Thanks to perks from my company, we got a crazy good deal on our rental car – $600 to drive a shmancy 2014 Ford Focus (31 MPG) across the country. And we will be doing just that, starting tomorrow morning!
Our first stop will be the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I know! And we only have to drive through the Mojave Desert to get there! Fortunately, every car made within the last few decades has air conditioning, so I think we’ll survive. And we’ll survive in style with some mad stylings from David Sedaris. We probably have enough audiobooks to last us three trips across the country (fortunately (?), we’re flying back).
Tonight, we’re saying our goodbyes to the cat, celebrating with some homemade pizza and Biere de Chocolat, and probably getting one or two more rounds of Mario Kart 8 in before we’re cut off. Until next time!
My cousin Carol is getting married this July! To get out there for the event, Anna and I are taking a cross-country road trip from San Francisco to New York. Here’s our plan so far:
- Leave San Francisco on Saturday, June 28 in the AM and arrive in Las Vegas in the afternoon. Spend that evening and the next day seeing the sights and eating well.
- Leave Las Vegas on Sunday, June 29 in the PM and arrive at Grand Canyon Village.
- Check the canyon out the next morning, then head for Santa Fe — a slight detour from Interstate 40, but supposedly nicer to visit than Albuquerque.
- Leave Santa Fe on Tuesday, July 1 in the AM for Oklahoma City.
- Leave Oklahoma City on Wednesday, July 2 in the AM for St. Louis.
- Leave St. Louis on Thursday, July 3 in the AM for Chicago. Spend a little more time there. Eat well.
- Leave Chicago on Friday, July 4 in the afternoon and arrive in time for fireworks in Pittsburgh.
- Leave Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 5 in the AM for New York.
- Spend the week visiting friends and family, and enjoy the wedding on Saturday, the 12th!
A few things worth note, which factored into our planning:
- This itinerary has us driving for about 7 hours on average each day. Not too overwhelming. But we hope the extra number of days on the road doesn’t grate on us.
- This will be a one-way road trip as we’ll be flying back, so we’ll be renting a car (which is a good idea anyway — not sure if our existing car is up for a week of long drives).
- We considered taking Interstate 80 as it begins literally around the corner from us. The concept of staying on a single road from start to finish sounded exciting. We chose the Interstate 40 route, though, because it passes through the most cities. We’re city people and are interested in seeing other ones, and eating well as we go. A trip through Route 66 checking out all the kitsch doesn’t sound too bad, either.
- Cities we were considering but passed up: Flagstaff instead of Grand Canyon Village (might as well spend a bit extra to stay at the attraction), and Albuquerque instead of Santa Fe (less direct, but supposedly more charming).
With that, we have questions for all of you, our friends and family:
- Are there any can’t-miss destinations that we might be, well, missing out on? We’re still open to changing our route around if you convince us.
- We’re not dead-set on staying in Pittsburgh. While an all-in-one sandwich at Primanti Bros. sounds enticing, we’re considering Cleveland instead. Insight on the pros and cons of each is highly encouraged!
- We need suggestions about food! Food to bring along, food off the beaten path, and restaurants to visit at the aforementioned cities.
- On that note, we need suggestions about everything else! Entertainment on and off the road (what to listen to, what to see, what to stop off for), how to prepare for and sustain a trip of this length, and places to stay (specifically in Las Vegas — we’re still weighing whether to stay on the strip or not).
Regardless of what we choose, we plan on using this blog to chronicle our journey! We’ll be sharing our posts, but feel free to subscribe via traditional RSS instead. For our past writings, check our our posts from our 2010 Europe Trip, and about our wedding last year.