So after we had a good night's sleep in the one hotel we splurged on (a whole $46.87), we were off to Erie, Pennsylvania to see Rich's old-time friend Chuck, a former Marine and current firefighter. The trip there was rather short, only about two hours, so it really flew by after our five or six hour stretches. What's even better is that because it was such a short trip to our next destination, we were able to sleep in at the hotel until ten in the morning!
So we arrived in Erie and headed to Chuck's In-Law's house where they were having a barbeque for Memorial Day. The food was delicious, the burgers were fresh, and the beer was crisp and cold. It was a fantastic little stop for us. This also meant it was another meal we didn't have to buy on the road, which helped us save some money and put some more towards gas. Chuck's family was extremely welcoming to us and told us all about the area, and even gave us some local wine when we left.
Little known fact: Welch's grapes are grown in Pennsylvania, and apparently some residents are even able to grow their own in their backyards!
After Erie, we left for Rich's sister's house in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, about the furthest point in Pennsylvania compared to where we were. Most of the drive was actually in Upstate New York, which is hands-down the most beautiful part of our drive. It was hilly and green and sunny; it was absolutely perfect driving weather.
Around nine we made it to her house and they were having their own Memorial Day celebration. Win for us, barbeque two meals in a row! They made ribs, grilled corn-on-the-cob, potatoes, and salad… absolutely delicious. Afterwards, we relaxed and played some games before we completely passed out from exhaustion on their sofa bed. What a great day…
When we woke up, breakfast was already in the works, and the menu? Crepes with apples and bananas, turkey bacon, and scrambled eggs. The food was out-of-this-world, one of the many reasons I love to hang out with fellow foodies. So we relaxed a little, drank some coffee, and played with their dog Shadow before we hit the road for the last stretch before we arrived in Brooklyn.
It was slow going all the way there, that's for sure. All the roads were backed up, even in Pennsylvania. I don't think we went over 55 mph all the way to New Jersey. Speaking of NJ, it’s really as ugly as I expected it to be, at least the places I saw. And to add further insult, the toll to leave New Jersey and enter NYC was $12!!!
But, we finally made it to Brooklyn and I was able to meet Rich's parents and some of his friends in the neighborhood. It was so hot when we got there though that we had to immediately leave to get an air conditioning unit for his bedroom. It's helped so far…