Hit The Road: Dream Road Trip - Colleen Brynn Travels

Hit The Road: Dream Road Trip

Feb 23, 2015 by


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

[youtube http://youtu.be/yyy1rBRurOE]

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

[youtube http://youtu.be/oydbEwgUh_k]

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

[youtube http://youtu.be/rmHDhAohJlQ]

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

[youtube http://youtu.be/wg4IhOpndrQ]

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 

[youtube http://youtu.be/eepfdrU55KA]

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 

[youtube http://youtu.be/Liy517_9II8]

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

[youtube http://youtu.be/r0qBaBb1Y-U]

Don’t you instantly feel perkier?


Various Big Band Artists…

[youtube http://youtu.be/1GQ5V4juFGg]

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.


“Let’s just get it” -my friend Gisela about our future in realty while we were in Port Townsend, WA.



Coupeville, WA



Coupeville, WA

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.


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?


Ocean Shores, WA

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.


The dining room at The Ahwahnee Hotel



The grounds of Wawona Hotel



Wawona Hotel



I just want to be here.

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:

Prize 1 is a Kindle Fire and a Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack.



Prize 2 is a Kindle Fire and a Travelon Anti-Theft React™ Medium Crossbody Bag.



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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway



What does your dream road trip look like? Where would you go?

The Instagram was covered in the rafflecopter above, but don’t forget to also find me on Facebook and twitter!

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  1. I loooove those Victorians! That seriously looks like a dream road trip to me!

  2. Bulk Barn candy is a must! I would pack lots of different types, but mostly gummy.

  3. Great list! I love to pack cherry tomatoes as well! My kids eat them like they are candy!

  4. What an incredible giveaway, Colleen. I absolutely love road trips and any of these would have been right in my wheelhouse. I do drink water but not much for snacks since I was driving 100% of the time. The partner I had for the past 11 years road shotgun but didn’t have opposable thumbs to help me. I especially liked your S.F. and Yosemite segments. Good music too…California Dreamin’ has always been one of my favorites on the road 🙂

  5. Nicole Dziedzic

    If I were to build the perfect roadtrip bag the one item I would include is a GPS for sure.

  6. Haha bulk barn candy! That can be delicious…and dangerous! I could probably down a whole bag of candy in one sitting if I’m driving and eating 😛

  7. A.M.

    From Colleen’s bag, I would choose to pack lots of water (in bottles of course)!

  8. Tatyana Pashnyak

    Wow, the photos are gorgeous! We have some family in Quebec so have driven from Florida to Quebec City several times. I have wanted Kindle for so long but can’t afford it, so thank you so much for the opportunity to win!

  9. Heather

    I also love to pack some good snacks and a good book or magazines! And a little Starbucks along the way helps me too!

  10. This sound like a great trip. Music, snacks, and a good partner…what more could i want? 🙂

  11. Ash L

    I’d bring water and fruits. I love architecture and love old buildings.

  12. Adelynn Lovellette

    A roadtrip soundtrack would be awesome to have and good snacks!

  13. Courtsie

    I am 100% there if you ever want to complete this roadtrip.. 🙂

  14. Wehaf

    Lots of water is a must! It’s so easy to get dehydrated when traveling.

  15. I’d bring my Kindle, music and camera. Really, this is all I need. The pictures are awesome… I wish I could travel with you!

  16. Jennifer Mallon

    Lots of water. I have two boys and if we stopped everytime they were thirsty we would never get to our destination!

  17. Susan R

    Thanks for the great ideas for a west coast trip.

  18. I would take that St Lucia album. 🙂

  19. Susana Slais

    My dream road trip would have to include a good travel bag with the essentials (camera, charger, light scarf, water, snacks, and first aid kit) and any beach or lake area!!! 🙂

  20. Gabrielle

    Like you, I absolutely have to have my favorite tunes!

  21. Shakeia Rieux

    I would take fruit,various chopped vegetables and lots of water

  22. sandra

    would definitely need to pack some water

  23. Barb Stenby

    I would definitely bring a GPS

  24. I would choose the cut up Fruits and Vegetables from colleen’s Bag. Great for the Nutrients and a boost of energy.

  25. Irene Newstead

    I would definitely pack some bottled water.

