I don’t think of the first day of my road trip as the first day of my road trip. It was really more about staging myself in New Jersey to get a head start on my first day of adventures. I had a really long list of things I wanted to see or do, so I drove up to Bridgewater, NJ. There wasn’t much memorable about that drive, since it was all freeway and Labor Day Weekend traffic, but I had an awesome playlist and I’m driving a topless MINI, so I totally enjoyed it! I checked into the Hilton Garden Inn and called it a night.
I got up early to get an early start. After a quick breakfast with some horrible coffee, I went out and loaded up My Precious.
The coffee at the Hilton Garden Inn was really terrible! I had to stop at the first Starbucks I found to power up with some delicious cold brew.
My first destination was supposed to be the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY but I misjudged how fast I drive and when I got to the area, it was over an hour before they opened. I popped into a rest stop to reevaluate my choices.
I decided to skip the Art Center. I’ve seen art. I haven’t seen Vermont and I decided I’d rather spend my time exploring there. So, I took a few back roads to get away from the freeway and passed right by the NY Renn Faire. I’d have stopped, but I worried they hadn’t open yet either! I pushed on.
The weather was glorious. My top was down and my radio was blasting. The playlist I settled on for this leg of my journey was all chick rockers. So I drove on and on and belted out tune after tune until finally I crossed the state line.
Right across the state line, there’s a wonderful little shop that’s kinda hard to miss.
Inside the shop there were all kinds of maple… maple syrup, maple jerky, maple candy, and Elvis.
I picked up a few souvenirs.
On my way out I stopped to see the Blues Brothers.
For some reason, all of the animals and gnomes on the exterior of the building look like cows.
I finally took off again and the drive just got more and more picturesque!
There were little festivals all over the place. I got stuck in traffic at the Garlic Festival and then had to stop for gas.
I was starting to think about lunch, so I pulled into an overlook area to enjoy my carrot sticks and an apple.
Then I passed through some charming little towns.
And then suddenly, I was in New Hampshire.
I was taking the long way to Bedford, because it was a road trip and MINI, but I expected better roads. (Seriously, New Hampshire, Costa Rica has better roads on the sides of their volcanoes! Can’t you pave them or something?) At one point, as I was belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart or Joey or something I realized my voice was warbling just like when you’re a kid and you are trying to talk and your little sister is beating on your back. My lack of vocal range and rhythm don’t need that kind of added pressure!
Even worse, I realized I needed to stop and use the restroom, the horribly uneven and pitted roads were not making that any better. So I pulled into the first gas station I saw. They had a little deli and a store and a sign that said they had all I needed, so I went in.
Their only bathroom was out-of-order. They had an outhouse, but I decided to take my chances and push on to the next gas station. That’s when I learned gas stations are few and far between in New Hampshire. When I did find another one, I had to wait for the girls ahead of me to stop chatting with their friend the cashier to ask her if she had a restroom. She said they didn’t but they did have an outhouse. I left and tried another. Same result. It wasn’t until I was nearly in Bedford that I finally spotted the Golden Arches. I almost wept with relief. Instead I celebrated with a large tea and a small fry.
The rest of my ride was pretty uneventful and not very scenic, at least until I arrived in Bedford.
I checked into my room so I could update my status and post this entry. Tomorrow I am going to drive to Maine before sunrise so I can watch the sun come up from the beach.