Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
pepper

Road trip

35 posts in this topic

We just got back from doing a road trip for our anniversary, up to Boston. We hit 95 first to Stamford Ct, then Newport Harbor RI, to Boston, and down to Norwich CT for the Barrett Jackson car auction.

I've been north, but not north of Philly on the coast. I know there are lots of folks here that have been up 95 thru New York and I'd like to share some thoughts on stuff I thought was interesting about the drive and some of the places we saw.  Go?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you take the Cross-Bronx pepper?  I hate that road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up about 20 minutes east of Stamford. 95 from NYC to almost Boston can be quite a congested mess. Please share if you are inclined. It would be a welcome relief from the tired re-runs of partisan nonsense littering this board...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We still have family up in central Mass.  live in Frederick County now so we go 81 to 84 now, avoiding the coast route.  I do like Newport however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been that far up rt 95 in years and would love to hear what it's like now.  Please people share your experiences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MiddleOfTheRoad said:

We still have family up in central Mass.  live in Frederick County now so we go 81 to 84 now, avoiding the coast route.  I do like Newport however.

If you're heading to Mass, that makes sense as the 81 / 84 route is a lot less congested, even if a shade longer.

Where my extended family is however, the drive using that route adds another 95 miles on a 300 or so mile trip, so I generally use the coastal route which I absolutely hate (and have been hating for over 30 years since I've moved down here). Agree that Newport is nice. When I was in college, we used to head off and watch the America's cup races off the coast. Not terribly exciting as the gawker boats were kept at a distance, but being on the water with plenty of beverages was always a fun experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Up2DaRack said:

If you're heading to Mass, that makes sense as the 81 / 84 route is a lot less congested, even if a shade longer.

Where my extended family is however, the drive using that route adds another 95 miles on a 300 or so mile trip, so I generally use the coastal route which I absolutely hate (and have been hating for over 30 years since I've moved down here). Agree that Newport is nice. When I was in college, we used to head off and watch the America's cup races off the coast. Not terribly exciting as the gawker boats were kept at a distance, but being on the water with plenty of beverages was always a fun experience.

Spent a year at the War College.  Always something happening in Newport and been to the Jazz Festival several times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mrsmlh said:

I haven't been that far up rt 95 in years and would love to hear what it's like now.  Please people share your experiences.

I don't think it has really changed much at all mrsmlh.  There may be a different high rise here or there, but still congested, still dirty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget the drive...how was Barrett-Jackson?? Did you go to bid? Or just look around? :)

I so want to go to Scottsdale!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No politics.

The route I mapped out was 95 north all the way to Stamford Ct.. It looked legit on the atlas. and the GWB looked like the best direct crossing. What a fail. and of course when I called my dad on fathers day, he told me I made a mistake and should have taken the Garden State Pky. to the NJ Turnpike (across the Tappen Zee) and avoid NYC altogether. Thanks Pop, for letting the rookie learn the hard way

It was raining, and as we got into NYC, and the approaches to the GWB were all jammed. I saw a signboard that said "GWB 6 miles, 71 minutes"  and it was accurate. It took us just over 6 hours to get from White Marsh to the other side of the bridge, and into more slow and go.

I've been doing the commute down 95 thru the tunnels and the Key bridge for 35 years. I thought I knew bad driving. Theres something very different in the style once you get near NYC and up thru CT. It was laughably noticeable how people in those areas merge at will, not when its doable, but when they want to, and they almost never signal. I've seen that locally, but it's not common, and this was happening every few minutes for well over an hour of stop and go. An 18 wheeler for one, simply blasted his horn and moved in, without slowing, across two lanes. You either gave way, or you got hit. I'm not sure how you'd deal with that in the crush, but lots of drivers of cars did exactly the same thing. No signal, and seemingly no concern for impact. And of course, all the jam was because every mile or so, there was a fender bender.   At the same time, I noticed that if you didn't drive aggressively, you could not easily change lanes. In a jam, no one wants the 18 wheeler to get in front of them, so the truck driver simply has to go for it. We weren't in any hurry, so it was cool to watch it play out. They are crazy.

I said no politics, but anyone thats used the GWB sees an example of kicking it down the road. After you cross the bridge, you enter a series of tunnels that go under certain streets and neighborhoods. These tunnels are the stuff of nightmares. All crumbling concrete pillars with exposed rusty rebar. Exposed iron is in serious need of repair. I realize they cant fix this stuff without causing real havoc, but at some point the infrastructure will have to be addressed. 

Can't lie, I liked the creepy aspect, 10 lanes in a dark tunnel with grime covered vapor lamps, and it looked like you could empty a weeks trashbag from your kitchen, right out the window, and it wouldn't be noticeable.

