01 August, 2011

Putting the "Trip" in Road Trip

Scott and I have an event to attend in New Jersey this fall.  No matter how we sliced it, plane tickets were going to end up costing us more that I felt we could spend (and that was before I got my transcript out of hock). So we decided to take a little more time off from work and make the drive.  Even if gas was $4/gallon by then, we'd still be spending less than the airfare and rental car would cost.  But really, anyone who has ever driven up I-95 knows how miserable the DC to Philly leg is.  No matter what, the traffic is terrible and the drivers are hostile.  So today I had a crazy idea that might not be so crazy after all. Working with the following parameters: Work on Monday, event on Saturday morning, home on Tuesday here's what I'm thinking:

Monday afternoon: leave immediately after work and get at least an hour into Georgia before finding a place to spend the night

Tuesday: arrive in Atlanta by noon at the latest, spend 4-5 hours at Scott's Happy Place (the Georgia Aquarium), and then spend 3-4 hours headed North before finding a bed.

Wednesday: driving day! 9-10 hours to reach State College and spend the night some place walking distance from the PSU campus

Thursday: spend a couple of hours exploring Penn State and showing Scott the interesting touristy places and things.  And getting ice cream.  Leave State College and drive 4 hours to Philly, hopefully early enough to see my Grandpop.

Friday: something touristy in Philly before heading to the Jersey Shore.

Saturday morning: The Event. We'll be on the road southbound by 4 pm, and hope to make it south of DC before crashing for the night.

Sunday: drive straight down I-95 to Hilton Head, SC in time to go to dinner at Red Fish (no lie, we went there in 2008 and Scott is still talking about this place!) and crash at the Disney resort there.

Monday: drive home and get ready to go back to work on Tuesday.

I'm not deluding myself - it's A LOT of driving. Google tells me the route above is just over 2,500 miles, but the Orlando-Philly trip would be 2,000 miles round-trip. And this way the whole trip feels like a vacation instead of 2 long days in the car on I-95 with a few relaxing days in between.  It also gives us the chance to revisit the "best of"our other out-of-state trips and hit some places Scott has never been.

Of course, we still have a fair amount of time between now and then.  Lots could change. Heck, this vacation is on version 4.2 already!  Still, these plans are really exciting to both of us start to finish, which definitely makes the extra miles worth it.

Anyone want to play devil's advocate?

1 comment:

wickedmess said...

There's no devil in these details,I think it sounds fantastic. I love, love, LOVE road trips!

I'm a get-there-quick-and-enjoy-the-drive-home kind of girl so the only thing I would change is to add another day at the end. There's nothing better than a slow drive back where you get to stop and eat or sleep whenever you like. The first part of the trip, to the adventure/goal/destination,is fun but it's the leisurely crawl home that makes it feel like a relaxing vacation.

Either way, I wish you guys a fun and FABULOUS trip!