Rick's "Dukes of Hazzard" level driving skills are appreciated from the back seat is a huge yardstick by which Plucky Passenger eligibility will be judged.

    More tomorrow, including a brief discussion on how we seem to have some sort of strange influence over the weather, and not necessarily a good one.


    August 13, 2009

    If you have been following along in the planning phase of this year's Plucky Survivors trip, you may have noticed us doing some begging and pleading and possibly something akin to bribing to try to get a tour of the White House.

    Well, we don't want to jinx it, but it looks like at least one of those tactics may have worked.

    Back in the day the White House used to be open for tours to the general public. Both of us remember visiting as children, although those memories are vague at best at least for Rick who really can't remember last week very clearly. Part of why we do this website is so that we can remember where we went because if we don't write it down and take pictures of it, the entire trip will be lost to the fog of middle aged memory loss as soon as the plane touches the ground back in LA.

    But these days, you can only tour the White House if you are part of a large group and even then it must be requested months in advance through the office of your member of Congress.

    Although we eat a lot on these Plucky trips, we are not a large group, but we went ahead and requested through Rick's Congressman, Howard Berman but didn't want to leave it to that kind of fate so we proceeded to try to get a tour in other ways as well. Phone calls to various offices in the White House finally got us to the First Lady's office, which apparently handles that kind of thing for media types like us, and another formal request was sent. We also tried through the Washington DC Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    We also publicly begged on this site, even offering to walk Bo if it would get us in the door.

    Less than three weeks to go before the trip and all we had gotten was resounding silence from all fronts so we had pretty much resigned ourselves to the idea that we weren't going to get what we wanted.

    But today we got a phone call! There are still some details to work out including a background security check, but we are closer than we were before! We would make jokes about our ability to pass such a security check but we don't want to mess anything up, so we'll just sit here quietly with our clean records folded politely in our hands and wait.

    As soon as we know for sure, you'll know also!

    In case you're wondering, yes, there is a reason we haven't posted the itinerary for the final day of the trip yet. We're still working out a few details and waiting for some information but as soon as we have it, we'll put up the page and let you know.

    Keep your fingers crossed for us!


    August 11, 2009

    Normally when we update the site we are adding things, but today we have to subtract some stuff, sadly. There are a couple of itinerary items we had been planning that are no longer on the agenda, all because of poor timing.

    On Day 6 of the trip we were going to stop in Punxsutawney and visit the very famous Phil the groundhog who has his own hideaway inside the local library. Trouble is, our Day 6 is more commonly known as Labor Day and the library will be closed so we're going to skip the Punxsudetour all together and just head on toward Cleveland where we have a lot to do (and not just pretend we are rock stars at the Rock Hall of Fame).

    Meanwhile on Day 8 we had been planning a visit to the Jeanne Dixon Museum, but apparently they knew we were coming (psychic, get it?) and decided to not only close for the day but close forever. According to the nice lady Rick spoke to, the family decided they weren't interested in keeping the facility open so they shut it down about three weeks ago and auctioned everything off. Poor timing if ever there was such a thing. So now, we will probably just go into Washington DC a little earlier than planned and have more nation's capital fun.

    Michelle... we're still waiting for that invitation to tour the White House. Seriously, the trip is in three weeks. Call us!

    One last quick thing... A few days ago we posted the page for Rock City from last year's trip. One of the things we didn't know when we visited is that Rick's parents, Vern and Pauline, had been there before us... by about 51 years. Turns out that they saw Rock City in 1957 while they were on their honeymoon. Photographic evidence:



    August 9, 2009

    Mary is a big fan of the bed and breakfast style inn so she, especially, is over the moon about where we're going to be staying in Pittsburgh. Rick has never been a big fan but even he thinks this place looks cool, so that's saying a lot. Find out more on the revised Day 7 itinerary.

    Meanwhile, we continue to update the Guide section with the attractions we saw on last year's trip. Have a flashback and read about our visits to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Mercer-Williams House Museum, the epicenter of the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

    Stay tuned for more updates this week as we are expecting a few more host hotels plus the itinerary for the final day of this year's trip.


