We were all pretty excited that our drive from Wakeda campground to our next stop (about half way between New York City and Philadelphia) was only going to be about 5.5 hours. All things considered, that was a “short” day for us! ‘Present me’ laughs at ‘past me’ now. We were on the road for about 10 hours that day. It wasn’t long after we left our New Hampshire campground that we started getting into a lot of traffic and towns/cities.
Herrera’s were following their car GPS for a while, but soon realized it was taking them on routes that ended up being a little longer. So they switched back to Google Maps (which always offers optional routes based on traffic conditions). At one point Google told them to turn off the interstate for a quicker route; and so they did. Immediately they started seeing signs saying “8 foot clearance”. Now what??!! Sherri google searched the height of their trailer and found out it was 10 feet 1 inch. Preferring not to lose the top 2 feet of their traveling home, they found a small gas station to pull over at. Sherri tells me it was very obviously made for small cars. It was tiny. However, there was a Coke delivery truck pulled up by the building, so maybe they’d be okay too? Erick went to talk to that driver and Sherri went inside to talk to the lady working there. Apparently there was a low bridge (or tunnel?) just up the road a bit. Being too tall and on that road was also, supposedly, a ticket-able offense. Alrighty then. Time to get off that road! They called us to warn us NOT to take that exit.
This is the point at which I started panicking a bit. Traffic was picking up. Cities were approaching. We knew nothing about the “good” or “bad” roads to take. New York has tunnels and bridges. (Cue adrenaline rush and deep breathing.) We pulled into a rest stop for gas and to ask for some advice on getting through or around New York City. The lady I tried to ask inside the building had no idea. Dale went to ask a trucker (figuring THEY would know). He said to the man “Excuse me, do you think you could help me with some directions?” To which the trucker gruffly responded “No.” Ummm……okay. By this point Sherri had called and told us that a few different people had told them to take the I95. So off we headed. The I95 goes right through the heart of New York (or so it appeared). My adrenaline continued to flow.
As we got close to the city, Google started telling us to take a different interstate (I 287….I think) and take it to the Garden State Parkway. This would route us farther around the city, and I was much happier with that option!
We finally got past New York, and I realized we would probably be in “city traffic” most of the way to our campground. As a small town girl (who is still totally fine with city life – when she KNOWS the city), I have to admit that this part of the trip was not my favourite. Give me the lower populations and wide open spaces!
We did eventually make it to our destination, Turkey Swamp Campground. Sherri was already in the office when I walked in to register. She was busy reading the big sign about the different breeds of ticks in the park and their Lyme disease carrying abilities. (You may or may not know me….but you need to know that of all creatures great and small, the tick freaks me out the most. *shudder*) I was so busy shivering over the fact that the season hadn’t ended yet, that I almost didn’t catch the part where the guy working behind the desk mentioned that he’d just gotten back from his 5th time being tested for Lyme disease this summer (still negative, so good for him). He also gave us the pass code for the front gate (which he said would be locked for our protection after midnight). Ummmm. I will be hiding in my trailer for the next 4 days, thank you very much.
I want to describe the campground for you – but I don’t really know how. It was kind of confusing. The sites are all pull throughs, but the main roads are narrow and twisty enough that they look identical to the little pull through loops. The ground is mostly sandy (and I spent almost every spare second sweeping my outdoor mat and inside my trailer). Power supplies were in the middle of each site, but water posts are shared so it was a bit of a stretch for us to reach both!
Our first full day in the area we decided to do a bit of shopping, hitting up a nearby mall. Erick’s brother also lives in the New York area, and had mentioned that he used to go to the area we were camping in for amazing Mexican food. We decided to try out “El Meson” for a late lunch, and it did not disappoint!
The following day was the second baseball game the guys had booked (Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees). It was a 7:00 game, so Sherri and I figured if we got up early enough we could hit up a local fabric store and still be back in time for the guys to leave. We stopped in for coffee and wi-fi at Starbucks, and then made sure we were at the fabric store for opening time. The store was BIG! I believe this picture says it all:
By the time we finished looking through this store we had about half an hour to run into Hobby Lobby (somewhere I’d been curious about – as we don’t have them in Canada). All of their home decor was 50% off…..and I wanted it all!) Half an hour wasn’t nearly long enough – but we’d promised the guys we would be back early. “Sad eyes”!
We hurried back to the campground so the guys could head off towards New York for their game. They had decided that the best way to get to the game was to park at a 24 hour Walmart somewhere near the edge of the city, then call for an Uber ride to the stadium. (This is the same thing they’d done in Boston and it worked out well for them there.)
I really want the guys to write a post about their experiences! Let’s just say, it was a 7:00 game and they didn’t get back until 2:30 in the morning (and the game did NOT go into extra innings…..). I’m making it sound more dramatic than it really was. They WERE almost 2 hours of travel time away from our campground. However, they also did a good hour of wandering along in the Bronx trying to get closer to their car so the Uber ride would be a bit cheaper. Seriously???!?! For goodness sakes, just pay the money and don’t wander bridges in the Bronx after midnight!
They were fine (if not tired), and the next day they got ready to head south towards Philadelphia for their 3rd game of the trip. Once again drive to the outskirts of the city, park at Walmart, call Uber. No drama this time, and they were back shortly after midnight.
Sherri and I made sure we had 2 of the easiest dinners planned for the nights the guys were away. The first night was Taco-in-a-Bag, and if you haven’t heard of it before it’s exactly what it sounds like. Take a personal sized bag of Doritos, cut the side off to make it a “bowl” of chips, and load it up with your favorite taco fillings. Mmmmmmmm!
The second night was pie irons. They’re basically grilled cheese sandwiches (we used pizza toppings in ours) cooked in cast iron roasters that you put in the fire. Super easy………if you can actually start a fire, that is. Our wood was damp, and we had a quickly escalating, nightmare of a time getting a fire lit – and then keeping it lit.
At one point that sucker was BLAZING (embers and all!) and we breathed a sigh of relief as we finally were able to put the pie irons in and start cooking. At which point it went completely out. Fire – 5, Trish and Sherri – 0. We did eventually get our dinner made, but never has such an “easy” meal been so tedious!
On our final morning we packed up the trailers, then set off to find the “fitness trail” that was advertised on our map of the campground. We ended up finding the end of the trail and doing it in reverse, but whatever! You walk the trail, and every so often there is a station with some sort of activity to do. Pull ups, push ups, various strength/balance/stretching related activities. The kids (and adults) had fun trying (with varying levels of success) to accomplish each of the tasks.
Then we were off to the Hershey/Lancaster area of Pennsylvania. (Sherri and I had found a full service campground near there and called to reserve it the night before.) It had been SOOOOO humid for the last 4 days, and we were really hoping that as we headed farther from the coast it would let up a bit so we could enjoy being outside more!
PS – as far as we can tell, none of us got lyme disease on this stop…..so you know, “Winning in New Jersey”……