October 30, 2012

Cherry Hill Park, Maryland


First of all, our hearts and prayers go out to all of the people on the East Coast, especially in New York and New Jersey, who are suffering because of the hurricane that just slammed into the area earlier this week. The pictures on television show all of the devastation and issues that these cities have to deal with in the coming days and months. All the major local television stations have continuous coverage almost 24/7. 

Liberty Harbor RV Park in Jersey City is under water. This is the park that we stayed at during our visit to New York a couple of weeks ago.  And the streets that we drove on in Atlantic City are under water.

As for us, we are glad Miss Sandy has passed. There is a slight drizzle today and the temperature is 43 degrees. We may still get snow as the weather reporter just mention that some snow flakes are starting to fall in Washington D.C. (We are 10 miles from Washington D.C.) We experienced winds of approximately 45-60 miles per hour, with a number of hard gusts last night. Rain was heavy starting on Sunday night and continuing non-stop until this morning.

Chanti actually handled it all much better than we had expected. We only had to give her the homeopathic anti-anxiety drops on two occasions.

Also, I have been in touch with Lavern and Bob who are hunkered down in their lake home in upper Pennsylvania. They experience lots of wind with loud roaring sounds, but took comfort in eating their cherry and pecan pies.

The RV park emptied out right before the hurricane hit, and there are not that many coaches in this park of over 700 sites. Here are a couple of the before and after pictures of where we are parked.

Photo taken when we first arrived on Friday. (See Jerry
on the left talking to the neighbor as to what will be
the best course of action to take.)

Photo taken this morning.

We will watch the weather reports, and assuming the snow stays away, we plan on continuing our travels south. We expect to come back to this area next year when we may be able to see more of the Washington D.C. sites.

Continue to keep the people affected by Miss Sandy in your prayers.

October 28, 2012

Washington D.C.

We are prepared for Hurricane Sandy and are now just waiting for the experience to begin. We have pulled in all three slide outs, packed our bags (including our medications), got the dog's food bagged for the next three days, did the laundry today before the power goes out as predicted, and charged all of our batteries.

Right now, the temperature is 55 degrees, the wind is starting to kick up and a few rain drops have fallen. The local weather report has us getting 5-10 inches of rain and winds of  60 miles per hour, gusting up to 75 miles per hour, starting early Monday morning and continuing non-stop until Tuesday evening. In addition, the storm coming from the west may drop snow in this area. Power is expected to be out for up to 10 days due to trees falling on the lines. (Remember that I told you in an earlier blog that the East Coast is covered with wires!)

Watching the weather reports and forecast, we marvel at the fact that we just left all the areas being discussed on TV (New York, Jersey City, Atlantic City, Delaware). We shutter to think of where we would be forced to go had we still been in that parking lot right on the ocean in Jersey City. We feel safer here which is a bit in-land even though we are in the middle of the red 800-mile swatch on the weather map.

Yesterday (Saturday) was our only day to actually drive into Washington D.C. to see some of the sites. We couldn't drive into the city today because of the Marine Corp. Marathon event. They had 30,000 runners, so lots of the streets were blocked off to traffic.

Our first stop yesterday was to the Arlington National Cemetery. 

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy's Burial Sites
(The lighted flame is hard to see on the photo.)

View of the city from high up on the Arlington Cemetery grounds.

From there, we drove around the city until we found a place to park the car. We walked to the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial with a group of tourist.

Let me tell you about the leader of this group. The place was filled with people trying to get their pictures taken in front of the Lincoln sculpture. The leader of this particular group took over and literally moved others away so that she could get her own pictures. Since I realized that there was no way that I could get a picture without people in it, I decided to capture one of this group, too. 

The Lincoln Memorial from a distance.

Taken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
and showing the Washington Memorial in the background
with the Reflective Pond. We finally figured out 
why there were so many people around. They must have been here 
for the Marine Corp. Marathon that took place today.

The Reflective Pond in front of the Washington Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Faces of Honor sculpture in the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park 
created by Frederick Hart

Albert Einstein sculpture located near
the Science Museum

We came to the East Coast to follow the changing of the leaves.  I have a feeling, however, that after Miss Sandy blows through, the colored leaves will all be on the ground and that part of our trip will be over. 

If we have an internet connection this week, we will let you know what is happening to us. 

Have a great week everyone. 

October 26, 2012


When Jerry started up the motor home on Tuesday so that we could travel down the road to the Washington D.C. area, he had a slight problem. When he stepped on the gas, the RV would not move. It took awhile, but he got it moving. He knew that something just was not right with the transmission.

So, the first opportunity he got, he located an Allison transmission specialist in Essex, Maryland. They were located near an airport and a large Lockheed Martin plant.  Little did we know that we would spend the next three days in Essex, Maryland, and a few thousand dollars getting the problem fixed. Bummer!!

