We awoke for Day 3 in New Brunswick, New Jersey at the Howard Johnson.  It was an interesting evening at the HoJo.  As you never know what is wrong or right about a hotel, this was definitely just a place to stay and not a hospitable experience.  We arrived very tired on Day 2 and entered the room, which appeared clean to immediately refuel with some apps and beer.

Little did we know last evening that the cable didn’t work and that the air conditioning was difficult.  As in difficult I mean, that it would work in cycles.  Each 5 minutes, it would turn on and then turn off with a loud grown as if it was about to breathe it’s last air conditioner breath.

This morning after one of the best slept night’s in the last week (despite the cable and air conditioning noise), I awoke to a hotel coffee maker that didn’t work.  Can you believe it? Yes, the caffeine addict didn’t have her juice. So after two very long 10 hour driving days, no coffee. It definitely was not a good morning for groggy Ms. Traveling Pants.

Now, as a lesson to all that have worked in the hospitality industry, I told the management at the HoJo upon leaving, “I am here to check out as well as let you know of some issues with the room.  First, the cable is not working nor the air conditioner.  And to top it all off, the coffee maker doesn’t work.”  I was then told by the management, “We will put it on the list. Thank you Mam.  You are all set.” Wasn’t that great customer service?  I just didn’t have the energy or care to protest (lucky HoJo).

So it was off to the New Jersey Turnpike for a quick two hour journey throughJersey to New York and over to the Hudson Valley.  Interestingly enough, we saw no Cracker Barrels from the hotel in New Jersey through New York that was until our exit getting off of Highway 84.  It was the Poughkeepsie exit 13 and ironically our last exit.  The last and final Cracker Barrel #41 was there.  It was a sign.  It was closure.

I only saw one memorable bummer sticker from NJ to NY:

“Just say Show Me the Carfax.”  I guess the marketer was a fan of Jerry Maquire. You know, “Show Me the Money!!!”

However, I just wanted to chime in that most bummer stickers this year are political support stickers from the previous election.  I guess I don’t know why Republican supporters keep those stickers on the car.  Come on, get over it and take them off!

After arriving in town, we checked into the same hotel as in March when we did a visit.  We then previewed the studio apartment that my husband will be renting while attending the Culinary Institute of America.  To celebrate and only a couple blocks walk from the new apartment, we had lunch overlooking the Hudson River Valley.


We walked along the river with the bright sun and a brisk breeze to digest. Afterwards, we did errands including buying a futon and supplies for the apartment.  You know the type: the 32 piece dinner set, the 10 piece cooking set, bathroom supplies, alarm clocks, wastepaper baskets and the like.  It was like getting ready for the dorms all over again, except that I was not having my father build a wooden bunk bed for my roommate and I.

Keep you posted on the rest of the trip.

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