Trip Preperation

I always wanted to drive a beater across country, it just seemed like it would be a modern adventure. I wanted to do this with Virgil’s car, a 1986 VW Golf, but it died during an emissions test. Many times while driving around the state working as a field service technician I would hear the call of the road telling me to just head out interstate 80 and don’t stop till I see the ocean. A few weeks ago Michael (Stevie’s son) moved to Phoenix and thought that he could get by without a car. It didn’t take long for him to realize his mistake and he called home asking to have his car sent out to him. When I Maureen (my girlfriend) told me about this I didn’t hesitate and volunteered.

My first step was to decide how many days the trip should take. I settled on 5 days with about 500 miles a day of driving. One of my goals was to keep costs down so I decided to stay at Motel 6 all the way. I used Google maps to find a Motel 6 about every 500 miles. I then I looked for interesting places to stop about every two hours for rest stops.

When I travel I need to plan two things carefully, where to eat and where to get espresso. When going into the center of the country these thing get very tricky. I’m practically a vegetarian (actually a pescetarian), I will eat meat, but think of Samuel L Jackson’s line about getting a hamburger in “Pulp Fiction”. Jules, “Me, I can't usually get 'em 'cause my girlfriend's a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian.” I also don’t like chain restaurants so I spent a few days mapping out local places that serve fish or other non-meat meals. Breakfast and lunch where not too much of an issue because I was packing my own lunch food and eggs and potatoes are served everywhere. Espresso is an even bigger challenge, I don’t like coffee, too much water and not much flavor. I learned to drink espresso in Italy and now make my own at home. This is not the swill Starbucks puts in a paper cup and serves. It needs to be in a porcelain cup and not bitter or acidic. I spent a lot of time searching reviews and looking at photos of independent coffee shops looking for pictures containing porcelain espresso cups. I pretty much covered the whole trip with places to get what I needed twice a day. As a backup I brought my own cup in case they didn’t have their own porcelain cups to pull a shot in.

Stevie (Maureen’s cousin) and Trent (Michael’s twin brother) dropped the car off late in the afternoon. It is loaded with stuff to be delivered with the car to Michael. I successfully paired the Bluetooth to FM transmitter to my phone so I will have music. I will rearrange the cargo in the morning so I can get my luggage in the back hatch.

02/12-2024 - 02/17/2024
2721 Miles
North Haven, CT to Phoenix, AZ