Parked at the Allison repair place
in Essex, Maryland

The first two nights we stayed in the motor home, but last night we went to a motel. It was weird being able to take a bath in the motel since we only take showers in the motorhome. 

While we were there, it was mostly overcast outside. But, I walked around and took some pictures of the colored leaves anyway.

For some reason, I lose the colors in my pictures when I enlarge them. Need to research why this is happening. If anyone knows the answer to this, please let me know. 

After we got the motorhome back today, we drove just 40 miles down to College Park, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Taken out of the window on our way to College Park, Maryland

We checked into the Cherry Hill Park with the idea that we would only stay for one night and give up our plans to stick around to see the Washington D. C. sites until the storm has passed.

Parked at the Cherry Hill Park

Our thinking was that we needed to get out of the way of Sandy, the hurricane due to hit the East Coast in the next few days. After all, we have wheels and with a couple of days' time on our side, we figured that we needed to get out of Sandy's way. But, after we arrived here and started talking to some of the folks here (and checking in with our first responder relative, Bill), they all convinced us to stay here. We can't go South, because that is the path of Sandy. We can't go West because an unusual storm is coming this way to collide with Sandy. We definitely can't go East. And we can't go North because that is where Sandy is expected to wipe out the Eastern shore. Many of the states here, including Maryland, have already declared their states "disaster areas" and the storm hasn't even hit yet.

Pat sent an email saying that she will be looking to us to be the reporters on the ground and, assuming we have cell and/or internet coverage when this is all over, we will be your personal weather reporters for this storm. The weather reporters on television here are declaring this to be the mother of all hurricanes because of the magnitude of Sandy (800 feet wide), a full moon on Monday and the monster storm moving in from the East. More to come!!!!

One more picture -- this one taken at this RV park.

Stay safe everyone!

October 22, 2012

Delaware and West Chester, PA

Before we left New Jersey, we stayed for one night at the Brendan T Byrne State Forest Campground. Now, here was an experience! We drove for 5 miles to get deep into the forest to our assigned site. No one was anywhere near us. Sometimes that can be a bit scary when you realize that we are in an area with no cell coverage if something serious or life threatening were to occur.

  Deep into the Brendan T Byrne State Forest.

We purposely made this trip to this area to meet up with Angie and Rob. After we settled in, we drove the car over to their place in Eastampton, New Jersey. It had been about a year since we last saw them near Sacramento, California. As Rob is in the Air Force, they transferred out to New Jersey this past year. 

Jerry, Me, Angie and Rob

After going out for dinner and catching up, we went back their their lovely place for delicious apple crisp that Angie created. Yummy!!

We wanted to get back to the motorhome before it got too late as a heavy thunderstorm was on its way. And, it hit us just as we arrived back into the forest. Lots of rain all night long.

In the morning, it was still raining, but we headed out to Delaware. Living in California, we forget how nice we have it when driving the many freeways. Yes, they may be crowded at times, but at least they are FREE. Like Jerry says, that's why they call them freeways. Well -- they don't call them freeways here on the East Coast because you have to stop every few miles and pay toll fees. In 10 days, we've shelled out $103 just to travel down New Jersey. To cross the Delaware bridge was $20. We pity the people who have to travel these roads to get to and from work each day. 

The Delaware Bridge

At least we did get to see some of the colored leaves
on our way to Delaware.

The East Coast also takes first place in the number of wires everywhere. I don't get it. The scenery is beautiful, but is blanketed with wires, wires and more wires.

This is not even the worst of what we have seen.

We chose to stay at the Lums Pond State Park near Bear, Delaware because we thought that it was close to Lavern and Bob's place in West Chester, PA.  But when we discovered that we were still over an hour away from them, we decided to stay just one night and then move on closer to West Chester.

Parked in Lums Pond State Park in Bear, Delaware
(See Jerry and Chanti on a walk.)

The park was beautiful.

Lums Pond State Park actually has a pond.

Love the colors!

So, after spending Friday night in this park, we drove on Saturday to meet Bob and Lavern for lunch at a large indoor swap meet. Afterwards, we walked around the place and saw some interesting things.

 How about selling wine in a paint can?

From there we all drove to the West Chester KOA where we still are staying until tomorrow.

West Chester KOA. The leaves are
falling fast from the trees.

Bob and Lavern in our motorhome soon after we arrived.

The four of us hung around together for the rest of the weekend and did our fair share of eating, needless to say.

Lavern and me taken today at one of their
favorite restaurants, the Bamboo Restaurant.

