The City that Doesn’t Sleep

Of course I’m referring to New York. We all know the famous lyrics after all. For the past 10 years (gasp) my sister has been working in nearby New Jersey, so when we talked about driving home via the I-95 she insisted that we stop in. And why not catch a hockey game at the same time! Everything sounds well and good over a few drinks in Florida!

So we left our Florida home on March 31 and decided to stay away from I-95 as long as possible. We start out on Hwy 27 and head north. Our first pit stop is in Yalaha where we take in the renowned German bakery. I get a couple of treats and we continue on to Hwy 17. This road takes us to our next pit stop in St Simons Island.

This quaint beach community just outside of Brunswick Georgia is a delightful boho area that is super pet friendly and buzzing (it was Sunday so I’m sure locals and tourists alike were out to enjoy the sunny 26C weather!!). We stopped in at the information centre (pups welcome too!) and spoke to a helpful man who provided us with insights and tips. We just might have a prolonged stay here in 2020. Then we chatted with another snowbird couple from Ohio; they are dogless for the first time in 35 years so they were more interested in petting and talking to Molly. A beautiful stop.

We had reservations for a place in Brunswick, but since our timing was so good and weather so great we decide to carry on. We plug the next town into the gps. Hardeeville here we come. It turned out to be a weird stop that was short lived. I booked a room at the pet friendly Super 8. When we pulled in we thought it was dodgy. But I went inside the lobby. There, behind the gray painted plywood front desk, was a plain young lady with badly bitten off nails. I told her we had reserved a room and we have a dog. No problem. She started the paperwork and meanwhile I read the notices posted on the counter. Weekly renters had to prepay each week. You have 15 min from check in to cancel your room for a refund. And so on. Very odd. There was also a huge pile of toilet paper rolls on the desk. In any event. I got the key and tried not to be too judgemental. I head back to the car to find Rudy and Molly talking to a man in a wheelchair; he has no legs. He’s in a tank top and looks scruffy. But he’s friendly and likes the dog. We excuse ourselves and drive around to the room. As we pull around the side of the building our view is to the property next door which is burnt to the ground. Gulp. We park in front of our room and Rudy goes to check; I wait in the locked car as there are other guests milling around the doorways in the adjacent room. They are smoking and drinking beer (again in tank tops) and they look rough. Rudy comes back to the car. We can’t stay here he says; the room smells and you’ll be up all night. We’d be better off sleeping in the car, he says. Okay. The 15 minute time frame to cancel now makes sense. I head back to the office. My cancellation is processed (plain girl didn’t even flinch as though she knew I’d be back). I get back to the car and feel like I need to wash my hands or take a shower. Yuck.

We drive on to Walterboro. There’s a few motels to choose from and we book into the Best Western. Cheap and cheerful. Whew. We don’t have to sleep in the car.

Next day we head through the Carolinas and make our way to Virginia. We find a Holiday Inn that’s ideal (and 5 miles from the death shrine of Stonewall Jackson). A peaceful night and full hot breakfast to boot. New York is on the radar.

We plug in the address for my sisters place. She’s in a small town on the Hudson near Piermont. In order to get there we have to hit I-95 hard: first Washington DC (traffic!), then Baltimore MD (traffic and construction!), then Trenton and Newark (more of the same). As we pass Manhattan exits the traffic is wild with horns honking and drivers swerving in and out. Rudy can’t wait to arrive.

My sister lives in the cutest loft and her hubby Frank was there to meet us (she was at work). We take Molly for a short walk and return to the apartment where Rudy has schlepped the bags. My sister arrives and we nosh on excellent cheese trays she picked up at Wegmans (would love that selection in Blue Mountains!) we decide to order from a local Italian eatery for dinner. Pizza for the group and a mixed salad for me (the road trip food is messing with my digestion). The food is excellent! I tried the pizza because it looked so good … it was. My salad was tasty too! An early bedtime since we are beat.

Next day we do a walking tour of the area for a couple of hours. It was warm and sunny. Molly was ready for a drink. Rudy suggested we let her drink at the creek near the dock. That was a great idea, but Molly thought of something even better! She decided that laying in the creek while drinking would be perfectly refreshing. Wet dog. Wet ditch dog. Oh man.

When we get back to the loft, Frank and I decide to go on a drive to see the area. We agree to take damp ditch dog so she can dry off a bit more. On the drive we (mostly me since Frank is polite) noticed that Molly smelled like sewer. It seems the ditch was foul. I can’t take overpowering smells. I google for a groomer. I find one that’s nearby and has sympathy on my plight. It turns out they knew exactly where Molly decided to soak. Great. 2 hours and $70 dollars later, Molly has had 3 shampoos and s blow dry. And a new bandanna. Just in time to get home and meet the dog sitter my sister has arranged so we can go to the hockey game.

As soon as she’s inside the loft, Molly heads got bed. Her shenanigans have left her exhausted. The dog sitter, Rebecca, arrives and we show her sleeping Molly in the bed. Have fun! See you soon!

We are off to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Rangers. It’s a quick (hair-raising) 40 min drive and we park and walk to the arena. Our seats are great and the game begins. It’s nice to hear the Canadian anthem. They are playing Ottawa; we can cheer for the “home” team. Neither team is in the playoffs (the fans were chanting “we both suck ” which was hilarious) do the game was lame (definitely not playoff caliber) but the atmosphere is electric. Frank gets us beers and smoked meat sandwiches (Carnegie Deli) … did I mention Frank was tops! The food was awesome!! During the period breaks they were cannonballing T-shirts into the stands; my lucky sister caught the one that bounced off my head. She’s thrilled. More bling! What a fun night!!

When we arrive back st the loft we find out that Molly stayed in bed. Boring.

The next day we hit the road and make tracks for home. I get a speeding ticket which adds some thrill to an otherwise uneventful drive. Although the drive was super scenic and hilly.

We arrive home at around 7 pm. Home sweet home. -2C and snow on the hills. Molly loves it. That’s all that matters.

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