Seattle to Yakima, Monday, 26-Jun

Vacation time again. This time we’re doing a road trip, anchored around a family reunion and swinging through a few National Parks. This will be the longest road trip we’ve taken. First stop, Yakima.

Melody’s mom Jean and her husband Ron live in Yakima, and it only made sense to stop by for a couple nights on our way to Boise (where the family reunion will be held). But of course, it’s not as simple as getting everything ready the weekend before and driving off.

Every year, Melody attends the Pacific Northwest Great Books weekend in Tacoma (it used to be in Bellingham for the longest time, but made the switch several years ago). She bussed down Friday, and I went to pick her up Sunday. That meant she needed to pack for taking a bus for a weekend trip, then repack for taking a 3½ week car trip the next day.

Picking up Melody from Tacoma was the furthest we’ve driven car since we got it. Until the beginning of the year, we were driving a car from 1995; the term “driving” is pretty generous, since we had put a bit over 40,000 miles on it since she got it in 1998. We had put about 400 miles on our newer (from 2014) car in the six months before going to Tacoma. So yeah, we don’t drive a lot.

Doing a road trip also changes how we pack, since we aren't trying to fit everything into a backpack and a carry-on bag. Of course, we don't want to over-pack the car.

We left in the afternoon, trying to avoid the worst of the afternoon commute traffic. The weekend was quite hot, as we got well into the 90s. At least it helped us get ready for Yakima.

The drive was uneventful, especially with traffic. Except for the usual slowdown just before the Ship Canal Bridge and before downtown, we hit no traffic, including the segments of I-90 which were under construction. We arrived at Jean (Melody's mom) and Ron's place a bit before we expected, just in time to enjoy a nice dinner on the deck. We got a great view of both the Yakima valley and Ron's cactus collection.

We enjoyed chatting for the rest of the evening. Melody and I did a bit of piano (since one was available) and not long after, we were ready to call it a night.