Today, Bob also ran me over to his dentist to see if the dentist could glue in the latest tooth that I flung out of my mouth during dental flossing. He couldn't help me. Luckily, the missing tooth is in the back of my mouth so no one sees that it is missing. I'll wait until the end of next year when I'm back in California to do something about it. Jerry said I should put it in an envelope along with all of the other ones that I will accidentally remove during the coming year. 

After our lunch today, Bob and Lavern left to head up north. Jerry and I will spend one more night here where we will be watching the debate tonight. We will vote by absentee ballot in the next day or two. We leave here tomorrow and head to Washington, D.C.

Have a great week, everyone.

October 17, 2012

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Actually, we are staying at the Shady Pines Camping Resort in Absecon, a small town about 10 miles from Atlantic City. The park we are in is similar to the one we stayed in at Old Orchard Beach, Maine -- a lot of empty mobile homes and virtually no one around. Again, we are the only motorhome in the park. We love the peace and quiet after spending our week in New York City. Actually, I was so exhausted when I wrote the last post, I just uploaded pictures without talking about our experiences. Let me say that when we were in mid-town NYC at 6 p.m. Sunday night (near the Rockefeller Center), the streets were crowded with people, all the stores were open for business, and it took forever for us to get out of the traffic in that area. No thanks! We are past that.

Alone again!

We are here for only three nights. Really wanted to see Atlantic City and that is what we did yesterday.
It must be a busy busy place in the summer time, but in the middle of October, there were very few people around.

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Wait -- there are two girls texting as they walk!

The Atlantic Ocean off of the Boardwalk (see the 
fishermen at the end of the pier)

Lastly, the leaves are finally starting to turn colors -- but not uniformly. Some areas have brightly colored leaves, other areas are still pretty much green. The temperatures have been in the 60s during the day and 40s at night.

Autumn at last on this stretch of road.

Tomorrow, we will drive for an hour or so to meet up with our god-child, Angie, and her husband, Rob. They just moved out to New Jersey from California. We are so looking forward to seeing them.

October 14, 2012

New York City and Jersey City

Whew! Talk about going from total isolation to being swept up in a high energy environment! We made it okay to the Liberty RV Park in Jersey City -- the only RV park in this whole area. The next closest park to NYC is an hour an a half away. This park is basically a parking lot with electricity and water, and one dump station. But, are we complaining? No because we are next to the Hudson River and literally a ferry trip away from it all.

Here we are parked at the Liberty RV Park.

We made a list at the beginning of this week of everything we wanted to see while we were here. Top on the list was the 911 Memorial. So, we took the ferry on Tuesday and spent the afternoon at the Memorial. All of the tour guides are persons who have had a direct connection with 911.  Our tour guide was a fire captain with the NYC Fire Department with 20 years of service. He spoke of his experience on that awful day, how his chief was killed making him next in line, and how he lost some of his best friends in his battalion that day. He gave us a history of how the towers were built and how all that played into the collapse.  

He also told us some of his personal experiences. For example, after working on the site for two weeks straight, he sat down to rest for a few minutes one day. From high in the clear blue sky, he watch as a piece of paper came floating down and landed right at his feet. He picked it up and realized that it was a check (that had not been cashed) written by his neighbor's son-in-law who died in one of the towers. He took the check home and gave it to his neighbor to give to the neighbor's daughter. It turns out that the son-in-law had written the check to a florist for flowers to be sent to his wife on their fifth wedding anniversary that week. 

Bronze Memorial dedicated to the first responders.

Part of the 911 Memorial -- hallowed ground.

911 Memorial Reflective Pond

New World Trade Center Tower still under construction.

The Ferry that carried us across the Hudson River
to New York City (in background) from Jersey City

Jerry talking with three birds after we first got off of the ferry.

New York City (taken from the Jersey side) during the day.

New York City taken at night.

Entrance to Ellis Island (We took a ferry trip to Ellis Island 
and around the Statute of Liberty on Wednesday)

Statute of Liberty with NYC in the background

Look at all the people touring Ellis Island
and the Statute of Liberty!!!!

Sean, this one is for you. 
Goats on Staten Island.

Planes on the Intrepid

Helicopters on the Intrepid

The Enterprise Shuttle

Large cruise ships come right in to the
area of the Intrepid and Enterprise.

Taken from the top of the Intrepid

Today, we had the experience of biking around Central Park. The weather was beautiful. The park was filled with people who were walking, biking, skateboarding and running.

Central Park

Part of Central Park

Rockefeller Center with ice skaters on the rink

We also quickly ran into St. Patrick's Cathedral. Didn't get to really take a decent picture because the ushers were not letting people take pictures. But, I got this one.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

One last picture taken on the New York side
on the first day that we came over on the ferry.

We have enjoyed our stay in New Jersey and our visit to New York City, but we look forward to moving on tomorrow. Going to Atlantic City.

Have a great week everyone.