October 17, 2014

The End of the Pickle Project

It is with sadness and regret that I report that The Pickle Project has come to an end. Mr. Pickle, the Nomadic Pickle, never returned from his recent trip to Italy and we have no idea where he is. He got lost the last day of his trip during the maid's cleaning of the room in the villa he was staying in while his host was out. We're currently guessing the cleaning person moved him and he got lost or tucked in a blanket that headed to the laundry or something. He is there somewhere. Under a bed? Kidnapped by Italian mice? Lana returned with only his bag of accessories -- oh, did he love his hats! If it were in the USA I suppose I'd be calling the hotel every day asking if he turned up!

People have suggested I make Mr. P a cousin to travel in his place, and I suppose I could. But since 2010 it has been the goal for THE Mr. Pickle to get to all fifty states, and it wouldn't be the same if someone else did it for him.

My favorite suggestion for finding Mr. P comes from 6 year old Henry who decided he and his adult friends should travel to Italy and walk around asking all the people if they've seen "Mr. Pickle with two eyes and a cute little smile." If so we'd just ask for him back. Henry also suggested I email all the people in Italy. So far I've done neither.

Ironically, Lana (the last person to travel with him) was there the day I created Mr. Pickle! We were watching a movie and sewing little stuffed animals. I said what I was making and Lana misheard me and said "You're making a pickle?!" I replied "No." Then said "Of course I'm totally making a pickle." So I suppose it's fitting that his last contact was also sort of his first.

Recap and stats:
I took him to Boulder in August 2010, and the following March 2011 I took him to Chicago, and when I returned I opened it up to friends, family, strangers -- whoever wanted to be a part of this project. In the 3.5 years the project has been going on... Mr. Pickle...
  • Visited 30 states + DC
  • Visited 15 countries
  • Went on 46 trips
  • Went to Chicago 9 times
  • Went to New York state 7 times
  • Went to California 5 times
  • Was almost eaten by an alligator 4 times
Thank you so much to those those who travelled with him, took silly photos of him in beautiful places, asked about him, and got into the project. I didn't know how far it would go, I was just having fun traveling vicariously through a stuffed pickled and documenting his trips. (There are some wonderful pics on this blog! He went to such amazing places and had such amazing adventures! It was fun to go back through them all to write this post.) Once he went on that trip west this past summer and visited 9 states in 10 days, I knew it was possible for him to get to all 50 and I was ready to drive the project to its goal. I am sad it is over, and yet very glad that it happened at all.

If he magically returns you'll be the first to know. 

Thank you for taking this trip with us! 

* photo taken by Elizabeth in California in 2012

October 15, 2014

Buongiorno, Italia!

Mr. Pickle met up with his friend Lana again for a beautiful and amazing trip to Italy to visit family there from September 26 - October 4. They saw many historic sites, took in art, and wined and dined Italian style. He visited Blevio, Chernobbio, Como, Milan, and Bellagio. Here we go:

Mr. P getting comfy and enjoying the view at the Villa in Blevio.

Mr. P is looking good in hat, but clearly lacks a vest. But he also lacks hands, so... all is well. 

Hey stranger. 

He's trying to tell her that she's had a wardrobe malfunction. 

Small Pickle, big cathedral.

P is for Pizza!

Mr. P does Bellagio.

P is still for Pizza!



I'm on a boat! 

Mr. P's got a ticket to ride!

Mr. Pickle soaked in the vast beauty that is the Duomo de Milano cathedral. 

Duomo de Milano.

They are VERY excited to pose with the cathedral behind them. 

Tea cup ride in Chernobbio! He wants on!

Mr. P is loving the colors in Chernobbio!

Ice cream!

Market in Chernobbio.

Does Italy have happy hour? It's Mr. Pickle's job to find out while in Chernobbio. 

More research on that happy hour thing in Como. Ahem. 


And so ends a fabulous and amazing trip to Italy! It's the 15th country he's been to! 

And sadly, it's probably the last country he'll see. More on that later though. 

