With three nights at hotels, food, $4.50/gallon gas, and a conservative estimate of 22 MPG, the road trip portion of our summer vacation will cost about $800. That's still half the cost of flying.
Even if it were a false economy to drive, it's become our tradition. We love to stop for gas in Yreka, where we pick up a State of Jefferson brochure so that we can mock the nutty secessionists. We stop at Granzella's for olive-themed souvenirs and a bathroom break every time. We have lunch at In-N-Out every day. The burgers are always yummy, the french fries always suck, and we always regret letting the kids order thousand-calorie milkshakes. Daniel still talks about the chandeliers at the godawful Red Lion in Redding where we stayed in 2005. Caroline still talks about the time we bumped into a teacher from her school at a bagel place north of Sacramento in 2006. We never get sick of the first, glorious glimpse of Shasta Lake when we cross into Northern California, and we always agree that when the kids are a little older, we'll have to stop at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on the way back home.