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Eat Your Way Down I-95, And Other Stops To Make

by NPR Staff
Sep 4, 2010 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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Anyone who's been caught in traffic on I-95 — or any other interstate, for that matter — may think Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner have breathed in too much car exhaust.

The couple don't drive along Interstate 95 because they have to; they do it — over and over again — because they like to. Along the way, they've learned everything you need to know — and probably a few things you don't — about I-95.

They're the authors of the book Drive I-95: Exit by Exit Info, Maps, History and Trivia. They've been traveling up and down I-95 for seven years and know how to make the most of the entire trip.

"People don't realize how much fun they could have every day," Sandra tells NPR's Scott Simon. "They get in the car and they have this, 'Oh, you gotta make it there, through so many hours, how are we ever going to do this?'

"And what we tell them is, 'You're gonna take a break every day, so take a break where you can enjoy it and have something to look forward to every day.' "

A 2,000-Mile Buffet

Food is often what drives them. "Yum," Sandra says. "There are so many family restaurants."

"You only go half a mile to a mile off the exits to each side," Stan adds. "Like to the second traffic light, so no one's gonna get lost," Sandra says.

In Florence, S.C., they love the potato soup accompanied by a toasted croissant with honey at Percy and Willie's. "It's right on the exit," Stan says.

Their favorite Italian restaurant is at the bottom of the New Jersey Turnpike. "It's called Italia," Stan says. "It's right on Exit 3 on the Turnpike."

"We love the calzone there," Sandra adds. "We like the one that has the gooey cheeses and fresh ham, and they make this fabulous marinara sauce that you pour all over it."

"It's a family recipe that they have not divulged to us — yet," Stan adds.

Exit 50 near Baltimore is where you'll find a great polish sausage at Polock Johnny's, they say. It comes with a sauce called "The Works." Also around Baltimore — and only in that area, they say — don't miss the Berger cookies. They're a kind of shortbread cookie with a thick layer of chocolate fudge icing on top, available in supermarkets.

"Also, in Delaware, is something that's called a 'Thanksgiving dinner on a bun' at Capriotti's," Sandra says. "They sell it all year around," Stan says.

Battleships, Garbage And Dentures

But it's not all food on I-95. You can also go swimming with sharks — in Camden, N.J., at the aquarium.

"And right next to it is a battleship," Sandra offers. It's the Battleship New Jersey, which saw every major battle of the last century, according to the couple. Tours are available, but on Fridays and Saturdays, you can actually stay overnight.

"So you've got kids in the car, and you say, 'If you'll be good, we'll be sleeping on a battleship tonight,' " Sandra suggests.

In Connecticut, there's a garbage museum. Stan's fascinated with it.

"How about this one," Sandra jumps in, "You can get dentures made overnight in Florence, S.C. You go in, they pull out your teeth, you sleep over at a motel, and by the time you wake up in the morning, your dentures are ready."

The couple brims with more suggestions, and clearly still hasn't gotten enough of I-95. "We've been doing this seven years and there are places we cannot go by without stopping," Stan says.

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