I found out my BFF Jenni was going to be in New York and wanted to take the train down to spend the weekend with me. Since the weather had been so lovely I thought I would save her a trip and drive up to get here. It also seemed like a great time to finally visit the Statue of Liberty. I made plans to leave right after work on Thursday afternoon and drive as far as Newark and then spend the morning at the Statue while I waited for Jenni to get off work.
My plan began to unravel when I finally remembered I was supposed to present a keynote address for the International Parent Leadership Consortium on Thursday night. Since the IPLC event was in Prince Georges County, I thought no big deal, I speak at 7 so I can just leave a little later.
Thursday morning arrived and it was significantly colder than it had been all week. Also, there was a threat of rain. When I got to the office and mentioned my plans I discovered that the Statue of Liberty was not open because of Hurricane Sandy damage. The keynote at the IPLC actually involved dinner and then they wanted me to stay for a photo shoot with the graduates of their program so I didn’t actually get on the road until almost 9:30. By that time it was raining and much colder and I was forced to leave the top on my car.
My hotel was the Newark Airport Doubletree. I arrived around 1:30 am after a very long drive and stumbled up to my room and passed out. The next morning I toyed with the idea of taking the train to the city and visiting the Empire State Building. Upon looking outside, however, I realized the visibility was zero and there were torrential downpours.
I decided to head over to Liberty State Park and catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty from a distance.
By the time I arrived, the rain had eased up but I discovered that the boardwalk facing the Statue was closed.
But the Statue of Liberty was still magnificent.
I headed over to the Liberty Park Diner. The parking lot had a car so I thought it would be good.
Most of the diners were local construction workers but there was an open table by the window so I grabbed it.
I ordered the New York Panini and a coffee. The Panini was a little bland but the coffee and the french fries were amazing. After lunch I still had some time to kill. I found a vacant lot and settled in to wait.
Jenni finally arrived and we began the long, wet drive home!
Somewhere on the Jersey Turnpike we stopped for gas. You may not know this, but in Jersey you are not allowed to pump your own gas. Sadly, this caused a bit of a delay since there only appeared to be two guys working. We sat in line and just as we were about to pull up to the pump a great white pickup truck whipped out of nowhere and pulled into our spot. We were not impressed.
We finally gassed up and then stopped again at the Walt Whitman Service Area. I don’t know what Walt would have thought of it, but they sure did have some tasty snacks.
I decided to take my life in my hands by letting Speedy McTailgater drive for a while.
We passed through Delaware in no time. I mean literally, Jenni did not spend a lot of time there…
And by the time we got through Maryland and into Virginia, the weather was so nice we were able to pull over and pop the top off!
God bless America!