Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Review: Part 1 - The Trip to the MotherLand

Over the next few posts I'll share with you some sights and situations from Christmas. Try to contain your excitement.

Christmas Eve is always spent in Brooklyn - it's the law.

This year I was traveling from NJ to Brooklyn alone. For various reasons everyone else was already there.

I left early and expected only mind numbing traffic as opposed to the soul crushing traffic experienced once you leave NJ later then 4.

I sailed along the Garden State Parkway, north to the home of pizza, bagels and big hair. Unfortunately my time on the GSP is the shortest part of the route.

I sailed around the curve toward the Outerbridge Crossing and ...

Forget the fact that the OC is only 2 lanes. Ignore the evil of bad road planning.

This is because people suck. The 'Hooray For Me, To Hell With You' club travels en masse on holidays.

I'm in the right lane. Everyone to the right of me is not. There are at least 6 signs leading up to this point that tells them so.

All those folks to the right of me are blocking an exit lane and will shove themselves into formation at the mouth of the bridge.

They're so important and their families need them more than mine needs me.

We could PAY for actual, real healthcare if these asshats were ticketed and fined appropriately. A few Highway Patrol officers on the shoulder could have netted a fortune. Of course NJ Highway Patrol is far too busy following cars driven by black men.

Once over the bridge there was a wondrous moment ...

... brought to me by all the douche's who don't have EZ Pass. I know which lane will be open for EZ Pass only because in the 3rd grade I learned how to read. And I have an EZ Pass.

Apparently all the people without EZ Pass also do not read. Makes sense - if they did read they might know that the guvment can't read their thoughts through the little white box on their windshield.

I wish I could share photos of the rest of the trip. Staten Island and the entrance to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge are just so lovely. My favorite part is all those drivers who brake suddenly when they see the sign that says 'No Toll Maintain Speed'

I just couldn't find a moment to snap any as I was fighting for me life.

Once off the highway and thru the exit I was in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My brother thinks he's hot shit and moved out of Bensonhurst into Bay Ridge where they keep the snooty people. Not to be confused with Brooklyn Heights where they keep the snooty people who can read. In Bay Ridge they can only read money.

I got scared for a moment thinking I was being called into the light to explain why I used the word 'MotherF***er' on Christmas Eve ...

... but it was only the decor of my last hurdle ...

The main commercial strip of Bay Ridge. Mecca for triple parking and jay walking. Took me 20 minutes to travel 5 city blocks.

And not without incident. On block 4 I whacked the back end of a brand new Escalade (official vehicle of Brooklyn) with my passenger side mirror. Totally my bad - he was sticking out a mile into my lane with his parking lights on while the van behind me settled into my trunk as a woman with 4 children crossed my path against the light. What was I thinking!?

To his credit he waved me off with a "Merry Christmas Sweetheart, don't worry about it - it's fucking chaos here". I think he may have been Santa - or Jesus!

Upon entering my bros's little neck of Bay Ridge I was greeted with the subtle and environment respecting decor of his neighbors ...

My reward for my treacherous travels? Look who was there! Reading her Christmas book and waiting for Nana ...


Anonymous said...

Well that sounds like a fun day...I'm jealous...NOT...except for the pleasure of Hope's company! She's a love.

Waiting for the next instalment...

Anonymous said...

I'm cracking up because I know the traffic there well!! But..... did you make it, did you make it? Huh Huh?????


Liberality said...

Love that your granddaughter is already reading books. Well, maybe not actually reading but getting the hang of it anyway--which is VERY important.

Dianne said...

rob - some of it was fun ;)
I love to curse out of car windows

tammy - I made it there and back just fine :)

lib - her Mom is big into books and so am I
Hope was read to in the womb :)
if you hold up a book she jumps up and down in excitement
when you read to her she touches the words or watches your face
sometimes she starts "talking" with you and pointing to the pictures
it's wonderful!!
she has even gotten my son into reading and he has never enjoyed books

Allison said...

she looks like she is intensely focusing on the book...def going to be a smart cookie :)

Matt-Man said...

The guy with the Escalade waved you off because the vehicle he was driving was stolen. Cheers Di!!

Jay said...

Did you stop on Staten Island and say hello to Snooki? She seems like a really sweet girl.

Uh .. she's on "Jersey Shore." haha ;-)

That looks like a real freaking hassle. But, at least you made it and got to celebrate Christmas with the family.

Linda said...

Good Lord, woman! And to think I'm actually debating on driving down to Brooklyn on Friday to pick up Amanda's friend - what am I thinking?!?

Glad you made it safe and sound and that Santa drives an Escalade - who else would be so jovial?!?

Looking forward to Part II!

Jay Simser said...

I love it that you and I use the same language towards other drivers. I practically never say M*&**F&**(( except when driving. ( Oh wait - I just told a lie. I use it all the time when alone.) and I must have picked up asshat from you because I now call other drivers that. Do you suppose I could survive in New Jersey?

I also love Hope and am so glad she is "into" books. the best thing I ever did as a teacher was getYourself too. j

Dianne said...

allison - she loves her books :) and she often looks as though she is deep in thought, thanks

matt-man - how could I have not thought of that!!? I told ya, I'm slippin' cause I'm older than you

jay - poor snooki, my nieces were talking about her and the show all night
I try very hard to never actually stop on Staten Island, it was built to pass thru ;)

linda - nooooooooo!!! on New Year's Day!!!? nooooooo!!! we're not doing it this year, last year was a freakin' nightmare - 3 hours for a 45 min trip
tell the kid to take the train and pick her up at the station, hell my brother made his daughter do it from Philly

jay s - I would imagine that cuss words sound so classy coming from you :)
you could absolutely make it in NJ

Ron said...