    August 7, 2009

    Did anyone else ever have issues with the definition of penultimate? Anyone else spend a really long time thinking it was just a fancy way of saying "really, really, ultimate?" Just Rick? Okay.

    Since it, in fact, means "next to last," we're using that word to describe the itinerary for Day 10, which has now been posted. It puts us back on the road where we'll spend the day pumped full of sugar and ham and maybe some brown sugar ham just for symmetry.

    In addition, we have another host hotel on board for our night in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Visit the revised Day 4 page for all the details.

    As if that weren't enough, over the next couple of weeks we're going to further whet your appetite for this year's Plucky trip by posting the Guide section pages for all of the attractions that we visited on last year's trip. Now, Rick insists this was the plan all along... hold back some great material from 2008 to use as a ramp up to 2009, but Mary is skeptical. She thinks he just forgot to do the pages last year when he should have. Rick reminds Mary that she may need help carrying her bags on this year's trip, so shhh.

    Anyway, the Guide pages for Rock City and Churchill Downs have both been posted with more on the way!

    Lastly... yes, there's more... despite Mary's strenuous objections and Rick's inherent distaste, Rick has created both a Facebook Group and a Twitter account for Plucky Survivors. That's right kids, we're moving into the new millennium... 9 years late, but we're here and we're ready to tweet. Or twit. Or whatever you do. Anyway, find us on Facebook by searching for "Plucky Survivors" in the groups section and join us there or follow us on Twitter @pluckysurvivors (or online at http://www.twitter.com/pluckysurvivors).

    How strenuously did Mary object to all this? Apparently the force of her objections caused both Facebook and Twitter to crash the very night all of this was set up. They say it was a hacking thing, but really it was just Mary being annoyed.

    We're less than four weeks from the beginning of Plucky Survivors!!


    August 4, 2009

    Both Mary and Rick are wondering how it is possible that we have come as far as we have, both in terms of age and accomplishment, having traveled the globe and racked up experiences of all stripes including a mind-boggling list of things epicurian and yet we have never heard of Grilled Stickies. However, now that we have, we're considering moving to the place the specializes in them.

    State College, Pennsylvania is one of our stops along the way and apparently their local speciality is a thing called the Grilled Stickie, which is basically a long stickie bun that is sliced, slathered with butter, and then grilled in a pan. And you can get it with ice cream. And this is breakfast. *SWOON*

    "Hello, United Van Lines? Can you give me a quote for moving from Los Angeles to State College?"

    The fine folks at the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau told us about this delectable delicacy that is going to get sampled by your Plucky Survivors sometime after we haul ourselves out of bed at the latest hotel that has come on board as our host. You can read about the historic digs we'll be visiting in State College on the updated Day 5 itinerary.

    Meanwhile, we may or may not be able to unstick ourselves from the Grilled Stickies, but if we do we'll be continuing on the journey and eventually spending an entire day exploring Washington DC. You can see what we have on the docket in the newly posted Day 9 itinerary.


    August 2, 2009

    "Oh, packing," Mary thinks. She is not going to worry about that now, no sir. Weeks to go. Then she remembers: She is anywhere from 10-15 pounds heavier than she normally/has been, and none of her clothes fit her, which means she CAN'T PACK because SHE HAS NOTHING TO WEAR and that means she has to go out shopping for a whole new wardrobe, and now, NOW, SHE'S FREAKING OUT ABOUT PACKING.

    "Thanks a lot, pal," she says to Rick.

    Rick reminds her that rarely in life does one get a valid excuse to go buy a whole new wardrobe and if ever there was a valid excuse, cancer is definitely it. Rick reminds her often that cancer is good excuse for a lot of things. We're still hoping it is going to score us a tour of the White House.

    Speaking of which, the itinerary for Day 8, wherein we return to our nation's capital for a whirlwind tour of all it has to offer, has now been posted.


    July 30, 2009

    Nope, still no packing panic. It'll come, we're sure.

