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Old 09-19-2017, 04:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
You can technically go along the whole NJ coast all the way up to the Raritan Bay (water border with Staten Island), it's a pretty drive, but it will take a while (local highways with lights, not every barrier island connects with the others, etc), then you hit the more urban areas very close to the city. You're not really "coastal" again until CT (technically you are but you get major urban vibes not typical coastal ones), but again, taking actual local coastal routes to be along the water will take you so much more time. You're better off sticking to major highways, that's a long drive. Like 5.5 hours without traffic, taking all major highways.

You'll probably wind up taking the Garden State Parkway up to the Turnpike. Then you have a couple options. You can drive over the GW Bridge which will bring you briefly into Manhattan, then through the Bronx to Westchester County into CT, then go coastal CT to RI. The coastal CT route most practical though is highway, not like immediately hugging the coastline with pretty water quaint coastal town views the whole time. You'll take 95 basically from the point in NJ where you'll switch to the Turnpike to your destination in RI. You could also take the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson in Rockland and Westchester Counties, NY, which has some nice views, then into CT, but it's not quite as direct.

You will definitely have the opportunity to see the NYC skyline no matter which way you go, it's unavoidable when going from NJ into NY. You may not go through the city itself, but you can see it. On a clear day, you can even see it straight down the Hudson from the Tappan Zee. The GWB route would probably be your most scenic though if you want to see the city. You're not there long but it's a cool bridge to drive over. You'll be able to see the skyline from basically all of northeastern NJ that you'll be driving through, as well, at multiple points on that drive. That's basically the only major city you'll see. You'll see Jersey City's buildings along the water, and Newark has a decent skyline, and you'll see that, too. But that's really it, I'm not familiar with CT's cities.

It's a shame you can't stay in Cape May longer. It's a beautiful, historic town. If you like Victorian architecture and a super old town (early 1600s), and the beach, you'd like it a lot. One of my friends is from Orange County, CA, her grandparents live in the San Jose area, and she had a cousin from WA that graduated from the Coast Guard. Her family came out for the ceremony and they loved Cape May. It's hard not to like.
Okay, you want to see New York City? You can actually detour from the major highways and drive right through Manhattan and see it at ground level and catch a few highlights, especially if your son is doing the driving. Keep your camera ready with good batteries. Here's one possible route that shouldn't be real hard:

As you travel north on I-95 near Newark Airport follow the signs for I-78 to the Holland Tunnel which will take you into lower Manhattan, just a dozen or so blocks north of the World Trade Center. That would be to your right as you exit the tunnel if you're interested, otherwise stay to the left and follow the signs to Hudson St which will take you north.

(Side note: If you go straight on Spring St a dozen blocks you'll run into the edge of Little Italy where the Feast of San Gennaro is going on as it has been for over 80 years every September. Pizza, pastry, sausage and pepper heroes. Parking will be a ***** but you'll only get one chance.)

If you still want to head north Hudson St will take you right through the heart of Greenwich Village and past the White Horse tavern that's been there since the late 1800's. Hudson will turn into 8th Avenue after a slight bend to the right which you can stay on past Madison Square Garden and the edge of the Theatre District a block from Times Square.

As you pass 58th St you'll enter Columbus Circle and the statue that some now want removed. On the right at the entrance to Central Park is a monument to the USS Maine which was blown up in Havana Harbor starting the Spanish American War. Stay to the right past the monument and follow Eighth Ave, now called Central Park West. There's some pretty nice residential space on your left and at 72nd St is the Dakota where John Lennon lived, and died. In another five blocks you'll see the American Museum of Natural History which is also the starting point of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

When you get to 86th St turn right and you'll be crossing through Central Park (DO NOT turn in on 85th St, that is closed to traffic most times.) You won't get to see much in the park but as you exit on the other side, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be on your right. Go straight across Fifth Avenue two more blocks and make a left on Park Avenue - be careful, Park is a divided road. Take that through the Upper East Side and more high priced living to 96th St and make a right.

