Last month as an early Christmas present, I got a really big bonus. Problem is, they called it severance.
So I'm without gainful employment, and I've always wanted to do an epic roadtrip. The former always got in the way of the latter, since I could never take more than a week off at a time. Not an issue today.
Here's my vision: Norfolk, VA up to Connecticut, down to Cincinnati, up to Seattle, down to San Francisco, then to San Diego and/or Las Vegas, then east to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (Feb. 24, I believe), then Ft. Walton Beach and Tampa, and finally up I-95 to home, stopping at South of the Border for a burrito toast with Pedro.
I'd like to see big cities, because for as much as I like to drive, I've lived a pretty sheltered life -- only two trips outside the Eastern Time Zone, and I didn't drive either one. Chicago's a big draw. Denver would be fine, but if it's a choice between Denver and Seattle, Seattle wins going away. Austin and Memphis are musts (or close to musts) for the southern swing. Boise is a possible stop, as I have a friend there. I joke about South of the Border, but I also want to swing northwest from there to Charlotte to visit family and friends.
As of now, there's no schedule and no must dates, other than Feb. 24 in New Orleans (and even that's debatable -- get to New Orleans earlier and do Mardi Gras elsewhere, like Biloxi?). Planning on an early February start (Feb. 2 comes to mind, but it's fluid). No set time to come back, though I can't be frittering away all my money, and if I don't have a permanent job lined up by mid-March, I'll be working at a seasonal gig in Norfolk then, so that'll likely be the very latest I can do this. And should I get a job interview, I'll break from the trip to do it, then decide whether to continue or call it quits (obviously, it'll depend on where the interview is to decide if I can incorporate it)
This is a solo, natch.
Questions I have so far:
* Do the truck stops up north have plug-in heater things in the parking lots? There's going to be times where I might want to forgo the motel and sleep at the truck stop (or at least nap there), but not if it's 10 degrees.
* Is weather enough of a factor that I should blow off the northern tier entirely, except for Connecticut (close friend) and Seattle (destination), even though it means making a U instead of a circle? I don't have a lot of snow/ice-driving experience.
* Canada: are they requiring passports to drive in now? I might want to pop over the border to do Toronto and/or Vancouver. But I've never left the U.S. and have no passport. If I do need a passport, do I have enough time to get one if I'm aiming for Groundhog Day as my departure?
Thanks in advance, peace 'n chicken grease ...