Approximate trip mileage: 10,100 Chance that this includes at least 1500 miles spent driving through small, strange towns searching for a playground: 4 in 5.
States visited: 25 Chance that one of those 25 was Idaho: 0 Probability that Max insisted were were in fact, in Idaho: 100% Sonic limeades purchased and consumed: Too high to count.
Amount by which estimated fuel consumption exceeded budget: $600 Areas with the most expensive gasoline: The horrible route between Las Vegas and San Diego, and the Overseas Highway to Key West, Florida. Areas with inexpensive fuel: 0.
Serious accidents barely avoided: 12 Odds that my Honda Pilot will need new brake pads when I bring it in for service tomorrow: High.
Average number of driving hours per day, not including overnight stays of more than one night: 5-6. Longest driving day: Galveston, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. Approximately 9 hours.
Prettiest state: New Mexico Best surprise: Little Rock, Arkansas Biggest Disappointment: The Strip Malls of Ye Olde Key West, Florida and Sedona Shopping Malls of Arizona. Unless you like your red rock photographs to include a larger than life Dress Barn sign, and want to buy key lime pie at a McDonald’s drive thru.
Percentage of spectators that will get wet in the splash zone at Sea World? 100% Shell out the $6 for the stupid plastic poncho.
Chance that someone is lying if they tell you that the beach-side vacation condo they have rented will charge a steep fine for noisy children: Total crap-shoot. Odds that you will learn that such a fine is a complete selfish lie: Very high, especially if said resort is overrun with screaming children, and you happen to take an elevator ride with a friendly couple who is traveling with seven boys under the age of 10. I’m just saying……
Hours it will take you to leave after finding out about said lie: 6, and only because you require a few hours of sleep before hitting the road.
Odds that you will spend at least one night in a chain hotel, in spite of promising to seek out inexpensive accommodations with character: 100%, if traveling with very small children. Mid-range chain hotel with the most consistent quality and service: Hampton Inn. Likelihood that I have racked up enough Hilton Honors points that Paris herself will bring that next bottle of water, USA Today and vendor-sized bag of Chex Mix to my room the next time I make a reservation: 77%
Chain hotel to avoid: The Best Western in Cottonwood, Arizona if a crusty old guy named Marc is working, because he will bust your ass and share horror stories of previous guests who destroyed the self serve waffle makers if you dare to grab a cup of juice for your child 3 minutes before the breakfast area Officially Opens. Even though he has most of the lights on, and the morning news is blaring from a giant screen television overhead. Odds that you will suggest he go fuck himself: Pretty damn high.
Odds that the employees of a Taco Bell will actually give you a bean burrito without cheese or meat: 50/50. Probability that they will insist all the burritos have meat and cheese if you politely explain that you do not eat meat or cheese: 100%, if you visit a certain Taco Bell in South Carolina.
Odds that D’Lish in Sedona, Arizona serves a juicy tempeh burger so good that one bite makes you cry and causes you to question whether god might really exist? 3 out of 3. At least for our party of 3.
Best vegan roadtrip snack: Primal Spirit mesquite-lime vegan jerky.
Best farmers market: Daytona Flea and Farmer’s Market.
Likelihood that you will want to stay and buy a cute little adobe with a kiva fireplace at the foot of the mountains if you visit Taos, New Mexico: Very high.
Chances that you will be stung by a jelly fish: Very low. Unless you are me.