Navigating the George Washington Bridge in NY

We are navigating the George Washington Bridge in NY as we continue our travels to New Jersey on our road trip adventure across the USA.

Today is an exciting day for us! (as if every day since we departed hasn’t been exciting.)  Not only is today another travel day leading us to another state destination, but today is also the day for us to have our first overnight guests.

For the past four nights, we have dwelled in Aces High RV Park in East Lyme, Connecticut.

For the past two days, we have spent our time exploring and enjoying Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT.

Today we are departing East Lyme, Connecticut to head to our next state destination – New Jersey.

Today is an exciting day for us because our route traverses through New York City.

Last night with the Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas spread across the table, Gary and I mapped out a course from CT to NJ.  Then we consulted Google maps to confirm the chosen route.  Once we hit the road, Garmin girl should aid us each step of the way.

When Gary discovered that he would be driving our dually and towing our big rig over the George Washington Bridge, which is the bridge his father warned him about, he continued his investigation for a different route.  My Knight worked into the late hours of the night.

Apparently, the George Washington Bridge has two levels.  Since the lower level doesn’t have enough clearance for our big rig, we’ll be taking the high road.

Grandpa, Gary will be calling you later this morning before we hit the road.

Not only is Gary concerned about height clearance, but he is also troubled by the toll roads.  He has identified two tolls and is uncertain about one.  From his research, it doesn’t appear you have to pay the toll if you are traveling westbound, which is the direction we will be traveling.  However, if Gary hasn’t read the fine print well, we might have to pay $65 for one toll.

“Why $65?”, I asked.  My Knight informed me that toll charges are based on the number of axles.  Since our dually and big rig have a combined number of 5 axles, we get to pay big dollars at toll booths.

I haven’t found the courage to ask my Knight if he or our budget is up for the travel adventure planned for today.

Today is also an exciting day for us once we safely arrive in New Jersey, because  Gary’s brother – Greg, our sister-in-law – Tammy, our two nieces, and our two nephews are meeting us at the campground.  Our nieces and nephews are out of school for fall break.  So, they decided to spend their break with us.

I found RV camping and rental cabins at Timberlane Campground in Clarksboro, New Jersey.  However, the one-room rental cabin is only available for two nights and Greg, Tammy, and the kids were planning to stay three nights with us.   We have decided not to shorten their stay despite the fact that the cabin is not available the last night.  Instead, we have decided to pile into the big rig on the third night.

Our plan is to spend two days seeing the sites in Philadelphia (Clarksboro, NJ, is only 12 miles from Philadelphia.  I couldn’t find a campground in Philly which could accommodate our big rig.)   Despite the rain and cooler temperatures that have been predicted, we plan to have a great time just being together.  I can only imagine the adventures that await for the ten of us.

Thinking of cooler temperatures.  If we had planned on staying in Connecticut one more day,  we might have experienced a different adventure – snow.  Yes, snow.  Snow is predicted in Connecticut tomorrow.  Gary and I are thrilled we are leaving Connecticut today!

We are praying for an uneventful travel day through New York City, across the George Washington Bridge, and by way of several toll booths.   I will do my best to let you know that we have safely arrived in New Jersey.

Love to All!

Heading to Connecticut

We are heading to Connecticut today,October 22,2011.

Since check-out time at the campground in Rhode Island was at 10 a.m. and our drive to the next campground was less than an hour away and check-in time at the campground in Connecticut wasn’t until 3 p.m.,  Gary went to the campground office this morning to request a late check-out.

Gary returned with a favorable response – we could stay until 1 p.m.; however, there was a cost.  Gary informed Buddy that he would have to marry the young park ranger in order for us to have a late check-out.  Gary reassured Buddy that the young park ranger was cute.  Buddy was not amused.


With a late check-out time, Belle and Buddy had time to cover several subjects and complete many assignments before our departure.

No one was ready to leave Fisherman’s Memorial State Park in Narragansett, RI, and everyone wished we were staying longer.

However, on a road trip adventure across the USA, it was time to hit the road again.

Our short drive to Connecticut was uneventful.


The skies threatened rain, but fortunately my Knight didn’t have to tow our big rig in the rain.

aces high rv park

Gary and I found big rig friendly campground in East Lyme, CT.   We are currently dwelling at Aces High RV Park.

As the name of this campground suggests, casinos are plentiful around here.  Click here if you missed the post about Connecticut and Casinos.

aces high rv park in CT








After set-up was complete, we took our first walk around our new neighborhood.

We found the campground clean and spacious.