September 18, 2014

Hitching His Way

Mr. Pickle recently stuck out his thumb in the parking lot of a library and hitched a ride with Patti and Andy, who were on there way from Cincinnati, Ohio to Northern Michigan and back down to Cincy and then Kentucky. It was magical timing that they were able to pick up Mr. P in Ann Arbor on their way. He hung with a robot, a dog mayor, a lizard, a stack of beer, rode a giant slide, and was chased by a tobacco farmer. Such adventures were had! And they took amazing photos. (I always love the pics I receive of his travels, but these were kicked up a notch.) Here we go:

Mr. Pickle's thumb was out and he hopped on board in the middle of Patti and Andy's trip to northern Michigan. He may have had some inspiration...

He joined their trip in the parking lot of the Ann Arbor District Library and they hit up The Lunch Room! The finest vegan restaurant in town. There he met a tasty pickle friend.  

They enjoyed Empire Beach, MI. While there Mr. P worked on his boarding skills!  

His happy hosts and a spectacular view at Empire Beach.  

Empire Beach sunset times for this pickle. He had his camera at the ready! 

They visited the Michigan Legacy Art Park

Riding the Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide!!! This looks amazing. Surely the finest ride Mr. P has enjoyed. 

Back in Cincinnati, OH they stopped at the Rhinegeist Brewery

While there they happened upon a craft fair! Beers and crafts! Mr. P was digging it. Note: above him is a Big Ass Fan. That's what it's called, FYI. *snicker*

All things green! Beverages! Mmmmm.
And look at that cute hat. 
(I love it when Mr. P dresses up for his travel hosts.)

Great American Tower at Queen City Square in Cincy. The top of it was inspired by Princess Diana's tiara. Huh. 

 Visiting the Genius of Water fountain in Cincy.

Roebling Suspension Bridge. They like to say that the Roebling Suspension Bridge was the inspiration for the Brooklyn Bridge. The Ascent building by the bridge was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, who is the master architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

A stop at the beautiful Cincinnati Music Hall.

BIG PURPLE MONSTER! Balances Mr. Pickle on his finger. 

Metrobot at the Contemporary Arts Center meets Mr. P. How cool is that! Robot! Art! Dance party!

Will all the google eyes please stand up. 
Good thing Mr. P's eyes are sewn on. 

Mr. P is just one of the many faces of art.

What a beautiful shot of Mr. P at the farmer's market in Cincy!

Mr. Pickle did.

He finally made it to Kentucky! A new state on his list to visit. WOOHOO.
And while there he met the mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. Who, yes, is a dog. Really.

Getting into some trouble at a tobacco barn. The barn owner stared them down and had to make a run for it. Holy smokes! 

Mr. P checks out the Rabbit Hash General Store. 

Taking lessons in foliage. 
(I met Patti at Craft-A-Way Camp, where we were taught about the difference between the two. So this is realllly funny. Well, to us.)

Kentucky laundry stop.

But where is the old stuff? No, like the OLD old stuff?

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe, and she had a pet pickle who refused to live in a boot.

Illegally hanging out with some DHL planes, no big deal. 

Florence, Y'all.

Mr. Pickle had fun visiting the Big Bone Lick State Park in KY! Bison!

Or, no bison, actually. They were off feeding. DO NOT APPROACH!

Horses at Turfway Park. 
This pickle sure loves animals. 

Mr. P getting close with the lazarus lizards. You see that lizard behind Mr. P? These lizards were introduced to Kentucky from Italy by a little boy in 1951, and now they're everywhere! Whoah.  


Kentucky marked his 30th state! Only 20 more to go, dear readers. That's right. YOU. ME. We need to get him to those 20. Where are you taking him?! Maine? Oregon? Alabama? New Jersey? Check his itinerary and get him on your travel schedule.


After getting back to Cincinnati, he was shipped off to his next destination so he could travel to St. Louis, Missouri. BUT! The USPS failed us, and he did not land in time. No Missouri for this pickle. Hopefully he'll make it back to Michigan in time for his trip to Italy!