Category Archives: June 2014

“The Cape” 6/25/14 – 6/28/14

DSC00540Driving out to Cape Cod felt a bit like driving down to the Keys in Florida. It is an island more or less that has one main road in and out. I had always heard of Cape Cod but was never quite sure where it was. Now I know! It is the very southeastern point of Mass which made for a short drive from Newport, RI for us. Our campground was in the town of Dennis Port on the southern side of the Cape, right on Nantucket Sound. Campers Haven Campground catered more toward its full-time trailer residents than part time visitors like us, but the location just couldn’t be beat. We quickly got settled, then decided to make the drive up to Provincetown (P-town), all the way to the tip of the Cape or Upper Cape as it is called. We parked, then just walked up and down the main avenue, Commercial Street. It was pretty busy with tourists crisscrossing the streets, kids eating ice cream, bicycles whizzing by and musicians playing on street corners. A very cute, liberal little town. Apparently, this is where the Mayflower originally landed before heading to Plymouth. Someone had given us the tip to come here back in Everglades City, FL and we are glad we took them up on it. We made our way back down Hwy 6 to Dennis Port and stopped in at Clancy’s for dinner for a great meal and view and even better service. Back at the MoHo, we took a quick bike ride out to the water, then battened down the hatches for the coming rain.

I LOVED this house, Provincetown, MA

I LOVED this house, Provincetown, MA

The beach at our MoHo park

The beach at our MoHo park

Thursday was the U.S. vs. Germany soccer match, so we started the day with breakfast and mimosa’s. It was pouring rain outside, so we didn’t feel too guilty. We lost to Germany, but with the Portugal win vs. Ghana, made it the next round. Pfew! We ended up not leaving the MoHo the whole day. This is a rare occurrence, but with the rain and soccer on, we decided to just have a day to relax. Got a few projects done, caught up on bills, etc. I need to remind myself that we don’t have to be on the go every single day. Felt great to have a day like this!

World Cup command center, watching 2 games at once!

World Cup command center, watching 2 games at once!

The next day, we decided to make the trip north to Plymouth, located off the Cape closer to Boston. First stop was at the local visitor center and we got a very helpful lady who gave us the lay of the land. It is a fairly small town, with most sights within walking distance. There is a main street at sea level then the town kind of tiers upward, so each street looks out toward the bay. We had a great day exploring including seeing the Mayflower replica and Plymouth Rock. The story goes that the rock signifies the first landing of the pilgrims here in 1620, but I think there are variations of the story and the rock has been moved around a bit. There were many other fee-based exhibits to see here, but we preferred to just walk around and take in the monuments and township. The best view was from the historic cemetery up on Burial Hill where it was clear why this was such a strategic place for the pilgrims to settle. Two long peninsulas on either side protect the bay, with a smaller opening for ships to be able to approach, so they could see ‘em coming! I’m really glad we made the trek up to Plymouth, we almost skipped it.

The Mayflower 2, a replica of the original in Plymouth

The Mayflower 2, a replica of the original in Plymouth

This is where Plymouth Rock is located, shadows prevented us from getting a good shot of the rock itself.

This is where Plymouth Rock is located, shadows prevented us from getting a good shot of the rock itself.

Mike out on the breakwater in Plymouth

Mike out on the breakwater in Plymouth

View from Burial Hill.  You can see the peninsulas and the narrow entryway for ships.

View from Burial Hill. You can see the overlapping peninsulas and the narrow entryway for ships.

