The Ultimate Breaking Bad Road Trip

Benjamin Goddard Photography

This post references events from the series finale of Breaking Bad. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, don’t read any further.*****

During last night’s Breaking Bad series finale, Walter White drives a stolen Volvo nearly 3,000 miles from New Hampshire to New Mexico.

Although he’s estranged from nearly everyone in his life at this point, under different circumstances the cross-country trek would have made for an excellent family road trip, filled with fun for the whole extended White/Schrader clan. So gas up the RV and hit the road with this Breaking Bad-inspired road trip, bitch.

First up is a stop at the Herkimer Diamond Mine in Herkimer, New York, where Hank could search for rocks — ahem, I mean minerals — to his heart’s content. Alas, the mine’s name is a bit of a misnomer, you’re actually much more apt to find cheap quartz crystals than actual diamonds. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children.

Marie would love a visit to the Lambert Castle Museum in Paterson, New Jersey, where she can take in the world’s largest collection of antique and souvenir spoons. The 5,400 spoons come from as far away as Egypt and Holland and are extremely rare, so please refrain from slipping one discreetly in your purse.

No Breaking Bad-inspired cross-country trek would be complete without a visit to the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Walter White could spend hours visiting the various exhibits, including the aptly titled Sensing Change and Making Modernity. Asking how to properly cook blue sky is frowned upon though. Admission is free.

Before entering the museum, be sure to swing by Hats in the Belfry on South Street to pick up your own black porkpie hat and shades.

By this time, Walt, Jr. would have probably worked himself up quite an appetite. Flynn, a true breakfast aficionado, would appreciate Papa’s Pancake House in Indianapolis. Order the eggs, hashbrowns and bacon, and if it’s your birthday, don’t forget to spell out your age with the fried pig meat.

(Papa’s fried chicken is pretty good as well, but perhaps not as tasty as Twisters in Alburqurque, which served as Los Pollos Hermanos’ stand-in.)

There can be such a thing as too much family time, so Skyler might want to get in some more pool time. The Joule Hotel in Dallas, Texas, features an incredible rooftop infinity pool that sticks out eight feet from the building’s exterior.

What would you add? Where do you think would Jesse go? Where would Saul want to visit? After the road trip, who would head straight to Belize?

The End Of 'Breaking Bad'

Get A Free Ride With Your New Car: European Delivery Programs

Vintage Volvo ad - European Delivery programsLike many longtime New Yorkers, I don’t own a car and know little about the finer points of purchasing or owning a vehicle. A recent Volvo ad caught my eye in an airline in-flight magazine: If you purchase your car and pick it up in Sweden, they’ll pick up the tab on your trip. A new car and free travel? This was something I could get behind! Doing some research, I discovered quite a few of the top European car makers offer an overseas delivery program.

While you’ll have to plan in advance (generally 3-4 months) to get your car and your trip, you’ll save on the vehicle cost, plus get to pick it up hot off the presses and drive it around European roads. Once you have it shipped to the U.S., you will wait another 8-10 weeks or so to be reunited stateside. Some programs include free airfare and hotel nights, most include factory tours, European road insurance and import/export fees.

Here’s a look at the most popular programs, including travel costs and savings.Audi (Germany)
Travel perks: European Delivery customers get 5-15 percent off airfares on Lufthansa, chauffeured pick up from the Munich airport and a free night at a 4- or 5-star hotel near the factory. On the day you get your keys, you’ll visit the Audi museum and factory, with free meals and snacks all day. You then have two weeks to tool around Europe, with free drop off (by advance arrangement) at any one of 16 locations in Germany and western Europe.
Extra options: Serious Audi fans might consider an additional driving or race “experience” in summer or early fall (many of the winter events require special experience like driving in Scandinavia), where you can learn to drive like a pro, take on a racing circuit, or tour Europe in a luxury vehicle. It’ll cost extra, of course, from a few hundred euro per person. Note that all vehicles ready between November 1-April 15 must have winter tires installed at the factory, but that may be included in the cost of the car.
Car pricing: Audis are priced from $33,800, before the discount up to 5 percent off MSRP, except for the highest end models such as the R8 Spyder.