You had me laughing my ass off through this entire post!!!!!

And when I got to...

...I was greeted with the subtle and environment respecting decor of his neighbors...

...and saw the two photos, I HOWLED!!!!

I only wish I could have been with you during your drive to Brooklyn, because I know the two of us would be cursing and flinging our middle fingers every two seconds.

Faaaabulous post, dear lady!

Can't wait to read part 2.

Hope is beyond adorable!

X ya!

Mrs. C said...

When you said "the motherland," I was clicking over to see those overseas travel posts LOL. I sorta wasn't expecting Brooklyn. :)

Shelly said...

Oh girl...after three days of freaky-family-drama...thank you so much for making me laugh. The only thing better than reading this (and Matt's comments - stinkin' funny) would be to get to ride in the passenger seat next to you.

Hilary said...

I'm glad you had the good company of the cursing voice inside your head. I'm sure it made the trip go much faster. Very funny, albeit nerve-wracking post, Dianne. And as always, you left us with Hope.

the walking man said...

Dianne you have to dumb down your driving to match the witlessness of them around you. Turn the radio louder, close one eye and just aim the vehicle in the general direction you want it t go.

bobbie said...

Oh, girl - been there - done that!

But yes - there is always Hope! thank God!

Bob-kat said...

So, Hope was waiting for you at the end of that grand journey? Sounds like you needed both kinds! Glad you made it safe and sound, even if your sanity was tried. In a way it's nice to know that asshole selfish drivers proliferate both sides of the ocean as we have them here too!

Micky-T said...

This must be why when I drive through NYC or most of New Jersey if I have to get off the highway for any reason I break out in the sweats, hives and start shaking uncontrolably.

Raven said...

Ah, a long journey to a happy end. Merry Christmas! Last time I was in one of those massive inch by inch journeys was about 12 years ago. It took us hours to go about 15 minutes worth of distance. Ugh. Glad you made it safe to the happy end. I enjoyed the journey.

The Quiet Rage said...

I laughed only because I understand your thoughts exactly!!! Rude/dumb drivers are in no short supply in California, either..[sigh]

Jim said...

Hey Dianne, you have joined the club! Our Houston Traffic was a breeze Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Everybody did everything the day before it seemed. Even rush hour on Christmas Eve was a breeze.
Our toll roads have threeor four EZ-Pass lanes and one or two regulars. That helps there too. I don't know why people don't want the govt to snoop?

You saved the best for last for us, just like your long ride! That Hope is growing like a weed!

Thanks for peeking in on me, and for reading my poem. I wish a Belated Merry Christmas and an Early Happy New Year to you!

jennifer said...

I would just curl up in fetal position and forget about Christmas if I were faced with navigating that traffic. Of course, Hope would be good incentive to make the trip.

Glad you made it in one piece!

Melli said...

So what you're really saying is that Hope and forgiveness are our just rewards for denying our own temptations?!? Right?

She is such a cutie!

Dianne said...

ron - you are the best audience!! X ya so freakin' much
Hope sends giant hugs and dribble kisses to Uncle Ron

mrs c - once you're from Brooklyn all other origins must be forsaken ;)

shelly - ahhh yes! family drama, I know a bit about that
glad you got a good laugh

hilary - I must admit I am a constant source of amusement to myself ;)

walking man - I've tried!! I still want to change the world ;)

bobbie - I really want to stay home for all holidays!!

bob-kat - that's the wonder of assholes, they're international :)

micky - if you ever need an escort to ride shotgun in these here parts just let me know

raven - Hope is worth it :)

quiet rage - I've driven in CA and it did feel a lot like home ;)

jim - I can't believe how fast she is growing!!

jennifer - Hope is my best incentive for so many things

melli - I could be saying that but you say it better ;)
Hope sends hugs

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Could I relate, Dianne, having been raised in New Jersey and lived in New York! It was de ja vu all over again! ;)

But the best ending in the world to such a day! Hope! Beautiful! :))

Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year, Dianne! XO

Daryl said...

I love you. Gawd help the rest of the world if we ever get into a car together

ds said...

Too funny, and too true! But the end result was clearly worth it. Can't wait to hear about the trip back...

Reb said...

That was hilarious! I can sympathize, I too have spent my fair share of time inching along in traffic. But with Hope at the end, it is worth it ;)

CG said...

What a trip...felt like I was along for the ride!!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Getting there is half the fun...! LOL! What a horrific trip, my dear...but there was your dear Hope, waiting for you to get there...And Reading! What an amazing child she is...!

kanishk said...

Well, maybe not actually reading but getting the hang of it anyway--which is VERY important.

Work from home India

Volly said...


Sorry to be so late to your Christmas party -- you guys know how to do holiday!

Question: You mentioned "no toll" on the Verrazano, and I dimly recall that Brooklyn-bound has none. How about the other direction? When we visited NYC about 10 years ago it was $7 and my poor husband thought he was having some sort of toxic hallucination.

I miss the Staten Island Ferry and the Chicken House in Kew Gardens...but I sure don't miss that cold. We lost our running water this weekend and that's about as NY-ish cold as I ever wanna get down here.

Cheers, and hugs to precious Hope!


Anonymous said...

Very nice and intrestingss story.