After completing our seventh pet sit and our third stint in Canada, it was time to head back to America and hopefully some warmer climates.
From our pet sit in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia (A) we drove just a couple of hours to Truro (B) to spend the night at the most expensive Wyndham property we had come across (see our Wyndham Properties review here) but we didn’t have too many options and the boys were excited to use the indoor heated swimming pool with water slide.The next day we drove nearly 600 kms from Truro, Nova Scotia (B) to Bangor, Maine (C). This was our third time crossing into America and we didn’t have too many problems at the border. We were asked a few questions at the booth and then asked to park up and come into the building to complete some paperwork. Thankfully, and unlike the Canadian border controls we had come across previously, they didn’t make us wait for too long before we were called to the counter. We were asked to pay a $6 USD/$8.57 NZD fee per person and a white card was stapled into our passports. We clarified what the fee was for as we had never come across this before when entering America and were told it was an admin fee, often incorporated into airline tickets but also that every border crossing did things differently. We certainly knew that by now. After some googling we found out that the white card was an I-94 arrival/department card and we should ensure it was removed from our passports when we finally left the U.S as we hadn’t received any stamps in our passports for any of our land crossings. We found it so strange that different border controls for the one country had different processes, but who were we to argue with the authorities. We continued on and spent the night at Travelodge by Wyndham in Bangor.
Up the next morning for another reasonable travel day, 550 kms from Maine (C), down through New Hampshire and Massachusetts to Connecticut and staying the night at Days Inn by Wyndham Berlin Meriden (D). The following day we only had 360 kms to get us to Atlantic City (E) for three nights and we had a little surprise along the way for the boys.
During our time in New York they feel in love with the huge $1 slices of pizza from 2 Bros. Pizza and while we weren’t going to drive through the middle of New York City, they also have a location in the Bronx. I’m not sure if it was that the slices were just $1, that they themselves are “2 bros” or that the pizza is pretty damn delicious but nonetheless, they were very excited when we parked up and walked to the store to grab some takeaway slices for lunch. Ever since discovering 2 Bros, it is not often that it doesn’t come up whenever we now have pizza, these food memories will live with them forever I’m sure.We were back staying at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino (see our reviews here) and the reason we were getting these “comped” (complimentary) nights is because Logan did lots of research and managed to tier match our Wyndham Rewards level with one of the big casino group’s rewards program, Caesars Rewards. Usually we could only get weekday stays but that suited us, sometimes we just had to pay the nightly resort fee of around $15-25 USD (plus tax) and some nights were completely free. Not too bad to stay at some pretty nice hotels and also our own little personal reward for staying at so many low end Wyndham properties. On this occasion, for a three night midweek stay, we only had to cover the taxes of just $5.28 USD/$7.54 NZD per night.
There were definitely more people around Atlantic City compared to the last time we were there in mid December, but still not everything was open again. We walked the boardwalk and beach, watched the loaders and tractors get the beach ready for summer by pushing straw debris into the ocean and raking the sand.Logan found a ‘buck-a-shuck’ oyster happy hour that we couldn’t pass up. It was at the hotel next to us, Bally’s at Harry’s Oyster Bar. We ended up having three dozen, a mixture of Chesapeake from Massachusetts and James River from Virginia, and a few drinks. The oysters didn’t come close to New Zealand’s world famous “Bluffies” (Bluff oysters) but they were still pretty tasty.After our mini break in AC we continued our journey south in search of even warmer weather. We drove 620 kms from Atlantic City (E) just over the North Carolina state border and stayed the night at Super 8 by Wyndham Garysburg/Roanoke Rapids (F). We then drove 820 kms through North and South Carolina and Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida (G) and arrived to a very nice 26°C.
From temperatures just above freezing to the mid 20’s in just a few days was very welcoming and we were happy to be back in shorts, tee shirts and jandles. We would have loved to have had a swim after a long day in the car but unfortunately the pool at our accommodation (Travelodge Inn & Suites by Wyndham Jacksonville Airport) wasn’t open. Perhaps this just wasn’t hot enough yet for the sunshine state…. but we were loving it.
Average Daily Spend for 8 nights – $238.66 NZD ($48.84 under budget per day)