BMW (Germany)
Travel perks: You can get to Bavaria with 5-15 percent off airfares on Lufthansa. At the BMW Welt facility, you’ll get free museum and factory tours, and refreshments at the cafe. They’ll cover European road insurance for up to 14 days, then you can drop off your vehicle at one of 12 locations free, except Italy which has a supplement of up to 850 euro (must be those Italian drivers!).
Extra options: In addition to airfare, you’ll pay to get to the factory from Munich airport, as well as any hotels on your trip. As befitting a luxury automobile, BMW offers a range of luxury add-on trips designed to make the most of driving the Autobahn in the ultimate driving machine. (The “optional” note indicates they aren’t included free in the deal, but they are specially designed for BMW customers.) Winter deliveries will also require seasonal tires in Germany; it is possible to rent the winter tires if you don’t have them factory-installed.
U.S. pick up: Another option entirely is the Performance Center Delivery Program in Spartanburg, South Carolina. If you travel down south for your car, BMW will pay for your hotel and meals, plus a tour of its U.S. factory and museum, and best of all, professional driving instruction. You won’t get the savings you’d get on a European delivery, but the travel costs are much lower.
Car pricing: From $29,065 with savings, up to 7 percent on MSRP. See all models here.

Mercedes-Benz (Germany)
Travel perks: While airfare discounts aren’t included, you’ll get Mercedes’ travel assistance for booking your trip, airport transfers and one night hotel accommodations. When you pick up your car, you’ll have a tour of the factory and museums, meals at the delivery center, 15 days road insurance and a tank of gas to get you on your way.
Extra options: You can add a self-guided tour of the Black Forest or Alps at additional cost. Drop offs in Italy, England or Spain are additional (Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands are covered at no cost), and you’ll have to arrange for winter tires as with the other programs.
Car pricing: Vehicles from $35,800, with a 7 percent discount on MSRP.

Volvo (Sweden)
Travel perks: The best “deal” of the European Delivery programs, Volvo will include two round-trip plane tickets from the U.S. to Scandinavia (we’d assume Stockholm, but it’s 4-5 hours from the Volvo factory), one night in a hotel in Gothenburg, as well as the usual factory tour and road insurance.
Extra options: You will have to pay if you drop off or pick up anywhere other than the factory location, several hundred dollars or more, but it makes sense given the location of Volvo in Sweden as opposed to more central Germany. You may also see some seasonal charges: $150 per passenger supplement for summer flights, and the rental costs of snow tires between December and April. Volvo offers a variety of trips for more Scandinavian travel if you’d like to extend your trip.
Car pricing: Eligible Volvo models are from $31,420 after savings up to 7 percent on MSRP. See available models.

Bottom line: If you’re buying a new luxury vehicle, you likely aren’t a budget traveler. The savings even with free airfare, road insurance and a night at a nice hotel won’t likely offset what you’ll spend on the rest of your trip, let alone a car. However, if you are in the market for a slick new ride, driving it home on the Autobahn after seeing how it’s made is likely to be an unforgettable trip.

The Volvo Ocean Race heads Eastward

Somewhere in the South China Sea, seven VO70s are pushing northeast towards Qingdao. They’re part of the Volvo Ocean Race, the round-the-world sailing competition that happens once every four years, pitting the best in technology and skill against some the wildest oceans on the planet. It’s an intense, nine month race, with stops around the world in five continents, in port racing, fanfare, glory and loss. More than one team has experienced hardship on the seas, both technical and fiscal — team Russia just pulled out of the race because they couldn’t afford the massive fees.

Later this spring, after a treacherous crossing of the South Pacific and a hook around Cape Horn, the fleet will work its way up past Brazil and towards the US. May 9th in Boston marks their only event in the United States, so if you’re interested in seeing the amazing group of ships you should stop by for the in port race. After that they’ll be headed to Western Europe and finally towards the finish line in St. Petersburg.

We’ll keep you updated on the fleet and their arrival into Massachusetts. In the meantime, check out the media intensive volvooreanrace.org for a wealth of updates, news, pictures and data.

Volvo: Best for Passion

I don’t really know why research like this is conducted, but nonetheless I am pleased to announce what soccer moms nationwide have probably known for years: Volvo Estate is the best car to have sex in. Apparently, the ‘passion wagon’ has lived through more back seat action than any other vehicle. Boxy, safe and “convenient for the family.” Who knew?

TOP 10 ‘PASSION WAGONS’, as voted in the UK:

1. Volvo Estate

2. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van

3. VW Camper Van

4. BMW 3 Series Saloon

5. Ford Escort

6. Audi TT

7. Land Rover Discovery

8. Porsche Carrera

9. VW Golf

10. Ford Focus

While we blogged about Russian drivers admitting to regularly having sex while driving, this poll revealed that 68 percent of Brits admitted to having sex in the car, 10 percent while driving. Man, gotta watch for those soccer ( or is it “football”) moms.