About four long blocks will put you at the East River. Bear left under the overpass and get onto the FDR Drive going north. In less than two miles you'll see signs for the Willis Ave Bridge and Major Deegan Expressway I-87, keep right and take the bridge. Crossing the bridge keep to the right and head for I-278, the Bruckner Expressway (don't be confused by earlier signs for I-278, going this way is just as direct and saves you an $8.50 toll). You'll end up on surface streets (Bruckner Blvd) for about three blocks and bear left with most of the other traffic onto I-278 North.

Don't be confused by signs for I-895 or I-95, they'll take you back to New Jersey. After about five miles you'll see a sign for I-278 East, I-95 North follow that to the left and you'll be heading towards Connecticut and then Rhode Island.

I have a feeling you may be passing this area during rush hour so the highways won't be moving real fast anyway, you might as well see the sights and this little side trip will come right around the middle of your six hour trip from Cape May to Narragansett. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:39 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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I grew up in New Jersey but then lived in RI for 25 years raising my family.

First things first: that is at least a 6 hour drive from Cape May to Pt. Judith IF you take I-95; taking the more rural, lower speed-limit, heavy traffic (shopping) along Route 1 will add at least another 2 hours - stop lights, etc. It isn't all coastal, as much of it goes through the middle of formerly coastal/resort towns that are now cities and it's all built up. In spots, you can grab Route 1A and detour through the even smaller towns. I don't recommend it. In fact, I don't recommend you trying to spend hours driving through the NYC and then coastal western CT unless you are comfortable with very congested highways filled with northeastern drivers. I've driven all over the country, from the mid-west in the north, mid-south where we live now, eastern south, San Francisco, AZ and NV, and the entire eastern seaboard; driving in AZ does not prepare you for driving on the east coast - your nerves will be frazzled.

On to Pt Judith - you can find inexpensive motels along the beach towns near to Pt. Judith. You won't find them listed on websites, they aren't part of any chain, and many have long-term "renters". IF you make it as far as RI, get off I-95 at the first exit for "Westerly, RI" (it's still in CT) and take Route 1 north. It's scenic once you get through Westerly, and you'll find some no-brand motels. Narragansett, where Pt. Judith is, is a big tourist area and you are unlikely to find any of the cheap places (yes, $60 is considered cheap - the COL is way higher than where you live), but if you go just a little north into N. Kingstown (a quick drive to Pt. Judith - 10-15 min), you might have some luck along Rte. 1. If you haven't already checked, go to TripAdvisor and someone still living in N. Kingstown/Narragansett (referred to as South County) might be able to provide more current info. While I lived in North and South Kingstown for almost 20 years, my info is not current.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:48 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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Oh my word - I just read the post above mine. I grew up in NJ, lived in RI for 20 years, then lived in NYC (Staten Island to be specific).


DO NOT even consider taking the GWB which dumps you on the Cross Bronx Expressway. There is no good time to be on that parking lot. Half of it is below grade and you see nothing but the walls of the highway or a few "bottoms" of buildings as you pass under them. UGH, what a horror of a road.


If you absolutely insist on driving up to Pt. Judith, take the GSP (Garden State Parkway) once you get to the Raritan River bridges - whether you take the scenic routes along the NJ coast up from Cape May (where it's possible - you will need to be on the GSP as you pass around the wetlands just north of Atlantic City - Route 9 and the GSP are 1 highway). You can then hop over to the shore areas passing through or near Seaside Heights/Seaside, Asbury Park, Long Branch on 36 and on up to Keansburg. Most of the shore areas have been rebuilt since Superstorm Sandy. If you've not been to an east coast boardwalk, NJ is the place to go. Atlantic City's boardwalk is wonderful. We used to go during the week in the winter and walk the freezing cold boardwalk between casinos - just to be out on the boardwalk.


After Keansburg, head back onto the GSP and take it right up into NYS to the Tappan Zee Bridge. That is a beautiful sight looking both ways up/down the Hudson. Then you take I-95 E/N through Ct - until you reach connectors to US 1 if you insist on the scenic route - it's mostly through shore towns that are built up, but there are sections of 1A (alternate) that will take you closer to the sound. Although you can hop off I-95 at most any city if you want an idea of a SW CT city - like Stanford, or even take a swing over to Yale. Further east on I-95 is Mystic Seaport, another good tourist spot and then take local roads up to and through Westerly, RI.


