Less than a week ago we decided to change our route and go all the way to the east coast. If you’re going to drive around the US, you may as well drive around the US. It’s forced us to do more interstate driving lately and pass right through some otherwise stop-worthy places, but we made it. Coast to coast, baby!
From Niagara, we stopped in a random town somewhere in New York (Corning?) for the night. Our hotel had a ‘wall of fame’ featuring previous guests including some girl from MTV’s Road Rules Semester At Sea, the third guy from Full House, and some comedian with a puppet. The hotel recommended a kid-friendly Hollywood themed restaurant and we headed out. Bode and I went in first while Jason was locking up the van. The hostess asked us, “2?”. No, there will be three of us. She grabbed three menus and walked over to a booth, threw them on the table and walked off without another word. It was our own personal “Welcome to New York” moment.
We also got some interesting advice for driving through New York in a VW bus: “Don’t break down.” Multiple people e-mailed us this useful tip. There are simply no VW’s on the road around here and it seems no places to buy parts or get help. We took the advice and rolled on to Westfield, New Jersey.
One of the main reasons to come all this way was to visit our friends Alli and Kevin. And, Bode was keen on going to the top of the Empire State Building.
So, what is the exact opposite of living in an old VW? Living at Kevin and Alli’s!!! It’s a little like living in a Pottery Barn catalog, though I bet a lot of the stuff is better than PB. Even the ends of the toilet paper rolls were shaped into roses or something. Fancy! All kidding aside, their home is fantastic.
Alli and I have been friends since high school, and lived together through most of college. After college, she moved to the Big Apple and lived right in the heart of Manhattan. She played host to lots of “Girls’ trips. Later, we both had kids at the same time, and spent every Friday of our pregnancy on the phone comparing notes. Her daughter, Lainey and Bode are one month apart.
Since then, they moved out to New Jersey and had another daughter, Keira. Last time we’d been to their house was just days before Keira’s birth, and this trip we got to celebrate her third birthday with a party at a gym. Bode had a blast with the girls, and even enjoyed Keira’s new birthday toys- the Princess phone and the Gassy Gus game (courtesy of Uncle Ed). The girls were equally excited about what Bode brought–a camper van! Our van is only equipped to hold one carseat, so the girls had to take turns. Bode was happy to ride in Alli’s newer car. It had automatic windows after all.
One of the other highlights of our visit was getting to see another long-time friend, Melissa. She and I spent about every weekend together in our teens. She and Henrick came in from Queens and we all went out to dinner. Another great thing about being at Alli’s house—they have a babysitter! One that will watch all three kids! It’s been a while…