Taking a red-eye flight is one of those things that can screw your inner time up like no other. Forget whether or not you are one of those people who can “sleep” on a plane, there is no amount of “sleep” you can actually get on a plane that will make you feel fresh and alive at 5:30am when you land clear across the country.
We were pretty fortunate that Virgin America, an airline we flew for the first time, was so quick and accommodating. Check-in was a breeze and our baggage was already making it’s way in circles around the conveyer belt by the time we arrived at Baggage Claim. It certainly made our no-sleep part of our trip a little less debilitating.
Here’s a tip if you are driving from Philadelphia to a tiny little town somewhere in Northern New Jersey: Don’t rely on your iPhone GPS app. Electronics and New Jersey roads really are NOT made for each other. Seriously, between unmarked roads and a GPS voice that couldn’t be bothered to actually tell us to turn right or left until it was too late, we got to our hotel a little frustrated with each other.
But we got here.
And proceeded to fall asleep. All 5 of us. All day. Tired, much?
Waking up at 4pm was not how we expected to spend our day, but oh well. We managed to drag ourselves out of bed (a mighty comfortable hotel bed… thank you very much Marriott Park Ridge) and go find some dinner.
Now keep in mind, yesterday was July 4th. In California there wouldn’t have been much of a change depending on the holiday. Restaurants and stores would all be open and people would go about their day as usual, maybe stopping in the evening to BBQ some burgers and go watch fireworks. Here in New Jersey, aside from a restaurant or two that might be open (and Cold Stone, of course) there was nothing open! The streets were bare. You would have thought the apocalypse was coming. It definitely made driving much easier, but I guess we were lucky to find a Greek restaurant that was open… and the K-Mart. I gotta say, thank God for K-Mart. They are ALWAYS open.
We had ideas of maybe finding some fireworks to see or going to a movie or something. In the end, we just went back to the hotel, the kids did some swimming (something about being in the 90’s at 8pm) and we all crashed again. I think I heard some fireworks going off in the distance, but honestly, I was too darn tired to even drag myself out of bed to look out the window.
This morning… I am the first one up as usual. I swear I don’t think my family has ever gotten as much sleep as they have in the last 24 hours. Of course, they have to pick our vacation (for which we are spending an ungodly amount of money for) to catch up of that sleep. Great.
The plan for today is to head back to Philadelphia. I know, we’re all over the place – don’t judge. My kids have never been to the east coast so we are trying to cram all the culture in we possibly can. Liberty Bell… cheesesteaks… and a walk around my college (Drexel). And let’s not forget the statue of Rocky at the Art Museum steps. Yes… all the culture we can get.