Road Trip to Seattle: Would I do it again?



I am giving you fair warning that this post contains a great number of tedious details. Think of it as a road trip diary of sorts. I understand completely if you do not wish to continue, but thank you to the rest of you who are still reading. It feels good to for me to vent a little about our recent road trip to Seattle.

Did you take driving trips with your family as a kid? Did your grandparents land on the East Coast and make their way west by car?

Did you take your kids on family road trips?

My husband Craig traveled by car with his family every summer. He has fond, vivid memories of these vacations, discovering majestic national parks and visiting different parts of the United States. My family traveled by car only once to Missouri to visit family when I was 8. I hated it (for a multitude of reasons I won’t go into) then and the memory stayed with me.

With our young family of four, we drove as far as San Diego or Palm Desert and once we drove to Danville (Northern California) for a Thanksgiving Holiday with friends from our home in Southern California.

So other than an occasional short driving trip from point A to B, the Staverts always took a plane for vacation. Now as empty nesters, our focus has been on using airline miles and hotels points for parts unknown and usually far away.


When we decided to move to Seattle for 6 months (learn why here) we were moving with our dog Rocco (we did not want to ship him by air) and needed our car while in Seattle… We had to take a road trip. Yikes. That is not my idea of fun. I do not like sitting for hours at a time and Rocco had never been in a car for more than an hour. Craig’s job is very demanding and can’t be away for very long. This road trip presented some major personal challenges, but hopefully no disasters.

The Road Trip Plan

For reasons of comfort and tolerance (mine), we decided to break up the nearly 1200 mile trip into 3 1/2 days of driving and three overnight stays. We packed our SUV with as much of our belongings as possible which was mostly clothes, computers, dog stuff and flat screen TV. The only room left in the car was a small space in the back seat for Rocco’s bed and Rocco. Otherwise, every bit of air space was taken. This was truly a hillbilly-like situation.



Our first potty/food stop was a truck stop in Bakersfield at Burger King. Oh my favorite! It was a blistering 95 degrees and we found a small, dry stretch of grass for Rocco and we stood on this patch of grass while eating our “delicious” lunch. Rocco did his business and we were off. After easily 4 ½ hours of more driving, we traveled through San Francisco and tremendous traffic to stop in Santa Rosa for the night.

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