By now, your 6 hour trip from Cape May is about 10 hours but, if this is likely your only trip to the east coast, it's not about getting there, it's the journey. Enjoy, relax. The cost of living is at least double what you are expecting. It's not unusual to pay $80 or more a night at Motel6 or RedRoof and if you are looking at anywhere near a hot tourist spot, it'll be way more, even in this after tourist time for the beaches. Beaches up north, NJ and on up the coast, generally close Labor Day Weekend, so the prices will be slightly lower than the hundreds they run in the summer season.


If you are going to make it all the way to Pt. Judith, I recommend trying the NE clam chowder - mostly it's a white soup, but there's different levels - some are very creamy and thick. Stay away from George's! It's a tourist place, the food is just ok. Stop in one of the places on the docks or directly across from the docks in Galilea (you can see it from Pt. Judith, it's down (south) the main road towards the dock for the ferry to Block Island. The fish is literally "just off the boat" as are the clams. It's the only place I would buy fish when I lived in RI - travelling down from Providence when we lived there our last couple years.


Depending on the hurricanes arriving in the next week, you just might luck-out and find a motel in the Pt. Judith area - check out Rte. 108 into Wakefield (5 min drive).
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:16 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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Obviously, I've missed some info. I was informed in PM that the Tappan Zee no longer accepts cash for the toll and the rental cars do charge extra for EZPass. It has been a while since I've travelled without EzPass - we still maintain ours even though we moved to TN - for when we travel to visit. Sorry for that.


And since I obviously missed the desire to see NYC, personally, I'd take the tunnel - and I agree with taking the Holland rather than the Lincoln.


As for helping our son to find an apt - there are many off-season rentals in the Pt Judith/Gallilea area - as you drive around, you'll see some signs. Also grab one of the local newspapers, Providence Journal/South County edition - and check around for the weekly papers. Do check with a few of the folks over in the RI forum for help with that.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:13 PM
 
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Thank you very much for all the replies lately and the helpful information! And I'm sorry for not replying more promptly and more frequently; but I have a lot on my plate to deal with right now and I am seriously exhausted most of the time lately, so it's easy for me to get distracted and to just be too tired to be as productive as I'd like to be much of the time. I want to try to quote and reply to each reply posted, but it's too stressful and time-consuming for me to try to do that. However, I want to make sure to tell all of you who have posted helpful replies that I really appreciate your help. I read all of your replies, and I definitely appreciate your efforts and willingness to try to help, and I want to make sure that y'all know that!

As for some things I'd like to reply to, I really appreciate the suggestions with regards to finding a cheap/affordable hotel in/near Point Judith, RI. I am really stressed about money right now and with how much this trips is likely going to cost; so I am definitely looking to save money on the necessary/important expenses when possible. I don't want to cut corners too much, though; particularly, with regards to a hotel/motel, as I don't want to end up in a bad area or staying in a hotel/motel that's not reasonably clean and decent. I don't care much at all about how nice a hotel/motel is; but I really worry about things like bed bugs, filth, germs and about having stuff stolen or being bothered by shady people. So, I would at least like to be able to find a clean hotel/motel that's in a decent/reasonably safe area.

Obviously, I am not familiar with Rhode Island at all, or any of the East Coast, so I really appreciate the input from those of you who are actually familiar with these areas that I will be traveling to/through. And I had not even thought of posting in the Rhode Island forum on here; but that definitely seems like a great idea! I'm sure they could offer some helpful information when it comes to finding hotels/motels in the Point Judith area. Obviously, posting in the Rhode Island forum is a great suggestion; but as I mentioned, I am stressed, exhausted and distracted, and I have so many thoughts running through my head that I can't seem to think clearly most of the time.