On our last day, we planned a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We had made reservations a few days back on the Hy-Line ferry out of Hyannis Port, about a 15-mile drive from our park. They had all kinds of options, high speed or traditional with trips to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket or both. We opted for the traditional ferry to the Vineyard only as we didn’t want to be rushed trying to do both islands in one day. If we had more time, we would have planned a separate trip to Nantucket. It was $86 for roundtrip tickets with our bikes which is the least expensive option we could find without having to drive all the way to Woods Hole. We were up early to catch the 9:25 ferry, for an hour and 40 min. crossing. The day could not have been better, as Mike said, it was a “Chamber of Commerce Day.” We found a few seats on the upper deck and enjoyed the crossing through Nantucket Sound. The Vineyard is made up of 6 towns; we landed at Oak Bluffs, which I think is the most touristy of the bunch. We got on our bikes and headed out to Edgartown, about a 5-mile ride, much of it right along the beautiful coastline. I was surprised by how turquoise blue the water was. It was a Saturday, so the beaches were pretty full up. We were both a bit sweaty and fatigued by the time we arrived in Edgartown. We locked up our bikes and decided to get lunch and a refreshment to reward ourselves for the ride :). We then walked around town and stopped in some shops, most of which were pretty high-end expensive. It was then time to make the ride back to Oak Bluffs, where we parked the bikes and explored town a bit. Beautiful homes with amazing views. We had about an hour before the 5:15 ferry departure, so we found a patio bar on the marina and just sat and watched the activity. It appeared that there were either tourists like us, or locals who all owned boats and came in from the Cape for the weekend to stay at their vacation homes. Wish we were on the latter end of that equation! The ferry ride home was gorgeous and we again sat up on the top deck to take it all in. We arrived back in Hyannis around 7pm and found the best little Italian joint for dinner, Four Seasons. It was a great day. I had always dreamed about riding a bike in Martha’s Vineyard. We’d love to come back someday and explore some of the other towns that may not be as commercialized. We ended up riding 14 miles on our bikes, so we both slept well! I realize that for seasoned bike riders this is not far, but we are newbies getting back into bike riding, so it felt like a lot to me.  Did you know…Jaws was filmed in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard?!

Next up, Boston Baby!

Leaving Hyannis Port on the ferry

Leaving Hyannis Port on the ferry

Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard

Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

Relaxing in Edgartown

Relaxing in Edgartown

Love the houses!

Love the houses!

Biking the Vineyard!

Biking the Vineyard!

Ferry Ride home, "a diary day!"

Ferry Ride home, “a diary day!”

Wealth and Water of Newport, RI 6/21/14 – 6/24/14

Newport, RI

Newport, RI

We made our way through back roads and over two huge bridges from Connecticut to Newport, Rhode Island and arrived at the Paradise RV Park in Middleton. The park was well kept, level, but its best asset was that it was only 3 miles from downtown Newport. No frills though, we were basically camping in someone’s backyard. We got set up, after a delay from the long-winded manager, and headed to town for the afternoon. Town was busy in the middle of tourist season, a Saturday afternoon that had everyone in the area out and enjoying the 75-degree day. We made our way up and down the main street and around the marina, finally ending up at a local restaurant/bar to watch some late afternoon World Cup games. Afterwards, we walked down the road and found a nice little semi-outdoor bar, and bellied up for some vino. We chatted with two other couples in the bar, and had a lot of fun with them and the staff. We decided to head home for some sleep, not before a quick slice of pizza at a small little joint before the 3-mile drive home.

Gorgeous Sunset

Gorgeous sunset on our first night in Newport

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Sunday we relaxed early and then headed back to town, this time we were headed for the Cliff Walk. The southeastern shoreline of Newport is famous for its mansions. These places are massive private homes built along the coastline, some of which are open to tour. Along the waterline, is a 4-5 mile long walkway that gives you great views of the backside of these mansions, as well as the dramatic coastline. We started out on the southern portion, making our way south to the tip. Then retraced our steps back to the middle portion of the walk, before returning to the car after some 6 miles along the trail. Many areas along the walk were being repaired, again hurricane Sandy had done her damage here as well, so there were some areas that needed a little more technical attention, walking across exposed ocean worn rockery. We headed back to the MoHo and started to get ready for the U.S. soccer match vs. Portugal. What a letdown, allowing the late goal to tie, but at least we got a point and still have a good chance to move on to the second round, but that win would have put the U.S. through, darn it!

The Breakers, built by the Vanderbilt in 1895

The Breakers, built by the Vanderbilt family in 1895

The Cliff Walk

The Cliff Walk

Another HUMUNGOUS mansion

Another HUMONGOUS mansion

Monday we decided to take a harbor tour via boat, choosing the former lobster boat turned tour boat, Gansett. The captain made his way through the harbor, with another crewmember giving us details and info about the area, the boats that were moored, and a wonderful history of Newport. Again there were a ton of the massive mansions along the coast, and with all the yacht’s and mega yacht’s, it is a very wealthy place to see. It was a perfect day to be out on the water and what better way to see the area that is so heavily influenced by boating than from the water?! The America’s Cup used to be hosted in Newport, so we learned a lot about that too. We grabbed some dinner on the way home and made it an early night.

