Hooray, we're finally here! After reaching our hotel, having a shower and settling in, we are ready for a nice and relaxing evening. Poolie and I woke up at 5:30am this morning, bright and early! We left the house around 6:30am and made stops at Tim Horton's (Loolie's coffee) and McDonald's (Poolie's hash browns).
After a short drive, we reached the Peace Bridge to cross the border. Let's just say that the border guard was a bit...intense. He asked tons of questions with long pauses in between my answers and his next question while giving me some piercing death stares. I had to give him my car keys so he could look in our trunk, but he ultimately decided that we weren't terrorists, just tourists. We were allowed to pass through.
The first stretch of our drive took us through some serene New York state countryside. At one point, we saw the most adorable little donkey with some cows, so we had to stop and say hello! This is a pattern with us (or maybe it's just me; I don't know if Poolie would stop to take photos of cute animals unless I was in the car) - we always seem to find some sort of cute creatures while on road trips! We continued along our way, passing through small villages and farm land.
After that, we reached Pennsylvania, which is a beautiful state. There are so many trees all around the highway, as well as mountainous regions. The roads travel through rocky areas that have been blasted away. This made for a very pleasant and beautiful drive - we were able to look out the windows to pass the time, while also just acting like our weird and crazy selves (this also made the time just fly by!).
Our first destination was Scranton, PA to visit the city where The Office
(TV show) takes place. Of course it isn't shot there, it is shot at a studio in California, but there are many landmarks from Scranton that appear in the show. We travelled to The Mall at Steamtown first in search of the "Welcome to Scranton" sign that is now located inside the mall. We went to the second floor food court and sure enough, in the back corner was the Scranton sign from The Office's
show opening! It was up on a little set on some astro turf allowing for photo opportunities. A lady was nice enough to offer to take our photo so we could both be in the picture. She asked if we were fans of the show, so people must show up fairly often enough to visit this iconic sign. I was pretty excited!
We went for a little drive around town and saw several other noteable places of interest from the show - the "real" office building where Paper Magic is located (the real company that The Office was modeled after), Farley's (a restaurant that is mentioned on the show), Southside Bowl and Poor Richard's Pub (an Office hangout), and Alfredo's Pizza (where the "good" pizza in Scranton is from in an episode).
After our escapades around town, we drove to the Waffle House for lunch. I was so excited to learn that there was a Waffle House along the way to NYC! That might sound silly, but I remember going to them on family trips to Florida when I was a kid, so I needed to go back for nostalgic purposes. The last time I'd been to a Waffle House was probably 15 years ago since they don't have them in Canada (but they should!)
The Waffle House was better than just reliving an old memory; the food was fantastic! We both got a waffle (obviously) and we also got these hash browns fried with onions and melted cheese...so good! Mmmm...I'd like to go back there again!
Back on the road and out of Scranton, we drove the rest of the way through PA and NJ. New Jersey's landscape is quite gorgeous as well! So many trees, hilly regions, so much beautiful scenery - I would have never expected it!
We finally reached our destination (the Comfort Suites in North Bergen, NJ) around 5-5:30ish, except we had some major problems finding our hotel! The streets are so confusing and not labelled very well. Also, the street signs that are there do not explain where you are going very well either. We were told by our Google Map directions to take Hwy 1 & 9 to Tonnele Ave. There ended up being a Hwy 1 & 9 South and North so we didn't know which way to go. Of course, we went the wrong way (South). Turning around proved to be quite the challenge. Also, NJ drivers are crazy. Take the absolute worst taxi cab drivers from Toronto and multiply that by 10, and that is every driver in NJ during rush hour traffic. We went the wrong way two more times due to poor signage and eventually figured out that Highway 1 & 9 is
Once we had all of that figured out, we reached the Comfort Suites in North Bergen. I don't know how we will figure out how to get home, but we won't be driving for the next three days so I won't think about that right now!
Checked in at the hotel, we're in room 408 near the elevator. The room is huge! It has a nice big window, a large flat screen TV, tons of pillows, a big king-sized bed, a couch, a desk area, closet, microwave, fridge, coffee maker, and a large bathroom. You have to pay $1.50/day to use the in-room safe, but it's better than having no safe at all.
The shower pressure isn't that great, but I don't generally have high expectations of hotel washrooms, just as long as it's clean (which it is!).
We just ordered pizza from "Amore" in North Bergen, NJ and we're waiting for it to be delivered. Going to watch The Office
tonight - should be fun after spending a couple of hours in Scranton!
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The pizza from Amore came and it is SO GOOD! Good crust, amazing garlic flavour on the garlic pizza (the whole room smells of garlic!) and great cheese. They even brought us paper plates and styrofoam cups knowing that we're in a hotel and might not have those things...how thoughtful!