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The Great American Road Trip: 1,900 Miles, Six Days, Three Hotels, and Infinite Adventure…


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Around 30 years ago, my parents took my sister and I on a road trip to Washington, D.C. Along the way, we stopped at several locations in Pennsylvania, making memories that have lasted a lifetime. With our girls hitting two and five this year, my wife and I decided it was time for our first family vacation – and as such, it was to be a road trip. We plotted several potential courses, with the Philadelphia area set to be the focal point and ultimate destination for a couple of reasons. First off, we were going to finally take Sprout up on a long-standing offer to stop by the Comcast Center and see Chica at the Sunshine Barn during a visit to the set of THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW. Second, we wanted to head for Langhorne to visit SESAME PLACE. During our planning, we attempted to pack in as much as possible, with potential stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, West Virginia and Cincinnati on the chart. Instead, we strategically plotted our trip to be centralized in PA – visiting some iconic locations in Philly (but scrapping the Sprout visit), our big trip to SESAME PLACE, a visit to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE in Easton, HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD in Hershey, and a swing back through Ohio to visit my friends at SMUCKER’S on our way back to Northern Illinois.

rio addieIn keeping with our Road Trip theme, the crew over at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment hooked us up with some RIO 2 Road Trip packs for the car, along with a DigitalHD copy of RIO 2 for the road. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, in it, the family of blue mackaws take a trip of their own, the parents taking the kids out to see the world – a cinematic parallel to our journey, if you will.

Movie aside, the activities and essentials (RIO 2 coloring sheets, Crayola colored pencils, window clings, kleenex – and even the bags they all came in) were fun and appreciated to keep the girls occupied for a little bit over the course of the first leg of our journey, which seemed exceptionally long, but I Instagrammed from every stop – of which there were many. We’d revisit RIO 2 on the laptop later, but the road was long and winding…


We set out from the Northern Suburbs of Chicago around 2pm on a Saturday, and rolled into Philadelphia around breakfast time. Too early for our hotel to be ready, my wife and I were functioning on very little sleep, but the real adventure was about to begin, and our girls were ready to take Philly by storm…

The morning we arrived in Philadelphia...

To Be Continued…
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