NJ/New York City - May 20 - 23

[Something went awry the first time we published this post. We will get caught up soon]

The drive from Philly to Jersey City went smooth (we were unsure of what to expect).  Except for the one small issue - the directions from the park we were staying at were wrong thus we got off an exit too early in the heart of Jersey City…but we made it and did not take out any bridges or trees.  Future campers should have it easier with the updated directions.

As soon as we arrived, our good friend Dave had an adventure awaiting.  He took us on a sailing tour of a life time - up and down the Hudson and the East river, around Lady Liberty and along the edge of Manhattan.

That evening we went to a small authentic Italian place where we took up half of the restaurant.  The meal was mouthwatering.


The next AM, Dave was back and ready to go.  It was “Fleet Week” so after taking a bike ride to the PATH, then PATH across to Manhattan, we found a park on the West side to watch the first Navy ship come in. You can see the sailors if you look close

After enjoying a couple parks on the West side, we headed east to Chinatown for lunch. For $9 cash, we stuffed ourselves.  $9 for 6 hungry people!

We headed back west to the amazing 9/11 Memorial.  It’s a hard place to describe so we'll stick with a picture. Unfortunately the museum had opened the day before and we had been unable get tickets.

Next stop, Wall Street

Then back east to walk the Brooklyn Bridge

And a cool treat from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.  

We then said goodbye to Dave and boarded a ferry back to Manhatten and made our way to FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the US. The expression on JAK’s face sums it up.

A quick subway trip north to have dinner with our friends Carrie and Bill and their two children. After a trip to the park on the East River one block away, we had NY pizza and some of the best Szechuan Chinese - ever!  

We were all ready to stay longer, but it was getting dark so we had to say goodbye. 

We had the cab drop us in Times Square which was packed with sailors on leave during Fleet week.

A couple more train trips and we were back in Jersey City.  One last pic for the day

We’ve done a lot of hiking on this adventure, but not sure we've had or will top the 14+ miles we walked this day!

With only a couple days in this great city, we took a break from normal school and headed back into Manhattan first thing in the AM.  The kids are getting the hang of public transportation

Today was our day for the American Natural History Museum. After a hike across Central Park, we took in 4 of the special exhibits and most of the rooms (quickly).  We could have spent a week there.

Dave and Kristen invited us over for dinner with their two boys.  Dave has been making mouth watering ribs since his days in college with Daddy.  He has continued to perfect his recipe. He now uses a new "burn off" technique at the end. Wow, yummm, wow!

Kristen is a food scientist and works for a company that makes many great brands.  She gave us all kinds of new products that we can’t wait to find in the markets!

Friday AM we packed up and headed north.  The drive from NY to NH was one of our more “interesting".  It was Memorial day weekend and we knew we were in for traffic. We also found out that it’s a $68 toll to cross the George Washington bridge (and you don’t even get a t-shirt) and that in New Jersey, the “Parkways” which are more like nice 4 lane highways, were not built for RVs. Thanks to the school bus driver who honked and veered us off as soon as our GPS took us that way.  The local police explained that there are low bridges on the “Parkways”.

5" to spare on this one


10 hours later we arrived in NH ready for more adventure.  

May God bless and keep you and your family safe in the coming weeks.

VA, MD, DE, PA - May 11 - 19

We departed the Outer Banks on Mothers day and headed to Virginia Beach and our spot at First Landing State Park.  We were in a bit of a rush because we had a special event planned for Mom.  The ultimate Mother's Day activity - Monster Trucks on the Beach!

Back at the park there was a bit less testosterone and more tranquility.

The next evening we drove the jeep to visit friends in Newport News, VA.  They have a wonderful house, perfect sunsets, and fun kids (Mom and Dad are fun too;)! 

Everyone was excited about 'swimming' in Pokemon cards!

The next day we took Big Country into a truck repair shop to have a creaking noise triaged. They quickly determined the bushing on the passenger side spring is bad. Because there are no safety or mechanical risks, we decided we'll live with the noise for now rather than spend a couple days camped out in a very industrial part of VA. We departed Virginia Beach and headed north.

On the way we crossed the Chesapeake Bay "Bridge-Tunnel." It is the longest in the world.  What's a "Bridge-Tunnel??  We soon found out when the bridge ahead of us disappeared into the water.

After a night in a Walmart, we arrived in Ocean City, MD.  We took a field trip to Assateague State Park and National Seashore.  We tracked down one of the 100+ wild horses in the park. Her wild instincts have taught her food is easy to find in the campgrounds....

Ocean City was having an annual car show so the park (Castaways) we stayed in was packed with classic cars.

We were near the local Human Society. The kids loved this one because it was FULL of friendly cats.

We walked a couple miles of the vast board walk in Ocean City.

The kids had their first Dippin Dots.

And we all had our first taste of a Cannoli.  Mmmmm!

We departed Ocean City after two nights and headed towards Philadelphia.  It was raining in buckets when we departed and continued most of the day. We attempted to visit Lewes, DE, but the wind and rain pushed us on to Philly.

In Philly we stayed with long-time friends from our days in MN. They had a long driveway and a perfect spot to park for a few days. 

We visited the nearby Valley Forge.

The home George Washington occupied during the winter of 1777-1778.

The kids enjoyed spending time outside in beautiful weather. Playing in the creek, playgrounds, racing scooters/rip-sticks, rolling down the hills....and painting each other's hair!

Our friends took us downtown Philly where we visited the historic district. 

No, they did not repair the crack on the Liberty Bell, that side was just too crowded for a good pic.

A local treat known as "Water Ice"was outstanding.  It's flavored ice with custard in the middle!

Of course an awesome dinner of Philly Cheese steak!

Three more junior Ranger badges earned this week!

Assateague Island 

Valley Forge

Independence National Historic Park


As promised, more cut-outs:)

We said goodbye to our gracious and fun friends in Philly and headed to NYC.  More to come soon!  God bless to all!

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