Travel... aka ROAD TRIP!

[Warning: long vent/rant incoming]

I may have a road trip coming up at the end of the month…
Backstory: After spending a few days in Seattle with friends, then with cousins, stepdaughter missed her flight home.
(I don’t know how; don’t get me started. Also, did I mention that I got married earlier this year?)
She just graduated from college and is allegedly an adult. She decided she loved it in Seattle and wants to move there.

That’s where the trip comes in - to move her up there. This information (“I’m moving!”) hit the day after I had to drive into town to pick her up at the downtown Greyhound bus station.

In my opinion, planning has not occurred.

On the bright side, we won’t be hauling furniture or bulky items, just clothes and personal items. At least, that’s my understanding.

So, yeah, when I got home yesterday, I was presented with a plan to: sell her car, rent an SUV, drive to Seattle, spend a few days with their family there, and fly back home. This would be me driving, with wife, stepdaughter and stepson who just graduated high school. I see problems with the plan…

  • I don’t think she will get $3k for her car, maybe 2k if she’s lucky. They paid way too much for it, then we ended up dumping more money into it, including an engine rebuild. I’m guessing we sunk about $10k into it before she ran the red light and got hit in the back. With the back of one side looking crunchy, few buyers will care that the engine should be good to go for a long time.
  • The cost of a one-way car rental was grossly underestimated. I got online, pulled some quotes, and delivered a reality check… $1500 - 3000 for SUV one-way vs minivan round trip for $650 - 900. Even with a fuel cost of around $300 each way, round trip is cheaper.
  • When Google Maps says it is a 35 hour trip, that doesn’t mean that you will realistically be able to make it in two 18 hour days. Especially if only one person is doing all the driving. (Wife is not overly fond of driving, especially on the freeway. And step kids are both under 24 years old, so would cost a lot extra to add to the rental.) Be realistic and account for shit happens.
  • I didn’t even get into other basic questions, like attempting to find employment first, asking cousins if they are OK with her living there for an undetermined amount of time, especially assuming no income or source of funds.

Ehh, that’s probably enough soap box for now. I’m sure the saga will continue to unfold.

One one way ticket and a UPS package sounds a lot cheaper. Realistically that’s a four day trip.

Dealing with OMG I’ve totally screwed up and now I can’t pay for College Girl right now. It’s all scary and real. Sounds like you have the flip side, it’s all sunshine and puppy dogs.

Isn’t Seattle in a “heatwave” right now? Has she ever been there in real weather?

The expenses I am seeing are: car rental, insurance, gas, any fluids that need to be added along the way, food along the way, buying dinner for the relatives while you are there (it’s just good manners), various sight-seeing expenses, some money for oh-shit-we-didn’t-see-this-coming, and airplane tickets. I’m assuming you can drop off the SUV at the airport, or else you may be looking at a taxi to the airport. And then you have the days off you have to spend, the days off your wife has to spend, and the days your stepson isn’t working or looking for work.

Speaking of which, why is stepson going? He’s not driving, he’s not moving, and he’s not (?) paying for his own flight home.

If you are doing all of the driving, you have the most say in this scheme. You have every right to dig in your heels and ask a lot of pointed questions. And then verify every answer, apply common sense, lather, rinse, repeat.

I agree with @Woodman. Seattle in winter is fuh-reaking cold, and I was there in March. It’s a damp cold, as well, and the wind is like a knife that goes right through you. I’m not sure where you live now, but I doubt she’s prepared to deal with that.

If she missed her flight that easily, it doesn’t sound like she is very good at real planning. And this doesn’t sound like a real plan. She needs to count on being unemployed for three months, with six months a distinct possibility.

Yeah, pretty much. A can-do attitude is generally a good thing. But deciding that you can do anything you put your mind to while totally ignoring past history and realistic tendencies is less good.

I asked at least three times: “Do you know how much stuff you are actually taking? Like how much space it will require? How much of it is stuff that we can just box and ship?”

The impression I got was that no, she has no concept of what their weather is really like. I doubt she has spent more than a couple days anywhere that gets real cold weather. It is rare in Houston to stay below freezing for a couple weeks, though the humidity here makes the cold more miserable that it should be.

