Our Washington Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 1200 miles, and drove for 22 hours and 9 minutes during our 2 weeks in Washington while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Washington over the past week.

Famous Person: Big Foot

Famous Food: Starbucks Coffee

Roadside Attraction: Pike Place Fish Market

State Capitol/Museum: Olympic, WA

National Park: Olympic National Park: Park 1 Olympic National Park: Park 2

Historic Location: Mount St. Helen

Can't Miss attraction: Space Needle

Made in the USA Tour: Boeing

A breakdown of our expenses of the over the past 2 weeks are as follows:

Gas $ 330.00

$ 2.47 gal. in Shelton, WA was the lowest price paid.

$ 3.09. gal. in Aberdeen, WA was highest price paid.


We drove a lot in Washington, and the gas prices varied wildly.

Groceries: $274.00

Walmart $108.00

Costco $166.00


We did a lot of grocery shopping.

Dining out $ $213.00

Golden Corral $23.00 (Unbudgeted and disgusting)

Costco Pizza $7.00 (Unbudgeted)

Costco Pizza $7.00 (Unbudgeted )

Costco Pizza $9.00 (Unbudgeted)

Chinese $18.00 (Unbudgeted and yummy)

Starbucks $14.00 (Tea x 5 for a few hours of free wifi)

Plum Bistro $89.00 (Delicious vegan meal with family)

Diner $46.00 (Average meal with family)


We ate out WAY too much, and need to get back on track!!!!

Entertainment: $98.00

Redbox $12.00 (Movies x6)

Space Needle $46.00 (Budgeted and expensive)

Boeing Tour $40.00 (Budgeted expense)


We did great in this category again!

Lodging: $20.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x6 nights)

Family $0.00 (Slept with family x7 nights)

Mora Campsite $20.00 (Slept on the Pacific Ocean)


We continue to do great in this category

Miscellaneous: $4.00

Parking $4.00 (Parking in Olympic)


Of course, we did great in this category

Washington Expenses Grand Total: $ 939.00 EEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Washington Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 9

“Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, and Starbucks, are just a few of the many Fortune 500 companies based in Washington. If you live in this state and don’t have a job it is because you don’t want to work.”

Lori: 9

“With an average median household income of $56,835, Washington ranks 13th in the nation. Not too shabby!”

Economy score: 9

Cost of Living:

Nate: 7

“Washington's 0% income tax is very sexy, but the state sales tax as high as 10.4% is not.”

Lori: 7

“The state government just raised the state property taxes to address a mandate by the Supreme Court to more adequately fund education. In addition, the state instituted a new tax on bottled water. I am beginning to notice a pattern here!”

Cost of living score: 7

Quality of life:

Nate: 4

“The price one pays for the states year round temperate climate in the more populated area West of the Cascades is as much as 160 inches of rain per year! During our two weeks visit, it rained 10 days, snowed for 1 day, and was overcast everyday”

Lori: 4

“Volcanoes, and Earthquakes are real threats in Washington. Not to mention the state is home to the biggest nuclear waste dump in the Northern Hemisphere”

Quality of life score: 4


Nate: 8

“From outdoor activities such as hiking, and boating, to indoor activities such as concerts, theater, and sporting events, Washington has all of your interests covered”

Lori: 8

“Approximately 2/3 of Washington’s energy comes from hydroelectric power, and the state ranks as one of the top wind energy states in the nation. In addition, bans on plastic shopping bags are in effect throughout. We like green states!”

Culture Score: 8


Nate: 6

“The majority of the state’s population of 7 million people is West of the Cascades, which leads to overpopulated towns, massive I-5 traffic jams, and less room for nature.

Lori: 7

“West of the Cascades, farmer’s markets, restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, and any other store you could possibly want is easily accessible”

Environment Score: 6.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Washington was 6.9, and it will NOT be our new home state. Neither Lori nor I opted to use our Wild Card Option on this state.

Below are the current standings:

Michigan 8.3

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

Nebraska 5.7

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9