Summer 99 Road Trip Summary

The trip is now history and here is a re-cap and statistics about our Summer 99 Road Trip. First I want to thank everyone who participated either via the cyber vacation or actually meeting us during the trip. There are definitely too many to thank individually, but to name one, Dick in Seattle went out of his way to be tourist guide for the afternoon.

I have cut & pasted Katie's comments unedited, followed by statistics and my comments:

Katie said:

Dear daddy,
The road trip was good.
My fav tourist attraction and advise are as follows:
1) Grand Canyon- very cool a must allow 2 days to explore the canyon doing walking trails. bring sun block. DON'T DO A JEEP TOUR!!! They aren't worth it. we learned the hard way.
2) Crazy Horse in the Dakotas- Very cool definitely better than Rushmore. Take a walk around the BIG monument. very cool. allow about 2 hours( not including shopping)
3) Head Smashed in buffalo jump- very cool it's important to learn about other people's history and culture. Allow a least 1.5 hours .
4) Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville- it's interesting if you like country music and are curious about were it originated.
5) the Butchart Garden's- if you want a romantic wedding this would be perfect they have the most exquisite flowers from around the world and some of which you can find in your back yard. spend 3 hours there.

My fav. Shopping :
1) Caesar's Palace in Vegas- if you love shop and can afford to spend some money might as well do it at these shops... while the significant other is gambling why not spend some time in the forum shops are open till midnight. they range from the Disney store - West of Santa Fe (country western store) from Victoria Secret- bath and body works. what ever your taste you'll find something for everyone here.
3) China Town San Francisco- the best shopping around. great clothes and
accessories for great prices.
4) Seattle Market- if you are w/ in a 100 miles of Seattle you must goto the market. it's has mouth watering food for great prices. Gorgeous jewelry for a steal as long you don't look like a tourist they won't treat you like one. if you know about jewelry you can get a pair of $25.00 earrings for $12.00. they want to sell there stuff and they are willing to negotiate. beautiful fresh flowers everyday. and this is also home of the famous fish market.
5) Vancouver- shopping mall is off the hook. they have some of if not the best designs for no matter what your taste you'll find it there. And for great prices. it also helps to have a fashion expert accompany you along the way thank you Carolina.

The Best Hotels-
1) Fairfield Inn in montana- They have Fruit Loops and they had my puppy waiting for me.
2) Sir Francis Drake- comfy beds
3) Courtyard in downtown chicago- they have the coolest rooms and is very close to Harry Carry.
4) The La Quinta in Redding- b/c they shipped my puppy to Montana for me

Places we missed/ should have stayed longer:
1) stay longer- Vegas . i'm sorry but you can't bun gee jump, see a show (or two) , gamble, and shop in 1/2 a day and still sleep. it's not possible. definitely 2 days at least
2) Seattle- love to stay at least 3 days just to check out the sights and the apts.
3) Hollywood- why b/c it's Hollywood.
4) Vancouver- Why hello shopping!!!!
5) Mall of america- lets see 3 reasons:
3) SEE NUMBERS 1&2 spend an easy 3 days there.( skip the roller coaster rush hour traffic is more scary than that.)

all in all just drive around the country w/ someone you want to get to better. that's why i went. And i'm glad i was able to meet my dad and know better than the man who i thought he had always been.

I love you daddy... see ya on friday,
Love to all,
Katie Anne Perry
a.k.a. the Rain Lady
a.k.a. Daddy's Lil' Girl
a.k.a. Lil' Angel
******************************* end of Katie's comments***************************
Mitch said:


Duration: 18 days, starting on Fri. May 28 at 4:45 am and ending on Mon. June 14 at 10:30 pm.

Miles: 8471 averaging 470 miles & 7 hours a day.

Fuel: 14 fill-ups averaging 45 mpg while averaging 70-75 mph. We used a total of 187.596 gallons @ an average cost of $1.228/g for a total cost of $230.29.

Hotels: Abigail's in Victoria, AmeriSuites(1), La Quinta(1), Holiday Inn(4), Marriott(4), MGM Grand Las Vegas, Best Western, Georgetown in Canmore, AB, Sir Francis Drake in SF & Cousin Ann's Place in LA. (The service was the best at Holiday Inn Express-Kamloops, BC and the facility was the nicest at Abilgail's)

States: (21) Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Canada, Alberta, Canada, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Allegedly Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia.

NBs: Blue Eyes meet many of his sisters and brothers across the land. There were groups in Dallas, Woodburn, Oregon, Chicago, and Randy (TVA) in LA, Tim (ND) & Bill in Santa Clara, Wendy in Victoria, Bill & Carolina in Vancouver (wife=big shopper-stay out of Atlanta, big mistake to get our two wives together), Roesmary in Minn. and Stephanie in Indiana.

