Well, actually the title should be New Jersey, since that is where we spent our week (with one day in New York).
Finding an RV park near my girlfriend Barbara’s house in New Jersey, especially an affordable one, was a challenge! We ultimately found a Passport America park that gave us 5 days. Once again, we found ourselves bouncing down a gravel road on the final turn to the campground. This is another one of those parks that look like people live here full time. It isn’t trashy, but a number of the RV’s have little fences, skirts, planters, Christmas lights strung around, and garden gnomes standing guard. The ground is mostly dirt and I don‘t even remember if there was a picnic table. None of that mattered because we planned to be gone every day doing things with Barbara and John anyway.
Barbara and John met us at the campsite when we arrived, so they could observe the set up process. We dazzled them with our RV expertise and got a kick out of seeing Barbara’s eyes get big when she witnessed (from inside the coach) how it transforms from a bus to a ballroom. We enjoyed a bottle of Barbara’s wine (she belongs to a wine-making club), and planned our excursions for the week. We enjoyed dinner at their favorite Portuguese Restaurant and discovered the joys of Licor Beirao. I’ve definitely got to buy a bottle of this yummy liqueur.
The following evening they hosted a backyard cookout to introduce us to some of their neighbors and wine club friends. We were happy to see JoAnne again. JoAnne and Barbara vacationed with us last year on our boat in the Bahamas.
The next day we ventured into New York City to tour the 9/11 Memorial. I’m so glad John was driving because there is NO WAY I could drive in that traffic. From the highway, I could see the new skyline of New York City. The new World Trade Center tower is the tallest building in the USA at 1,776 feet.
The Memorial consists of a plaza with two pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, and a Museum. The Museum is still under construction. The pools have 30-foot waterfalls cascading from all sides, then descending into a void in the center of the pools. The names of the 2,983 men, women and children who perished in the attacks are inscribed in bronze around the edges of the pools. The placement of their names are based on “meaningful adjacencies” that reflect where the victims were on 9/11. Mike found the name of his childhood friend who was killed on 9/11.
The survivor tree is a single Callery pear tree found in the wreckage at Ground Zero. The finished Memorial Plaza will contain 400 white oak trees, in addition to the Survivor Tree. The bark of the tree is markedly different pre-911 and post-911. All new growth is smooth.
We spent the afternoon walking around New York, after enjoying a delicious lunch at a restaurant in Battery Park. Barbara enjoyed a walk down memory lane as we strolled through Greenwich Village. She lived in the village when she got out of college. Lots of old memories came flooding back and she enjoyed seeing how much it has changed, as well as how some things never change.
On our final evening, they took us to the Paper Mill Playhouse in Milburn, NJ where we saw a production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. It was toe-tappin’ fun. Mike and I rarely get to the theatre, and this was the third play we’ve seen in a year (not counting our grandchildren‘s school plays, which are the best!).
So now we’re in Rhode Island where we will spend time cavorting with our friends Mark and Darlene! We’re staying in Naragansett and I plan to eat some clam cakes!