My flight to Newark, from Phoenix via Charlotte, started inconspicuously enough. We flew out on time (11:40 PM) and I got about four hours of sleep on the first leg of the trip. My seat mate was a quiet young lady, also concerned with using the dark stretch of the route for a restorative sleep.
We got to Charlotte on time, and I enjoyed a light breakfast. Leaving the Queen City, though, was definitely an exercise in patience. Technical safety issues plagued the lead flight attendant, and it took an hour to get her situated in a flight-worthy jump seat. No one squawked, for after all, everyone needs to both feel and BE safe- on any public transport.
The delay gave me another hour of sleep, and the flight itself, still another forty-five minutes’ worth of shuteye. My seat mate for this leg was a very pretty, engaging young lady, M, who is an artist living and working in Manhattan. We discussed the September 11 memorial and agreed that a Gift Shop, in such a place is a bit questionable, and certainly difficult to pull off. Time will tell on that last point, but it is not my idea of a proper memorial.
We left Charlotte an hour late, so we arrived at Newark an hour late. Then, the conveyor belt bringing our luggage to the carousel, broke. It took about twenty-five minutes to get it up and running again, but this break down in the system got very old, fast. M had enough on her plate, and I was getting very tired and wished for one thing: My motel room in Parsippany, and hot running water.
“Not so fast!”, said the Universe. After I had my luggage in hand, including the “carry-on” that I checked-in, for the Team, at the last minute on Tuesday night, it was time to go get my rental car. Of course, the Advantage Car agency is NOT at the Rental Car Lot. It is at Wyndham Gardens. It was amazing, the way one thinks all similar companies ought hang together in one spot, but it seldom works that way. There is always at least one outlier. Advantage is a nice agency, and gave me a lovely nearly new compact car, for which I asked. One thing on which they were off was the set of directions for getting on I-78 West.
I never did get on the 78. The 1 & 9, secondary highways that somewhat parallel the 78, got me to NJ Highway 7, which got me to Hwy 23, then back to the 46. I had nothing pre-arranged today, but I am still concerned with there being a striving for accuracy in direction-giving. The directions I was given had me headed to the Holland Tunnel. Granted, the Wyndham Gardens is off the beaten track, as Newark area hotels go, but hey, if I can navigate to Red Roof Inn, in Parsippany, with no GPS- the car rental people can give accurate info.
It ended well, though. I enjoyed a great corned beef Reuben at Clifton Bagels and Deli, en route to Parsippany, reveled in my return to humanness, once at Red Roof Inn, and had one of the best Fujien-style Chinese meals in memory, at Qin Dynasty, next to Red Roof Inn. The cook threw bits of well-cooked squid in with my cashew chicken, bringing back fond memories of our Jeju days.
Tomorrow, after paying early morning respects to Baha’ullah, on the 122nd Anniversary of His Ascension, I will head down to Vineland, NJ, in mid-morning, and visit with Penny’s Mom and sister for a spell. Their spirits are up and down, as might be expected, but they are far from broken. Northeast Jersey, you aren’t broken either- so believe in yourselves, and get it together!