January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Sunday, July 28, 2013

One day trip to Jamaica

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

No, not THAT Jamaica.   Let me explain.

Leonard retired from the NJ Dept. of Corrections.   For years in addition to his fulltime job he drove a tractor/trailer on weekends.  I usually went along.   This was our "vacation fund".   We went as far north as NH, east to Nantucket Island, west to Pittsburgh, PA and south into Virginia.  But many of the runs were out on Long Island,  NY.

After sitting around for weeks, we were BORED.  So on Wednesday he went to see the man he had worked for to see if he needed a temporary driver.   We were back in the rig within two hours and headed to North Jersey.

On Thursday it was to Jamaica.   Again, not THAT Jamaica.   But to the section of Queens Boro in New York City called Jamaica.     Before getting on the road we had to stop at a local tire shop to get two new tires mounted.

So at approximately 9:30 am we headed north up Interstate 295 to the New Jersey Turnpike.   Traffic was not a problem YET.    All of a sudden the traffic stopped.   We were backed up about 3 miles at almost a stand-still.    And this is what the issue was.   SHEESH!    Way off the side of the road, not blocking the highway at all. Rubberneckers!!!  Got pass this and off we go again.

To get on to Staten Island we cross the Goethals Bridge.  Hate this bridge, so narrow.  The toll to cross for a semi?    $75.00!!!

The traffic on Staten Island was

Once out of Staten Island via the Verrazano Narrows Bridge  ($80.00) into Brooklyn we encountered even closer quarters due to construction.

The Queens Expressway takes us right across the river from Lower Manhattan.   A picture of the Freedom Tower where the twin towers once stood.

Seeing this tower brings back memories of our truck run to Connecticut on September 15, 2001 just 5 days after the terrorist attacks and those towers fell.  The air was still thick with dust.  We saw tractor/trailer after tractor/trailer heading to Staten Island with loads of steel beams.   Recently  I was looking at some old pictures taken of Len's daughter and family when they visited.   They were taken from the Jersey side of the Hudson River and there behind them were those majestic twin towers.

A little further up the road we see the Empire State Building in the distance.  We also see the Statute of Liberty but I would have to be really fast to get a picture.

The delivery site in Jamaica is near the JFK Airport.   From the time we crossed over into NY from NJ it took almost 3 hours to reach the depot.   This is the reason why.

We finally find the depot.   It sits in the midst of a residential area.   Parked in front of the entrance were two cars.   We were told lay on the horn, someone will come out of the houses to move their car.   We did, they did.

Tight backing in.  But Len is a professional.   This is another truck backing in.   Once he dropped his trailer and left, Len had to put in between the trailer and the wall without hitting any of the cars up and down the street.   Not a problem for him.

Heading back to NJ, I tried to get a good picture of this but afraid this is the best I could do.  Who can tell me what it is.

Of course before we hit the bridge we got

From what I hear, the OTHER Jamaica has lovely beaches.  The only beach I saw was

The run started at 7 am and we got back to the yard 7 pm.  An exhausting day. 

On Friday we took the girls to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA.

Our luck was running the same.  On our way back to NJ the traffic stopped about 5miles from the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

Finally at the base of the bridge we saw what little was left of a tractor/trailer

On Friday night Buddy (who has the trucking company) called Leonard and asked him to take a load to Maine.   We had to girls from the weekend.   So, looks like maybe we will not be bored for the remaining three weeks we will be in NJ.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just Haven't Felt Like It!

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

That's why I've not blogged for a while - just haven't felt like it.  In fact, I've not been reading blogs regularly either.  Sorry!

Haven't done a heck of a lot in the last few weeks either.   We did leave "camp driveway" at daughter's house and spent 5 days at Cordorus State Park near Hanover PA last week.   Visited with the daughter and family who live in MD.   As they are having house renovations done causing some mold issues to stir up, granddaughter Charlotte (who has many allergies) stayed with us two nights.    Abby stayed one night  Always a joy to have them around.

Other than that, nothing going on.    Could be the hot hot hot weather last week caused me not to even turn on the computer all that much.    Or maybe I'm just plain lazy!

Hope all is well with everyone.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Did lots of stuff

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

The past weekend was another one where we did lots of stuff with the Granddaughters.   Friday night it was dinner at Cracker Barrel.

Dinner with them can be a challenge.   Six year old Charlotte has many food allergies - gluten (wheat, barley, oats, rye), eggs, corn, dairy to name a few.  Just try to find something on most menus!   Did you know McDonald's and many restaurants dip their potatoes in milk and flour to make the French Fries crispy?     So we asked before ordering her French Fries.  Cracker Barrel does not.   Green Beans?  Nope, they have butter cooked in them.   Carrots?  Nope, she loves carrots but only raw.   Okra?  Of course not, it is coated in breading.   Macaroni and Cheese?   Dairy AND wheat.   Even beverages are a challenge.   The only soda/pop she can have is Sierra Mist as it is all natural, no corn sweeteners.    Yup, a real challenge.

We headed out early Saturday as we knew the temps were going to hit the high 90's.   One of my favorite places in South Jersey is Batsto Village.   Check out www.Batstovillage.org.     Because of the abundance of wood and cedar lakes and streams, starting in 1766 Batsto was an Iron producer.   They made such items as pots and kettles and war supplies during the Revolutionary War.    In the 1800's iron production declined so the area became a glass maker for a few years.   In 1876 a Philadelphia businessman Joseph Wharton bought the property and made improvements to the mansion.

I remember as a child the area was in disrepair.    There were several old homes in the area.  New Jersey purchased the area in the 1950's and allowed the few people still living in the area the live out their lives in their old homes.  The last to leave was in 1989.   I can remember visiting a family relative with my parents and grandmother on my fathers side.   I always thought it was an old lady as all I can remember was that the person was sitting in a rocker with a homemade quilt wrapped around them.   I was told many years ago it was a man.  Sorry to say I never asked further and now anyone who would know who it was has died.

Over the years the State of New Jersey has made continuous improvements to this important site.  It is listed on the New Jersey and National Registry of Historic Places.

The first place in the village we visited on Saturday was the museum.

We then took a short walk around - it was getting HOT!    We showed the girls the site where their parents, who are archaeologists, dug well before they were born.

This site is now off-limits protected by a fence.   Not sure what they found.  Amy says some old construction material as she remembers.

Then we visited the Nature Center.   They have live snapping turtles, snakes, frogs and other native species.   Also some "stuffed" critters such as beaver and rattlers.

We found a spot under trees to have our picnic lunch.

We took a small ride around the area including over the Wading River

via the Draw Bridge

So many people think New Jersey is all cities, towns, strip malls and Turnpike.   However, the wilderness of the Pine Barrens include a major land area of the state.

Later that day the girls enjoyed some refreshing time in their wading pool back at their Aunt T's and Uncle Steve's.

Sunday morning it was church.   After lunch it was fun at the water park at our local Bridgeton Park and Zoo.  This little water park opened just last month.  What fun.

After an hour and a half both were exhausted.  As Abby says - let's leave, I'm tired.