As for possibly going through/by New York City, that's not something that is important, I just really enjoy taking pictures, and I also really like skylines, so I was curious if I might be driving close enough to NYC to be able to see and photograph it from the car. I really appreciate the replies about possibly driving in to NYC, though. And if time and other factors allowed for me to be able to take the time to drive in to New York City, while the traffic surely sucks, it's definitely a place I would like to see. And, as someone mentioned, I may/should be able to see the skyline in NYC while driving up to Rhode Island, so I will be excited about at least getting to take some pictures of it from afar.


As for the rental car, I am just going to be using a debit card to rent it, and will have to have enough money in my checking account to cover the hold; so, unfortunately, I don't have any tips/tricks or helpful information to share with other travelers. I will try to remember to come back in and post after I get back from my trip and let y'all know how much the hold on my debit card ended up being and how long the funds were held for.


As for my drive from Cape May up to Point Judith, I will likely just end up taking the shortest/fastest route available according to Google Maps, as my son is not as big a fan of stopping and taking pictures as I am. Plus, we are going to be at least a little stressed and anxious about getting up to Point Judith and looking at places to rent and checking out the area for the first time.


I'm trying to think of other replies and questions that I need/want to respond to, but, again, I am honestly having trouble thinking clearly right now (not exaggerating; and I also have other contributing factors that make things more difficult than they need to be - specifically, a 20 year-old daughter), so it's often hard for me to focus and to recall things. And if anyone feels like PM'ing me anything, please feel free to send me a private message. I could use, and would appreciate, all the help I can get with this trip!


Also, before I forget, being that my son is about to graduate from boot camp this Friday and become a member of the United States Coast Guard, I wanted to bring him a few things he might use, including some small flashlights I had mentioned in a previous post. I have some nicer rechargeable Streamlight flashlights, but they are too large to be allowed in my carry-on bag, I believe; I have some smaller LED flashlights, though, that I got at Walmart for $2 each, that are pretty damn nice and bright for $2, so I am wanting to bring 2-3 of them to give to him, but I don't know if it might be suspicious for me to have 3-4 flashlights in my carry-on bag? I actually called Delta Airlines yesterday to ask about carry-on bag size limitations, and also about bringing some flashlights in my carry-on bag, and I was told that flashlights are allowed in carry-on bags, but they have to be less than 7 inches long. I just looked and the small LED flashlights I have are about 4 inches long each, so the size if them should not be a problem. They are the smaller red and blue flashlights that I'm going to to show. I also have a smaller Streamlight flashlight that is rechargeable, that I would like to give to my son, and it's almost exactly 7 inches long, but may be a little longer than 7 inches. So I'm curious if this Streamlight flashlight (the black and yellow one in the picture I'm about to post) may be allowed in my carry-on bag? Or, is the 7 inch-limitation really precise and strict? Edit: I just checked and the Streamlight flashlight is 7.25 inches long; since this is .25 inches over the 7-inch limit, will they likely not allow in it my carry-on bag? And if not, if I did try to bring it with me in my carry-on bag, what would happen to my flashlight after they determine that it's too large to be allowed in my carry-on bag? Would I have to give it to the airport personnel and lose it? Or is that something that could be left with airport security and that I could pick up from them when I return the Phoenix on Monday?


I am going to try to post a picture of the flashlights (pictures with a ruler, and some earbuds, for reference) below this.



Last edited by Arizona Renegade; 09-19-2017 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:22 PM
 
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Would it perhaps make sense to buy those cheap flashlights when you get there and eliminate the doubt?
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elhelmete View Post
Would it perhaps make sense to buy those cheap flashlights when you get there and eliminate the doubt?
I did specifically think about that, but these flashlights are apparently really popular, as they seem to sell out really quickly each and every time that the local Walmart here in Payson, Az, gets them in. After I bought a couple of them a few weeks ago and realized how bright they were, I've checked back multiple times and they have been sold out of them more often than not. And when they get them in again, they typically get like 15-20 of them, but they are sold out within a week. So, I can't help but worry that it might be the same thing at Walmarts over on the East Coast.

Honestly, it's not a big deal; but it is something I've been thinking about, so I wanted to mention it while I was posting in the thread again. And I do appreciate the reply, so thanks for the suggestion.

