Our Pennsylvania Trip

Please view our previous blog posts for the past week for further explanations of our experiences in Pennsylvania. According to Google Maps, we traveled 514 miles, and drove for 14 hours during our week in Pennsylvania while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate.

Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences Pennsylvania over the past week.

Intro: Our departure

Famous Person: Andy Warhol

Famous Food: None

Roadside Attraction: Randyland

State Capitol/Museum: Harrisburg

National Park: Gettysburg National Military Park

Historic Location: Independence Hall

Can't miss attraction: Flight 93

Made in the USA tour: Utz

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $134.00


$2.64 gal. In Pittsburgh, PA was the highest price paid.

$2.34 gal. in Hanover, PA lowest price paid

Groceries: $141

$11.00 Costco

$21.00 Wegman's

$96.00 Walmart

$ 7.00 Giant

$ 6.00 Aldi's


We would like to spend less at Walmart, and more at places like Aldi's and Costco in the future.

Dining Out: $72

$25.00 Blackbird: For 2 awesome vegan philly cheese steak sandwiches (budgeted)

$ 5.00 IHOP: 2 Hot chocolates at 2 am after finishing disinfecting the van from commode explosion (not budgeted)

$25.00 Root: The best vegan chicken wings we have ever had (not budgeted, but soooo worth it)

$ 5.00 Ice cream Soft Serve (not budgeted, but again so very yummy)

$17.00 Golden Corral (not budgeted)


We budgeted for eating out once per week and exceeded this 3 times over. In the future we will cook more meals ourselves.

Entertainment: $58.00

$30.00 Admission to Gettysburg Museum (budgeted)

$ 2.00 Red Box (budgeted)

$ 6.00 Admission to PA States Museum (budgeted)

$20.00 Admission to the Andy Warhol Museum (budgeted)


We did great in this category!

Lodging: $65.00

$0.00 Walmart: 6 nights in their parking lot FREE :-)

$65.00 Hotel: To stay in after commode explosion while we cleaned the van (not budgeted)


This hotel stay was unavoidable.

Miscellaneous: $40.00

$25.00 Parking in Philadelphia (not budgeted)

$ 6.00 Uhaul: Fill propane tanks (budgeted)

$ 9.00 Parking in Pittsburgh (not budgeted)


We should try to take mass transit in to avoid parking charges in the future

Pennsylvania Expenses Grand Total: $510.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Pennsylvania Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate 9

“The state had a nice mix of industrial, manufacturing, professional, retail and farming industries creating a nicely diversified economy”

Lori 7

“I saw many help wanted signs, busy stores, farms and factories”

Economy score: 8

Cost of Living:

Nate 4

“I noticed that the cost of gas was $.50 higher than the three surrounding states.”

Lori 4

“I noticed the cost of grocery prices were comparable with high prices of Connecticut “

Cost of living score: 4

Quality of life:

Nate 9

“I never felt as if my safety or security was in jeopardy”

Lori 9

“I felt the weather was temperate and comfortable”

Quality of life score: 9


Nate 3

“People were ritualistic, and not progressive. (ie. limited options for vegetarians)”

Lori 3

“I did not notice a good sense of community, and people were typically aloof”

Culture Score: 3


Nate 10

“I frequently noted when driving I went from an urban city, to suburbs and the grazing cattle all with in a 2-mile distance”

Lori 7

“There were rolling hills, picturesque landscapes, and many historic parks throughout the state”

Environment Score 8.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Pennsylvania was 6.5, and PA will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Pennsylvania 6.5