This trip has been so much more than just Day 1 in NYC. The way up was nothing if not interesting as well. We decided to leave later and catch a room along the way to break the long journey up over two days this time, rather than try to do all the driving in one day.
Departure from Knoxville was at 11:45am. We drove up I-81, which entails a long, boring drive through Virginia. Between Marion and Roanoke, we hit a brick wall of traffic that put us at least two hours behind. We tried to get around it, but weren’t entirely successful. We finally made it out of Virginia around 8:00pm. We got a room just north of DC and close to Baltimore (Jessup, MD) and called it a night.
The next morning, we ventured out to get some breakfast. We pulled off an exit in West Baltimore. I was going though an intersection when all of a sudden, what I believe was a Ford Mustang charged through the intersection and would have hit us if I hadn’t uttered several four-letter expletives in a matter of seconds and reacted the get out of the way. Fortunately we were OK and nobody wrecked there. Of course, not far behind were the police. They didn’t almost hit anyone. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings completely back in alignment. Thankfully an Egg McMuffin did the trick. 😛
The journey continued up to Philadelphia. There was really only one thing I wanted to see in Baltimore, the famous Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. The Rocky Statue was there, although not in the location you saw it in in Rocky III. It was at the street level just off to the right of the steps. At the top there is a place marking where Sylvester Stallone stood in that iconic scene. I could hear “Gonna Fly Now” in my head and was playing that iconic moment of cinema history back in my mind as I was standing there. Then I had to do that post and had Greg take my picture.
We then ventured over into the Italian section of town and grabbed an authentic Philly cheese steak at was is purported to be the birthplace of the cheese steak, Pat’s King of Steaks. Boy, was it good. And you have to know how to order it when you get there, or you get sent to the back of the line. Cheese Whiz with for me! 🙂
We then ventured to NYC. When we got in, we started seeking out traffic reports on radio. We were taking the George Washington Bridge into town, which become the Cross Bronx expressway. We were due to arrive between 4:30 and 5:00pm. You would think we would have an easier time coming in because everyone would be going out, right? Wrong. There was an accident eastbound on the Cross Bronx which spilled the backup back onto the GWB. It took us at least 30-45 minutes to get over the GWB and then battling traffic to get to our hotel in the Bronx.
We arrived at around 6:00pm. We recovered then went down to Times Square and grabbed a pizza at John’s at 44th and 8th. Not bad pizza, even if the Diet Coke was very flat.
All in all, a very adventurous beginning of our vacation. More to come!