Hello friends and family, welcome to the 290th day of the year. Just so you know, there are 75 days remaining in 2016…crazy right??
It has been a super fun and hectic week of sightseeing! We last left you from Farren and Wolfgang’s house in Connecticut, where we were finishing up sewing new curtains for Bertha. Once the curtains were done, we pulled out of their driveway and headed to a nearby park to get in a three hour ride on our stationary bicycle trainers…not the most fun way to ride a bike but it gets the job done in much less time!
The next morning, Wednesday, we had a slow start to the day before getting up and heading to the Connecticut Ikea to look for a few things (we got to drive through some of the Harvard campus en route to the Ikea too, which was a nice bonus). We spent a couple of hours wandering around Ikea looking for new curtain rods, a new duvet and cover for the cooler fall evenings, and a new throw and pillows for the couch. Our mission was a success, minus the throw pillows, so after we left Ikea, we found a laundromat to wash the new duvet while Jim hung the new curtain rods. Bertha is just getting nicer and more cozy on the inside, making us love her more and more. With these new upgrades, she’s just so beautiful it almost brings us tears of joy…though we haven’t taken a good picture of her yet so we’ll have to include that in next week’s update! Once our Bertha makeover was complete, we started the drive (post rush hour) to Long Island, NY.
We planned on spending a few days in and around NYC and figured that parking Bertha on Long Island was our best bet – there’s NO way she’d fit in Manhattan! We found a stellar parking spot that, come to find out, was in a gorgeous suburban neighborhood. Thursday morning we headed out for a long run that took us north through Roslyn – what a quaint, lovely area! The trees were full of beautiful fall colors and the neighborhood was filled with immaculate Victorian style homes all decorated for the season. It was a cool day and one of the best runs we’ve had!
After the run, we showered, changed, and found our way to the Long Island Railroad to get into the city. It was a pretty easy, straight shot to get to Penn Station, which is conveniently right near where Jim’s sister, Dayna, lives. We met Dayna and Karen at their apartment where we chatted for a bit over a beer and marveled at their view of the Empire State Building. They have some pretty awesome perks with their jobs, one of which is they get free tickets to the top of the Empire State Building without having to wait in any lines! We walked a few blocks to the entrance and shot right to the top of the 102 story building. We took in the views from every direction on the 80th, 86th, and 102nd floors before heading back down. It was a work night so we bid our farewells and headed back to Long Island for the evening.
Friday was our day of fun in NYC! We decided that rather than taking the train, we’d take the motorcycle a little closer to the city and then grab the nearest subway to get the rest of the way. Long Island City (part of Queens) is just on the other side of the East River from Manhattan and there’s a park there that has fantastic views of the city. We found a free parking spot before walking along the river and grabbing a few photos. From there, we grabbed a gyro from the food cart and jumped on the subway for a few quick stops to the city. We had gone back and forth over what we wanted to do with our day, and ultimately, we decided to split up for a couple of hours. Jim wanted to see the 9/11 Museum and Heather had already been and wanted to visit The Museum of Modern Art. Luckily, we could still take the same train so Jim dropped Heather at her stop before continuing onto the Memorial. We both enjoyed our selections, Jim spent four hours in the museum, in awe as he relived the events of that day. Heather learned that Friday nights at MoMA are free after 4pm, though she showed up at 3:00 and paid full price to share the museum with the masses of other people. Bummer. It’s a great museum though, there was a special exhibit featuring a German artist by the name of Kai Althoff (it was a very eclectic display of his work) and the classic works of Monet, Picasso, and Matisse are always enjoyable. Heather had some extra time once she finished so she wandered over to Chelsea Market – an awesome indoor marketplace filled with gourmet foods, drinks, and diverse little shops. She grabbed a slice of pizza and explored the bookstore and the flea market before Jim messaged that he was finishing up at the Memorial. We met back up at a Mexican restaurant in Chelsea where we sat next to a table ordering tequila shots and apparently forgetting where their indoor voices went. We had some very filling burritos and a couple of margaritas before heading to meet up with Dayna and Karen again at a great local bar with great local beer. We enjoyed our time catching up with them so much that before we knew it, it was almost 1am and we still had to get back to Long Island. It was past 3am when we got to bed that evening, but it was a very full day and we were thankful to have had that extra time with the two of them.
Our plan was to get up and go for a long run in Central Park on Saturday…but given our late Friday evening, we had a later start that we’d anticipated. We also discovered that Bertha was out of fresh water so by the time we took care of that, it was too late to get back to the city for a run. Luckily, Long Island is right on the water (obviously), so we found a great state park where we could get in a nice run before sunset. It was so lovely, running along the water on Jones Beach on a great stretch of boardwalk. We’re loving the off season out here, we had the area almost entirely to ourselves. As we got back to Bertha, we could see the sun setting in front of us and as we turned around, we could also see the incredible moon rise behind us. It was pretty magical from both directions and something that is nearly impossible to capture with our cell phone cameras. Not that we didn’t try.
After the run, we drove to Queens to have dinner and get a good night’s sleep before heading to New Jersey the next day. Or so we thought. Queens turned out to be a terrible idea, it was loud and busy and a little bit sketch so at 1:30 in the morning, Jim decided to drive us to Jersey. That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the route from Queens to Jersey took us through Manhattan and we can’t imagine having done that during daytime hours. Even at 3am there was a surprising amount of people out and traffic. As we approached the Holland Tunnel, a cop stopped us and turned us around (meaning we had to block traffic as we U-Turned on a major thoroughfare). He said we can’t use any tunnels in an RV because of our propane and redirected us an extra 13 miles north to the George Washington bridge to cross the Hudson. All in all, it was a pretty harrowing drive and we’re glad we did it at a time when traffic was the least busy. We settled back to bed around 4am and slept like babies.
The next morning, Sunday, we drove the rest of the way to Six Flags Great Adventure! We spent the day riding every big roller coaster they have (Jim rode one 3 times in a row without getting off, it was the end of the evening and they didn’t care if he stayed on). We had one couple do YMCA with us for a photo, they were totally into it. We had a blast running around all day, eating burgers and ice cream and tempting our stomachs to throw up on any one of the many loopdeloop we rode. The park closed at 10 and you better believe we closed them down. We pulled out of there after 10:00 and started our journey to Pennsylvania!
Stay with us as we explore Pennsylvania and Maryland this week before beelining it south to Florida!
Total RV Trip Miles: 9,175.5