US Route 1, Part 3 - Day 02
Saturday, July 9, 2005

Today's Narrative

Today we traveled from Marlton, NJ to Stratford, CT

See yesterday's page for the beginning of this story.

The alarm went off at 6:50am. Boy, that was a short night!

I got up and got ready to go and drove around the Wal*Mart, looking for the tire department. There wasn't one! Arrrrggggghhhhhh!!!! The Wal*Mart index, around which my entire life revolves, was WRONG. I can't describe how crushed I felt. Well, maybe I can. Have you ever had a really, really good friend let you down? That comes close to how I felt. I commiserated with The Navigator for awhile and he gave me lots of kisses which helped considerably.

Having recovered from my brief emotional outburst, I went into the store and asked and was told the Wal*Mart in Cherry Hill, NJ has a tire department. I got directions to the Cherry Hill store.

Before leaving the store I looked at digital cameras. The 3100, which I bought two years ago is no longer made. So I settled on the Nikon CoolPix 4600. It came the closest to the 3100. Unfortunately the store was sold out.

So off we go to the Cherry Hill Wal*Mart, a side trip of about 20 miles or so.

Got the tire replaced. A good thing. I was getting worried about the "donut" spare tire.

Checked with this Wal*Mart about the 4600 camera. They were sold out too.

On the way back to Marlton to resume the trip we passed by a shopping center that had a CompUSA, a PC Richards and a Best Buy. Surely one of these stores would have the camera. CompUSA, sold out. PC Richards, sold out and the guy tells me the camera is discontinued. Arg! Best Buy also sold out but the guy there tells me the 4600 was just introduced two months ago and is a very good seller. (OK, somebody's not telling the truth.) He checks other Best Buy stores in the area and finds that the store in Manalapan, NJ has several in stock. He calls that store, verifies that they have in camera in stock and reserves one for me. Then he used Yahoo! Maps to print directions for me. Very considerate!

So off we go to the Best Buy in Manalapan, NJ, a side trip to the side trip of another 20 miles or so. (These side trips are interesting but they are taking us further and further south and we are supposed to be headed north ;)

The Best Buy has the camera and I buy it. It's a pretty neat camera. Smaller than the 3100 I had before but the LCD screen is bigger, it has another megapixel of resolution (4 vs. 3), uses the same kind of batteries (2 AA batteries), has 14MB of internal memory (the 3100 had zero) and cost $100 less ($200 vs. $300). Gotta love technology!! The only downside it that it uses a different kind of memory card.

We resumed the trip. We had gotten pretty far off track so I used the Garden State Parkway to get to northern NJ.

I spent my growing up years in River Edge, NJ. I debated stopping by there and decided, what the heck. See the pix below. JP and Geri, in particular, should enjoy this. Lots has changed in 40-50 years :)

Leo, I'm sorry our schedules didn't sync.

After visiting some of the old haunts, I took Kinderkamack Rd to Route 4 to the George Washington Bridge. This double decker bridge crosses the Hudson River from NJ into northern Manhattan in New York City. The bridge is also I95.

From there we stayed on I95 up into Connecticut to Stratford where we are camped in a Wal*Mart parking lot. Interesting: it's almost 10pm and there are no others campers here. Maybe this Wal*Mart doesn't allow campers? We'll find out I guess. Good night :)

Today's Pictures

Click on a pix for a larger view

Headed north on the Garden State Parkway. Interesting cloud formation. First "official" picture taken with the new camera. The "house where I grew up." Actually it is and it isn't as it has been extensively remodeled and added on to over the years. River Dell Middle School with yours truly in the lower right corner (oops!). When I went to school here during the Dark Ages it was called River Dell Junior High School. It was while attending here that the Coasters released their classic, "Charlie Brown, He's A Clown." Naturally, I had to immediately emulate everything the Charlie Brown in the song does. And, alluding to the song's, "He's gonna get caught, just you wait and see," I did :) And my peers tortured me unmercifully with the song, so the song's, "Why's everbody always pickin' on me?" is also true :) But after years and years of intensive therapy and heavy drug and alcohol (ab)use, my totally destroyed self esteem is slowly being restored. Full recovery is predicted by 2013. River Dell Regional High School. I should explain the "Dell" and "Regional" parts of the name. I lived in River Edge. The next town north is Oradell. The two towns joined forces and built shared junior and senior high schools, thus the name River Dell. I have often wondered if the powers that be considered Ora River or Dell Edge as names. Personally, I have always thought Edge Ora has a nice ring to it:) Continued next picture...
The junior high is in River Edge, close to the Oradell border. The high school is just over the border in Oradell. The two schools are less than a mile apart.

I graduated in 1962. We had our 40th reunion in 2002. Wonderful to visit with a bunch of my peers, most of whom I hadn't seen since graduation. Gee, 1962 seems like a long time ago ;)

The River Edge Diner on Kinderkamack Rd. This was a very popular hangout for us teenagers. Like the house, this has been added on to and remodeled over the years.

I could tell you a very embarrassing story about making a long distance phone call to a girlfriend from the pay phone at the diner and discovering I had no money to pay for the call, but I won't. Some things are just too painful to recall :)

Stuck in traffic on Route 4 headed for the George Washington Bridge. Nearing the bridge. Or, as it is called by the locals, "The GWB," or, simply, "The George."
Through the tool booth and headed across the George. The toll is $6.00 and is only charged for going into Manhattan. There is no toll coming the other way. The white covering on the far tower is a tarpaulin. I guess some repairs are underway. Which brings up an interesting piece of George trivia:
Question: How long does it take to paint the George?
Answer: Forever. Painting the bridge takes awhile. So, as soon as they finish the job, it's time to start again.
Northern Manhattan from the George. Sorry it's a little blurry. If there was a twelveth picture, it would go here.

Today's Stats

Mileage:
Beginning time: 7am
Ending time: 8pm
Net driving time (includes stops, etc.): 13 hours
Begining odometer: 133,057
Ending odometer: 133,345
Net miles today: 288
Average MPH: 22.15
Total trip mileage: 1,042

Expenses:
Gasoline: $50.00 - $2.19/gallon in Old Bridge, NJ
Food, ice, etc.: $13.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $245.73 which includes $238.48 for the camera and a memory card, $1.25 toll on the NJ Turnpike and $6.00 toll for The George.

Thought For The Day

From Denise in IN:

Five more valuable lessons I learned from my MOM -

  1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
    "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
  2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
    "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
  3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
    "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
  4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
    " Because I said so, that's why."
  5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
    "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

Joke Of The Day

From woofie in NM:

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at.

****Special Added Attraction****

The History of the World

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