September 29, 30, October 1 (Wednesday through Friday)
What a difference a night makes. The sky was overcast, but no wind or rain. Jeanne was gone, finally.
I was going to visit an online friend , and I knew Mom would be bored by our conversation. So we checked out and Mom stayed in the lobby of the hotel until I got back, sampling their fancy continental breakfast. Which it should be, at 100 dollars a night for a room.
I got directions to my friend’s place. But in ironic contrast to the night before, I went in the completely opposite direction. I realized it only after about half an hour, as it seemed like I was entering Amish country. I turned around and drove all the way back. Going in the right direction, I found his place.
I’m not going to go into detail. Not really that interesting. We talked, went to lunch, I took him back to his place, I went back to the hotel.
Reunited with Mom, we headed for our last planned stop, Mom’s brother and his wife (Uncle Francis and Aunt Mae) and his family in New Jersey. They live in Penns Grove, near Carney’s Point, not too far from Philly. We left Allentown and got on I-476, the Penn Turnpike section that goes south. We reached the outskirts of Philadelphia in about an hour. I’d really wanted to get a Philly cheesesteak sandwich while I was there, but time didn’t permit. We crossed a bridge into New Jersey and headed south.
Though for some reason, I thought we were going north. I don’t know why. Maybe it was just the day for my sense of direction to be discombobulated. Maybe because there was no sun to navigate off of.
We continued on, looking for a hotel. There was no sign of one. Perhaps because we were going through towns, and all the hotels were near the interstate. We got to Deepwater and found hotel signs finally. I don’t remember where we stayed, but it wasn’t great. The first room they gave us had problems (broken toilet seat or something like that), so they gave us another one.
We called my Mom’s brother and got directions to their place. We were farther from them than it’d hoped, but it wasn’t too bad. It was late afternoon, so we had time to go over.
The less said about the time with them, the better. It was nice to see cousins I’d not seen for over twenty years. Plus we got rid of the 5 big boxes of Christmas decorations that had been in the back since the trip started. But there was melodrama that I really didn’t enjoy at all.
I will say that another high point of the trip was the Deepwater Diner, a couple of miles from the hotel we were staying at. We drove by it on the way to the hotel and it looked quaint, so we tried it. We had dinner there, and breakfast the next three days. Maybe another dinner too. Great diner food, insanely huge portions at insanely low prices. I got veal Parmesan, and it overflowed the plate. Seriously, it looked like it was a foot in diameter. When we weren’t having a meal there, we were having leftovers from meals there. Our last meal there was special.