(Year 3) Days 137 & 138 – Searching for a Hotel

November 2, 2012 – 8:07 pm 5 Comments

We had a fairly chilly night last night in the back of the van – well, Rog did anyway as his sleeping bag is past its best!   Like true Homies, we had breakfast in McD’s and then we continued on into New Jersey to find our hotel that we’d booked  a few weeks’ ago!   We found it deserted, as it has no power!!  This is a real blow because they were cheap, close to the airport, on a bus route for us to get into New York city and, most importantly, they had a free shuttle to take us and all our kit to the airport!   We then spent a very long time trying to find another motel ……………..!!  Plenty of them without power, plenty of them with power but they were either full of displaced people, or they were very expensive $199 per night!!  We eventually found a cheap motel, (in fact it has a dual purpose as a brothel), but it’s OK.    We did check out this morning (Saturday) though, to have another search around the area, but to no avail, so we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that here we’ll stay and we’ve booked ourselves back in for the next few days ………   We needed to make a decision, as we have a U Haul vehicle that we are paying daily for and will now be taking back tomorrow (Sunday), otherwise, at this rate, we may as well pay for an expensive hotel!!!


The petrol queues are unbelievable; both cars and people queuing with cans and sometimes the lines stretch for over a mile.  The petrol queuing becomes fairly dangerous, particularly at night, where you will come around a corner and suddenly there is a queue in the nearside lane, but it isn’t always obvious.  The most dangerous situations are the queues forming on the motorways  and the traffic having to move into 2 lanes – sometimes very suddenly!  The petrol is rationed to $10 or $20 worth and now there is a system in place for odd numbered vehicles on odd days and vice versa, to try and ration the petrol further.  The scarcity of the petrol has occurred for a few reasons – firstly, some of the refineries are without power, secondly some of the petrol stations have no power for the pumps to work and thirdly,  the petrol can’t be moved from one State to another, because the sales tax is different from State to State! This third issue has been temporarily sorted by an Emergency State Order.   I must admit, the differing sales taxes from State to State are really annoying, it also changes from product to product and varying services ……. not simple at all and, it is all added on post price!!


There is plenty of rubbish beginning to stack up everywhere and there are quite a few streets around here without power, so no wandering around in the dark for us!  In fact, not sure we’d wander very far in this area at all actually, let alone in the dark!!  We are in Elizabeth in New Jersey – not the most salubrious of areas – plenty of South London suburbs are very similar and spring to mind constantly!   On our drive this morning (Saturday), to look for a hotel, we ended up in a ‘dodgy’ area, Rog noticed quite a few cars on bricks and that’s always a give-away!   We actually stopped here at a McD’s as we needed the internet to try and look up hotels, getting in to New York, etc. etc. and this was the first one we’d seen with power.  We made sure we parked the van as close to the window as we could, so we could watch it!!   We certainly drew plenty of stares walking in – took us back to cycling in China, where we were the main point of interest there!!  One chap got talking to us – I think one of the first things he said was “what are you nice folks doing here in the ‘hood’ ?!!”  We didn’t stay long ……….!!



Our Motel is in a run-down, residential area, where there are a few local shops and businesses, but not much else.  Our room doesn’t have either a fridge or microwave, and so we’ll need to eat cold food or find some cheap, good places to eat.  However, in the US, if you don’t have a car to get around, it can become difficult to find things!  Therefore, our driving around over the last couple of days, hasn’t been wasted, as we’ve now placed where the nearest supermarket is, and in addition, where there are some restaurants/cafes.   We’ve also found where the nearest train station is to catch a train into New York for our sight-seeing – yes, amazingly, they are running.  So, we’ll be on foot for the next few days and between walking to the supermarket and/or restaurant and sight-seeing in New York, I think we’ll be covering a few miles …………

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5 Responses to “(Year 3) Days 137 & 138 – Searching for a Hotel”

  1. paul scott Says:

    “We then spent a very long time trying to find another motel ……………..!! Plenty of them without power, plenty of them with power but they were either full of displaced people, or they were very expensive $199 per night!! We eventually found a cheap motel, (in fact it has a dual purpose as a brothel), but it’s OK.”

    excellent , in difficult times there is nothing like a brothel

  2. Andrea Says:

    Lol Paul! The petrol shortage is also due to the tankers being unable to dock due to all the debris floating around in the ports. God knows how they’re going to organise the voting, loads of people have lost all their possessions, including their ID! What a nightmare! Seems the community spirit is dissipating as people’s patience is pushed way beyond their limits. Stay safe.

  3. Alan and Marie Lewis Says:

    Stay with it. We’re thinking of you. So so sad for the people. And an election as well.

  4. Mum Says:

    Quite worrying,will be glad when things get better for you and the people out there,how do they cope,do take care ,all my love Mum xxxxxx

  5. Sandra & Tony Says:

    I feel for you Dee and Roger, my daughter Joanne was stuck in NY for an extra 6 days, luckily she was able to stay in the hotel as new guests could not get there but there was no power and she was walking a couple of blocks to find a hairdresser or eatery so she could charge up her phone, at the end of it all she got a bill for 3000$. Shes hoping BA are going to pick up the bill along with all her other expenses. Jo and her friend spent most of the 6days ‘wandering’ around rather than staying in the hotel without power, she said the streets were very busy like Oxford Circus on a Saturday morning. Hopefully things in NY will start to improve. Enjoy the sightseeing lots of love xxx

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