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Football trip from Alabama to Penn State

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Need suggestions and ideas for our upcoming trip from Alabama to Penn State for the Bama game on Sept. 10. We would like to see a little of DC, Philadelphia and NYC. We plan to stay in Harrisburg prior to the game (it was the closest place we could find!). We are bringing our new tailgate trailer, which could prove to be problematic in the "downtown" areas of these cities. Our idea is to basically stay somewhere centrally located and just "day trip" from there. ie, somewhere near DC, then on to Philly and go from there by train to NYC. We have 10 days to do all this....are we just crazy to think we can do it? Oh...and one more thought...all this happens to fall the week prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Will that be a problem as far as heightened security goes?
Thanks for any help! (I'm new on here, as you can probably tell!)

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