Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Thirteen Miles!

When you ask Google how far it is from 90034 to 02562, it shows you a 3065 mile route stretching diagonally between LA and Boston.

TheRose and I traversed the alternative route over the course of 12 days — totaling 4613.13 miles!

We walked along the Grand Canyon,
river rafted in New Mexico,
ate amazing BBQ in Texas,
pet and fed gators in Louisiana,
admired the history and cuisine of the Carolinas,
toured the national monuments of DC,
said “hi” to Lady Liberty in NYC,
and spent some quality time with friends and family along the way.

We hope you enjoyed the documentation of our journey to Boston, representing not the end of our LA lives, but a course change — one of many we’ll likely need to take as we define the N E X T   G E N E R A T I O N.

 

This is worse than LA!

I found myself saying that after we left Lady Liberty to grab dinner in NYC. We figured pizza at Grimaldi’s, right by the Brooklyn Bridge, would be the perfect way to end our visit. To do that, however, required us to travel from the Liberty State Park in Jersey to the Holland Tunnel, wind our way across the heart of the New York City, then cross the Brooklyn Bridge. After about an hour, we got as far as the on ramp to the Holland Tunnel.

By then, it was past 8, and we were nowhere near food. When we saw an opportunity to get out of the mess. We took a left and, with the use of our sometimes-spotty GPS in our phone, we managed to get to Harlem by 9:30.

We found a well-reviewed pizza place on Yelp, found parking, then walked to the pizza place. Now, Harlem seems like a very friendly community. There were people hanging out by their front steps, chatting. There were families playing basketball at the park across the street. We drove through parts that seemed gritty, where the streets weren’t as well-maintained, and there were more vagrants with alcohol problems. But, where this pizza place was located, the vibe was vibrant, communal, friendly. It dawned on me later that Harlem is where Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant is located. Eating there would have made it all come full circle: attending his shrimp and grits demo, shaking his hand, getting his autograph, and then eating at his restaurant.

The pizza place was the best alternative, though. The pizza was awesome. As it should be, I guess. After all, Harlem is not that far away.

 

 

I had spaghetti and meatballs. Because having a cheese pizza for dinner would just make the night even worse. It was good, I just wish there was more sauce. Too thick. I like my meatballs to swim in sauce! Ok, not that much, but you catch my drift.

 

After dinner, off to the freeway again! By the way, I’m not sure what East Coast people call freeways out here. Is it expressways? Anyway, we found ourselves wishing we were “home” already. You get sick of long drives after a while. I used to think an hour’s drive to Camarillo was a pain in the ass and barely worth it. Now, we consider a 4-hour drive to Vegas a piece of cake. It’s true what the phrase says, “it could be worse.” Instead of complaining that it’s taking you forever to get to Santa Monica, think of the fact you are not driving across Texas. That takes forever and a day.

At some point, it’s usually common sense to stop driving when you are yawning every other minute on the road. So, we found a Motel 6 somewhere in Connecticut and called it a day. It must have been past midnight.

Our last hotel/motel stop before Massachusetts!

Lady Liberty was HOT

While trekking north up the coast in our little versa we were trying to decide whether to Bee-line it home to Massachusetts, or to make use of the last full day of our cross country adventure.  Should we stop in Philadelphia for a cheese steak and to take our picture on the “Rocky Steps”? While Capecci would be proud, no, too hot and not enough to see.  How about Atlantic City? It’s by the ocean, we’ve never been, and it’s where Boardwalk Empire takes place!  Naw — too casino-like.  (Casinos are no fun unless you’re prepared to spend money, which we were not).

And then there was New York City.  On one hand, it’s close enough to do a day trip or spend a weekend there from Boston.  But on the other hand, it’s New York! The splendor! The excitement! And when you talk about the “last” of anything, TheRose and I are always inspired to make it meaningful — to go out with a bang.  And so on this sunny Friday afternoon we decided to visit the Statue of Liberty.

After a few wrong turns resulting in very “scenic” tours through the great state of New Jersey, we arrived at the Jersey-side Liberty Island ferry. We paid 7 bucks to park, and a whopping 19.00 a person to get on the boat (much more than the website indicated).

The trip to the island provided a nice break from the blistering summer heat; the river breezes were quite warm, but still much cooler than the still humid air.

But when we got off the boat, the heat returned, making it pretty difficult to enjoy the splendor of Lady Liberty. TheRose and I hopped from shady spot to shady spot, avoiding the Sun at all costs.  This indirect island navigation made it difficult to follow the audio tour, but was a fair trade off for preventing sunburn and dehydration.

After we had our fill of pictures and tour audio, we made our way back to the boat, and eventually back to the car (the trip back is always MUCH longer than the trip there).

We were hungry, and when Google told us that it was only 30 minutes “with traffic” to the lower east side of Manhattan for some pizza, we instantly hit the road!

Maybe on any other normal day it would have been 30 minutes. But after an hour or so of waiting on a ramp to enter the Holland Tunnel, we decided to bail and find another place to eat.  That place ended up being “Patsy’s” in the upper east side — Harlem.   It was pretty good, and the service was excellent!  We left feeling uber-full and ready to find a place to sleep.

The Motel 6 in New Haven CT is supposedly “newly renovated.”  But it ended up being the worst hotel of our entire trip.  It smelled like smoke, the tub didn’t drain, and the room had an overall “creepy” feeling that even I couldn’t shake.  The “darkness” of this hotel inspired one of the highly infrequently disputes between TheRose and I — that’s how bad this hotel was!

But after some discussion and half a glazed doughnut, we fought off the creep, and were happily on our way to Rhode Island to visit Major Ryan Lynch and his family at a summer cookout they were hosting.  The food, folks, and fun were plentiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing visit!