A private residence

A private residence

The Castle Hill Inn, $750/night

The Castle Hill Inn & Lighthouse, a cool $750/night (minimum 3 night stay)

A house on a private island right in Newport Bay

A house on a private island right in Newport Bay

Hammerstein Farms, site of JFK and Jackie O's wedding reception

Hammersmith Farms, site of JFK and Jackie O’s wedding reception

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Traci relaxing on the back of the Gansett

Traci relaxing on the back of the Gansett

 

Our last full day in Newport, we got some errands completed. We headed about 35 miles north to hit the local Camping World, needing to get some bike covers (when we drive the bikes collect a ton of road dust off the back of the MoHo, not good). We then made a couple more stops while out, and returned to the MoHo for some itinerary planning and dinner.

Loving Newport

Loving Newport

This was a great stop for us. Traci had been here before while on a cruise with her mom and I remember her telling me how much I would have loved it (she was right!)  She was only here for a day, but being here longer, we were able to settle into the lifestyle a bit more and just take in the atmosphere of this small coastal town. We are off to Cape Cod tomorrow.

Charming Connecticut – 6/16/14 – 6/20/14

Yale University, New Haven

Yale University, New Haven

The drive from Jersey City through New York was an interesting one full of busy streets, lots of construction, potholes o’plenty, aggressive drivers and expensive toll roads. My stress level was a bit high, but Mike was steady-Eddie as usual. Once we were into Connecticut, it was much calmer. When planning this stop, we weren’t really sure where the best place to stay. We ended up at the Aces High RV Park in East Lyme in the SE area of the state, which was about an hour east of New Haven and an hour south of Hartford. CT is a pretty small state, only about 120 miles wide and 90 miles tall, so all very accessible. We arrived at the park around 1pm and decided to just stay put, do some much needed laundry and watch the US beat Ghana in their first World Cup match. Woo Hoo!

We just stumbled upon this place.  Funny as Mike had just seen this on a Discover Channel show featuring island homes

We stumbled upon this place on one of our drives.  Funny as Mike had just seen it on a Discovery Channel show featuring island homes

The next day, we decided to check out the casinos that CT is so well known for. First stop was Foxwoods Resort. This place was absolutely huge. It may have seemed larger than normal because it just pops up out of nowhere. Maybe if it were on the Vegas strip next to the other monstrosities, it would seem normal. We walked through and to be honest it seemed a bit run-down and much of it was under construction. We decided to head over to the other place in town, Mohegan Sun. It too was humungous, but the look was much more modern. There were dozens of restaurants and stores all surrounded by gaming. It felt like Tulalip on super steroids! We had lunch at Bobby Flays burger joint and met a nice little old lady who bought us a round of drinks and told us to “enjoy life.”  Very cute and appropriate!  We played a bit, but the limits were pretty high. Mostly, we just walked around and checked out all of the cool décor. BTW, the Bachelorette recently filmed an episode here..the one where they repel down the side of the hotel and play basketball with the WNBA players.

USS Nautilus Submarine

USS Nautilus Submarine

On Wed, we headed east to Groton to tour the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine, commissioned in 1954. Very cool to go onboard and see the inner workings of a sub and how tight the quarters were. Mike and I are vertically challenged and we even had to duck! Then, we headed to New Haven, about an hour drive. We parked near Yale University and walked to our lunch spot, Louis Lunch, the believed birthplace of the hamburger. We were told about this place back in Virginia. It’s a hole in the wall joint with just two items on the menu; hamburger or cheeseburger, served with optional tomatoes/onion, medium rare on white bread (no condiments allowed). We both got the works and they were absolutely delicious! The burgers are cooked in original cast iron grills dating back to 1898. A great stop. It was a rather humid day, so we decided to drive around Yale campus instead of walking. A very pretty campus, full of old, historic looking buildings and a lot of smart people! We then drove the scenic route back toward the MoHo park along the coast through Guilford, Madison, Westbrook and Old Storybrook. All very cute, historic little towns with sailing influences (lots of marinas). Lastly we headed up to the quaint town of Essex and the Griswold Inn and sat outside for a beverage. This is the oldest continuously running tavern in the U.S. and another location for the Bachelorette : )

Inside the Submarine

Inside the submarine

Entrance to Yale

Entrance to Yale University

Best Burgers!