Herbies: We gave away 35 large Herbies and 37 key chain Herbies for a total of 72. We bought 30 during the trip to restock in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Mall of America. Best Herbie give-away was in Hollywood, where a girl in the car next to us claimed her brother had a BB NB. I tossed her a Herbie, but I was too high, she made a great grab before it went over the top of the roof.

Photos: 1,095 taken and 799 published on our web site. Taken with a Sony FD-91 digital camera with a 14x zoom and auto-stuff. We took many of the scenic photos while driving 70+ mph out the window, I was very happy with the results, most of the bad pictures were due to operator error.

Music (These are all the CDs we played during the trip):

1) Back Street Boys-Back Street Boys
2) Faith Hill- Faith
3) Tyreese- 66901=2
4) Jesse Powell-Jesse Powell
5) Shania Twain-Come on over
6) Diamond Rio- Greatest Hits
7) Meat loaf- Bat Out of Hell
8) Queen- A Night At the Opera
9) Joey Love- bLues Xpress
10) Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here

Wife: She spent two weeks at the beach during our trip, one in Destin, Florida and the other in Panama City, Florida. She did not fill the desire to spend 18 days in the NB, which is good, 3 in the NB plus the extra luggage would have been bad.

The good, bad and ugly summary.

The Good:

The driving was great, the car was comfortable the whole trip, I never felt exhausted but the full body massage in Victoria, BC didn't hurt either. I loved the VW events/gatherings with all the NB list folks, Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns, Jay Leno & Katie, Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Fish Market in Seattle, Butchard Gardens in Victoria, Yellowstone & YS sunset (a must see picture), Crazy Horse monument, Nebraska VW club. The people in general where great along the trip, we experienced no road rage or any negative attitudes from anyone, well there was one, see "the ugly".

The Bad:

Rain in Chicago, the Jeep tour at the Grand Canyon was a waste (the indian painting part was nice, but then they drove you around in the woods for 3 hours with the premise you might see bambi, waiting for sunset which was not very good either, especially the spot they took us too, we found much better on our own the next morning. The driving through the Black Hills of SD wasted allot of time & they were just trees, then we couldn't take the time to drive into the Badlands:-( Mt
Rushmore was a disappointment, but meeting the Nebraska VW club there was great and so was the Crazy Horse monument (5 miles away), even though it is only about 20% complete. Victoria was less than I expected, but we got there late, so most stuff was closed and during the 3 hours of ferry rides not one single fish, whale or anything larger than a seagull :-(

The Ugly:

The valet guy for the restaurant @ the NB meeting in dallas was a jerk, I personally watched him burn rubber in 3 different cars, and we all watch him hit another car. Valet service from hell.

The one argument we had on our last day, which sort of started with my complaining about Katie's driving. She learned how to drive an automatic and the NB is a 5 speed. She only had 2 pedals before, so why use 3 now. She seems to forget about the one in the middle (brakes), and thinks the car will slow down enough by letting off on the accelerator and putting in the clutch. Some have already heard the KFC story. But for the rest of you: We were looking for a quick dinner in Helena, Montana. She was driving about 50 mph on a 3 lane one-way street (left lane). She saw a KFC on the right and said "how about that?", I replied "fine", to which she changed 2 lanes, never slowed down and turned into the almost empty parking lot still going 50 mph. I was way past hysterical at this point,
she finally slammed on the brakes, and 100 feet later, lots of tire rubber on the ground (no ABS) and pointing directly at the front door diagonal across 3 parking spaces, we stopped. Everyone came out of the restaurant, and not because a NB had arrived. The other habit she picked up somewhere is driving in the left lane, it can be very dangerous and insight road rage from the faster drivers. Otherwise she really learned how to shift and drive the 5 speed pretty well.


It was a great trip, I enjoyed being with Katie for a extended period. Since I work out of town and she is becoming more independent, I see less and less of her. We got along really well and worked together on the trip, except day 18. We decided 17 days 12 hours is our limit.

Would I do it again? Yes. Although our next trip will probably go north to Maine. We have never been in the Northeast. Since it is such a smaller area, we should be able to see many more sights.

What would I change? I would shorten some of the really long driving days, but not much, in many cases the driving part was the best part of the day, but getting to Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas really late was not good. I love SF, but we have been there many times before, if you are planning on going, you need at least 2 days. I would also add an extra day in Las Vegas & Yellowstone & Chicago (to go see the Cubs) for entertainment and rest. I also spent on average 2 hours fixing the photos and building the web pages, which meant 2 less hours of sleep. Toward the end when Katie was driving more, I would have everything built in the car, and just uploaded it once we got to the room. I would finish in the morning while Katie got ready. Would probably not stay in Victoria, but would just ride over & back the same day.