East Coast Loop, part 1

Okay I am even further behind Jenn on posting. One would think there would be scads of down time on such a long trip but, but really there hasn’t been. There have been so many great little episodes since we left Chicago on September 6th. Another night in Cleveland with the attorney (but not quite the Gonzo-esque night as we had in Chicago), then on to Pittsburgh, as Jenn mentioned, before making our way to Washington, DC.

Washington DC was amazing. I had been there twice before, but I never did any of the touristy/Capitol stuff. The highlight for me was seeing the entire mall area on bicycle. We put the car, heretofore known as The Spectacle, in the driveway of our airbnb.com hosts, and got around via bike and subway. On a bike you can get from one end of the mall to the other in about 10 minutes, walking it would have taken forever. DC is super bike friendly.

DC’s metro system lived up to its reputation – clean and efficient, and they’re pretty adamant about keeping it clean and orderly. Leaving the zoo, we were denied access to the subway due to rush hour restrictions, but we came across Rock Creek Park Trail. The paved trail easily got us back to the mall area and offered views of some very green parts of the city. Jenn rode like a champ.

Bridge over the Rock Creek Park Trail, Washington, DC

In keeping with the reconnection/past roots theme, I saw my Aunt Marian and my cousins, who live in south Jersey. I called Marian more or less out the blue in Pittsburgh and asked if she was up for a visit. The result was a warm house with delicious dinner and a great visit with a huge group of my cousins and their families. Laurie and her husband Dale were gracious enough to put us up for the night as well. I think it may have been 15 years since I saw any of them, and we will make sure to keep in better touch going forward. reconnected with NJ relatives

After the partial Herrero reunion (there are many of them, I think we did good getting so many of them in the same place), we scooted up to North Jersey and dropped the car off in the driveway of none other than Mr. Rob Krautheim, who dubbed our vehicle “A Spectacle”. He’s not wrong. Graciously and enthusiastically, Rob and his wife Michelle let us leave The Spectacle in their driveway, and after getting to meet their daughters Alex and Eva, we took the train into NYC for a few days. We had an excellent night with Rob at the Gingerman in
Manhattan, reminiscing and enjoying quite a bit of quality beer. On the return trip back to Jersey, we got pizza and subs for lunch with the whole family. Eva:

The Jersey bookends on either side of our NYC trip, made the entire visit of the NYC a delicious double-decker New York sandwich on Krautheim roll. Think about that for a second. And then kick me because I again failed to take enough pictures.