Best Burgers at Louis Lunch

The Griswold Inn, Essex

The Griswold Inn, Essex

The next day it was rainy, so we opted to have a chill day. I got a massage and pedi just down the road and Mike did some fishing. Our spot at the park backed up to a catch & release lake. I think he caught more turtles than fish, but was a happy camper. On our last day, we drove up to Hartford (actually Cromwell) for the Travelers Championship golf tourney at TPC River Highlands. It was Friday, so not as crowded as the weekend, so we could get up to the ropes no problem and the weather was perfect. We stayed most of the day and followed Ryan Moore, Bubba, John Daly (classic), Dustin Johnson, Charlie Beljan (we camped next to him back in San Jose) and of course Serg! We headed back to the MoHo for a relaxing last evening, more fishing for Mike and a campfire. Our next stop is Newport, RI.

Travelers Golf Tourney.  We weren't allowed to take photos, but I snuck this one.

Travelers golf tourney. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but I snuck this one.

New York, NY! 6/6/14 – 6/15/14

The souther tip of Manhattan - the new Freedom Tower is the tallest building

The souther tip of Manhattan – the new Freedom Tower is the tallest building on left side

We arrived in the Big Apple for our 10-day stay on a Friday afternoon. Factually we parked the MoHo in Jersey City, NJ at the Liberty Harbor Marina and Campground, a perfect location, literally just across the Hudson River from the southern tip of Manhattan. It was only about a 6-block walk to the local subway for easy access to the city, so we were able to leave the car parked most of our stay. The campground was no frills, just water and electricity, no sewer. They did have a mobile service to clean out our tanks for a $20 fee, or we could use their on site dump station (we chose for the service, much easier.) We got set up and immediately headed to the city to explore. We had a dinner/drinks meeting set up with a couple of great friends from Seattle, who are now New Yorkers, Amy and Michelle. The PATH subway system dropped us in midtown, and we walked to the most recognizable area, Times Square. Everyone has seen pictures and video of this iconic place, and it was just as anticipated, tons of huge video boards and advertising everywhere you looked. (Traci had been to NY before, but it was my first trip.) We gawked at all the tourists and huge crowds; there was so much going on it was mind overload. Eventually we made it to Rockefeller Center to walk around and then on to Koi, the restaurant across from Bryant Park for our evening with the ladies. We sort of honed in on a work dinner with some of Amy’s current and past co-workers, and had a blast getting to know everyone. What a first night in the big city!

Empire State Building

Hello Empire State Building!

The next day we got in the car (one of the only times we drove anywhere) and headed to Tarrytown, north of the city about 25 miles, where Amy, her husband Andrew and their daughters Lauren and Gabby live. They invited us and Auntie Meeshie (Michelle) out on their boat for a day on the Hudson River. We got there and loaded the boat and off we went, towards the city. It was a perfect day, not too hot, little breezy and I could not take enough pictures along the way. Truly one of the best days of our NY stay, being able to view the city from the water and then just passing by the Statue of Liberty, awe inspiring for sure! Andrew grew up in Manhattan so he was a perfect tour guide giving us great info as we drove by the shoreline. I even took a swim in the Hudson, which as locals, they all found disgusting. I found it rather refreshing! We slowly made our way back to the marina, and then had a bite at their yacht club, before returning to their house and crashing for the night.

Out in the boat on the Hudson

Out in the boat on the Hudson River (Mike, Lauren, Gabby, Traci, Amy and Michelle – Andrew is taking picture)

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty from the boat

Sunday brought us another great day. We all headed out to breakfast, then Traci and I decided to head to Central Park. Being it was a Sunday, we figured we could find some parking and not too much traffic. Once we got parked, we headed into the park, and again the maps and pictures do not do this place justice. Some 60 blocks long and about 8-9 blocks wide, right in the middle of Manhattan, truly awesome that it has stayed here without the city allowing it to be turned into another high-rise. The park was busy, but not bad and we walked around the southern half for a couple hours, just people watching and hearing the echo’s of the Puerto Rican parade that was taking place near the east side of the park. We saw the Boat House, Great Lawn, Fountain, The Mall, Baseball Fields, Tavern on the Green and Strawberry Fields, a tribute to John Lennon. We headed back to the MoHo and grabbed a bite at the Surf City restaurant right in our parking lot at the marina, super fun day for sure.

