Their junior year of highschool Minkus buys them tickets for Coachella.
They were all going to fly there but Smackle is terrified of flying and the only way to get her to go is to drive there.
It’s a 40 hour car ride and Cory literally begs them to fly but they refuse to leave Smackle and decide that if they leave a week early enough they can stop in different cities on their way through.
Minkus gets them an eight passenger mom van to drive and Maya lovingly dubs it the “silver bullet”.
Everyone tries to convince her to call it something different since a silver bullet could be thought of as dirty, but she refuses to call it anything else.
Lucas drives most of the time because he is the best driver and no one else is quite as trusted to get them to California safely.
Riley isn’t allowed to drive because she gets distracted by tall buildings and pretty scenery.
Maya sits in the front passenger seat when Lucas drives because he likes to play country music and Maya would rather jump out of the car than listen to another song about cowboy boots.
Zay makes Lucas take a detour to DC so that he can stop at Langley. He and Maya both spend forty five minutes trying to figure out how they can join the CIA.
Smackle gets offended that they’d rather join the CIA than the NSA.
They spend the day at the Smithsonian and Farkle/Smackle/Maya get really into all of the science exhibits.
Maya leaves them both shocked when she wins a science trivia contest against the two of them.
Farkle and Smackle don’t speak to her for two hours until she reminds them that they’ll always be better at everything else than she is.
While driving through Tennessee Farkle sees a sign for the Oak Ridge nuclear facility and forces Lucas to stop there.
They spend half a day learning about all of the crazy stuff that went down there back during the cold war.
He and Smackle get in trouble for trying to sneak into the top secret area and they’re all forced to leave.
While everyone is asleep Lucas drives straight through to Nashville and checks them into a hotel.
When Maya wakes up to see a giant cowboy themed neon sign she yells “absolutely not” and looks up busses to NYC.
They spend two days in Nashville and Smackle gets really into the southern aesthetic. She wears cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and all denim.
Maya and Riley get into a karaoke competition on Broadway at Tootsies in the afternoon and they win $200 dollars.
Since they’re minors they can’t get into any of the bars after ten and Maya promises Lucas that once they’re twenty-one they can come back and have the “full Nashville experience.”
Once they’re almost out of Tennessee they stop at Neely’s BBQ in Memphis because of how much Riley loves the Neely’s TV show.
Riley gets BBQ Spaghetti and cries over how good it is and how she’s never leaving Memphis.
Zay has to throw her over his shoulder to get her out of the restaurant.
Maya buys three boxes of takehome BBQ spaghetti and a few bottles of Neely’s BBQ sauce so that Riley can have some on the road.
Riley eats all three boxes within two hours of leaving the restaurant and they have to pull over at a rest stop because she gets sick.
They stop in Little Rock, Arkansas because Zay saw something at a rest stop about gem stone digging and he wants to do it.
Lucas finds a Ruby in his hunk of dirt and has it turned into a necklace at the tourist shop for Maya.
Farkle and Smackle find a bunch of awesome gemstones and buy little collectable books to keep theirs in.
Zay and Riley turn all of theirs into jewelry and they both walk around acting like they’re super rich.
Maya gives hers to Riley because Riley’s excitement over them was adorable.
After they leave Little Rock they get a hotel on the side of the road in between Little Rock and Oklahoma City. The hotel gets their bed request wrong and they all have to sleep on one giant king sized bed.
When they wake up in the morning the girls are all cuddled up with eachother, Zay has Maya’s legs on top of him, Farkle is falling off of the edge of the bed, and Lucas is on the floor.
They make a stop in Oklahoma City because Maya wants to go to the Bombing memorial. She buys a bouquet of flowers and puts a flower on the names of everyone who has a birthday that week.
Maya ends up walking off by herself for about an hour and just crying because the memorial is so beautiful, and being from NYC and visiting the 911 memorial she feels connected to the victims.
She sits quietly in her seat during the hour and a half drive to Amarillo, Texas and decides to herself to paint something for the museum when she gets home.
They stop in Amarillo and go to Cadillac Ranch because Lucas and Zay went there when they were little and they wanted to see if their names were still painted on a car.
