Last week as I chatted with my newly discovered cousin, Beth, I pulled up Google Maps to get a better idea of where she is geographically. Specifically, I wondered how far she lived from my sister, Mardy. It didn’t take long before I realized that a killer road trip could be devised. My first pass at possible destinations yielded this list (see Glossary if you don’t know any of these names):
- Portland: Our home.
- San Francisco: Home to Uncle Ralph, Aunt Carol and cousins David and Danielle.
- Moreno Valley: Home to Maridee, Steve, Trisha and Michael.
- Phoenix: Home to Michelle, Ric, Xander and Wil.
- Albuquerque: Home to Jan and Tom.
- Austin: One of America’s music capitols. Need to find worthy venues to visit here.
- Houston: Home to TQ, Tina’s grandfather.
- New Orleans: Another of America’s music capitols. Will probably need a couple of days here. Any suggestions for family friendly spots?
- Pensacola: Home to Beth and her family.
- Jacksonville: Home to Mike, Micah and his family.
- Savannah: Home to Mardy, Steve, Barrett and Kendrick & his family. We should spend at least three days here.
- Charleston: My old stomping grounds and historic southern city.
- Washington, D.C.: Our nations capitol. We would want to spend more than one day here visiting monuments and historical curiosities.
- Philadelphia: A natural follow-up to a visit to D.C.
- New York: The boys have a long list of places they want to visit here so this might also take a few days.
- Cleveland: Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Madison: My cousins Dee and Jon live near here.
- Riceville: My little hometown where my 25th class reunion will be held in 2010.
- Colorado Springs: Tina’s cousins, Natians and Kelly live nearby.
- Salt Lake City: Much maligned but beautiful city.
- Portland: Our home.
If taken in this order, this list represents at least 20 days of driving alone, never mind any time that we might like to spend in some of the cities. Even if I was able to get four weeks of vacation, that would only leave 7 days of non-driving time to spread around the whole trip. So let’s try a revised list of driving destinations:
- This 1326 mile length will take two days. Stopping point will be dynamic.
- Colorado Springs
378 miles/5.5 hours
841 miles/12 hours
511 miles/8 hours
- New Orleans (stopping in Houston to visit TQ for a few hours)
546 miles/8 hours
- Jacksonville (stopping in Pensacola to visit Beth and family)
139 miles/2 hours
573 miles/9 hours
- Washington, D.C./Philadelphia
431 miles/7 hours
345 miles/5.5 hours
377 miles/6.5 hours
- This stretch of 1800 miles is a two or three day drive. Stopping points will be dynamic.
This list makes for some long driving days, especially at the beginning and end, but our boys are easier now on long trips than when they were younger. So that makes about 16 days of driving or less if we care to have some really long days.