    We're busy putting the final touches on our trip, arranging places to stay and things to drive and getting a lot of help in the process from the Convention and Visitors Bureaus of the various cities and towns in which we are staying. We want to give a special shout out to Destination DC, Greater Philadelphia Tourism, Hershey/Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, Positively Cleveland, Visit Pittsburgh, and Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, all of whom have been nothing short of heroic in helping us manage our typically busy Plucky schedules.

    And we would be remiss if we didn't send a VERY special thank you to our new best friends in Hamburg, Pennsylvania who are not only helping us make our visit to the 6th Annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival extra special, they sent us souvenir T-shirts!! We love souvenir T-shirts!

    So expect more details to come on some exciting additions to the trip, but in the meantime satisfy your curiosity with the newly posted itinerary for Day 7 as we travel from Cleveland to Pittsburgh!


    July 27, 2009

    We're not quite sure how this happened but apparently Plucky Survivors starts in five weeks. Seriously, how did that happen? And why haven't we started stressing out about what to pack yet?

    Well, there are a bunch of reasons that we won't bore you with that involve some medical stuff (Mary) and some moving stuff (Rick) and a general lack of ability to pay attention for longer than five minutes (both of us), but the reality is that the trip starts in about five weeks and at any point now we're going to start stressing about packing. Or who knows? Maybe we'll be Zen about it this time and just throw some stuff in a bag the night before.

    It's good to have your dreams; they keep you young.

    Anyway, two additions to the site to make note of... First, we have posted the itinerary for Day 6, which includes groundhogs, chocolate, and air guitar.

    Also, we have a new host hotel for our night in Baltimore, which is also Rick's birthday. He doesn't look a day over 50, does he? Check out the revised Day 2 itinerary for more information about where we'll be staying.


    July 22, 2009

    The itinerary for Day 5 has been posted and we'd like to caution you that it involves more chocolate. Take a look.


    July 16, 2009

    Two big additions to the site today... First, we have our first host hotel for Red, White, and Plucky. The Sofitel Philadelphia will be providing us with some squishy white beds to rest our bodies in after we consume too much cheesesteak. You can read more about the hotel on the revised Day 3 page.

    When you're done checking that out, go on to read more about what we are thinking may be the Best. Day. Ever! The itinerary for Day 4 has been posted.


    July 15, 2009

    What are we going to do on Day 3 of this year's Plucky Survivors? Well, now that the itinerary has been posted you can find out! Here's a hint... it involves Benjamin Franklin, a big bell, and cheesesteak. Yes, we're going to Seattle. No, no... find out all about it on the Day 3 page.


    July 10, 2009

    The itinerary for Day 2 has been posted and it can best be summed up thusly: we're seeing dead people. Oh, and one of us may possibly get a tattoo. And there will be cake because it's someone's birthday. Intrigued yet? Read all about it!


    July 8, 2009

    The itinerary for the first day of Red, White, and Plucky has been posted. Check it out!

    And just to whet your appetite for this year's trip, we have put up the photo slideshow from the 2008 trip. Go check it out.


    June 11, 2008

    Plucky Survivors take to the road again this fall with an all new trip, "Plucky Survivors See America 4: Red, White, and Plucky."

    We'll be starting our trip in Washington DC and will be driving more than 1,800 miles throughout the east coast including stops in:

    • Baltimore, Maryland
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Hershey, Pennsylvania
    • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Cleveland, Ohio
    • Virginia Beach, Virginia

    Along the way we'll be visiting our usual mix of the serious - and not so serious - attractions and events the area has to offer including a tour of our nation's capital, a tattoo museum, the Liberty Bell, a museum of mourning art, the Andy Warhol museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a museum housing the world's oldest edible cured ham, and a garlic festival, a hamburger festival, and a chocolate factory all in the same day!

    We'll be updating this page with additional details as we figure them out, itineraries, maps, and more over the next couple of months, so either bookmark it or sign up for our RSS Feed or our E-mail Newsletter.

    Plucky Survivors See America 4: Red, White, and Plucky begins September 2, 2009!


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