It of course wasn’t and they get super offended for about ten minutes before deciding to repaint the cars.
All six of the kids paint their own area of a car. Riley paints a purple cat, Lucas paints his name, Farkle paints a robot, Smackle paints flowers, Zay paints a self portrait of himself, and Maya turns the entire car into the NYC skyline.
They all have dinner at Cadillac ranch and lay under the stars until it closes. Then they get a hotel right outside of Amarillo.
At the hotel they get two rooms with a conjoined door. Smackle and Zay stay in one room watching some history film, Riley and Farkle stay in the other watching Hairspray, Lucas and Maya end up out in the hot tub all night talking about life and trying to count the stars.
The next morning Zay finds out that they have to drive through Albuquerque and he begs everyone to stop at the HSM school.
They do, and since school is in session they pretend like they go there so that they can get in.
Zay and Riley stand in front of Sharpay’s locker and basically cry for ten minutes until Maya has to force them to leave.
Riley also begs Farkle to reenact some of the scenes between Troy and Gabriella that take place in the hallway. He does but then the principal calls them out to ask why they arent in class and they take off running to their car.
Lucas gets tired of driving and Maya tries to drive. She lasts for about an hour before they collectively decide she has to stop because she’s trying to race other cars.
She also played a game called “let’s piss off everyone” where she drove in the fast lane at the same speed as the car next to her in the slow lane. People were honking at her. There was a line of about twenty cars behind them.
Zay had to take over driving because Maya was definitely going to get them killed.
When they get to Phoenix Zay dares Maya to grab a cactus. She does and ends up getting stuck.
They have to go to the ER to get it taken out because Farkle doesn’t want her to get an infection and Smackle convinces her that if she does get an infection he entire hand will fall off.
That was the moment that Lucas decided not to leave Zay and Maya alone together.
Riley convinces everyone to stop at this restaurant in Tempe called Phoenix Market where she orders her weight in Nachos and declares that she’s never leaving Phoenix.
They get a hotel in Tempe and Farkle begs them to stop at a Walmart so that he can buy eggs and a skillet for a science experiment.
It’s the first Walmart that Maya, Riley, Farkle, and Smackle have ever been in (Since they dont have them in NY) and they spend two hours going crazy over all of the things you can buy.
“LUCAS!!!! YOU CAN BUY A BIKE, A POTTED PLANT, A GUN, AND A WHOLE BAKED CHICKEN HERE!!!” “Yeah, Maya. That’s Walmart.” “THIS IS AMAZING I’M NEVER LEAVING.”
The next morning everyone wakes up to find that Farkle and Smackle are missing. When they look outside of the hotel room they see the two of them with a skillet on the ground in the parking lot and the two of them are frying eggs.
They have scrambled eggs for breakfast and Riley spends twenty minutes complaining about the 115 degree weather in the spring.
The drive from Tempe to Coachella is 3 and a half hours and in that time Lucas convinces them to stop at In n out three times.
He practically cries when he takes a bite because the last time he ate In n Out was in Dallas like four years ago and he’s missed it so much.
Riley doesnt understand what the big deal about In n Out is and Lucas kicks her out of the trip.
Maya kicks him from under the table and he invites her back in.
When they finally get to Coachella they find out Minkus has gotten them a huge camper for the weekend and they spend the weekend having the best time ever.
After Coachella is over they decide to go a slightly different way home and end up taking a slight detour to LA where they spend three days.
Once they leave LA they drive to the Grand Canyon and spend a day listening to Maya cry about how beautiful all of the colors are and Riley cry about how clear the sky is.
Then they drive through Vegas and listen to Zay cry about how much he wishes he was twenty one because he wants to have a night like the hangover.
They also stop in Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh before getting home.
They dub it the greatest trip ever and decide to do it every summer until they’re dead.
SORRY THIS WAS SO LONG BUT I GOT SO INTO IT. I COULDVE GONE ON ABOUT DENVER, CHICAGO, CLEVELAND, AND PITTSBURGH BUT I DIDNT WANNA BE ANNOYING.