There's an old station wagon that's been sitting in the Dunphy garage for quite some time. It's out of oil, but full of memories. Phil hopes to give the car to Haley someday. Claire nixes that idea since it is way too easy to fit a mattress in the back. Looks like it's time to sell the old gas guzzler!
More than a few family keepsakes are discovered while cleaning out the car. Luke finds an old picture of Claire at the Rose Bowl. Even though their team got pummeled by Penn State, Phil remembers the parade as being fun. He says, "Angela Lansbury was the grand marshal. Good times, she wrote."
Other items discovered in the car include Haley's old blanket (AKA "Blankety"), which she held all the time until Luke threw up on it. There's also a jar Luke brought home from the beach after he trapped some sunshine inside. All these keepsakes have Claire getting sentimental. Phil has a buyer for the car, but wants to create one last fond memory before turning over the title.
The entire family embarks on a final road trip in the station wagon for a picnic in the park. Too bad Luke downs his burger and fries in record time. He's looking like he's ready to hurl. If only he had his old bucket (AKA "Buckety"). The family must flee the vehicle due to Luke's sensitive stomach, a party-crashing spider and a sudden dust storm emanating from the vents. If that's not enough, Phil forgets to set the emergency brake.
After a valiant rescue effort by Phil, the Dunphys watch helplessly as the old wagon rolls down an embankment. Phil realizes that he'll surely have to lower the asking price now. The kids crack up during the long walk home as they recap everything that's happened. Phil and Claire just smile. It looks like they achieved their goal of making this a day to remember.
Lily is getting a brand new Princess Castle for the backyard. Mitchell is excited to be building the thing while Cameron fears for his life. Mitchell is downright dangerous when armed with a nail gun. Cam and Jay are in cahoots to keep Mitchell away from any and all power tools. The plan works for awhile, but Mitchell eventually catches on.
Mitchell decides to assemble the roof to the Princess Castle solo. Of course, he also manages to trap himself inside when the doorknob falls off. When Cameron and Jay see the roof on the castle, they apologize to Mitchell for underestimating him. They don't let on that they know he's trapped inside, but eventually have to get him out when a fine-feathered friend flies inside the castle, too. As we know from "Family Portrait," Mitchell doesn't gracefully handle close encounters of the bird kind.
Manny has a big date with a girl in his class named Kelly. Well, technically it's not a date. Kelly's just coming over to study the lifecycle of silkworms. Yeah, that's a date. Gloria is caught off guard by the effect this young lady has on her young son. Suddenly, Manny is cutting back on trans fat and putting a pinch of salt in his chocolate milk. It's delicious! Though Gloria would never admit it to Kelly.
Manny breaks a movie date with his mom to catch a flick with Kelly instead. Gloria worries that her son may be headed for yet another broken heart. Sure enough, Manny decides to skip the movie after Kelly is less-than-impressed with his burgundy dinner jacket.
But Manny's not feeling bad about the breakup. Gloria is beaming when he says there's another girl he'd much rather hang out with anyway. Her name is Alicia and she's in his history class. Manny says, "We like to play Six Degrees of Sir Francis Bacon." Gloria isn't beaming anymore.
Tale of Three Cities