East Coast 2018:
Day 6 - New Jersey


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East Coast 2018: [Day 1: West Virginia] [Day 2: Virginia/Maryland] [Day 3: Washington DC] [Day 4: Washington DC] [Day 5: Washington DC] [Day 6: New Jersey] [Day 7: NYC/Connecticut] [Day 8: New York] [Day 9: Niagara Falls]

Thursday, April 5, 2018: We checked out of our hotel, picked up some breakfast from Taco Bell, and were on our way.
We drove through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Thanks again, I-Pass!
Partway through, we saw daylight but then were back underground for another short chute.
Whoa - that's a lot of salt! This town is definitely ready for the next blizzard.
Maersk!
We spotted an iFly facility for indoor skydiving. We visited one in Singapore back in 2012.
We stopped at a lovely rest area in Maryland ...
... which was very well equipped with massage chairs. It was public massage chairs like these that convinced us to buy our own amazing massage chair, so now we resist the temptation.
We crossed the Susquehanna River ...
... and used our I-Pass/EZ-Pass again.
We had one final stop before leaving the fine state of Maryland: ...
... State Line Liquors. We picked up some local spirits that we had ordered ahead, including Blue Crab-flavored vodka and Old Bay-flavored vodka. We also picked up some Chesapeake Bay seasoning.
Just a block or two away, we were back in Delaware again.
We crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge ...
... to enter New Jersey.
We were heading to Atlantic City, and New Jersey was kind enough to build an expressway for us.
The expressway cost money to drive on, but it was worth it with rest areas like this. Check out those vending machines: Dippin' Dots, Red Bull, and M&Ms. We weren't ready for a snack or else we would have been all over that Dippin' Dots machine.
Inside, there was a Battleship New Jersey display, ...
... with a gigantic model of the battleship.
More Dippin' Dots!
By noon, we were defnitely getting close to Atlantic City. The billboards were constant, ...
... and we could see shiny buildings in the distance. That is Harrah's on the left and Borgata on the right.
Here we are!
Caesar's was immediately recognizable.
This Wild Wild West Casino is part of ...
... the Bally's Hotel and Casino complex.
Indiana Avenue? Oh, yeah, Monopoly was based on the streets here. This is going to be fun!
We parked in a lot in front of the Resorts Casino & Hotel, one of the most confusing names ever. It is a resort? No, it's Resorts! What?
Here it is: Atlantic City's Boardwalk.
We headed north to get a look at the famous Steel Pier.
It wasn't due to open for another half hour, so we moved on.
Here's what's left of the now-defunct Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino. It has been purchased by the Hard Rock company and will become the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
We turned around and moved back south along the boardwalk. There are video monitors along the entire stretch blaring ads and music.
It's hard to read, but the top beam on this arch read "St. James Place," just like in Monopoly. The end of each street was marked this way.
This is the off-season but a surprising number of businesses were open.
We walked down to the Korean Veterans War Memorial, shown here.
Here's a better view.
Right across from the memorial is this: the intersection of Park Place and Boardwalk. For real! The Monopoly spirit is strong here.
We passed Irene's but didn't go in.
Three doors north of Irene's is Bill's Gyros, and we were ready for lunch.
Signed and dated dollar bills cover every inch of the walls and it's a cute little place to get off your feet for a while.
We shared a delicious chicken souvlaki platter and a gyro. Greek food is the best!
Then we visited a comfort station, which is a surprisingly genteel name for a rest room.
We were on our way by 1:30, passing what must have been the old location for Irene's before returning to our car.
Buh-bye, Atlantic City!
We traveled north through New Jersey for 90 minutes and when we reached this shrine to automobile travel, we knew we had to be close to NYC.
We passed the IKEA in Elizabeth, ...
... and moments later, we could see the Manhattan skyline.
Planes were coming in for landing at Newark Airport right over our heads.
Maersk! It's easy to win at Maersk when you are near a major shipping port.