Aces High RV Park is surrounded by hills covered with trees sporting various fall colors.  I was beginning to wonder if we would pass through the entire Northeast without seeing the colors of fall.

aces high rv park in CTaces high rv park in CT


I suppose we can check off our first short-term goal for our road trip which was traveling through the Northeast in the Fall.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene stripped most trees bare before the leaves had a chance to showcase their fall colors.

With our first road trip goal met, I suppose our family needs a new goal . . .

I will keep you posted as I am able.

We do have free internet access at this campground.  However according to our log-in instructions if we have excessive use of the internet, we may be restricted or removed from free access.

We are staying at Aces High RV Park for four nights,
so we’ll see what happens.


Sightseeing in Connecticut

It was time to research sightseeing in Connecticut.

Not knowing what our family of four could experience, do, learn, and see in Connecticut, I set aside some time to research the top sightseeing sites in the Constitution State prior to leaving the Ocean State.

First, I consulted the books I carted with us on our road trip adventure across the U.S.A.

Secondly, I searched cyberspace:

  • first, for additional ideas
  • and then for details – location, admission fees, hours of operation, and comments from tourist

Thirdly, I excluded the sites which did not appeal to our family of four.

For sightseeing in Connecticut, I excluded for our family:

    • the # 1  and # 2 attraction on many Top 10 List of Things to See/Do in CT – Casinos.  Did you Know?  Two of the largest casinos in North America are not located in Las Vegas or the Gulf Coast, but are located in Mashantucket and Uncasville, Connecticut.
    • Lake Compounce in Bristol and Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury.  Our family of four doesn’t dislike amusement parks (but our budget tends to dislike the admission fees), but we aren’t amusement park aficionados either.  Did you Know?  Since Lake Compounce opened in 1846, Connecticut claims to have the nation’s oldest continuously operated amusement park.
    • Wine Trails and Tastings through picturesque towns.  Did you Know?  Connecticut is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the U.S.
    • Before excluding the “Creative Capital of Connecticut”, New Haven, I consulted Belle.  I asked if she wanted to begin her college tours at Yale University.  She did not.  If she did, I was hoping this art admirer could have planned a visit to the Yale University Art Gallery to see the works of Manet, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh.

Even after excluding several sightseeing destinations in Connecticut, the list of options remained overwhelming.  To make the list more manageable and less overwhelming, I reorganized the list of sites based on our family’s preferences.

For the Nature Lovers in our family, I included:

  • The largest beach in Connecticut – in Madison at the Hammorasset Beach State Park
  • A beautiful beach along Long Island Sound – Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme
  • Penguins, Jellyfish, and Beluga Whales! Oh My! at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic
  • Hiking in Sleeping Giant State Park and climbing to the summit of Sleeping Giant

For the City Slickers in our family, I included:

  • Hartford – where we could tour the State Capitol and the Old State House; where we could view Tiffany stained glass windows in Center Church; where we could admire and appreciate art at Wadsworth Atheneum.

For the History Buffs in our family, I included:

  • The Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Mashantucket for “a Forgotten Tribe’s History Lesson”
  • Historic Homes in Hartford – the Mark Twain House and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House

For a unique Connecticut experience, I included:

  • The world’s largest maritime museum – Mystic Seaport in Mystic

Lastly, before requesting a family meeting so our family could decide on what we wanted to explore, do, learn, and see in Connecticut, I researched one more component of sightseeing and traveling across America- tasting the local cuisine.

Even though our family of four infrequently goes out to eat,

(In fact, our family has only eaten out once since we departed on our grand road trip adventure.  We dined on take-out pizza while sitting at the Four Corners in Bennington, Vermont.  Rarely eating out helps keep this family on budget.)

we do like to discuss the local cuisine and we often like to cook a local dish while visiting each state.

As for a Culinary tour of Connecticut

  • If we travel through Noank, we could try a lobster roll at Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough.
  • If we sightsee in New Haven, we could bite into a juicy hamburger at Louis’ Lunch.  Reportedly, New Haven claims to have created the hamburger.  Or, we could try Pepe’s Pizza.  However, since only one member in our family tolerates seafood, we wouldn’t order and try Pepe’s Pizza signature dish – white clam pizza.
  • In our state by state cookbook, Eat Your Way Through the USA by Loree Pettit, we could prepare New England Pot Roast for dinner and Crumb Cake for dessert.  These culinary options suit the taste buds of our family of four better than lobster rolls and white clam pizza.  Now I just need to make out the grocery list!

But before running off to the grocery store, our family of four needs to hold a family meeting.

I’ll meet you back here after the family meeting

  • when our family of four decides on what to see in the Constitution State and
  • when Gary and I find us a temporary dwelling in Connecticut.


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