Tuesday, December 23, 2003

[Continental Drive] Planning

Driving from coast to coast!! This was one of my dreams that I want to do while I was staying US.

I needed a partner who liked long-time driving and who was not mentally tired each other. Fortunately, one of my Japanese friends stays in Los Angels when I stay in San Diego.
But, we could share the time in US only 5 months from October to next March. So, we decided we drove to the east coast during Christmas and New Year's holidays! I know, actually winter season is not good for driving. But we didn't have any other choices. We have jobs. Christmas holidays were the only time we could take a long vacation at the same time.

Start point was San Diego, which locates in southern California west coast. We selected most southern route, I-10, to go to the Atlantic Ocean without snow road. From California to Florida! Great! But southern route means the shortest route from the west coast to the east coast (Look at the USA map). We planed to add extra route.

The goal was ... New York City!!! Exciting!!

We could have 10-days vacation. That was not enough time for round-trip driving. (Someone might say that 10-days were enough time for USA round-trip driving. I know, it's enough time just for driving. But most of cities were new for us. We had never been to the east coast before. We wanted also some sightseeing!)

Finally, we made a rough plan for our travel. We would use a rental car and drop it off at New York City. (Hertz was good for our plan because they didn't ask extra drop-off fee even if the drop-off position was JFK airport!) We would go back California by plane. In early morning of Christmas Eve, we would start from San Diego. And we would reach New York City at New Year's Eve. Then we could enjoy the Count-Down Event at the Times Square! We planed to keep New Year's Day for sightseeing in NYC all day long and reserved flight at Jan. 2nd day. If we had some snow troubles or some traffic accidents in the east coast, we could spend one extra day before we get our flight instead of giving up one-day NYC touring.
We just reserved only the two hotels in NYC and New Orleans, because it was expected that there were many travelers in NYC at New Year's Eve and we wanted to stay the good position where is close to Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
How about the other days? We might find some reasonable motels everywhere.

I thought our plan was perfect.
In the midnight of December 23rd. We started ...