Cross country road trip: the smiley face across America tour
If you don’t know by now, we are in the process of moving from Seattle to Maryland. So much so in that process that I am sitting in the dark in Arcata, CA—the second stop on our two-week trip across the country.
Why are we moving?
We get asked this question a lot. Who would want to leave Seattle?! Trust me. It was not an easy decision. My husband was offered a new job at a new company. It was too good to pass up. As the primary breadwinner in our house (aka the man who gets us health benefits), it was important for us that he be happy at his job. We also wanted to get closer to family, all of whom live on the east coast. This was a win, win for many reasons, but leaving Seattle was bitter sweet. But I digress. Back to our road trip!
Now, if you are not familiar with U.S. geography, California isn’t exactly on the way to Maryland from Seattle. Most people would take I-90 straight across Montana, the Badlands of South Dakota, Chicago and then dip down to Maryland.
Enter the Smiley Face Road Trip
As many of you know, I don’t like to waste a perfectly good excuse to travel. My husband and I both lamented on the fact that we hadn’t seen much of the west coast while living here. We toured around the Pacific Northwest, but never really dove into California and all of its beautiful state and national parks. This was our chance. He could leave his job a few weeks before he had to start his new job. We could take our time getting across the country with the boys. We could see the Redwoods and Yosemite. Heck, while we were at it we figured we might as well see Bryce, Zion, the Grand Canyon and cut across route 40 to see some friends in Nashville before we head north. It all sounded perfectly reasonable. We would do a smiley face route across America. I’ve come up with crazier plans before. This would be a piece of cake.
Ha! Well, if you have ever moved you know nothing comes easy. I never thought we would get out the door, but here we are, day 4 of our trip, about to head to Sacramento.
If you want to follow along, hop over to Facebook and Instagram for daily photo updates and notes from the road. I’ll be writing about it on the blog in the coming months, but if you want to see if we are having a blast or just plain sick of each other in real-time, well, here is your chance.
Where is our trip going to take us exactly? Here is a rundown of our itinerary. We may change things around, skip one or two things, and most certainly add in a few more, but it will give you the general idea of our route.
- Seattle to Portland
- Portland to Arcata, CA (home base to see Redwood National Forest)
- Arcata, CA to Sacramento
- Sacramento to Yosemite
- Yosemite to Vegas
- Vegas to Bryce/Zion
- Zion to the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon to Albuquerque
- Albuquerque to Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma City to Nashville
- Nashville to Ashville, NC
- Ashville to Maryland