Sunday, August 12, 2007

Orbiting the Evil Empire

No matter how much many of us talk about Boston and Providence as our big hubs, we all know that it is out there! A major economic and cultural center that is not only a "must see" location in and of itself, but blocks the highways that we New England Mamas need to traverse if we want to get to Sesame Street Place, Washington DC, or the Jersey Shore. Yes, I am talking about the Big Apple, New York City.

I have to admit that I have slightly mixed loyalties when I lock arms with my fellow New Englanders to glare south. Not only did I live in Hoboken, New Jersey for two years while working in Manhattan, but my husband lived in and around "The City" for almost 30 years, and he still proudly calls himself a New Yorker. (In fact, he was joyfully cavorting around the house earlier today yelling something about "Only 4 games out! And at least two-and-a-half up!" for some baseball-related events that I am sure were less happily received by most of my neighbors.) But neither of our New York associations make driving through the City seem any more enticing.

My friend and her husband generously invited my family to spend the week with them in Ocean City, New Jersey. Unfortunately, my husband couldn't make the trip. I figured it would be no problem for me to take the boys by myself. However, as the trip got closer, I began to feel like I needed to breathe into a paper bag every time I thought about the drive. Being stuck in a car with a 3.5 year old and a 13 month old isn't fun at the best of times, and everyone I knew said the Jersey Shore traffic was simply a nightmare. It looked like the 7 hour drive would really be a 10+ hour drive.

Due to my complete laziness shear brilliance, we ended up leaving much later than expected. Originally I had wanted to leave at 6 am (that makes me laugh just to write it), however, that definitely didn't happen. In fact once 9 am had rolled around, I figured it was better to wait until the afternoon anyhow. We ended up leaving at around 3:15 pm. Other than some traffic delays getting onto I-84 (if my FastPass had been working it would have been no problem), there was basically no traffic on my trip. We stopped for an hour for dinner. The whole trip took us 8 hours total, inclusive of the stop. The boys slept through most of it since I wouldn't let them nap before we left.

Tonight when I am welcomed back into the arms of my fellow New Englanders as I go out with the moms from my playgroup, my first toast will be to Newark Airport. Because they overbook their airspace, there were plenty of airplanes coming and going when we drove through. The boys got a good half hour out of talking about the different airplanes and their "sizes".


pinks & blues girls said...

Welcome back! I give you credit for making the trip without your husband.

I get distracted by airplanes, too. :)

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

margalit said...

I AM a masochist. I love that drive to NYC and I actually love driving IN NYC. It's challanging, it's nerve wracking, and it's exhilirating. And it do it WITHOUT going over a single bridge. I don't do bridges.

If you ever want to really entertain your kids with airplanes, drive up to LLBean sometime and right at the portland airport, pull off to the side of the road. The planes take off RIGHT at the tip of the road and you can see the people inside the planes, they're so close. Maybe 150' or less above you. You can see the bolts in the landing gear. It's FUN.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm twitching. Your story made me twitch. Just the thought of making that drive with two little ones freaks me out.


margalit said...

Mrs Chicky. You wanna REALLY twitch? I drove all across the country, from the Bay Area to Boston alone with my twins when they were 9. The whole way. Just me. And it was a BLAST. Best two weeks of my life. Except for a few minor issues. But really, fun!

Amy Linder said...

I was just looking at the MapQuest directions for our trip from So. NH to Hershey, PA. It takes us through the Bronx and such and I know we'd much, MUCH rather take a route that doesn't include NYC. Even if it adds time to the trip.

Any suggestions?


Fairly Odd Mother said...

We have vacationed every summer for the past 6 years in Ocean City, NJ (this was the first year we took a break). God, that drive. I want to shoot whoever decided to put a toll booth every couple of miles (I think it is on the Garden State Parkway). I am so totally impressed that you did it in only 8 hours, AND you were alone with your boys. We've left at 4:30am (yes, that is right) and STILL got stuck in traffic!