What about the black and yellow Streamlight flashlight in the picture? That's a more-expensive flashlight (sells new for around $80-$100, but I got it on eBay for $30 shipped), and being that it's quite bright and is rechargeable, it's something that I would like for my son to have, and is likely something that he could get some use out of. However, as I mentioned, it is 7.25 inches long, so I don't know if TSA will actually allow it to be carried on in my carry-on bag.

Now that I think about it, I actually have the Streamlight box, and the charger for the flashlight, and I could probably take the top/lens off the flashlight, which would make it a little shorter. And I could also take off the battery cap; although, that would mean that the rechargeable battery would not be enclosed in the flashlight, and could cause a problem? Again, this is not a majorly big deal; but I would like to be able to give my son this rechargeable Streamlight Polystinger flashlight, so I would like to be able to bring it with me, if possible.


Also, would it be suspicious for me to want to bring two cell phones with me? I was thinking that I could also bring my old cell phone on the airplane with me and use it to listen music or watch videos on. Would this likely be allowed?


And I'm curious, is security going to thoroughly search through my carry-on bag and want an explanation for each and every electronic device or potentially-suspicious item(chargers, USB charging cables, etc.) in my bag? And will they thoroughly inspect my Streamlight flashlight, if it looks like it's close to being 7 inches long?


As always, sorry for asking so many questions. I don't mean to be annoying or selfish. I really am just trying to get myself informed and trying to be prepared for what to expect at the airport and on my flight.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:24 PM
 
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I think that the OP has a lot to think about and investigate before making the trip so he should probably be spending time on TripAdvisor and the similar rather than obsessing about twenty bucks worth of earbuds and flashlights to the point of displaying them for purposes of photography. There are plenty of stores in Rhode Island that sell flashlights, even Walmart. Focus on the travel arrangements, leave the minutia for later.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:41 PM
 
90 posts, read 68,008 times
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Originally Posted by kokonutty View Post
I think that the OP has a lot to think about and investigate before making the trip so he should probably be spending time on TripAdvisor and the similar rather than obsessing about twenty bucks worth of earbuds and flashlights to the point of displaying them for purposes of photography. There are plenty of stores in Rhode Island that sell flashlights, even Walmart. Focus on the travel arrangements, leave the minutia for later.
I hear you, and I appreciate the advice; but I am just trying to ask about things as they cross my mind, particularly, while I am actually focused and motivated enough to type some replies on here. And I really am having so many racing thoughts most of the time that it's legitimately difficult for me to try to think clearly. So, I'm just trying to ask about things I'm curious about, as they cross my mind, while I'm typing.

Also, if anyone posted a reply and asked me about something, or made a suggestion, that they would like to remind me about/prompt me to respond to, please feel free to ask again, or to remind me, or to send me a PM, if you'd like to. I really do genuinely appreciate the efforts of the people trying to contribute to this thread, and I would like to reply to each and every post, but I just don't have the time or focus to do so right now.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:00 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,224 posts, read 14,918,804 times
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There are 2 important things about this trip:


1. Being there for your son's graduation;
2. Helping him find a rental in RI.


Focus on those things. Buying him a flashlight can be done online when you get home and have it shipped to his new address.


Safe areas in Pt Judith. It's all relatively safe. The same with a motel. There are a few sketchy areas in South County, none of which have a motel to worry about. It doesn't make a difference whether you pay $400/night or $50/night; any all hotels/motels can get bedbugs. Check when you go in the room. I do this every time we travel: Luggage stays out in the car/hall until I lift up a corner of the bedding and check the mattress. If there are bedbugs, they will be under the cord around the edge - there will be splotches of dried blood. If you see any, request another room. If you don't see any, open the drawers in the chest and look in the joints as well as look at where the headboard meets the wall. If you haven't seen any evidence, you're good. We travel often and spur of the moment, have stayed in $39 rooms in Atlantic City when we drove down only to find that there was a big concert and all the rooms were taken except for the ones in the "sketchy" areas.


Relax - you've got #1 covered and will soon have #2 taken care of. The rest is small potatoes. I'm sure your son would rather have a relaxed mother than one who is stressed out.
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