I moved to Seattle from California on September 12, 2007. My dad knew a friend of a friend who was driving there, and he agreed to take my stuff in his car and drop it off at my new apartment, which I had leased sight unseen. I would follow in a couple of days with two remaining suitcases.
Seattle was unknown to me except for a memory that it was cold and wet and relatively rundown compared to Irvine, where I was an undergraduate, and Cupertino, where I grew up. Still, I was eager for a change after one too many 70-degree days in January. Eventually I fell in love with Seattle, met my wife there, finished two graduate degrees, and moved apartments five time before finding the perfect place. I embraced fleece and learned to live without an umbrella. But finally it was time to leave.
On June 23, 2018, we rolled up the air mattress our movers left behind, packed our suitcases into the trunk of my car, threw out a few things that wouldn’t fit, and hit the road.
New jobs took my wife and I to Austin, TX. Once again I am enduring 70-degree days in January.
We were determined to make the trip more interesting than another four-hour flight to Texas. I’ve had too many of those. So we drove across the country. And not just in a straight line, either. We nearly doubled the time it took by crossing all kinds of places off our to-do list. We certainly didn’t spend enough time at any of them, but that’s fine. I’ve long held that the best way to travel is to take a short trip, get my bearings, and then go back a second time to do it right. Then do it a third time to hit all the places you forgot the second time.
This means, of course, we’ll have to drive back to Seattle at some point. I’ve already told my wife this move is temporary. Meanwhile, I’ll spend the next week sharing some of the stops we made along the way. Not every hotel was special, though I did try to mix it up a bit.
- The Historic Davenport Hotel – Spokane, WA
- Holiday Inn West Yellowstone – West Yellowstone, MT
- Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown – Salt Lake City, UT
- The View Hotel – Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, AZ
- Royal Palms Resort & Spa – Phoenix, AZ
- The DoubleTree Downtown El Paso – El Paso, TX
- Hotel Saint George – Marfa, TX
By far the best part of our journey was traveling through Utah and staying at The View Hotel in Monument Valley. It required hours of detours but was well worth it. Yellowstone was a close second (but it felt more like Disneyland than a national park, so Yosemite still represents the ideal in my mind). The least interesting stop was Las Vegas, where I’ve stayed at Aria many times, but we felt we would need a break from the long days in the desert. You can read a previous review of the Aria as I won’t bother to discuss it again.