Wanna Go On A RoadTrip? #MadeAcrossAmerica
Let’s say you have a love affair with Modern Art?
Now let’s say you find yourself invited along for the ride on a very hip roadtrip from Detroit to D.C. Annnnd THERE’S A THEME for the roadtrip?? Plus Andy Warhol might be involved…
Well that’s where I found myself earlier in January.
What to do…. What to do?
Say YES, Obviously!
This was all new to me, but in January there is a rush of auto shows across America. The BIGGIE is in Detroit (big surprise) but there are also several other well attended car shows in New York City, Boston, Atlanta and more I’m sure. The car dealers in the areas want to show off the new model year vehicles and of course the auto manufacturers are happy to get in on the action when they can.
Washington D.C. also hosts a January Auto Show and while it’s not one of the larger shows… apparently it’s one of the SMARTER ones because they created a theme several auto manufacturers were happy to get behind.
Chrysler – recently name changed to FCA US – asked me to join them in a 4 driver, 4 vehicle roadtrip from Detroit to DC in two days. Stopping along the way at several “Made Across America” pitstops.
First we stopped in Toledo, Ohio where JEEP aficionados already know, all Wranglers for the USA are made.
But maybe not everyone knows this little tidbit. ALL Wranglers for the World are made in Toledo, USA. Yup. Shipped all over the world from Toledo. Including diesel JEEPs we don’t even have in the US, yet. (I’m all about finding more diesel vehicles.) #MadeAcrossAmerica? Shipped Everywhere? Amen.
Second stop was the M*A*S*H – made famous restaurant in downtown Toledo called Tony Packo’s.
The whole place has an old school BBQ/Diner vibe. You walk in, order at the counter (where a lovely lady quite seriously SINGS your order back to the cooks) and then you sit down in the large dining area. From what I could tell it had a very German inspired menu with extra paprika on pretty much everything. We tried the deep fried pickles – JUST WOW. I’m a fried pickle kinda girl and THESE were TOTALLY in the win column. Gravy covered mac N cheese or a gravy spetchla were also popular, and they claim to have a pretty awesome chili recipe, and they clearly were willing to drench it on anything on the menu. But especially over hot dogs. Which. I have to mention the hotdogs because the whole restaurant was covered in wall plaques with celebrity-signed hotdog buns. Weird? Yup. Totally #MadeAcrossAmerica style.
We stayed over in Pittsburgh for the night and since I’d never been to the city of bridges, I had no idea what that meant. It means your car’s GPS will attempt to drive you over the river and through the woods several times before you get to granny’s house! They aren’t kidding. Pittsburgh = BRIDGES.
Pittsburgh also = Andy Warhol!
Our third stop on our themed roadtrip was just across the river from our hotel on Day 2 at the Andy Warhol museum. All SEVEN floors of it! Whoa. We had about 90 minutes to get in, feel overwhelmed by all the art and commercial obsession of that man?Because: What is the deal with all the Brillo pads???
I was So excited to meet Andy’s version of Ms. Marilyn and all the Campbell’s Soup cans I could handle. But I was surprised to discover my favorite installment was a huge hall of full sized Elvis’ lined up one after the other; copied and becoming more and more faded as you followed down the wall. And OH how I wish they allowed photography inside the exhibits. I was only allowed to take pictures in the main level lobby. So I made the best of it. Please meet Andy Warhol and his couch… (and me!). Item on Bucket list—checked. Both Andy and his art are #MadeAcrossAmerica.
“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” – Andy Warhol
Our final stop before completing the final leg to DC was to see the Aliner Camper Factory.
Located in a small PA town far from expressway traffic is an unassuming little factory with about 65 employees. First, I have to tell you, the folks who own an Aliner collapsible camper are DIEHARD fans. They travel out of their way to visit the factory as if it’s their mothership and they’ve returned for a family reunion.
The Aliners cost between $10,000 and $20,000 and besides collapsing in less than 30 seconds (I know because we timed it!) they are also extremely lightweight. My Town and Country minivan could pull one of the smaller models! They are WELL under the 2,000 lb weight limit of most vehicles! Quality AND quirky? YUP. #MadeAcrossAmerica
BONUS Roadside Attraction! Aliens?!
How were we THIS lucky? Across the street from the parking lot of the Aliner factory is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. A giant ‘Acorn’ sits on top of an elevated platform. It’s a replica of a UFO sighting some years before in this spot. Apparently an acorn makes for a great alien ship. Who knew?
Wait? Were the little green guys looking for a lightweight A-frame camper factory too?
#WAS15 Washington DC Auto Show—Here We Come!
We made it to D.C. in time for the auto “Press Day”. And at least for me… I thought it was totally cool, because they closed off the main road directly in front of the Capitol Building and created a parade of all the cars driven in from around the US. Plus a lot more direct from local dealers. And then they lined them up for a huge Photo Op.
Which was followed by a press conference with several Public Dignataries. Except for the part where it was SUPER cold and then… surprise! SNOWING on us, it was totally cool to be part of the whole event!
What does #MadeAcrossAmerica mean to you?
What kinds of locally made items are you proud of?
What USA-made treats do you love on a RoadTrip?!!
We celebrated Faygo Soda Pop, made in Detroit. Redvines, headquartered in Bend, Oregon. And the Blue Lace Project, which was created specifically to celebrate manufacturing in the US. I’m wearing my blue laces proudly!
Because I WAS #MadeAcrossAmerica TOO!
Disclosure:This is not a sponsored post.
However the press trip from Detroit to DC was covered by Chrysler. All photos were taken by me. And all the FUN was shared with everyone I know along the way!