Rating our Friends

Traveling throughout the USA is pretty awesome. However, having friends who let you stay at their houses along the way is AMAZING! It’s a nice break from living in Rhonda. We get a real bed (most of the time), clean towels (most of the time), and now that everyone we know is procreating we get to meet their great kids.

So, without further adieu, here is how we rate each and every place we have stayed.

The Assas: Maplewood, NJ
Adults: David and Lizzie Assa
Kids: Nate, Ruby, and Sloane
Pets: Duncan (dog)

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:
Homemade waffles and eggs
Great arts and craft projects
Multi colored tapes
Ruby and Nate’s excitement to spend every waking moment in Rhonda
Solid laundry machine
Great juicing
Free granola mix
Sloane’s hair

Areas for Improvement:
Raccoons may or may not be hiding in the garage ready to claw your face off!
Cannot exit the house without shoes bc the deck feels like surface of the sun
Low bridges Everywhere!!!
Quiet neighborhood and strict parking rules makes it difficult to boondock.

An extremely pleasant experience. The kids are well-behaved and filled with an abundance of entertainment. The adult conversation is stimulating even if it mostly consists of mock fantasy football drafts between Brett and Dave. Highly recommend the Assa’s to fellow travelers.

Ruby, Sloane, and Lizzie
Ruby, Sloane, and Lizzie
Ruby, David, Brett, Nate
Ruby, David, Brett, Nate

The Wain Manor: Rumson, NJ
Adults: Chad and Stacey Wain
Kids: Jordyn (Dan and Joe were at summer camp)

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:
The Pool
Cable in the bedroom
Lighthearted bickering between Chad and Stacey is always entertaining
Cute Jordyn singing and well-behaved
Able to watch all time favorite movie No Holds Barred bc of their umpteen cable channels
Great shampoo
Amazing pizza rolls

Areas for Improvement:
Unable to call out to someone because they may be in the east wing while you are in the west
No bagels in the house
Constant hang over from the unlimited supply of booze
Chad always has food on his face making him hard to look at
Super high tech dryer too difficult for our feeble minds

The Wain Manor never fails to amaze! In addition to ego inflating games of pool basketball for Vanessa as she always dominates Chad, the company is great. This is a must stop on any road trip through the burbs of New Jersey.


The Iaconellis: Pittsgrove, NJ
Adults: Becky and Mike Iaconelli
Kids: Vegas and Stelly

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:
The collection of animal bones under the bone tree is so cool. (See also negatives)
Dinners and food never ceased to amaze
Entertaining, well-behaved and energetic little ones
MVB: Most valuable bed
Basement bedroom was dark and well air conditioned
Fish Pond built by the hands of Becky
Had a friend for Rhonda

Areas for Improvement:
The bone tree. At times felt like they were watching me too closely in the hopes of adding human bones to their collection.
Rabid, children-biting ants
Constant fear of children walking out of the corn fields
Weight gained from all the incredible meals served

Exploring the Iaconelli’s backyard digs was an adventure itself. With a basement bedroom so dark you could sleep the entire day and not feel bad about it, we will definitely be back…closer to the time when their amazing bar will be complete 🙂

Rhonda found a friend
Rhonda found a friend
The Bone Tree
The Bone Tree

The Kronmans: Brooklyn, NY
Adults: David and Becky Kronman
Kids: TBD

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:
They have a house in the Hamptons…’nuff said
Best Yemeni food I’ve ever had
Becky Love’s impassioned help of those less fortunate (us included)
David’s witty banter
Comfy ass couch
2 blocks from NYC bagels!!!!
Free copies of the Economist

Areas for Improvement:
Lack of towels (ha!)
Hole in the air mattress
Solar power not hooked up in Brooklyn

The Kronmans are always a good time because they are so well cultured and damn funny. In a span of one night in Brooklyn we ate Yemeni food, discussed NY politics, and checked out the new park in Brooklyn. Their house in the Hamptons is a must see. If you plan to visit their estate in Brooklyn, make sure to bring your own towels. A very good time.

Becky, David, Vanessa
Becky, David, Vanessa


The Gotz’s: Burlington, VT
Adults: Dr. Stu Weber Gotz
Kids: TBD

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:Home made chicken soup
Mexican style cucumber appetizer
Apple TV (so many documentaries to watch)
Dr. Gotz diagnosing Brett with PTSD
Allowing us to over stay our welcome because of Brett’s immune system deficiencies
Our new favorite drink, The StuGotz…1/4 oj, 3/4 seltzer water, and lots of ice. (Can add vodka)

Areas for Improvement:
Finding neighbors who don’t make snide remarks about Rhonda
The lack of diagnosing Brett’s sickness and prescribing him meds
Stu needs to worry a little less about becoming a doctor and more time talking to us (ha!)
Follow up home cooked meals with some sort of exercise regiment so your guests don’t get out of shape

Staying with Dr. Gotz is a joy for your palate and your brain. You will get delicious home cooked meals, answers to random questions you didn’t think anyone could know except Google, and some of the finest air mattresses east of the Mississippi. If he acts like he wants you gone after 48 hours he doesn’t. Stay as long as you want and get smarter and fatter all in one. Dr. Gotz is a must see.

You need towels?
You need towels?
Work, work, work.
Work, work, work.

The Firsels: Northbrook, IL
Adults: Adam and Karen Firsel
Kids: Emma and Eli

Reasons Rhonda’s Returning:Emma and Eli are pure entertainment
You can park your RV in front of their house for 5 straight nights!!!
Invites to all the Jewish Holidays
Amazing basement bedroom
Great water pressure in the basement shower
Karen will make sure you have photos of yourself you never had before
Family sing-alongs

Areas For Improvement:
Not enough gluten
No cable in the basement bedroom (ouch)
Eli will make you delete your apps (hahaha)
Difficulty entering and exiting car bc of kids car seats

The Firsels are a must stop as you travel through the Midwest. Only a 40 minute train ride from downtown they will treat you to home cooked meals, take you to family functions where you experience more home cooked meals, and amazing family entertainment. Their kids are awesome, and if you have time we highly recommend checking out the video Karen made for their Rehearsal Dinner. It’s truly amazing.

Firsel Kids



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