Tag Archives: New Jersey Turnpike

Sunday Fun Day: Ice Cream down the Jersey Shore

Perfect weather today for a little trip down the Jersey Shore for some ice cream! Of course besides my friend Bill and I, everyone else in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York had the same idea… the traffic was atrocious. Everywhere, all the time. But we followed through with it and had a great time hanging out and sampling some delicious ice cream from Charlie’s Creamery in Seaside Park, New Jersey

Originally my plans for this weekend were to volunteer with Team Pocono for the Indycar race at the tricky triangle. Unfortunately for me they did not invite me back. So I had the weekend free to have other fun in the Miata.

We met up at Cheesequake Service Area on the Garden State Parkway. I expected some traffic along the way, and there was some… lots of volume of cars on the road heading south. But when it came time to cross the bridge in Perth Amboy it was just bumper to bumper, it took me half an hour to cover 95% of my trip, and another twenty minutes to go the last two miles to the service area.

Bill was already waiting…

My plan was to continue south on the Parkway until Seaside Heights, visit one creamery and then work our way back up Ocean Avenue to the second creamery in Asbury Park before heading home. But because of traffic that plan was scrapped. So instead of getting back on the GPS, we took the local route, 35 in South Amboy towards Hazlet and Atlantic Highlands.

First stop was at the Navesink Twin Lighthouse park where the skies were so clear you could really see Manhattan and Brooklyn in the distance… no haze or humidity at all.

Part of the big backup on Route 35 before hitting the Ocean was the fact that Sandy Hook had filled up to max capacity. Everyone was waiting in line just to find out the park was closed and then sat around weighing in their other beach options.

The traffic further down the shore wasn’t any better. With pedestrian crossings every few hundred feet, most of the way we were going less than 20mph.

Hey I spotted a Holden Commodore!

The famous Windmill hot dog place…

Lots of cool cars out and about today… the weirdest thing about this Ferrari was a strong smell of burning plastic. We only followed it for a few miles at relatively low speed, but the bad smell coming off this thing was scary!

Gas prices down the shore were all over the board. It varied almost 50 cents between stations for the same grade of fuel. For whatever reason this Mobil was only $2.77 for 93 premium. Surprising!

The further south we went the less the bad the traffic got. As soon as we cleared all the towns with Boardwalks along the way, the pedestrians were less and less of an issue. And the traffic sped up. Obviously! It was a good opportunity to scout beaches to take the family to in the future.

Tons of people at the beach!

And we finally arrived… 2pm ice cream breakfast! Got a parking spot right in front of the joint…. one NJ.com highly recommended as one of the best ice cream parlors down the Jersey Shore!

Luckily the ice cream was very tasty! But since we lost a ton of time driving down here we scrapped the idea of following Ocean Ave back up… instead opting to go directly back to the Parkway and fighting the traffic there. The road was busy but not as much as it would be a few hours later when all the beach goers packed up and headed home.

It was an awesome, nearly 200 mile and $30 in fuel trip, just to get a $5.25 ice cream…

Mazda MX-5: Hello Jamie! Pit Stop in New Jersey for a North Carolina Miata Traveling to Massachusetts

Imagine you’re driving your Miata from Raleigh, North Carolina to Schrewsbury, Massachusetts; wouldn’t it be nice to make a pit stop half way to relax, grab some food and chat about marshaling? Well, that’s exactly what Jamie did while on a road trip in his 2013 Miata.

I was glad to hear he was driving through my part of the state and offered to show him a little taste of Jersey. The restaurant of choice was “White Mana” in Hackensack where I work, home of the original slider (little burgers)… long before White Castle took the idea global. White Mana is a great place to eat, chat and watch how sliders are made right in front of you.

white mana hackensack new jersey burger sliders
white mana burger sliders are made fresh, never frozen, served on potato bun cooked to order right in front of you, with diner style seating around the chef

Jamie and I met up at Vince Lombardi Service Area on the NJ Turnpike which I figured would make an easy meeting spot right on i95 before heading to Hackensack. And even there you can’t escape the reach of Motorsports with the big NASCAR official fuel sponsor – Sunoco:

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 0
one Miata
jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 1
two Miata

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 3

from Vince Lombardi to White Mana was just a short drive down i80 and of course every opportunity was used to take more Miata pix:

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 5

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 4

After we were full, Jamie’s car needed a top off so we passed three BP stations before we reached the most reasonably priced one just near the Garden State Parkway entrance to send Jamie off towards Tappan Zee Bridge and avoiding the big tolls and traffic of going through New York City.

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 6

jamie in transit nc3 mx-5 miata from nc to ma 7

Not too bad filling up for $2.65/gallon for 93 premium where most other places were from $2.89 to $3.05 including some of those other BP gas stations we passed to get here.

After showing Jamie the way towards New England I broke off down the Palisades Interstate Parkway towards the George Washington Bridge where I remembered the neat spot to take a few beauty shots of the Miata. It’s the place where Rob Ferreti shoots some of his SuperSpeeders YouTube videos and generally a nice place to be with a beautiful view of Manhattan. The little sun shower me and Jamie drove thru was obviously far more severe at the park because most of the parking lot was flooded, which yielded some nice pix:

palisades interstate park george washington bridge mx-5 miata 1

palisades interstate park george washington bridge mx-5 miata 2palisades interstate park george washington bridge mx-5 miata 3

palisades interstate park george washington bridge mx-5 miata 4

All in all it was an excellent day. Anytime you get a chance to meet a fellow Miata owner and also a fellow marshal is an awesome day. Jamie runs the Starter stand, and I had an opportunity to work for/with him at last year’s Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta. Now that he’s moving up to Massachusetts, the same town where Jessie lives, I’ll probably get an opportunity to learn Start/Finish job from him at some point in the future. And in my marshaling career that is the next position I would like to learn how to volunteer. So stay tuned…