July 8: Readington to Tuckahoe, NJ
Our maiden voyage of the Solei Greyhaven! Very very hot in New Jersey this week, with temperatures reaching well above 90. Today, we spent the morning stocking the motorhome with our old gear from the Viper (towels, bedding, bathroom supplies, hoses, etc.) and food. We did not set off till after 2pm, stopping at the Walmart in Edison for fresh water and drinks, plus fresh shrimp at Costcos. The trip south took longer than usual, especially with the shore-bound traffic. There were several fender-benders, all people probably not paying attention using their cell phones and driving like idiots.
We arrived at a small quiet campground north of Cape May and on the Tuckahoe river. Soon afterwards, the skies opened up with torrential rains we parked our new rig in an empty area. Not many folks around. Dinner and dog walking, then we crashed on our new king size Sleep Number bed.
July 9: Tuckahoe to Cape May, NJ
We woke late after a rough night. The air conditioner in the bedroom was quite loud when it came on, and it seemed to compete with the air conditioner in the living room. It got chilly so I dragged out a light comforter. John eventually set the bedroom AC off, and just kept the living room AC on. It was warm and humid out, so we decided one AC was better than just opened windows. The pups were restless and I had to take them out around 2am. Then, the whining started and I needed to feed them around 5. I have been having shoulder pain for months in my right shoulder so I could only sleep on my back or left side. I found the new Sleep Number bed to be too hard, even though it was set to 10! In the morning, John made our first pot of coffee. He did not sleep well either.
We decided to head further down the cape to one of the larger camping resorts because this campground, although quiet, did not offer WiFi. We ventured down Rt.9 just to see the towns and countryside this far down in South Jersey. It seemed like we were in South Carolina or Georgia, instead of Jersey. We passed marshlands, vegetable stands, saw Confederate Flags and quite a few golf cart dealers. We passed many RV Resorts and campgrounds, as well as many mobile home parks. We stopped for lunch in Rio Grande (I didn’t even know there was a town in New Jersey called Rio Grande) at the Rio Station. I had a fresh crab cake sandwich and John had fish tacos. We shopped a bit for odds and ends at the Bed Bath & Beyond, but did not find much that was suitable for a motorhome (such as small floor mats, small cookware, small wastebaskets….i.e. anything small). We proceeded to Holly Shores Campground in Cape May, just near the airport. It is a sprawling resort campground with over 300 sites, most of them seasonal and long-term trailer homes. We got a large site and did not have any trouble backing up and parking the rig. After registering, we crashed for the day.
Without sounding nationalist, I just wanted to make a few observations. We were surrounded by French Canadians. You could pick them out very easily. First of all, they are neat, tidy and quiet campers. Their children are well-behaved and don’t run around screeching. They have camping down to a science, meaning they set up a camp with precision…towels drying on the trailer, food in secure containers, toys, chairs and odds and ends neatly arranged. Also, compared to americans, they are easily spotted as most of them are thin and fit. They also kiss each other on both cheeks as greeting hello or good morning, and they eat together as a family. That being said, it is a nice thing to be surrounded by French Canadians.
Dinner time was late, and I sauteed some chicken breast with pasta ala vodka and peas. Off to bed around 11 after walking the pups around the quiet campground.
July 10: Cape May, NJ
After a better night sleep, we spent this glorious warm summer day in the campground, relaxing and getting to know our motorhome better. The humidity dropped and we spent some time outside walking the pups. We are learning new muscle memory patterns, reaching for toggles and switches, such as raising and lowering the front window shade, a simple light over the patio/front door, and even the bedroom light. We are still accustomed to where we stored items in the Pace Arrow and are finding some difficulty with inside storage in the Solei. For example, there is no storage beneath the kitchen sink, where before we were able to keep 2 gallons of fresh water, the coffee maker, the garbage can, plus some cleaning supplies and the bamboo cutting boards. In the Solei, beneath the angled sink is only storage of 3 narrow shelved for cans and jars. There is only 1 deep cabinet for the garbage can and coffee maker next to the sink. It needs a shelf though to be utilized better. The storage cabinets above the dinette and couch are half as deep as the ones in the Pace Arrow. The plus is the larger ceiling height and living room space, but the downside is less place to keep bulky groceries, like cereals, etc.
The bathroom is smaller than the Pace Arrow, but is cozy, unlike the Viper, which was terribly cramped. Again, the storage is sparse, with the mirrored cabinet above the sink being only 5.5″ deep. Below the sink, is another shallow cabinet, which can barely store some cleaning supplies. Above the toilet is a small hutch for toilet paper, my hair dryer and toilet packets. There is a small magazine rack next to the toilet paper roll. In a way, it helps prevent the accumulation of junk and unnecessary items and medicines like we had in the Pace Arrow. In the bedroom, I must admit I miss my small shelf and magazine rack by my side of the bed. There is a very narrow shelf with a power outlet, but nowhere to stash an iPad, phone or book.