Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fleeing New Jersey, Almost...

As I write this, I am in the comfort of a beautiful home in Haymarket, Virginia where we are being hosted graciously by the Furber family. I am thankful for their hospitality which has included not only comfortable beds for each of us and shelter from the suddenly chilly temperatures, but has also included all the comforts and conveniences of home (even various furballs to cuddle) combined with wonderful company. I don't know how I'll ever be able to thank them for showing me what true hospitality is.

As with most of the blog posts this trip, this one comes to you on a delayed cycle by design. Our internet access throughout the journey has been spotty, so I upload photos and blog entries about once per week. Rather than inundate followers with a flood of information one day and a dearth for the following week, I try to schedule the blogs for one-per-day postings. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they arrive out of order.

So let me catch you up:
Sept. 26, 2011
Today we fled New Jersey in hopes of making the Cape May, NJ-->Lewes, DE ferry across Delaware Bay. The route would allow us to skip the confusion of Philly traffic and a variety of toll roads, and since we decided a couple of weeks ago that we needed to cut out miles, Pennsylvania will get the short shrift. (We're sorry to miss Amish country, Hershey, Philadelphia and Gettysburg, but we really had too much planned for this journey. Something had to give and with reservations in Florida fast upon us, Pennsylvania was the obvious solution.)

Once again, traffic and highway patterns got the best of us, and about 45 minutes out it became readily apparent we wouldn't make the last ferry of the day. I called ahead and made reservations for tomorrow morning's first ferry (7:30 a.m.), and was assured that there are loads of campgrounds on Cape May.

Well, there are, but they're privately held and as one campground owner (and proud volunteer firefighter) told me, they can charge whatever they like. "Captive audience," he beamed. And they do. We stopped in to Jersey Cape Motel to check on room rates. Even out of season, they were a bit rich for us, but the owner was very helpful in offering the lay of the land, pointing us to other properties that might meet our needs and finally offering up, "You COULD camp at WalMart."

I've heard about WalMart's camper policy, but we've never taken them up on it. This, however, would be our exception. With directions in hand, we loaded up and headed to the Wawa (popular gas/convenience stops around these parts) for a final pit stop before parking for the night. We treated it like a drive-in theater experience with the little screen (computer balanced on dashboard) serving as substitute for the real deal. While the kids focused on the screen and their dinner, I used the time to scoped out the parking lot where I finally determined that the young people parked randomly about were merely the night crew awaiting starting time, and that the security guard would be sitting out all night with a curbside display of bicycles. We made another Wawa stop, then crawled into bed for an otherwise uneventful night.

Many thanks to Jersey Cape Motel. To other travelers passing through, I highly recommend the place. It looks cute, clean, easily accessible and if my experience is any indication, the service at this family-run property is beyond the call of duty.

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