By CBSNewYork Team

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – For many people, Memorial Day Weekend is the first time since the pandemic began that they feel comfortable without masks and social distancing.

For some, that means a trip out of town.

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“We need to get away. It’s been too much. We’re going to stay safe. We’re all vaccinated,” one person said.

KJ from the Bronx was making her first trip since the pandemic started. She and her husband are headed to South Carolina to visit family. For the educator, a vacation is more than necessary.

“It was a lot. Between people passing away every day, you know,” KJ said. “Its really been challenging trying to teach the children. Staying connected with the parents.”

It’s a similar sentiment for many people passing through the Vince Lombardi service stop in New Jersey. Andrew Ortiz, from Brick, New Jersey, plans to spend his 37th birthday at his Shore house.

“Have some family over, have a barbecue, throw some steaks, some shrimp, and just eat good. Eat with the family,” Ortiz said.

He says because most of his family is fully vaccinated, he feels more comfortable in a big group and he’s ready to celebrate.

One Connecticut couple is headed to a wedding in Maryland. They explained that last year they did nothing, just stayed at home, and this year is “definitely” a big change.

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They added that even though mask and social distancing requirements have eased for those that are fully vaccinated, they still plan to maintain social distance and wear masks where necessary.

Westchester county dad Mike Allen will too. He’s taking his son and two friends to Bethany Beach in Delaware for the weekend.

“It’s secluded, so there’s not a lot of people who will be down there so we can stay social distant. We’re going to be safe. Not going to any restaurants, not doing outdoor dining. Just some takeout,” said dad Mike Allen.

His son and friends are just happy to be getting away. They say even if things aren’t totally back to normal- they’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

“It’s really nice to get out after being isolated for so long, getting to hang out with friends,” Ryan Allen said.

“During school, its been a crazy year. We have SATs, and that kind of stuff, and then also just taking a bit of break,” said Alexander Pederson.

While the weather forecast isn’t looking great this weekend, many of the people Dhillon spoke to say after a year of quarantining and social distancing, they’re just happy to be reconnecting with family and friends and they won’t let a little rain get in their way.

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Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team