So, this is take two on this post, since Semagic ate the first draft.
Saturday morning we got up fairly early and moving in a reasonable fashion. After a stop at Food Lion for ice and creamer for Jeff's mom, we got on the highway. A further stop at the Target in Burlington netted us more rechargeable batteries for the camera, and we got moving again. 85 North was pretty and boring as always. :) 95 North sucked, particularly after Richmond. The aforementioned lack of rest stops made it difficult to stop for our picnic lunch, but 511 and Keefy saved the day.
Back on the road, 95 continued to suck, with accidents snarling up traffic before DC and between DC and Baltimore. Jeff has sworn never to drive that stretch of 95 again. Eventually, we got up to Jersey. There was visiting and then there was collapse.
Saturday morning, we got up early (two kids will do that), and M. and Z. insisted that we should have quintessential Jersey diner food for breakfast. Who were we to argue? I had a great feta omelet and home fries and toast. One of the kids had pancakes with extra extra sugar. I'm not kidding about how much sugar there was there. :)
After that, we went back to their house, got packed up, and headed out to the city. I've never experienced a minivan driven that aggressively before - it was an experience. :) Our first stop was a harbor tour (and the only time of the day in which we did not experience amazing parking foo). The tour was awesome - it was a great way to see a large portion of the city fairly quickly and in relaxed fashion, and in a group with a variety of mobility levels, that was important. The rain shower mid-cruise just made it more lovely, and the rain thoughtfully stopped just as it was time for us to get off the boat.
We then headed to Little Italy for lunch. I had manicotti, with tons of melted cheese and tasty sauce and just enough pasta to hold it all together. It was terrific. :) We sat out on the sidewalk and ate and chatted and watched the city go by. After wards, there was some wandering around Little Italy, as some of the group wanted souvenirs. We went to Ground Zero, which at this point, is a big construction site, as new towers are going up. We went down Wall Street. And then we decided that it was time to cruise home, by way of Hoboken, because Jeff's mom was in search of a NJ coffee mug (something that we did not find in Hoboken, but in an overgrown truck stop on the Jersey turnpike the new day). At home, there was more talking, more playing with the kids, and more hanging out, and eventual (and very sad) collapse.
Monday, the rest of the household had to get up early for work and school. We got moving shortly after wards, grabbing some breakfast on our way out on the turnpike. We stopped in Baltimore for lunch with yesthatjill, which was lovely, before heading out again. We drove from Baltimore to DC without incident.
Jeff's mom had never been to DC, and she wanted badly to see the capitol. The original plan had been a drive-by, but after we got lost a couple of times and finally found the place, I said "We're here, let's find somewhere to parking, get some pictures, and walk around for a bit." A parking spot obligingly opened up right on the Mall. :) So we got out and wandered towards the Capitol, during which time it started raining. We took refuge under a tree, as it looked like the storm was going to blow over. And it did, for a bit. We got our pictures and started discussing heading towards the Washington monument.
However, at that point, Jeff noticed that the sky had gone end of days kind of dark, and said "We need to get, now." so we hustled back to the car, but didn't get there before getting soaked (and hailed on).
So we headed out of the city and found 29 and found a handy Safeway, and changed clothes and got some hot coffee. We were ready to get home. Alas, traffic was not ready for us to come home. I've mentioned that we left town at 5, right, and that it was pouring rain? We stopped for dinner at Quizno's at about 8, and we'd gone about 30 miles. Yarg. The only saving grace was that we passed over 95 South, and it wasn't doing any better. Fortunately, after we stopped for dinner, traffic picked up, and once we hit Charlottesville, 29 was a dream, through lovely back country and with very little traffic.
We rolled in at about quarter after one. Marshica was house sitting for us, and was still around, because she'd gotten mixed up on what day we were getting back. She got packed up and headed home, and we all fell over.
And that was our summer vacation. :)