Saturday, June 16, 2012

Making our way north...

We had a short drive from Delfest to visit Bill's Aunt Meredith in Ashburn, Virginia, thank goodness because after 4 days of revelry and packing up after a soaking thunderstorm we had very little energy left. We found a Walmart close by and got quickly settled before we unhooked the Subie and went visiting. Bill had not seen his aunt in about 15 years so they had a lot of catching up to do. She took us over to meet her daughter and we went for a great Vietnamese dinner afterwards. I was soooo tired I actually was nodding off during dinner! We got home early and both of us passed out pretty quickly.

Tuesday morning we awoke to more rain and high temps and we hooked up quickly and drove north. We were looking for an interesting stopping place about 1/2 way to Croton-on-Hudson, as that was a 6 hour drive. I have read quite a few blogs lately that talk about the importance of keeping your driving hours short and even about not driving two days in a row, so we figured a 3 hour drive each day would get us there easily. After doing a bunch of web-searching for campgrounds and attractions I was a bit frustrated because unless we wanted to drive another hour and a half to the Atlantic City area (where I've never been) I couldn't find a good campground or any other "sites" to see. So, as I usually do, I put out a plea on Facebook. There is a new group on FB that is for nomads, or wannabe nomads, and I thought that would be a great place to post my question. Within 5 minutes I had one response and after about 20 minutes we hit "pay dirt" when Cherie of the Technomads mentioned a great winery they had been to. After a little research we were on our way with a campground close by. Thanks to Cherie, again, and all the others out there who post campground reviews, we had a heads-up about some "issues" at the campground and were able to request a good site.

We got to our campground around 3; made it to Heritage Vineyards by 4, and spent a couple of hours tasting their wines and sharing information with the wine steward. After buying 6 bottles we ordered two glasses of our favorite, some brie with fig jam, and sat out on their patio in the waning afternoon sunlight. It was a perfect mid-way stop with much needed relaxation.

Thank goodness we did stop and have some time to rest because we had no idea what was in store for us on our drive to New York! I had read somewhere, recently, that it was important to check for height restrictions on your route - something we don't even think about driving in California! And boy am I glad I had the great little iPhone ap Allstays Camp & RV. One of its features is that it will show you where the height restrictions are on your route. You can set your filters to accommodate for your particular height, and boy did this little ap come in handy! What we weren't aware of was the outrageous tolls that NY charges - especially if you're an rv and especially if you're towing! Within an hour we had spent almost $100 in tolls - one alone was $56! And all cash, thank goodness we had cash! Then we had to deal with the incredibly RUDE NY drivers!! OMG - we ended up on the wrong deck of the Washington bridge (I'm sure due to the $56 toll shock) so when there was an option to merge on to the other side, so we could make our exit, the drivers started sneaking around us to get in front of us as we were moving over - it was crazy, people honking and yelling and Bill almost had a heart attack, wait a minute, that was me! I couldn't believe the nerve of some of these drivers! While researching the route we were going to take (before hand) there was quite a bit of discussion on the rv forums I was linked to regarding whether or not RV's can travel on the NY Parkways. One post stated that they had actually called the NY Department of  Transportation or the police, I can't remember, and asked if they could drive on the Parkways. There are numerous signs that say "No trucks or commercial vehicles", the information he received was that a motorhome was neither of these; so I felt pretty secure directing Bill to stay on the parkway, which was the most direct route to Croton-on-Hudson. We had been on it for a bit when a cop came by and flashed their lights, we thought there was some emergency and to get out of the way, there was an exit right there so Bill pulled off and as we were getting back on the parkway we saw the "Cars Only" sign...we were a bit confused but figured we're not a truck so what the hey... We got back on the fwy and immediately there was a cop on our tail pulling us over. We got off the freeway, we explained ourselves and she told us we could not be on the parkway and cited us. She also mentioned that there was just one citation which was zero "points" but that she could have cited us for many different infractions! She did give us directions to get us where we needed to go, but we were very confused because on the map it looked like the road she told us to take was also a PARKWAY! We finally made it to the campground, incredibly shook up and ready for a couple of stiff ones!!

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