Epic Road Trip (Day 19: September 11, 2016)

Our goal was to leave the apartment by 10 this morning so we knew that we wouldn’t have to rush around to much. The kids did all sleep until after 8 this morning and we let them sleep as long as we could. Robby and I had cleaned everything up last night-not sure what the neighbors thought about us vacuuming at midnight. Other than the beds and the towels, the place was cleaner than when we arrived. Robby wanted to sleep on the couch in the living room so he could see all the ligths for just a bit longer but I wouldn’t let him. We did step out on the balcony and even though the door has never locked, we were just a bit afraid of being locked out in the middle of the night. So Robby held the door open the entire time we were out looking at the lights.

When the kids started waking up, they put on their clothes and then we wouldn’t let them out of our room. We had already placed the pillows on the couches so no one was going to mess up the now clean apartment. While they waited for us to finish packing up, Robby turned on the news and they watched news coverage of the 9/11 anniversary. Being in NYC on the anniversary date is a pretty amazing experience. The kids saw some of the clips of the live coverage of the days events and Robby and I found ourselves stopping what we were doing and watching it all too.

Robby took Graham and Campbell with him to retrieve the car and the someone came up to get our bags. After they had left, I doubled checked the place a few more times and then we went downstairs to wait on Robby. The kids with me stood quietly with me in the lobby waiting on Robby and the others. It didn’t take nearly as long as it did for Robby to drop off the car and soon he was back. The doorman guy was eager to help load the car-they are so helpful oribabky because the knew a tip was coming.

Traffic was much less and we quickly made our way to Grant’s Tomb. We sure enjoyed our time in NYC but I do think we will be glad to a bit slower pace (not sure how much slower Philadelphia really was). Grant’s tomb was nice and not really crowded. We watched the video and then walked around the tomb. The park ranger man encouraged us do the Jr. Ranger program/. We got started but soon realized that it was a lot of work and we just didn’t have time. We did however keep our books and will do our Jr. anger program at home and mail it in.

The drive out of NYC was peaceful and bautiful (seriously). It was a pretty drive by the Hudson and soon we were crossing the George Washington bridge into New Jersey. As we crossed the bridge, hanging from one of the spans was a huge flag-larger than any I have ever seen.  It was blowing in the wind and was just gorgeous.

We went on through New Jersey headed towards Philly. We were kept entertained with Reagan’s new British accent that she is constantly using. I am not really even sure that she knows how to talk like a Southerner anymore. We did stop at a chocolate factory in New Jersey. Who knew they made chocolate there? This place was hidden in a warehouse area but they were proud of their chocolates but liberal with their samples. I had barely finished my piece of chocolate covered bacon when the lady handed me chocolate covered blueberries. I passed on the chocolate covered gummy bear samples but did eat my fair share of sea salted chocolate samples.

The lady that worked there was kind and I guess she realized that the more she talked to us, the more we put on the counter to buy. We walked out of there with mounds of candy and spent the rest of the afternoon working on devouring it. We did run by Taco Bell to pick up some lunch. Robby needed to find ice so we pulled in a gas station but then pulled out when we realized it was full service, we pulled on out. It took us a good while after seeing full service station after full service station, before we realized that all gas stations in New Jersey are full service.

We were in Philadelphia last year on the 3rd of July and man, was it crazy crowded. We weren’t able to even get a good picture of Independence Hall because of all of the tourist and the Liberty Bell line was miles long. This year there wasn’t even a wait for the Liberty Bell and we easily secured tickets to Independence Hall.

First, we went to the visitor’s center and walked through it.  The kids found the dress up area and Robby worked on stamping our passport books. Then it was over to the Liberty Bell. The kids saw it and said “this is it?” I guess a bell is just a bell. Some are large and some are small. When they took their picture, I did hold tightly to Whitman’s hand so he wouldn’t dart under the rope and try to ring the thing.

Then to Independent Hall we went. They cram so many people on the tour that it is crowded and hard to hear but the kids didn’t have much trouble because they pushed their way to the front so they could see. Whitman and I stayed in the back-me pushing him around in the stroller so he would be quiet and I know that I have pushed another little Dennie around in Independence Hall during the tour just like today. I had to look it up but it was Graham in 2009.

After seeing Independence Hall, we let the kids play on the grass some and then walked to CVS or some similar store to pick up some drinks and ice. Then we load the ice chest, poured drinks and headed to our hotel. It was just a short drive back over the river to Jersey to our hotel.

It was a Staybridge and had 2 bedrooms, living room and a kitchenette. Robby said that the upgraded him so that was nice-I guess, a larger room just means more room for us to spread out which means more packing up in the morning. Tomorrow is Reagan’s birthday so there shouldn’t too much rushing around. I already have her candles out for breakfast (if I can remember to bring them.)

We let the kids swim for about an hour tonight. They ask to swim every time that we are at a hotel with a pool so tonight we let them-even though beach day is tomorrow (looks like it is going to be cold.) After swimming, Robby did the laundry while I fixed some sandwiches. Whitman fell asleep in my arms while we all watched tv until 10. Then it was bedtime for all of my Dennie crew.

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