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Leaving Boston and Massachusetts behind, we were off to the next metropolis on our itinerary – New York City! We would spend this day driving to New Jersey, visiting the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, and settling into our NYC base in New Jersey.

There are numerous route options from western Massachusetts to northern New Jersey and we chose the one reported to be the most beautiful – Connecticut route 15 including the Merritt Parkway. No trucks, beautiful natural New England scenery, and fall leaves made this a beautiful way to travel! After crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge, we stopped for a quick lunch at a Garden State Parkway service area in New Jersey before continuing to West Orange.

The Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange is the site of Edison’s campus of laboratories, machine shops, and libraries. The facility opened in 1888 and is where Edison’s group of colleagues worked on the kinetograph, motion picture camera, kinetoscope, phonograph, experimentation with X-rays, and batteries for electric automobiles. The labs closed shortly after his death in 1931 and reopened as a museum 17 years later.

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The facilities at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park are, of course, fascinating and an incredible time capsule of science history as most spaces went untouched following Edison’s passing. Several buildings are public while others require a guided tour. We attempted one guided building tour, but the boys quickly grew weary of the amount of talking and wanted to actually explore so we toured the public buildings at our own pace instead.

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After several hours touring the labs, we checked into our hotel – the Element in Harrison – for the evening and ate a dinner of classic Jersey pizza at the nearby Nino’s restaurant. We were highly impressed by this hotel, a newish chain by Westin designed for business and longer stays with kitchens and an expanded living and office space. This hotel was chosen for it’s low price and being right next to a PATH train station that would lead us into the city – definitely an excellent value for the area!

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