Rude awakening....what a horrendous drive from Sturbridge, Massachusetts to Lakewood, New Jersey. First, it rained the entire day. Then, the traffic on the Garden State Parkway in Northern New Jersey is beyond believable. We had gotten used to uncrowded, country roads and even in the Boston area, the traffic was manageable. All that changed when we hit I-87/287 and subsequently, the Garden State Parkway. While trucks are not allowed on the Parkway, RV's are but the driving lanes were designed for cars and were incredibly narrow. Then, there are the bridges...which, unlike most interstate bridges, are less than 12 ft. tall in the far right lane because of the curve of the bridge. So, we had to be careful to stay in the middle lanes when approaching one of the stone bridges because, we are 12'4" high. Good thing Bob pays attention to those things.
If that weren't bad enough, once we reached Lakewood, New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon, we discovered that the refrigerator that was supposed to be shipped Friday of last week, had not yet arrived and no one seemed to know where it was. Our appointment was for Thursday morning and yes, we were a day early but.... So we stayed in their parking lot, hooked up with electric but no water. Thankfully, we had enough in the tanks. But this place is located in the seediest locale; there were vagrants walking up and down Rt. 9 to the liquor store across the street, the traffic was constant and even Bob resorted to earplugs. Thank God for the blackout curtains I made for our Alaska trip because the lights in the parking lot were blinding.
Come Wednesday morning, we checked again to see if the refrigerator had arrived in the daily shipment but, alas, still no refrigerator. Since we were stuck there, we decided to make pests of ourselves and called Deb and Tank Sherman who were, fortuitously, at their boat on LBI and only too willing to entertain two strays (three if you count Dixie). After getting totally lost trying to get to Island Beach State Park, (another story for another day but NOT my fault as Bob would have you believe), we finally found our way and had a lovely day at the beach. Except for the black flies, the day was glorious with a calm ocean and sunny, warm temperatures.
Thursday morning dawned clear again and at 8:00 a.m., Bob presented himself at the service desk. Still no refrigerator but they hoped it would arrive in the shipment due between 8 and 10 a.m.. Bob told them that they had until 10:00 to get us started since that was when the appointment was scheduled. No one seemed to have any idea where the refrigerator was but they did learn that it had not been shipped until Tuesday!!!!! To add insult to injury, the refrigerator was coming from, of all places, Harrisburg. Really...how long could it possibly take to ship. By 10:00, still no refrigerator. By now, they were willing to waive the $80.00 shipping fee and the $175.00 installation fee , so reluctantly, we agreed to stay but again, told them that we wanted it done no later than Friday morning.
Deb and Tank to the rescue yet again - we drove to LBI and had a lovely day on the beach again and a wonderful dinner. Still.....
Well, it is 6:21 p.m. on Friday evening and we left NJ at 5:15 p.m.. Bob is fuming. It was a good thing his shotgun was not handy. At 8:00 this morning, we were told first, that the refrigerator had not arrived. Then, as Bob was ready to leave, we were told that the refrigerator had, in fact, arrived and that they would be out to get the coach right away. We scrambled to unload the refrigerator and close up the coach. By 10:00....we were still waiting for the elusive Technician. Bob went in and finally got the service manager and they took the coach. But, 90 minutes later, when he checked, they had still not even put the coach into a bay and, needless to say, had not begun to replace the refrigerator. I managed to calm Bob down and got him to talk to the overall manager of the facility, who immediately took action to get them started but by this time, it was noon.
We would have left but: (1) we have no faith in the dealer who sold us the coach to install it correctly; (2) Bob would have had to take at least two days off from work just to take the retrieve the coach at the dealer's; (3) who knows when they would have been able to get us in for an appointment and with the fall season upcoming, we would like to try to get out on the weekends; (4) this was a Camping World facility which has service areas/stores all over the country so if something were to go wrong with this one, we'd be able to get service; and (5) we need a refrigerator although using the refrigerator as an "icebox" worked - but it was messy and a hassle every day changing the ice.
It is unfortunate that the last week of the vacation was spent spinning our wheels in Lakewood NJ; one of the only places were have been that I can honestly say: "I would NEVER want to live, stay or have any further contact with."
Needless to say, didn't take any pictures of Lakewood but will post some of Deb and Tank.
Drove to Hershey after getting the new refrigerator - finally. We didn't get out of Lakewood until after 5:00 p.m. so didn't get to Hershey until around 8:00. Of course, it was raining and naturally, since we were a day late, there were NO sites left even though we had reservations. We had to camp in the Overflow spots - by the time we got parked and settled, it was 11:00. The Day from Hell!!!!!!
Spent Saturday, 9/15, at the RV show which was as usual, overwhelming in size but disappointing in the "accessory" arena. We actually didn't buy anything - a miracle!!!
Now, cleaning and vacumning for the trip home and the really rude awakening of Monday morning return to Work. I feel like Maynard G. Krebs when I say that word - for those of you old enough to remember his reaction to that word.
Same time next year......