You hit many nails on the heads, especially this one. She is very good at making plans, but not very good at planning, and the follow through is not always another area that could use improvement.

I don’t have too much of a beef with stepson going, partly to make it a family outing, partly because I found out that if I rent from Hertz through my insurance company, I can get him on the rental as a driver with the fees waived.

Or, if you prefer with sound:

1 Like

That gif is strangely hypnotic

Is it possible to pull your wife aside and have a private one-on-one WTF conversation?

Oh yeah, had one last night, will have at least a couple more. I have to break it down and tackle one issue at a time, or one facet of the bigger problem.
The phrase that keeps coming to mind is: Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance. (and I wasn’t even in the military)


Seattle weather is cold? I’ve always considered it pretty temperate.

Compared to Houston.

And wet. Don’t you shrivel up if you get more than one day of sun in a row @Sig?

I’ve found with my daughters that everything is doom and gloom, or puppies and rainbows. They cannot accept that the reality will be bumbling along from one thing to another while trying to follow a road map in the dark. Planning helps, but sometimes even perfect plans don’t work. And you can’t call time out and go back to the beginning.

Speaking of road trips, I am really jonesing to head west. Anyone done the Arches, Natural Bridges or any of the nature spots in Utah. I’m hankering for stark beauty with maybe a 4 star suite to retire to after with a hot tub. I’ve seen lots of good deals for places around convention centers out there during the off season. I’ve seen offers for ATV rental and unguided tours via same, is that even worth it? I’m not up to hiking 20 miles in one day, half that maybe, but ATVs are fun too.

If you’re thinking of doing the Canyon, get there early and prepare for a long walk. The rangers are constantly having to go down the trail to take water to tourists and drag them back up the trail.

From what I could see, it’s not a bad hike. It can take some time because going back up to the top is steep.

Wiki on Climate
Looked it up… I was surprised how mild it is, not counting the wet.

@Woodman, I might be up in your neck of the woods next Memorial day. My buddy has decided that we have gone too long without seeing the Indy 500 in person. (Which we have)
I’ve heard that hotels are hard to get, and that they jack up the prices for that weekend, so we may end up staying in Cincy and driving up for the festivities.

Hard to get is relative. Indy has hotel rooms out the wazoo. I would be you could stay on the east side of town pretty easily.

Not this time. I’m not in that good of shape yet.

Good point - relative.
What is the east side of town like there? In Houston, the east side isn’t someplace I’d want to stay. I was going to say it isn’t awful, but it kind of is. Not exactly scenic.

The east side can be a bit rough, but the northeast side has plenty of space.

Seattle trip update!

I took the baby-steps approach to fixing the problems with the “plan”…

  • We’re going in my car, and shipping anything she wants that won’t fit. It looks like she is doing a pretty thorough job of purging, so it appears that there won’t be much going that isn’t clothing.
  • Rather than leaving on a Thursday morning, we’re now planning to head out on a Saturday. I wanted to avoid taking off work Thurs thru Wed, which would only give 7 consecutive days of availability. Taking Mon thru Fri off, and getting two weekends of buffer time make for way easier travel planning, especially since I may still be driving back solo. Stepson may or may not be going, but wife will be staying in Seattle for a week or so and flying back.

I still doubt stepdaughter knows what the climate or living up there is like, nor what lies on her path (not that anyone does 100%, realistically), but hopefully the dose of reality will be good for her and force her to put effort into taking care of herself.

I failed to share my plans when I went to Cincy last year, so here goes…
We’re driving to Maryland for a surprise 70th birthday party this weekend. I’ll be there a few days, probably head back on Wednesday, maybe Tuesday. My family is outside DC (Bowie / Crofton / Annapolis area), but we’ll definitely sightsee in DC - monuments, Smithsonian, etc. - and visit my grandparents in Arlington cemetery.

As I recall, @balance and @Darktan are around there somewheres. If anyone wants to meet up for lunch or something, lemme know! :slight_smile: