The year that Mike and I got engaged we were on a road trip… from Seattle into Canada. The year prior we had done one through Wyoming. Last year for our first anniversary, we went up the Northern California coast and into Oregon. We’ve decided that we pretty much love those kinds of trips – they give us the freedom to go where we want, when we want. He’s even convinced me that it’s ok to book your hotel rooms the day of. Those of you who know me well know that something like that totally freaks out the OCD in me. But it works, we have fun, and we’ve come up with some great stories. We’ve decided that we’re going to continue the tradition and do a road trip for every anniversary.
This year, we decided to fly out to the East Coast and rent a car. We flew into Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and drove through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington DC, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It was a seriously great adventure! I’ve decided that there’s way too much to post in a single post, so I’m going to go by state. Today’s state is New Jersey.
Wait, you ask. Didn’t you fly into Philly? Yes, we did. I had booked two hotel rooms – the very first night we were there and the very last night, just to make things easy. I figured we got there late and it’d be nice to note have to think about where we were going. Our flights were surprisingly smooth – one layover and it was virtually non-existent. We landed in Philly at around 9pm and headed towards the hotel, which was just across the bridge in New Jersey. That’s where it all went wrong.
Apparently, I forgot to look at the hotel reviews when I booked it on Expedia:
We asked for a non-smoking room and the room we were given REEKED of cigarettes.
This room was infested with bed bugs.
First impression – stepped on a used condom walking into the hotel.
Those are the nice ones. There are also discussions of “ladies of the night”, cigarette burns on the sheets, drug transactions, and all of the seedy neighboring establishments. When we got there, the “manager” checked us in and gave us our keys. We went to the room and when I opened the door a serious smokey smell came out… when I had specifically requested a non-smoking room. We went back down and asked to change rooms… the manager asked us to come with him. He went to open the other room that he planned to give us only to find that the room was already open – and he muttered something about someone staying the prior night that shouldn’t have.
If that wasn’t enough, I also didn’t know that it was in the lovely little city of Camden. For those of you unfamiliar with Camden, three of its mayors have been jailed for corruption and at the end of 2012 the FBI ranked it #1 violent crime per capita of cities with over 50,000 residents. Had I known all of this, I may have chosen a different hotel… despite the fact that it looked really close to where we wanted to go. Needless to say, we politely asked for our money back and moved on. Word to the wise, don’t stay at the Days Inn Brooklawn Philadelphia. Just sayin’.
By this point, it was almost 11pm, we’d been up all day and really just wanted to go to bed. We made the 1/2 hour or so drive to Ocean City, NJ where we booked a lovely hotel that literally was directly on the beach. MUCH better! The next morning we woke up and drove into Atlantic City. We wandered down the boardwalk and checked out the sights.
From there we headed back into Pennsylvania… stay tuned for the next post! I’ll eventually get around to getting all of the pictures up on Facebook… I’m home sick with a heck of a cold right now, so I’m trying to do some serious resting.