  26. Cassie Korando

    My husband also will not tolerate my rapping for long! Because of this, I usually put on a playlist or Pandora station that we both enjoy.

  27. Patrick Siu

    I would bring candy

  28. Natalie

    I also like to pack fruit and chopped vegetables. I would also pack my kindle and my laptop.

  29. Norma M.

    Fruit on the road. A must have! I’m not much of a candy eater but give me some fruit and I’m a happy camper. Greats photos you got there, that Apple pie alice looked delicious!

  30. Camille

    WHAT! I have never heard of crispy minis before… Dill rice cakes sound amazing! I want some of those in my road trip bag!

  31. Alicia Boarts

    We always have water and some snacks. If I am driving, no husband, we get to listen to music. If my husband drives, I read to tune out the metal grunge.

  32. Cokie Evans

    I love Prodigy, Breathe is one of my favorite songs and is on my iPod right now in several playlists!

  33. wen budro

    From Colleen’s bag- I would bring a camera and water and KIND bars.

  34. iamalighthouse

    I agree! I must have a nice bottle of water!

  35. Carolsue

    I would bring fruit. It’s good and easy to pack.

  36. Amy C.

    Water is tops on my list also. I tend to indulge more on trips, so I try not to consume extra liquid calories.

  37. Pamela Gurganus

    If I were to build the perfect roadtrip bag, one item from Colleen’s bag I would include is the water.

  38. Gotta have some music on a road trip. I love Arcade Fire, and Keep The Car Running is one of my go to road trip songs.

  39. Akila Narayanan

    Awesome collection.. I wish I could travel far & wide as You.. I would definitely pack the fruits & lots of water bottles.. Cant do without them..

    Note: Looks like your link in the giveaway comment widget is broken. It says page not found. I found the post from your home page.

  40. Eva

    Love the eclectic choice of music! I love listening to Manu Chao while traveling! 🙂

  41. Candice

    Great list. I agree with the snacks. I always try to make a bag of a good assortment for trips.

  42. You mapped out a fantastic trip. I’m in desperate need of a vacation and I really enjoyed viewing these photos. I’ve haven’t been to that region so I’m at a loss as to where you should head from San Francisco. I like that you included vegetables in your bag, that would be a must for me as well.

  43. theresa J

    I love easy snacks like fruit so apples are a must for me

  44. carol clark

    bulk bag of snacks is what id pick

  45. A road trip with out good tunes isn’t a road trip at all.

  46. Heather Johnson

    Candy and snacks are a must have on road trips.

  47. Nicole Opfer

    I’ve never had Bulk Barn Candy, but I love gummies on a road trip!

  48. Lisa Johnston

    fruit, because if the kids are hungry and we aren’t near a restaurant I will always have something for them to snack on.

  49. Christine A

    I would pack fruits for road trips and buy some along the way. The inn, lodge, and hotel picks look gorgeous!

  50. Tina F

    Cut up fruits and veggies is great for the kids and water. I love my teas and need my cell and camera

  51. Hi Colleen,

    I just hope that someday, I will have the same dream road trip like yours. My favorite spot there is the Hoh Rainforest, nature lover!

  52. I love to keep candy in the car for road trips. Sometimes you just need to suckle on a little sweet/sour.

    I also love to have fruits, veggies, breads and cheeses.

  53. Leah

    Yeah, we try to pack veggies for road trips, too. I mean, you know, they’re healthy and all. We do usually end up stopping and getting some candy along the way and splitting it, though!

  54. I love the sound of the trip, but I would find some time for Vancouver near the start as well as it’s a great place to visit. I think one of my favorite trips was a loop from Vegas up to to Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah then down to Grand Canyon Flagstaff and Phoenix Arizona.

  55. sarah s

    I would also bring books and snacks on a road trip and the GPS could definitely come in handy.

  56. Dawn Monzu

    I would definitely use the GPS on my road trip! I like your music by the way! A GPS is a must have for going anywhere. When you are traveling, and you have no idea where the heck you are, why wouldn’t you want a GPS? It helps you have a good road trip!

  57. Lisa Coomer Queen

    This was awesome! I would take music for sure! Thanks

  58. Linda Moffitt

    I Bring Snacks My Satellite Radio and Books I would Love Audio Books for when I am driving but I do not have any yet

  59. Jennifer Pellicone

    I would also have water in my road trip bag.