We continued toward the city, ...
... and caught a glimpse or two of a famous green woman with her hand up.
We were currently headed to Hoboken, not New York City. Therefore, we really shouldn't be in the Holland Tunnel ONLY lane. Fortunately, we corrected right away.
A little bit more driving, ...
... and we were in Hoboken, home of an unusually large mural of David Bowie.
Yes, Hoboken. Our friend Ron had recommended that we stop there if we wanted to take in the Manhattan skyline.
This old building looks unassuming, but it had amazing detail and modern decor inside.
The clock tower up ahead is at the Hoboken Terminal.
We drove along Frank Sinatra Drive looking for a parking space and passed Sybil's Cave, an old Hoboken landmark dating to the early 1800s.
Hoboken: 150 Years of History. But it's really up to more like 170 years by now.
The Hoboken waterfront was made famous in the 1954 Marlon Brando film, "On The Waterfront," because it was filmed here, but it looks completely different now.
It now has pretty parks and greenways.
We walked out to the end of Pier C Park ...
... to take in the view of New York City. Here's the south end with One World Trade Center visible as the tallest building in this photo.
Let's zoom in.
Let's also zoom in on that interesting building on the left.
This is the view looking north. If you look really carefully on the far left, ...
... and if we zoom in for you, ...
... you can see the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum where we'd be the next morning.
We didn't capture the Empire State Building in any photo other than this extreme closeup.
Here's the view showing the distance between New Jersey and New York, ...
... and toward the New Jersey waterfront, ...
... and more of the New Jersey waterfront.
Here's the Blue Eyes Restaurant in Frank Sinatra Park along the waterfront.
We spotted a few more interesting buildings across the water before we left. Here's one ...
... and here's the other. This photo was taken through a fence so cut us some slack on the quality.
So we're driving along Frank Sinatra Drive ...
... then along Marginal Way in Weehawken, where these murals were so new that they weren't even on Google Maps Streetview yet. Alexander Hamilton is pictured because Weehawken was the site of the famous Hamilton-Burr duel. "Everything's legal in New Jersey."
Traffic through this stretch of road was miserable, but the rock work was very cool.
We stopped for gas and got to experience full gas pump service in the very last state of the union to still prohibit self-serve pumps. We had "enjoyed" this service two years earlier in Oregon before they changed their law, so maybe our presence here will have the same effect.
It was 5:30 by the time we got to the Fairfield Inn in North Bergen.
This shiny new hotel had the benefit of being right across the street from a bus route that would take us directly into New York in the morning.
We passed the site of the former Meadowlands arena, now under construction to be reborn as a large mall.
Here's the MetLife Stadium right next door.
We went to Il Villaggio to meet our friends, Ron and Sharon, for dinner.
We got there early and had a drink at the bar. The gentleman next to us was enjoying his dinner and chatting on his phone. When our friends showed up, all three of us waved at them, because our bar neighbor also knew them. So did the servers, bartender, maitre' d', and owner. Our bar neighbor was kind enough to buy our first round of drinks.
We had an amazing dinner and wonderful time with Ron and Sharon. Dinner highlights included a sausage platter starter and a stuffed fig appetizer, seafood risotto, truffle fries, and cookies with cannoli cream. While we were dining, another set of Ron and Sharon's friends sent over a round of drinks for us, so it's clear that everyone else likes these two as much as we do.
It was close to 10:30 by the time we got our photo taken, retrieved our car from the valet, and said our goodbyes.

The stunning Manhattan skyline dominated our view on our drive back to North Bergen.

Day 7 >


East Coast 2018: [Day 1: West Virginia] [Day 2: Virginia/Maryland] [Day 3: Washington DC] [Day 4: Washington DC] [Day 5: Washington DC] [Day 6: New Jersey] [Day 7: NYC/Connecticut] [Day 8: New York] [Day 9: Niagara Falls]

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