It’s the way they ended their summer before college. Traveling from NYC to San Francisco in Percy’s new (old) car, a graduation present from Sally and Paul. It was a long trip, since Annabeth wanted to see a lot of architecture, emphasis on a lot.
Most of the time, they spent the nights in cheap motels, there was an unfortunately night were they had to sleep on the backseat in a Walmart parking lot and of course there was the last night where for once they stayed at a fancy hotel, Annabeth would forever be sure that them “accidentally” staying in the honeymoon suite was not really all that accidentally but more like Aphrodite’s work, (it was Piper’s), but wasn’t like she was going to complain, it was the honeymoon suite after all and she was staying with her boyfriend.
During most of the trip Percy was the one driving, it’s not that Annabeth was a bad driver, she was a really good driver, but she was not really good with directions and too prideful to ask for directions. That’s why they got lost most of the time she while she was driving, and the reason why they had to spent a night in the Walmart parking lot.
Annabeth was in charge of the music, iPod full of playlists made by their friends for them, she was also in charge of buying the (blue) junk food when they stopped for gas. She took a lot of polaroids during the trip, the camera had been a graduation gift from Rachel (later, those pictures would be on their wall in their little apartment in New Rome). On the few occasions where the rain was too strong and they couldn’t drive, they pulled over and killed time on the backseat until it was safe to drive again.
The trip was full of laughter, pictures, junk food, badly singing courtesy of Percy, laying on the top of the car watching the stars, bickering and the occasional fight that ended with them making out on the backseat. It was the first time where they weren’t chased by memories or nightmares.
When they finally arrived in San Francisco they spent a few days in Annabeth’s family home. Percy couldn’t help but laugh when Frederick told them that Percy had to sleep on the couch (Percy just traveled the country with Annabeth, just the two of them, and now he had to stay on the couch while she was sleeping in the room above?) yet Frederick never said a word when he woke up in the morning to found his daughter also sleeping on the couch.
They spent a few days visiting the city until they finally reached their destination, the place where they were going to live for the next four years: New Rome.