The Mall in Central Park

The Mall in Central Park

A crowded day on the Great Lawn in Central Park

A crowded day on the Great Lawn in Central Park

Hot Dog in Central Park (About Last Night movie location)

Hot Dog in Central Park (About Last Night movie location)

Monday brought some torrential rains, but by late morning we returned to the city, to tour the 9/11 museum and memorial. The memorial pools that are in about the same footprints as the two towers were very moving, with all the names of those who perished engraved around the edges. We purchased tickets to the museum, and had about 45 minutes to wait, so we headed to Wall St, the NY Stock Exchange and the famous Bull. Very popular place, and we got our chance for a few pictures, but then had to hustle back to the museum. We walked into the museum, and down the stairs, taking in everything along the way. In our opinion, and just coming from Wash. DC, this was a perfectly laid out facility and was very well done. We ended up staying inside for more than three hours re-living that tragic day. We both felt tired afterwards, but also proud to see what lengths the first responders went to, to save as many people as they did and how the community came together.

One of the Memorial Pools

One of the Reflecting Pools at the 9/11 Memorial

The symbolic last column that was left standing throughout the cleanup process

The symbolic last column that was left standing throughout the cleanup process, now in the 9/11 Museum

The famous Bull in the Financial District

The famous Bull in the Financial District

Tuesday we just wandered around the city, taking in the sights of Canal Street and the vendors there trying to sell you watches, purses, scarves (Traci bought 2), and everything else. We wandered up through Little Italy, with a stop for the largest Caprese Salad ever, complement by vino, for lunch. Then our walking took us to the neighborhoods of East Village, Greenwich Village, and then back down through SoHo. A ton of walking and our feet were telling us it was time to go home, so we headed to our Path station for our trip home to the MoHo.

Enjoying wine in Little Italy

Enjoying wine in Little Italy

Wednesday we rose early, getting out of bed at 5:45AM! Traci really wanted to see the Today Show in person, so we got out early and arrived at the outdoor set about 7:40AM. The weather was drizzling, but not cold, and we hung out around the area for about an hour, taking in all the goings on of watching a live TV broadcast and all the folks it takes to pull it off. We were lucky in that one of the features of the day was the promotion of the movie “Dumb and Dumber To,” one of my all time favorites is finally coming out with a sequel. There was a prop in the courtyard, the Mutt Cutts van that is used in the movie; it was so funny to see it up close. During the end of the show, they handed out souvenirs; masks of the two lead actors, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, and I even got a T-shirt. (We taped the broadcast, and saw ourselves three times on the show that day, sort of funny to see it on TV after watching the live broadcast in person.) We then headed to Times Square to get in line for discounted Broadway show tickets at the TKTS booth. We purchased tickets to see Jersey Boys later that afternoon at 2:00PM. Next we headed back to Rockefeller Center. Our friend Michelle hooked us up with tickets to go to the Top of the Rock (Thanks Meeshie!). This is probably the best place in all NY to view the city. Perched atop the building, you can see some 40 miles on a clear day, unfortunately it was a bit misty, but we could still see a long ways out. From there you really get an idea on the scope of Manhattan and how large an area it truly is with the massive buildings and also a great aerial view of Central Park. After our trip to the top, we wandered back to Broadway for our show, with a stop at a food truck or two for lunch. The show was great, so amazingly choreographed and performed. I kept trying to catch them making a mistake, but this was Broadway, and these people are good! We made our way back down through Times Square and down to Madison Square Gardens, the Rangers were playing the Kings that night in game four of the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a lot quieter around the stadium, we both were surprised how little was going on. Yes, the home team was down 3-0 in the series, but it was just odd how little excitement was in the air. We headed to the subway and returned to the MoHo, tired from our early morning.

