SoCal to Maine // Cross Country Winter Road Trip

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

As most of you know, we undertook the daunting task of driving cross country from Desert Hot Springs, California to Portland, ME. We went to spend Christmas with Kyle’s family and his dad offered to pay for plane tickets or a rental car for us to be able to join (his dad lives overseas and they don’t get to see each other often) so we decided to make the trek across the country to join the festivities.

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The drive to Maine was long, but exciting and we kept ourselves entertained with podcasts, audiobooks, Spotify playlists and good conversation. I packed lots of healthy nutritious food and snacks, and that kept us energized and feeling good, despite the many hours we spent riding in the car.

The drive was fairly easy, with the exception of an accidental routing error, that took us right through downtown Manhattan. I think driving through the city during holiday traffic, probably scarred us for life. We made it out alive, to our surprise, and entered into the beautiful scenery of Connecticut. The calming drive through the wooded, snow covered landscape, soothed our nerves. There’s something very specific about the New England area that feels cozy and peaceful.


We made it to our hotel in Portland late on the fourth day. We woke the next morning to snow drifting past our window and a beautiful winter wonderland stretching out beyond our hotel room. It was quite the picturesque setting for our Christmas gathering.
Over the next few days we spent time with family, wrapped presents and explored the Portland area. We sang around a bonfire, read the night before Christmas and left cookies out for Santa. We opened presents together and had many decadent meals. Our last day we spent sledding, saying goodbyes and packing our cars.


The return journey for us was a bit harder. Going non-stop for the past week had us feeling less energetic on our long drive back to the California desert. We succumbed to the convenience of fast food and gas station snacks and had less luck with our cheap hotel rooms than we had on the first leg of the trip. We couldn’t get a great nights rest and had many early mornings, but we were making good progress and were motivated to get back to the comfort of our little home on wheels.


We enjoyed spending time with family and the new experience we shared together, but we are happy to be back in the slow comfortable pace of our nomadic life. River is overjoyed to be home in her own bed and surrounded by all her familiar things.

Click Here to Watch our Travel Vlogs of the Road Trip!

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