Road Trip

We took a quick trip up to New York this weekend to see my grandparents. It was actually Ellie’s idea. She was looking at pictures of them, and said, “We should go see Nana and Pa.” So we did.
We left bright and early on Saturday morning, hoping to get as far as possible before the kids woke up. Unfortunately, I forgot to fill up on gas before leaving, so we ended up stopping around Havre de Grace, Maryland for gas, at which point both kids were up and we stopped for breakfast. Our meal breaks on both drives ended up a lot longer than usual, because Ellie, in spite of clamoring about how hungry she was, did not want to eat. Sigh, the joys of toddler-hood. After a long crossing of the George Washington Bridge, we arrived in the Bronx around 1pm. A little over 6 hours door-to-door, but there was a good hour of stopping to eat.
Ellie had a good time in New York. We went to the playground down the street, which has been upgraded considerably since I played there. And on Sunday, we drove (drove? yes, drove) downtown to the Staten Island ferry, and rode that across and back. It goes right past the Statue of Liberty, and it’s free! It was a cloudy, crummy day, and we didn’t have a huge amount of time to spend there, so it wasn’t worth spending the money to go to the Statue herself.
And that is where the fun ended. Follow along with this Google Map I created. We started off from our awesome parking space just outside of the New York Police Museum, with our eye on the Holland Tunnel. We first had to deal with getting past all the fire trucks around the Deutsche Bank building that was on fire on Saturday. Then when we got to the tunnel turn at Canal St, the police were blocking it off. I asked Lisa if we should just head up to the Lincoln Tunnel, but she thought we should still take a chance on the Holland. Too late, I flipped on 1010 WINS to find out that there was a stalled car in the Holland Tunnel causing a 40 minute plus backup. We got stuck in the gridlock approaching the tunnel for a few minutes, before navigating around it to get back on the West Side Highway to head up to the Lincoln. Only we went right past the fire station that had lost two firefighters in that fire. They had all but one lane blocked off for the wake.
Finally, we make it to the Lincoln Tunnel, which was moving reasonably well. On to the turnpike, and did I mention it had started raining? Here’s a tip for anyone going to drive the turnpike: take the truck/local lanes, because there aren’t that many trucks, while there are a lot of cars. I forgot to take my own advice and we paid for it. As in, 10 miles of jammed traffic up to the point where the local and express lanes merge. And even beyond that, the road was still jammed. Finally, at exit 5, we saw a sign for Cracker Barrel and stopped to eat dinner. Better than Burger King in the jam packed rest areas, but again, we took an hour and a half to eat. Back on the road again, we see signs warning of traffic on I-95 into Delaware. Not much choice, so we soldier on. We reach the Delaware Bridge without much traffic, and figure that we missed it, since it’s so late already (by now we’ve called the dog sitters and told them we’re not picking Max up tonight). But no, at the Delaware rest area, we slam on the brakes again, 5 miles away from the toll booth, and jammed the entire way.
Finally, we make it past the toll booth, and I try to make up some time. The rain has tapered off at last (it ought to, as we’ve been on the road long enough), and we decide to take the Harbor Tunnel, I-895, instead of driving through Baltimore, where I know that the Ravens are playing the Giants in a preseason game, and I figure there will probably be traffic from that. Luckily, we avoid any other traffic jams, and make it home safely.
Monday morning trivia for you:
How many times did I honk my horn driving around New York this weekend?
How long did it take us, door-to-door, including dinner breaks, on the way home? Keep in mind the Google Map route provided says it should take 4 hours and 43 minutes normally, and up to 6 hours and 29 minutes in traffic.

2 thoughts on “Road Trip”

  1. At least 52 times honking the horn.

    Figure 9 1/2 hours to get back. Since you didn’t mention lunch, I figure you left after lunch say 12PM. The Giants game did not start until 8, so that is at least 8 hours, but figure that it is significantly more.

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