Well, EWR (Newark Liberty Airport) has undergone a few changes for the better since '06 in case you ever get back here.
We're a diverse state and have some interesting areas other then the airport area. Crowded? Yes.
I've been to Ca, SF down to Tijuana and back up to LAX, but that was in 1986. It was a great ride.
I am 90 miles north of Sacramento, SF is quite a ways south of me, was rather strange that there was fog in SF while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge one June.