Maria and Derek's Travels

Sunday, September 3, 2017

US Roadtrip - Philly, New Jersey and into New York

August 31, 2017

States:  3 (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York)
Capitals:  1 (Trenton, NJ)
Distance Traveled: 292 miles today / 1,282 miles total
Time Traveled: 6 hrs today / 26 hrs total

In the morning, we drove back into Philly, touring the city center a little more and making our way to the famous Art Museum.  Most people wouldn't know that the Philadelphia Art Museum is famous until you mention the fact that it is the location of the "Rocky Stairs" where Rocky Balboa had his famous scene training hard and running up the many flights of stairs leading up to the stately museum on the hill overlooking the city.

We took pictures next to the Rocky statue, saw his "footprints" (though I don't believe that Sylvester Stallone's feet are as big as portrayed there) and, of course, we ran up and down the iconic stairs a few times.  Unfortunately, a crew was setting up a stage for a concert at the bottom of the stairs, so we did miss the first couple of stairs, and the view looking back to the city was obscured.  After many photos there, we made a quick stop at Reading Terminal market - a converted area that is now full of food stands and kiosks with local sandwiches, ice cream and bakeries.

We then continued on, back into New Jersey and found the state house of Trenton.  To be honest, we weren't too impressed with the area, as it felt a little run down, and the capitol dome itself is nice enough, but even the capitol building had its issues, with lots of boarded up windows and construction.  Hopefully it'll be in a better state soon, but we simply took our pictures and kept moving.

Then, just as we crossed into New York state from New Jersey, the views began to pick up.  Long ridges of low mountains lined the horizon, rocky outcrops along parts of the road and endless views of green foliage covering the hillsides began, following us for a few hours until we reached our destination near Saratoga Springs.  We skipped Albany for the day, since we were in a hurry to meet a friend we met online that was getting rid of his Honda Element, so he had some parts to give us.  We got an amazing sleeping platform that is an elevated wooden platform on which we can sleep (with our roll up mattresses) with lots of cubbies and storage underneath.  In addition, we got some running boards to make Toasty look a little tougher and a tent that attaches to the back tailgate for when we want to do a little more open air camping in the car.

The classic Rocky statue outside of the Philadelphia Art Museum.  Very cool, but it seems a little odd that they have a monument to a fictional movie character, with that being one of this historic city's claim to fame.

Just like every other tourist, we had to run up the stairs and take our Rocky pictures on top.

Heading down to the beautiful city hall of Philly.  Though the city has some rough parts, the central part of the city is very pretty and full of history.

More cityscapes from Philly.

Although it does have history and some pretty areas, there is still an industrial grit to the city.  Impressive job by the graffiti artists to get all the way up there, though.  True dedication to their craft.

The Reading Terminal Market - a re-purposed area now full of shops and tiny restaurants.  I had a cheesesteak from Carmen's that turned out to be far better than the famous ones from either Pat's or Geno's.

To be fair to Trenton, NJ, we didn't have high expectations going on.  But arriving at the capitol building to find windows boarded up and construction that didn't look like it was going anywhere didn't help the situation.  Nevertheless, the golden dome is nice, and there's a nice war memorial just on the other side of the building.  The city didn't impress us, but on this street, there was also a nice looking museum and a few other government buildings.

Toasty looking tough with his new running boards!  One of the stops on the roadtrip was to meet up with a friend getting rid of his Honda Element, so he was kind enough to give us some great parts - a tent that attaches to the tailgate, a sleeping platform with storage underneath and the running boards. 


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Brief Bio

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Taking advantage of our laptop lifestyle and wandering this world together. Maria Renee is an online health and fitness coach, and Derek is an actuarial seminar instructor. Traveling together since 2015. Also see www.dwbrace.blogspot.com

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