  60. Chantelle Walker

    I completely agree, that music is a much while on a road trip. I don’t spend as much time preparing my music before traveling unless its a road trip, when it is I’ll spend a few hours making several playlists and making sure all my favs on it.

  61. Oooh…Any road trip that includes the Wawona Hotel is a winner! Nice choice!

  62. Tracy C

    i love gummy snacks, too–and my husband doesn’t, so more for me! Great suggestions for your dream road trip. Where exactly is Oysterville? That would be on my husbands list, for sure!

  63. Candy, water and fruit, yeah that sounds like my road trip diet (there might be a burger in there, too.) As for entertainment, audiobooks make the miles fly by for us.

  64. Stacy

    Yes to great road tunes! I am a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan and have at least one song on most of my playlists.

  65. sheila ressel

    I would definitely have to bring lots of water in my bag.

  66. Nicole Carter (Weasley)

    I agree a music player of some kind is a must! Music just makes you feel good and helps the time pass by on a road trip.

  67. I am loving all the water and vegetables and fruits you take along with you 🙂 I also wanted to say WOW!! what a nice assortment of videos and love the pictures . Thanks for sharing @tisonlyme143

  68. Dawn Monroe

    The Blue Goose Inn is beautiful. I love the older homes. I would also take my favorite tunes and bulk candy.

  69. Debbie Menconi

    I love that Phil Collins album! And we spent our honeymoon in Ocean Shores, but that was 37 years ago, so I don’t think I can really recommend! 🙂 the accomodations we had! . We live on the West Coast, and it is wonderful, as you said. One of our fav road trips is up to the San Juans and surroundiing areas.

  70. Debbie Menconi

    The Phil Collins album is amazing! We went to Ocean Shores for our honeymoon 37 years ago! So beautiful.

  71. Candice M

    I like to have music for road trips, which can be interesting since my usually road trip partner and I don’t really have the same taste in music, so it becomes an adventure to find out what musical interests we have in common.

  72. md kennedy

    I always forget how important snackies are to a road trip bag. They are the best part of your’s as well, and some great inspirations for my next one that begins on Sunday.

  73. Laurie Nykaza

    With fruits and water I bring with me I always have a great snack sometimes I bring dried fruit too. I love great music it brings a good vibe to the road love the music you piked too have to listen to some of them always adding new music when we travel.

  74. Megan C.

    I agree with you, music makes for a good road trip. I would take the Smashing Pumpkins from your bag to go along on my trip.

  75. shadowluvs2read

    Book are definitely a must! Audio or otherwise. If were road tripping, im being more than i can possibly read. lol

  76. angela smith

    i would take a GPS i have no sense of direction.i get lost going around the block…lol

  77. Maria Ruiz

    Love Arcade Fire, and water as road trip staples:)

  78. Albert Ruis

    Big Band music is great.

  79. dv8

    I’d bring plenty of water. Water also comes in handy when an engine overheats.

  80. Bailey Dexter

    I always bring along the Audiobooks great way to catch up on the reading!Also also pack the tumes and snacks!

  81. I would include some good tunes, water, and snacks.

  82. Katherine Riley

    We take several road trips throughout the year to go geocaching. Good music is a must!

  83. susan king

    Snacks and water would be good for me. Thank you for the chance to win this !!

  84. barbara langley

    Gps for sure

  85. Mary Beth

    What fun adventures you have. I love the carefree, kick up dust attitude and your music selections are great. Thanks for letting us enter this contest. I hope to have as much fun traveling as you do..

  86. Michelle Tucker

    GPS all the way, I feel totally secure when we have ours…if not, I’m a mess. We can follow a map just fine, but apparently they don’t update printed maps as often as they should. 😉

  87. Alayne Langford

    Hey, I love your post and agree with you about Ontario! I live in Ontario so I really appreciate the shout out! Like you, I like my snacks and also go to Bulk Barn because I can get a little bit of everything for MY perfect road trip! 🙂 ty

  88. Alicia Arsenault

    Water for sure! Gotta keep hydrated.

  89. OMG, making a playlist of those songs, thanks!

  90. You amazed me! I felt like eing there with you. Great storytelling 🙂

  91. This sounds like a lovely trip!


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