Sunday, September 6, 2015

The First Day Out

Sep 6, 2015

We awoke at 5:00 am, got dressed and prepared to pack the car. It's the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and Stacey said there'd be no cars on the road. I wanted to wait until after the holiday. As it turned out, she was right. We left New York at 8 o'clock. It was sunny but sleepy, quiet and empty. Everyone was where they were and we slipped out of town. In an hour or so, we crossed the Delaware at its famous water gap. We were in Pennsylvania, travelling west on Interstate 80.
The car is packed and Little Biggie is ready to rock and roll.
A 10-hour drive liess ahead. But traffic was good and we arrived in Ohio
at 6:00 pm.

Escape from New York. We took the Holland
tunnel, traversed New Jersey and crossed
into Pennsylvania at the Water Gap. Then
on to Ohio.
Driving across New Jersey was quick and easy. Getting across Pennsylvania is another matter -- it's big! First, when you leave the Delaware Water Gap behind, the highway department describes the miserable and old 2-lane highway that you cover for the next 30 miles or so as a "congestion zone." Speeds are restricted and you share the road with lots of trucks and many other cars.

A motorist gets out of her car at a viewpoint on I-80 to snap
a photo of the Delaware Water Gap. The same parking spot
that my parents visited, with us in tow, some sixty years ago.

But we soon left that congestion behind and eventually passed through the Poconos and then lovely rolling farmland, gently ascending into, what one state sign informed us was The Pennsylvania Wilds. These are the Alleghenies and it is quite wild and mountainous with beautiful vistas.

So on we drove. An on. I had been up since 5:00 am (Stacey too). But with about three hours to go I was having trouble keeping my eyes focused and open. We pulled over and Stacey took the wheel for the last bit of driving. We arrived at 6:01. Google, several hundred miles back, told us we would arrive at 6:02. How on earth does it do that? In passing, I must remark that Google maps and navigation is so freakin' great. As long as you have a phone signal, it works and works great! Up to the minute road changes, new exits and so on. Highly recommended.


We were greeted by my sister Duba, her son (our nephew) Kris and his daughter Maya. Kris' wife, Mirjam and their other daughter Jona had returned to Germany. The four of them had been in the states travelling with a stop at Dani's in Washington state where the cousins got to know our grandsons, Sam and Ethan. We were told everyone hit it off fine. Kris and Maya stayed in in Pittsburgh (and now, at the lake house a bit west of that city, in Ohio) to help out as Duba recuperated from shoulder surgery. And, true to form, he was preparing a wonderful dinner of pasta, shrimp and chicken as we arrived.

Biggie was thrilled to be out of the car, having slept most of the way on the back seat. He ran around the backyard like a bolt of white lightening. And Maya, who adores dogs, found a great companion in our little pooch. Dinner was on the deck overlooking Duba's beautiful backyard and the lake. The sun was setting as dinner was served. This was heaven and the ten hours of driving soon faded away.

More, in my next post.  Until then. - Matt can click on any photo to see it larger...and then you can navigate all the photos by simply using your keyboard's arrow keys (left and right) to move forward and back. Just a nicer way to view the photos. - MW

Biggie - happy to be out of the car
and what a backyard to run around in!

The sun was setting on the lake as we sat down to
enjoy Kris' pasta dinner.

My grandniece, the beautiful and charming Maya.

Yes, this is my beautiful sister Duba.

Thanks, Kris, for a great dinner!

A little Aunt and grandniece moment.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful photo- I love Maya's beautiful hair and expression- the lighting makes this look like a painting