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ktspiv4 May 31st, 2014 10:20 AM

Ventura, CA. to San Juan Islands; In Memory of Chris Road Trip
My sisters, seven year old niece & I are taking a 7 day road trip up to San Juan Islands & back. This trip was created for my niece & sister who lost their father & husband tragically this past April due to a DUI driver. My brother-in-law had plans to take his daughter on a long road-trip to the South to visit long lost relatives this summer. We do not have the time to do that trip so we decided to take them North/West instead. A lovely compromise I hope.

Our trip is June 28 to July 6-7.

My sister has always wanted to go to the San Juan Islands. She is looking into house rentals for 2 days. Somewhere peaceful.
Our goal is to "bomb" it up to Washington in 1 day maybe 2 if necessary. catch a ferry from Seattle to the Island? Ferry recommendations? We will have our own car.

Following the Island stay we planned to take our time going home. Day or 2 in Seattle, Portland etc.. We may stop in Humboldt to show my niece where dad went to college. We won't be camping & are looking for good but reasonable hotels/motels/ B&Bs. $100-$250 range/per night.
"Not To Miss" Food/Restaurants? We are all adventurous eaters.
Things to see or do for a seven year old?

My hope is to create a trip of memories & also help them heal even if it's just a bit.

Thank you in advance for the help/advice?

janisj May 31st, 2014 10:48 AM

I'msorry for your loss -- but honestly . . . >>Our goal is to "bomb" it up to Washington in 1 day maybe 2 if necessary. catch a ferry from Seattle<<

But IMO this won't build memories except for HOURS stuck in the back seat of a car on I-5. Terrible idea. Ventura to Seattle is over 18 hours <u>car time</u> w/o a single stop. So 'in real' life three full days if you have a 7 yo in the car. W/ the return drive you are talking more than 40 hours IN THE CAR.

Can't you pick something several hundred miles closer to Vebtura to build your memories upon? Like the Northern CA Redwoods, or the Oregon Coast . . . or anywhere.

happytrailstoyou May 31st, 2014 11:33 AM

I agree with janisj that your plan is too ambitious to be fun. Driving time from Ventura to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is 20 hours not including pit stops and the long wait for a ferry. Also, it is probably too late to find a desirable two-day house rental on the specific days you want.

A better plan would be to show your niece where "dad" went to school and to find a "peaceful" place on the southern Oregon coast of unwind--Gold Beach, for instance. Options on such a trip include Mendocino, Ferndale, the redwoods, Ashland, Crater Lake, Lassen NP, Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley, San Francisco--lots of great places.


azzure May 31st, 2014 05:24 PM

Why a road trip? With that limited number of days it makes more sense to fly. My sis and I are taking a Seattle to San Francisco road trip next month, and won't get to SF until the afternoon of our third day on the road. And Ventura is at least 6 or 7 hours further south.

janisj May 31st, 2014 06:51 PM

>>Why a road trip?<<

Oh - I totally understand <i>why</i> you want to do a road trip. . . . Just not THIS road trip in this few days. Do a manageable road trip that everyone can enjoy -- not a 2000+ mile road trip.

spirobulldog May 31st, 2014 07:17 PM

Check out Lassen Volcano National Park, Redwoods National Park, Patrick's Point State Park, Burney Falls State Park. Perhaps Point Reyes and you could throw in a couple of days in San Francisco. You could do several of these and not be doing nearly as much travel time in a vehicle.

Bobmrg Jun 1st, 2014 08:55 AM

It takes us two days to drive from Seattle to the Bay you could add the distance from Ventura to the Bay area and squash the whole thing into one day boggles the mind.

ktspiv4 Jun 2nd, 2014 06:03 PM

Thank you everyone. I know it sounds insane. I am basically along for the ride. My sister is very eager to do this particular trip & we are looking to take the 5 non-stop to Seattle then ferry over to the islands. Not sure which one. After a few days we plan to take our time back down the coast to home.

I know this sounds less then desirable but I do not think they will be swayed from their plan. So I am hoping, putting the insanity of the drive aside, you can offer advice on the best ferrys & Island to visit? Any other ideas for Seattle?

Thank you!!

janisj Jun 2nd, 2014 06:30 PM

>>we are looking to take the 5 non-stop to Seattle <<

. . . Well - assuming you are taking a ferry from Anacortes that is another nearly 2 hours beyond Seattle plus the ferry time. So you are talking a minimum of TWENTY HOURS straight driving. W/ even just a minimum of rest breaks and meals . . . you are talking 24 hours enroute.

>>I know this sounds less then desirable<<

No it isn't 'less than desirable', it is nuts. Sorry -- maybe your sister isn't thinking clearly.

Plus if you drive straight through, spend a 'few days' on an island, you really won't have enough time to >>to take our time back down the coast to home.<<

You really do need at least 3 FULL days each way. And that is not w/ any sightseeing along the way. Why is she subjecting a 7yo to this madness?

wtm003 Jun 3rd, 2014 07:03 AM

Of course the sister isn't thinking clearly. It is a lot of driving but it sounds like the sister needs this trip and I don't think the 7 year old is being tortured spending time in a car. It will probably benefit her spending time with another relative and not just a depressed mother.

I've taken my kids on some crazy road trips, but 10 - 12 hours each day, including stops is about the limit. We made lots of stops for snacks, zoos and points of interest. An overnight at a hotel with a pool was a must. I disagree that this won't build memories. My kids have never mentioned the time spent in the back of the car, but we still laugh at a stop where one son was able to bottle-feed a baby goat while the other son was terrified of the same goat.

I can't recommend specific advice for the area, but be flexible. "Bombing it up" is not a good idea. Make reservations that can be cancelled in case half-way up you find a peaceful place and decide to stay for a few days.

Best wishes. You are a good person to do this.

ktspiv4 Jun 3rd, 2014 01:03 PM

Thank you again. We will figure it out.

spirobulldog Jun 3rd, 2014 01:11 PM

We spent 14 days in Oregon and 13 in Washington. You really need a lot more time than what you are allowing. It is just not possible.

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