Hit The Road: Dream Road Trip
Let’s talk road trips!
As you know, I just got back from a pretty nutso one in Ontario. The highways were closed, and the snow made for perilous whiteout conditions, but in the end I survived… and saw some cute snow-powdered towns and a handful of historic lighthouses.
I’m really excited about this post because it’s a pretty cool giveaway. Actually, I wish I could enter…
There is a really talented group of bloggers behind this giveaway, and we have all written something road trip-related. I’m excited to read everyone’s take on the theme. The general idea is to divulge what we like to pack with us when we take a road trip. A road trip for me varies greatly depending on who I am with and where I am going (and why!). If I am alone, it’s all about the snacks and the tunes (and possibly an audiobook or 4). If I am with a friend, it’s all about their tunes and a good GPS. Last fall, I went up to The Pas (in Northern Manitoba) for the funeral of a very special uncle. Since my parents were driving, all I brought was my knitting and a couple of books.
So let’s dive into what a road trip looks like for me, generally speaking. And then don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their road trip bags!
What tunes are playing when I’m road-trippin’?
Scott & Brendo – And Away We Go
This whole album is fun, and without fail (if I’m by myself; boyfriend doesn’t stand for my rapping skills), I will listen to Kitten Air on repeat and see how well I can keep up to the fast lyrics. I have most of them memorized, a task accomplished on the train in Siberia.
St. Lucia – When the Night
I can’t get enough of this group. Their songs are catchy and easy to listen to and keep my energy up while I drive. An album I can easily play on repeat.
The Prodigy – Fat of the Land
Want a jolt to the blood stream? Feeling at all bored, lethargic, dozy? Pop these tunes on, and you’ll feel great instantly. Volume up, mandatory.
Twin Shadow – Confess
This is a FANTASTIC album, and the guy behind the tunes is seriously talented. I saw him live in 2012 in Winnipeg, and what a sexy treat, both for the ears and the eyes. Can’t say enough good things about him and his music.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
I adore Arcade Fire, a group I’ve been lucky to see live twice, and any of their albums will find their way into rotation on a road trip, but Reflektor has really been doing the trick lately. For a weird/awesome extended video of this song (and a few others), check out the video here.
Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania
I’ve loved the Pumpkins since I was 10 years old. I finally saw them live in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2008, and I could have died happy that night. Siamese Dream is a classic album that I love, along with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, but Oceania really hits all the right notes (*ahem*) for road tripping.
Phil Collins – No Jacket Required
Don’t you instantly feel perkier?
Various Big Band Artists…
And because I’m a weirdo, I always throw in my collection of Big Band and vintage tunes from the 1930’s and 40’s. Artie Shaw and the Dorsey brothers are my favourite, and I also enjoy Glenn Miller and Ray Anthony among a few others. I even have an album of music of British dance bands from the 1920’s. Full of static and charm, love it.
To listen to all of this music, I make sure I have my Monster iCarCharger. What do you use to play music?
What do I eat while cruising down the highway?
Here’s a short list.
-Bulk Barn candy (usually something in the gummy department)
-Crispy Minis (the dill flavour gets me weak in the knees)
-various chopped vegetables (usually yellow, orange and green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and grape or cherry tomatoes)
-water… lots and lots of water
-fruit (apples and pears are easy, and if I’m being a smartass those tomatoes should really be here, right?)
NOW! My dream road trip:
I’ve been lucky to have actually done portions of this trip, only in disjointed segments. Since these spots are all along the west coast of North America, it would be great to be able to see them all together in one road trip. As I age, accommodation is becoming much more important and even a draw for travel. Some luxury inns are a destination in themselves. It would be a dream come true to be able to take this road trip with an emphasis on luxury accommodation. I imagine browsing through old libraries and guestbooks, taking long hot baths with a view of the mountains and sipping cold beer on a perfectly manicured lawn overlooking a lake framed by hills.
START: Victoria, British Columbia
My family used to spend a lot of time in Victoria, and I was lucky to join them on a number of occasions. The area is brimming with gorgeous nature walks and endless food that will warrant the walks. My first luxury stop on this leg of the trip is Sooke Harbour House. Each room is unique and the building is full of local art. The dining room is darling, and the scenery is second to none.
After this stop, I would head over the boarder to the United States. This requires a little backtracking through Victoria to take the ferry to Port Angeles. From here, drive straight to Port Townsend. Take in the Victorian homes, have a bite to eat at a cozy restaurant but don’t dally long (…or do!). The next adorable inn takes us to Coupeville, on Whidbey Island, another short ferry ride away.
While in Coupeville, I would stay at the Blue Goose Inn because it is the absolute cutest thing ever. It is a short walk from the main street with all the shops and restaurants. Browse around, and dine on the water, take it easy and then pack up and head back Port Townsend way for anything you missed the first time round. From there, head off toward Port Angeles. This particular place lacks some charm, but it is a good break in the driving and a launching point for heading to the Hoh Rainforest.
If you are keen to see rainforest while you are in Washington State, there is a nice little loop in the Hoh Rainforest that takes all of 45 minutes to an hour, and that’s at an amble. If you are a bit more intense and want to put on really ugly shoes, there are hikes for you too.
After the rainforest, where to next?
Lake Quinault Lodge, just the kind of place I find myself drawn to of late. It’s the kind of place that makes me think of Dirty Dancing and epic summer romances.
Lake Quinault Lodge photo dump:
I only wish I had more time to bask in the atmosphere and enjoy the surroundings. There was something special in the air there…
NEXT STOP: Ocean Shores.
I stayed in a really tacky hotel when I was here. The wallpaper was a peeling tropical sunset, and the coffee in the morning was instant and abysmal. This is what budget travel means. I didn’t come across the luxury accommodations while I was there, but I know they exist. There is a marvellous beach in Ocean Shores; it is long and wide and I saw cozy hotels and inns dotting the whole way down. I just can’t vouch for any of them. I’d love to go back and snuggle up in one of those beachside inns.
Do you have any Ocean Shores recommendations?
NEXT UP: Oysterville
I 100% visited Oysterville because of its name. The only catch – make sure you go when oysters are in season. They weren’t when I was there because the water was too warm so the bacteria levels were too high (or that’s what I was told). I ended up in Oysterville and didn’t even touch an oyster! Sad face. Well, I had pie instead.
At this point in the trip, the connection is hazy. I haven’t gone this far in my research, so I ask you, reader! Between here and Portland, what to do? Also, the next stop is San Francisco, so what other suggestions do you have in between? What stops along the West Coast Highway are must-sees? What incredible inns do you recommend?
NEXT UP: San Francisco
When I was in SF, I was couchsurfing and staying in hostels and camping on the forest floor like a hobo. I know there are luxury options in this wonderful city. What would you recommend?
I could easily spend a week or more just eating my face off in San Francisco, but in my heart, I know I’m itching to get back to Yosemite, to get tucked away into another Dirty Dancing-like inn. My two choices: The Ahwahnee Hotel and Wawona Hotel. If you don’t manage to stay at both, at least visit both and be sure to dine like it’s going out of style. You won’t regret it.
Oh, and of course, while you’re in Yosemite, take a look at the enormous trees, breathe the fresh air and see the sites of the park. Yosemite is one of my favourite trips to date. It’s a very special place.
Where to go from here? What did I miss? Is it time to go home or should I keep driving?
Now for the giveaway…
You have the opportunity (if you are in Canada or the US) to win one of two prizes:
Now just follow the rafflecopter prompts below, and you’ve entered. Don’t forget to check out the other blogs for additional chances to enter.
What does your dream road trip look like? Where would you go?