I can’t honestly believe I’ve now been on the road with this tour for about ten days now. Some things feel like they happened weeks ago, other things seconds ago. No matter what the feelings I’ve had the last several days, the common denominator is this:
I have never been to New Jersey before. Ever.
This part of the trip is completely unfamiliar to me. Which makes everything that much more exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.
I’d like to say that New Jersey doesn’t fulfill all of the stereotypes I’ve seen on TV all these years, but there’s a little truth to everything isn’t there? There’s both good and bad in everywhere you go, and no place is perfect. In my roughly 45 mile drive from Weehawken (right across from Manhattan) to Princeton, I saw a lot of things that fell into that nasty stereotype. I’ve driven in a lot of places around the world, and I can honestly say that I’ve seen more aggressive driving here than anywhere else I’ve ever driven-hands down. Those first 20 miles in New Jersey right outside of New York City were incredibly depressing and bleak. But on the other hand, Princeton, New Jersey is a beautiful college town. Lovely people and picturesque places make this well worth a stop if you venture out this way. I was lucky to be here when the all of the trees were flowering, and it just elevated the experience to a whole other level.
Driving this part of the Lincoln is not easy-you now have fair warning if you didn’t know it already. Compared to other states, it’s not as well marked. I relied on Jerry’s paper guide (see the previous New York post) and my GPS to tell me where I was. What dawned on me while I was getting lost in Newark was that 100 years ago, this would have been the main route for people to follow of just a handful of routes that existed. On some levels, it might have been easier to follow the road a century ago (that’s if you car didn’t break down).
On that note, I did have a minor emergency while in Princeton with my car. My trunk latch broke (eek), but luckily I was able to get it fixed right away (no rope needed). I guess everyone has a car story for their cross country road trip, let’s hope I got mine out of the way.
I finished driving through New Jersey yesterday afternoon, and am now in the Philadelphia area for the next week. Here’s some of my New Jersey pictures I wanted to share with you all. Enjoy, and keep finding the songs and roads wherever they take you!
Cece looks like you are having a great time, I listened to your cd I received it was great, good luck with the rest of you adventure, long following along with your adventure :)
Thanks Barb! I’m glad to hear you liked the CD, and I’m happy that you are coming along for the ride virtually. :) Hope you and everyone else are well up north!
Elizabeth Otto Turick says
Enjoyed the article in the Cranbury Press newspaper. Unfortunately your performance in Princeton was a week before the article appeared in the newspaper. Princeton is very close to where we live in Monroe Township New Jersey. Anyway New Jersey is a really small state. When you tell anyone that you are from New Jersey, the joke is that they ask “What exit?”
But Cece, are we related??? My maiden name was Otto. I was born in Newark and lived in Irvington until I got married in 1962. I met my husband Mark Turick at Montclair State University, where he was a Mathematics major and I was a Business Education major. Now we live in a retirement community in Monroe Township, New Jersey. However, we lived in Union New Jersey for 40 years. We did not move very far. I agree with you about the aggressive New Jersey drivers. They even drive the native New Jersey folks to distraction.
I will follow your trip. Stay safe. You are doing such a fantastic thing. I’ll love to hear about your book so please stay in touch. Your photos are great.
Betty Otto Turick
It is very nice to meet you, thanks so much for saying hello and for all of your thoughts, I really appreciate it. I would have loved to have had the reporter who came to my performance on the 19th interview me before my arrival in Princeton, but it unfortunately wasn’t in the cards. Believe it or not, of the 14 states for this tour, New Jersey was one of the hardest to book a performance in because of where the Lincoln Highway sits, as well as because of its small size. When this tour is over, I plan to release a book and CD about my travels sometime next year and I plan to come back through all of the states again to sign the books/perform the new music that I will write about my travels-hopefully with more notice so people can make it to the concert next time.
We could very well be related – my father’s family settled in Southern Indiana near the Ohio river in the late 1800’s, but we’re not sure what part of Germany they came from. My understanding growing up is that there’s not many Otto folks out there, and that when I see another Otto, in some way we are related, even if distantly. It’s nice to know I could have family in New Jersey that I have yet to meet; it makes my next trip back East that much more meaningful.
I will definitely keep in touch with you about the book and my future travels to New Jersey. Thanks again for finding me here, and I look forward to meeting you and your family when I come through in the future.
All the best,