So…… After a whirlwind couple of days, we are homeward bound tomorrow! Much (much!) earlier than I had planned in my head, however, the kids were onboard with the homeward motion and we accomplished all of our planned activities, so we are on our way!
I personally give myself and A+ for effort. This mama, as pregnant as I am, got everyone’s wishes/wants/desires for this trip accomplished. We definitely saw enough and experienced enough to make this trip completely amazing, AND we saw enough and experienced enough to water our travel-buds even more. There are several places we want to go back to and spend more time, and experience more, and there are places we learned we could do the “drive-through” to get to where we’re going. It’s been quite a wonderful experience.
From Hershey, we landed in NJ’s Liberty State Park an hour before our ferry take-off time. We had snacks in the car and prepped for the journey. The boat first took us off to Ellis Island where we enjoyed the little museum and searched family history in the library. After, we headed on to Liberty Island where we had pedestal tickets to go up inside! Fortunately, the had an elevator to take us up, and then we walked back down. With the mood that M was in, and the state I was in, I knew we would not have made it all the way up. So, we lucked out with the working elevator and thoroughly enjoyed the view and the sites. Got some wonderful pictures and memories to boot. I think the kids will always equate that journey to the mood that M was in that day…. it was quite a doozy 🙂
Since we ended the journey in by 4pm, we decided it would be worth driving by Carlos’ Bakery to see how the line was looking and if it was something we should attempt that evening, or wait until the AM. We drove the short 15 minutes over to Hoboken and the kids spotted the bakery in seconds. We decided it was meant to be to attempt the visit that evening. However…… Hoboken had another idea in mind. Being a Sunday evening, the town was HOPPING! Literally. It took over and hour to find a parking spot. There were a few times I was about to give up. I think the only reason I did keep going was thinking that I certainly did not want to try to do this again the following morning 🙂 We persevered and lucked out with a spot just a block and a half away.
We took our special pics in front of the bakery, and walked in to a number counter. I pulled out number 70…. they were on number 31 😐 I already thought I might have peed my pants. I was driving around for an hour looking for parking, I walked into 2 establishments to try to use a bathroom and no luck. So we walked to the bakery with the hopes that we would not be there long. After all, there was no line outside, so how long could it be?! Well….. at first it seemed liked we’d be there for hours, but then it seemed that many had taken numbers and given up on their wait. So numbers flew by quickly and everyone picked out their treats. D, being her big bday wish of all times, wanted a cannoli and a lobster tail. Unfortunately, they were fresh out of the lobster tails, so she picked a cannoli and an éclair (I got an éclair too and man was it yummy!).
So, with both of our “to-do’s” knocked off our list, we decided to being our trek northward. We had our first night in our car, at a Walmart, in the north portion of NJ so we could (1) just get some rest before heading out of town, and (2) get some food in our bellies. The night at Walmart was a brand new experience for all of us. I had heard before, from many, that you can sleep in your car, camper, or RV at a Walmart free of charge and not be pestered. We were all a wee-bit nervous that this was really so, but….. really it was. It was quite peaceful, and quite easy, and well-worth the saved money! We all seemed to have a nice system down from our 1st experience, that doing it the next night was a piece of cake!
After NJ, the only other things we had on our check list were (1) visiting the ocean in Maine, and (2) a hotel we had already booked in Danvers, MA (just because it was just outside of Boston and we could not get a refund on this purchase…. might as well enjoy it!). Since we had the booked hotel visit, we were working around that timeframe. We decide we’d plug right through and do a full 5 hour drive up to ME and enjoy the Oceanside. It was really a ton of fun. Far colder than I would have liked, but we had a blast anyway. We enjoyed the shiver as we watched the locals half naked, swimming, boogy-boarding, surfing and more. We were shocked that they could tolerate the chill! The area was beautiful, so we opted to make dinner there and enjoy the bay and sunset before finding our second Walmart for the night.
From there, the intent was head to a Walmart not far from the beach so we could return the next day, but we got kinda lost from the GPS directions and ended up paying a $3.00 toll…. yet again. Does not seem like much, but MAN, we have been paying a TON OF TOLLS on this trip. Not something I really considered because all of travels westward we’d never pay a cent once we left Chicago. However, eastward, we seem to pay a toll just to set tire on the road! I was pretty fed up with this toll situation and decided we’d just move forward to NH and pick a Walmart there. We found this great little spot, quiet. Walmart actually closed at 10pm so it was super quiet after that. And, the next day found Rye Bay/Beach where we enjoyed another day on the Oceanside before heading to our hotel in Danvers, MA.
Fortunately, we have had some really awesome weather as of late, so it’s all been super enjoyable. The only major bummer to the day is arriving at this hotel to find they have yet to open their pool for the season. The kids were super disappointed about that. They were really counting on one more swim before our big journey home. Since we are pretty much going much of the same route we did coming out here, we are pretty much just plugging through the drive as quickly as we are able. Everyone has their own intentions about how long we will be able to go in one day, but we’ll see how it goes. I’d imagine we need at least three days (two nights) to do it. I’d hate to push it much more than that, but who knows. Everyone is now really eager to get home and enjoy their beds, daddy, and summer with friends. So we’ll see how much we can handle.
Till then, everyone is enjoying a clean shower, and some TV time. Going to cook up some food and get some good rest before we set out tomorrow. See y’all soon!