The Today Show - Savannah, Matt, Al & Tamryn

The Today Show – Savannah, Matt, Al & Tamron

Mike in front of the Dumb & Dumber Mutt Cutts Mobile

Mike in front of the Dumb & Dumber Mutt Cutts Mobile

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building behind us

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building behind us

Central Park from Top of the Rock.  Really gives you a feel for how big it is right in the middle of the city

Central Park from Top of the Rock. Really gives you a feel for how big it is right in the middle of the city

Thursday was a bit slower morning, then a bike ride to Liberty State Park for great views of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. The big event for this day was Michelle’s birthday! She and Amy, and several of their friends had a boat cruise planned for the evening, and we were invited. Traci and I headed into town early, I really wanted to watch the opening game of the World Cup, so we found a bar and landed it there about 3:00PM to watch Brazil in the first game of the competition. We then met up with everyone at a bar near the port that we were departing from, several friends had gathered there and we all got introduced, and started to celebrate Michelle’s birthday. After a few beverages, we walked the 3 blocks to the pier and boarded the boat for the night’s tour. This was super cool to see the city from the water again, only at night and from the East River side, despite the rainy evening. We hit another bar after the cruise, and then it was time to find our way home; only challenge here is that the trains run less frequently, and that sucks when you really want to get some sleep. We had a blast, almost too much fun for some of us, and eventually made it home sometime after midnight. Happy B-day Michelle!

East River Cruise for Michelle's Bday

East River Cruise for Michelle’s Bday

Friday we chilled at home, recovering from the night before, and trying to stay dry. It poured rain all day long and we really just hung out in the MoHo, watching World Cup soccer and doing a whole lot of nothing. We did venture out for dinner at a place 2 blocks away, the Tilted Kilt, only to be ushered out right at 7:00PM for a private New York Jets function that we didn’t have tickets to.

Saturday we met up with Michelle, this time in Little Italy for a late lunch/early dinner. I really wanted to watch the England vs. Italy soccer game in Little Italy. We had a great meal, then wandered to a bar and found some seats right before kickoff. It was a blast, and the bar customers were really into it, and it made for a super fun night. We then wandered back to Times Square to see the lights at night before touring through Grand Central Station and our final goodbye’s to Michelle.

Michelle, Traci & Mike in Times Square

Michelle, Traci & Mike in Times Square

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Sunday, our last full day in New York, we decided to take a bike ride and picnic back to the Liberty St. Park area, about 2 miles south of the MoHo park. We rode around and took it all in, tons of people out celebrating Fathers Day. We played some Bocce, had a nice relaxing afternoon and returned to the MoHo to catch up on the final round of the US Open Golf tourney and more World Cup soccer matches. Monday we headed to the New Haven area in CT, our next stop.

Biking in Liberty State Park.  Great views of Manattan, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty for NJ

Biking in Liberty State Park. Great views of Manhattan, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty from NJ

We really wanted to say a huge thank you to both Michelle and Amy, and her family. We were so fortunate to have friends here, and it made our stay so much more memorable to hang out with people who know the town. We would not have had as much fun without them, thanks ladies!

Check out more pics HERE!

PS – as I may have discussed in an earlier post, we are paying some serious tolls here in the East. Just taking the MoHo across the G.W. Bridge from NJ to NY cost us $68! The bad thing about it though is the roads out here are the worst in the country. I have no idea what they are doing with all the cash they are collecting, but it is not going back into the roads in any way.

The Jersey Shore – 5/31/14 – 6/5/14

Atlantic City Boardwalk

Atlantic City,  boardwalk behind us

From Philly, it was a very quick drive to Atlantic City, only about an hour. We arrived at Blueberry Hill Campground and got settled. We were really hoping to find a campground closer to the shore, but in NJ, this just wasn’t possible (even with all the research we did and Mike does A LOT). We read many other comments online from fellow RV’ers that it was a disappointment that the Jersey Shore did not offer campgrounds along the coast (seems like a possible money-maker…) The campground we ended at was just fine and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. It was only about 15 miles from Atlantic City, but with no direct route there, took us about 40 min’s to get into town.

Once we did get into AC, we loved the vibe. This was the Las Vegas of the East Coast. There was a great boardwalk and about 12 casinos to choose from. We walked the boardwalk, I got a bag of famous salt-water taffy, then we headed into the Trump Taj Mahal to check it out and have a quick bite to eat. Definitely a historic spot. We landed at the Showboat and as we like to say “punched the time clock.”   Started out slow on the 3-card table, but we ended up doing well and having a great evening. The atmosphere felt a bit like old-school gambling and not so much of the glitz and glam of Vegas. We were able to find $5 tables on a Saturday night! Kind of like Reno, but on a much bigger scale and A LOT more people. I’m sure we stood out as tourists, compared to these Jersey locals!

