New Jersey – the Garden State

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KiKi's travel pad - sometimes animals have all the room

KiKi’s travel pad – some animals have all the room

Craig drivingDays 14 to 16 2-4 June: Leaving the Washington area, we headed to Patty’s relatives in Northern New Jersey. In my opinion, the New Jersey Turnpike is both better and less expensive than the Pennsylvania Turnpike (which set a record in my memory), for ‘ripping off’ travelers passing through the state of Pennsylvania.

Craig Patty Diana Charles

Craig – Patty – Diana – Charles

Aunt Victoria with PattyWe stopped to see Patty’s aunt Victoria, her oldest relative, living with her cousin Diana and husband Charles. Dinner was fun for swapping stories and exchanging viewpoints. Charles works in New York City and drives in very early each day.

Mahwah driveway

Wooded entrance

Mahway home

Beautiful location

Finally, we arrived in far north New Jersey, where cousin Joan lives with her husband Charlie. Daughter Jodi, her husband Dave, and their four children live in a connecting home. The house is at the end of a small road, tucked in behind neighboring homes and surrounded on all sides by heavy woods. An absolutely gorgeous and isolated setting; you wouldn’t think you were within easy driving distance of New York City.

Tuesday was an interesting day – charging-wise – using all the possible charging options except a supercharger. I had plugged in the car overnight in a garage (120v Charging at the Bergen County Police & Fire Academywall plug); then stopped at the Bergen County Police & Fire Academy, where they had two J1772 connections – one of which was being used by a brand new BMW i3 (the owner was concerned by the range limit, but was planning to use it only to go to work and around town); and finally made PlugShare buddiescontact with a Tesla owner (Bill & Leslie) with an HPWC (high powered wall connection). Everyone was willing to share their power and the number of really good people we have met on this trip is astounding. It really makes you think everyone should go on some type of long distance trip to counteract what is on TV every day – our country really is filled with human beings willing to help each other.

Cousins Patty, Hank, Charlie & Joan, and Bill

Cousins Patty, Hank, Charlie & Joan, and Bill

Cousins Bill and Patty

Cousins Hank and Patty

Wednesday the brothers came over for a late lunch and the afternoon was spent exchanging stories, reminiscing about Patty’s mother Addie – who died in late January at 94 – and remembering things they all shared throughout the years. As usual, food was a mainstay of our visit and we certainly won’t lose any weight during this time.

In the late afternoon Gary, Patty’s brother living in Germany, Skyped with us all. The cousins had never used Skype and marveled at talking to a foreign country over the internet. While exchanging songs and singing an early ‘Happy Birthday’ to Patty – she will be ‘on the road’ on her birthday – a close bond was reestablished.

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