On to the La Quinta, and the end of the off ramp in Stamford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove from Maryland to Ogunquit, ME a few years ago. Had my first (and only) lobster roll at of all places, a McDonald's in MA.  The drive up wasn't so bad and Ogunquit (except for our hotel) was quite nice and relaxing. The drive back -- haven't figured out yet how I managed to get lost and end up at Yankee Stadium.  :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, PinkFlamingo said:

Forget the drive...how was Barrett-Jackson?? Did you go to bid? Or just look around? :)

I so want to go to Scottsdale!!

It would be wrong to jump ahead. ( it was very cool, didn't come home with a car)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, pepper said:

It would be wrong to jump ahead. ( it was very cool, didn't come home with a car)

That's not on my bucket list...that IS my bucket list. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RI was the only place I've been where drivers would pull out and blocking oncoming traffic until they had an opening to make a left turn. Saw it enough to determine it wasn't a fluke, but standard practice. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The La Quinta hotel, at the bottom of the exit ramp, was picked as a waypoint, as a stop after going thru NYC, which I knew would be a pain, even having never driven that route.

This under 100$ a night hotel had the best room of the trip, while having the worst location. The neighborhood looked like the Apocalypse, but the room has a fridge and microwave, and it's a semi-suite.. IMO, this should be standard, but it's not, in hotels that cost 5 times as much. Thats BS.  

On to Newport, which I was really looking forward to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we went from Northern NJ to see relatives in Maine near Portland back in the late 60s and early 70s, the Connecticut Turnpike was still a toll road, so we'd take the inland route through Hartford. 

There's a little quirk of I-684 which cuts through a corner of Connecticut, although there are no exits in the Nutmeg State. 

http://www.kurumi.com/roads/ct/i684.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newport Ri is high end. We had a room at the Newport Harbor Marina, and it was awesome. ( again, the room was not as nice as the La Quinta off the interstate, but the location balanced it)

It was the weather that killed it. The first night, the spooky fog fit the cool atmosphere of the marina. Same for the next morning. It's New England right?  The fog hung for three days. You couldn't see the end of the piers, but the young lady employee insisted that there were hundreds of boats just out there..

Newport, even with the fog, was my favorite place. The old buildings and churches..it's like Annapolis on steroids. If you ever go, check out the shipyard. I had never stood under a real deal tall ship in a massive sling, a super yacht was also suspended, and that "boat" had a helicopter on the deck. Newport is where they keep and service the Cup racers, and you have full access. We walked to the entrance, and there was a security guy in a booth. I let him know I just wanted some shots of the suspended tall ship, and we're not going beyond his area. It was very cool when the guard said, go wherver you want. He even suggested we come back the next day, a workday, so we could see the place in action. Not sure how thats acceptable in any way to management, it's a real workplace. But the guy said go, and we went. 

.A half hour out the next day, on our way to Boston, the weather cleared. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We stayed at the Logan Airport Hyatt, just across the harbor from the Boston skyline. Some people choose the airport side to planespot, but we wanted the skyline view.

This is very expensive for normal people, the rooms are 500$ a night. At that rate, they still charge 50$ a day for parking. The water taxi from the airport to the city is a 20$ ticket round trip per person. Thing is, at that moment during sunset, on a cool little boat, it's the best return. It helps if you're buzzed and sort of forget about the cost.

Cool boat rides aside, Boston is very nice. I was born in Baltimore, and lived here all my life,  and I respect the incredible history. But Boston has a very different feel, in that not only are there thousands of people everywhere, up any street, it's also got quiet spots and lots of cool parks on a greenway that goes through the city.  No matter where you walk, if feels comfortable. 

( disclosure, we're on our 30th anniversary and have planned and saved for this for a while)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, Happy Anniversary, Pepper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MiddleOfTheRoad said:

Spent a year at the War College.  Always something happening in Newport and been to the Jazz Festival several times.

Husband went to Naval Justice School in Newport.  We rented a cottage on the water.  Loved traveling around New England.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little south of you guys, but I've driven I-95 from Baltimore... (and south, to Miami)... as far north as Portland, ME... also south of Boston out to Provincetown on Cape Cod... my all time favorite along I-95 is The Nubble at York, Me... and a short side trip to little "Prefect Storm" town of Gloucester, MA and Cape Anne... my wife and I tried our first an last lobster west of Portland at North Conway, NH...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several years ago, my sisters and I flow from Baltimore to Bar Harbor ME because none of us wanted to drive up 95. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mrsmlh said:

Husband went to Naval Justice School in Newport.  We rented a cottage on the water.  Loved traveling around New England.

I miss New England around the last two weeks of September. Summer's gone, autumn is settling in and there is a crispness in the air that I have seen no where else, even in the Rockies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mrsmlh said:

Husband went to Naval Justice School in Newport.  We rented a cottage on the water.  Loved traveling around New England.

We lived in an old house up on Brooks Ave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Baltimatt said:

BTW, Happy Anniversary, Pepper.

Time flies, Matt, too fast. When we crossed paths at a house party, I had just gotten married, that was 30 years ago this July 18th.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0