The trip down wasn’t that bad. Helaine and Steffie attempted to sleep, but it was nearly futile. A car is not a bed in so many ways.
We left the house around 12:30 AM, stopped quickly at Dunkin’ Donuts and headed out. As we approached I-287 Helaine asked if I was going to take the Tappan Zee? I wasn’t sure – so I did.
It always seems longer to go over the Hudson River with the Tappan Zee, but there were rumors of construction on the George Washington Bridge and a problem with one of the smaller bridges connecting Staten Island to New Jersey which was backing up onto the New Jersey Turnpike.
Real True Honest to Goodness Fact: The Garden State Parkway’s northern terminus is actually in New York. I can’t explain it, but it’s true.
As we headed south on the Garden State Parkway, I was glad to have E-ZPass. The New Jersey Turnpike has a toll booth when you enter and exit the highway. On the Garden State, there’s a toll booth every 20-30 feet! OK – it only seems that way.
The first toll plaza had something I had never seen before. There were a few lanes segregated to the side where EZPass drivers could go through the toll area at full speed. Wow.
We headed south on the Parkway, through Newark and the urban areas of the north and then down, along the shore. As we hit mile marker 72 something strange started appearing by the side of the road – deer. I’m not talking about a deer or two. There were dozens and dozens of deer, all on the right shoulder. Most had their heads down, grazing on the shoulder of the road.
As I buzzed by at 75 mph (slow for me, but I didn’t want to get a ticket in New Jersey where the speed limit is a reasonable 65 mph) I realized that any of them could dash into the road for no apparent reason. I turned to Helaine and told her, should a deer dash into the road, he was lunch meat. I would not swerve at that speed while driving an SUV.
The more deer I saw, the more scared I became. It was eerie with their eyes glowing from the headlights like a road reflector.
We got to my friend Peter’s house at 4:00 AM. He lives in a nice apartment building (it’s condos… but it’s apartments) in Ventnor City. Peter and Elisa have spent the last year or so re-doing their place, and it’s really nice. He said there’s only one or two original walls left!
They have a nice view to the south, looking toward Cape May. They are on the ‘ocean block’ with the boardwalk and beach at the edge of their building.
We were all asleep sometime before 5:00 AM
My next post is from the Borgata.