Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Four States In Three Hours

New Jersey
When we left Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Trail behind, we headed into New Jersey.  We stopped at a rest area and welcome center for a break and a place to eat lunch.  There was a picnic area, but a crew from a youth detention center were cleaning the grounds.  Sharing space with them did not seem very appealing, so we parked in front of the building and ate in our car while watching the antics of two young boys outside who spoke fluent Korean. Adorable kids grateful to get out of the van! Thanks to the woman running the welcome center we were given typed instructions on how to avoid NYC on our way to CT.  
Our map gave me directions but the written words were a
much better way to get from point A to point B. 
It's a jungle out there!
And no, the woman from the center did not have a Jersey accent.  But one man we ran into did........

After a time on the road we stopped somewhere a few miles off the interstate so Joel could get a cup of coffee.  As you know, my husband dresses more like we live on a ranch in Montana.  He always has.  He is comfortable in his jeans, boots, Stetson hat and sometimes denim, wool, down, or leather vests.  He is comfortable in his own skin, never really aware or concerned about how people perceive him.  I admire that about him.  He is who he is.  So as we walked into this particular fast food place, we walked by a man who said with a stereotypical Jersey accent~~"Wow, a real cowboy!"  Joel glanced at him and the man nodded his head to Joel and said, "Howdy."  Joel just said hi and kept walking......

 It really made us laugh, though, not only over his words, but his accent.  We were hoping to hear it when we went through New Jersey and were not disappointed!

Before we had even left for the east coast I told Joel that if someone asked him where he was from, to just say "Wyoming" because they would expect that!  That would fit with his western dress......where as Iowa or Minnesota would not.   Alas, few knew where Iowa was even located so it did not really matter.

 Trappen Z toll bridge

Hudson River

It did not take us long to head from New Jersey into New York.  The written instructions made the drive so easy.  We continued to be stunned by all the heavy wooded areas that were so rugged.  We did not expect it at all.  I was so excited to see and cross the Hudson River which we did on the Tappen Z toll bridge.  We then drove through White Plains and into Connecticut.  Before too long our GPS got us to our hotel and we were able to check in to another home away from home.
It blew us away that we could go through 4 states in 3 hours!  We were in Pennsylvania, went through northern New Jersey, then into a bit of New York and then Connecticut!  Four states in three hours.  We did that another day too going through northern CT, then Massachusetts and into Vermont in just a couple hours.  We were continually amazed at how compact the East really is. 
Since we would be staying at the Hilton six nights, we unloaded everything and spent time settling in.
I am not one to make waves about hotel accommodations, but the first room they gave us had a connecting wall with the elevator shaft.  Knowing we would be spending six nights here, this did not set well with me.  I could hear rumbling every time someone used the elevator.  Conference rates or not, I wanted a quieter room.  So at our request they gave us another room.......a far walk from everything which was fine with us.  (Thankfully we had not unloaded the van yet) This room was quiet and we got more exercise!  A win win situation.

I  need to emphasis again how very surprised we were at how forested northern New Jersey, New York and Connecticut were.  Yes, there were a lot of people, but many more trees!  It was really pretty, especially since we were there during Autumn's peak season.  Joel would laugh at me often because I was always taking pictures of trees!  Even outside our hotel which was smack in the middle of city businesses, there were trees and rock.

Parking lot outside our window
Look at the rugged rock and tress. 
 It was like that everywhere, especially the trees.
We arrived in Westport Ct on Wednesday afternoon, although the conference did not start until Friday night.  That was intentional of course.  We were able to unwind, rest up a bit, and get acclimated.  One of the main reasons we came on Wednesday was so that we could attend the church's weekly healing service.  We were very interested in how this Missouri Lutheran church was incorporating healing and gifts of the spirit into their congregation.  We were not disappointed.  I plan to share the highlights and insights from the conference in other posts, but the service was mostly music, teaching, and then prayer ministers praying for the needs of those who came. The atmosphere was so calming and peaceful that Joel and I relaxed very quickly and knew this was a good place.  We were right where God intended us to be.  Our adventure that had taken us through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut~ the last four states in just three hours, was only just beginning!  

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