|It seems to me that our "trip to Europe" really began on Friday, 10 September, when we put our Volkswagen bus on the dock. We actually drove down there to the dock on Thursday to be sure we could find it OK. It was at Elizabeth, New Jersey, just across from Manhattan. Our ship hadn't come in yet (it was due on Friday) but there was another ship in, we were told was exactly like it (same company). We were not allowed to walk out to where we would be able to see the ship but the guard had a dock man drive us out in a company car and he stopped so we could take pictures. They were very nice to us, and gave us tips on how we could get back to NYC once our car was left at the dock. We spent the night in a campground in New Jersey (Netcong) just an hour from NYC. Then on Friday we drove in to Manhattan and left our baggage, which we were not shipping with the car, at the Howard Johnson's where we were to stay for 10 days.
Unfortunately there were a few things we meant to leave at the hotel and didn't, and so had to carry them all the way back from the dock with us.
When we arrived at the dock, about 45 minutes from Manhattan, we found that baggage shipped with a car goes by the cubic foot rather than by the pound as I had been told, so my calculations and packing were all wrong. We managed to combine some boxes and were helped by a very nice dock man, who seemed to be in charge. He set all our boxes on a skid (pallet) and wrapped them together with metal tape so they would all stay together during shipment. This cost us $12 but was worth it. He arranged the boxes in such a way that it came to only about 16 cu. ft. and so cost us less. We had to call the International Sea & Air Co. which is the freight forwarder who prepared our dock papers, bills of lading, etc., for us. The actual shipping company was American Container Line. We had to let Sea & Air know the dock receipt number.
After leaving off our "personal effects" we drove our car to where we were to leave it (just across the street). They inspected it to be sure we had left absolutely nothing in it. Then there we were, with receipts for our car and personal effects, no car, 3000 miles from home, all by ourselves. What a strange feeling. The friendly dock men gave us good advice on how to get back to Manhattan, since a cab would cost about $50. We took a cab to the nearby Newark Airport for $8 and then caught a bus to 42nd Street, Manhattan for only $4. We walked, with Brenden in the stroller, from 42nd to 51st and there we were at our hotel.
Though our 10 day stay in NYC is not really part of our European trip per se, it is a part of this journal as preparation for the trip. Actually most of our NY stay was work, as we were teaching a 1 week data processing seminar there. We had about 2