There was an LPGA tournament taking place very close to our park, so we decided to check it out on Sunday. We had been to some PGA tourneys, but never LPGA, so we decided to support the ladies.   It was the ShopRite LPGA classic at Stockton Seaview Golf Club. It only cost us $15 to get in and was not crowded at all. We could walk right up to any tee box or green no problem and the weather was sunny and 75 which was perfect for walking around. A little different atmosphere than our recent experience at the Masters. We didn’t know many of the players, but did see Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Karrie Webb. We headed back to the MoHo for BBQ steaks and a very relaxing evening!

Michelle Wie hitting out of the junk.  Atlantic City skyline behind her

Michelle Wie hitting out of the junk, Atlantic City skyline behind her

LPGA Tournament

LPGA Tournament

The next day, we decided to head south to see another area of the shore. We drove down toward Cape May through Longport, Margate and Ventnor. It felt like a ritzier area with higher end homes and A LOT of construction going on which appeared to be rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. We stopped at a great little beach bar in Margate (near Lucy the 65 ft. elephant) and had a few cold beers and tasty lunch. We chatted with our bartender about the hurricane and he said in this area a lot more damage was done on the bay side vs. the ocean side as the water on the bay side could not recede. The problem on the ocean side was the sand rather than water. He told us about the looting that happened and the “money-making” that occurred from insurance claims. In his words, many people just left their belongings (ie: old cars) so they could get paid out. Not surprising I suppose, but these are the stories you don’t hear on the news. We headed up the coast back into AC for some gaming at Borgata (a newer casino) and one of our stand-by faves from Reno, Harrah’s. Surprisingly, another good night!

Beach Bar in Margate

Beach Bar in Margate

Margate's city mascot, Lucy the 65 ft elephant

Margate’s city mascot, Lucy the 65 ft elephant

Have you ever seen a floating billboard?  We thought this was pretty clever.

Have you ever seen a floating billboard? We thought this was pretty clever

We left our campground and drove about 45 minutes north to Bayville,NJ to explore the upper end of the shore. Our campground Cedar Creek was a great spot, but like the last place, not perfectly situated to where we wanted to go. We headed into the Seaside Park/Seaside Heights area, which is where parts of the show Jersey Shore were filmed and also where a lot of damage from the Hurricane took place. These are the pics we have all seen of the amusement park rides/roller coaster submerged in the ocean. We walked up and down the boardwalk (much of it still under repair and many businesses still closed or under construction) and stopped at a rooftop bar for a few beers. From what I could tell, this area was one of the most popular spots on the shore, but now it seemed to be a bit depressed. It was also a Wed. afternoon and not quite in the full-swing of summer yet, so that could have been a factor. We drove up the coast a bit more and continued to see more reconstruction happening. Stopped for a few errands and cooked dinner at home.

Seaside Height Boardwalk.  There is a ski lift that takes people from one end to the other.

Seaside Heights Boardwalk. There is a ski lift that takes people from one end to the other

The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk from one of the rooftop bars

Construction still happening at one of the main piers

Construction still happening at one of the main piers

Working on the Boardwalk

Working on rebuilding the Boardwalk

We had rain the last day so took the opportunity to do some itinerary planning and research on the next month ahead. We head to New York City Friday for 10 days for one of our most anticipated stops and what are sure to be busy days. Can’t wait!

Side Note: My mom & I were in NYC in Fall of 2011 getting on a Canada/New England Cruise. The day we flew into Newark, NJ was an interesting one. The warnings for Hurricane Irene were just starting and I remember our cab ride into Manhattan — we were coming in, while everyone was heading out.   The subway system had shut down and businesses were closing in anticipation of what was to come. The day we left on the cruise, the rain had really started to come down and areas were already under water. Our ship departed a bit early so we could get out to sea to avoid the storm. When we got back to NYC 7-days later, the storm had passed and the city seemed to be back to normal and we resumed our vacation. But, I’m sure for those affected, it was far from back to normal.

In Oct 2012, I remember reading about and seeing the photos of the devastation along the Jersey Shore from Hurricane Sandy which was only about 60 miles from where we had been a short year prior. Now, almost 2 years later, standing in the areas where Sandy did so much damage, I can appreciate much more what really happened here. Sadly I must admit it was hard to relate to what happened just watching from TV and reading about it. Yes, I felt horrible about the devastation, but now seeing it first-hand, it has affected me a bit differently. These people are still dealing with the damage and rebuilding process while I have just gone about my life.