Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 39: Washington’s Wartime Winter

George Washington statue!

Getting the obvious, obligatory out of the way up front: of course they have a George Washington statue.

A few weeks after we returned home from this vacation, Anne wore her souvenir Valley Forge T-shirt to breakfast at a Bob Evans. When the cashier asked what that was, Anne spent a few minutes providing a free history lesson while trying not to weep for our school systems. We tend not to buy or collect too many souvenirs, but this became one of the few times she found one useful for educational outreach.

I was out of earshot, so I couldn’t tell you if she also explained how Valley Forge is neither a valley nor a forge.

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Our 2011 Road Trip, Part 3: New Jersey Gothic


The Garden State wasn’t all bad, but I faintly recall my son not being the most cooperative photographer.

[The very special miniseries continues! See Part One for the official intro and context.]

After the brief stopover in Harrisburg, the next two hours and the next four interstates were less invigorating than I would’ve liked. The Pennsylvania Turnpike must have a monopoly on the state’s best scenery. Mostly we passed the time scanning the local radio channels and learning that the Pennsylvania airwaves are made of top-40. Fifteen channels seemed to be playing the same six songs nonstop, a statewide revival in honor of Katy Perry and Lady Ga-Ga, America’s new First Ladies or whatever.

Next stop was across the state line in New Jersey, in a verdant, elegantly sculpted community called Whippany. Judging by the slanderous slings and arrows that New Jersey has taken over the decades, we expected something like an all-white Boyz n the Hood or a low-budget adaptation of Dante’s Inferno. On the contrary, Whippany was glorious, well-paved suburbia. I love seeing stereotypes busted.

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