We loaded up the rental car on a 95-degree Saturday, cranked up the AC and the Sirius XM '80s channel (after Jen and the boys nixed the Sirius XM '50s channel) and hit the road.
First stop: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, an abandoned prison that was in use from 1829 to 1970. It was one of the first prisons to use radial-style architecture, which meant the cell blocks all radiated out from a central guard station. It housed Al Capone for a short time.
Ethan asked, "When you go to prison do you get to keep the outfit?"
Next stops: Philly cheese steaks in downtown Philly, followed by Target to pick up some camping supplies, followed by Timberland Lake Campground in central New Jersey.
Some friends were supposed to join us, but they bailed on us via text message. It was hot and humid, we were still sticky from the prison tour, the swimming pool was closed to adults for a kids party, and the water wasn't working in the restrooms.
We got the tent pitched by dusk, at which point I said, "You know, Six Flags is only five minutes away. They're open for forty-five more minutes." So, see? Those season passes came in handy.
We rode the Runaway Mine Train three times with no line, then drenched ourselves under a water-spray nozzle to cool down and wash off our sweat before heading back to camp.
We slept 'til 10 the next morning, took a dip in the pool, then spent the afternoon at Hurricane Harbor.