The trick to getting out of New York City without fighting traffic is to be on the road before noon on New Year’s Day. We’ve done it twice now. Works like a charm.
You pretty much have the whole city to yourself at that point. George Washington Bridge? Pick a level! They’re both yours for the asking! Everyone else in the city is either hungover, asleep, dead, or some unholy combination of the three. Or possibly waving goodbye to you. You never know.
Of course, the problem with this plan is that – unless you happen to live in the city anyway, in which case you wouldn’t need to leave it in the first place – it requires you to drive into the city shortly before New Year’s. And that is a Mad Max sort of experience that brings the whole thing about even, really. On top of the hordes of tourists (of which, remember, you are one pretty much by definition), there is the simple fact that every delivery truck in the North American continent is fighting to get into your lane because they need to drop off a shipment of tacky hats, gourmet edibles, or some other New-Year’s-related merchandise to that business just ahead of you. No, not that one – that would be too easy. The other one, where there are already six or eight delivery trucks double-parked in ways that physicists insist with straight faces are not possible in this plane of reality. That one. Pack a lunch, this will take a while.
So it’s kind of a wash.
We just got back from a lovely holiday spent out in the Correct Time Zone, visiting friends and family for the holidays. We got to see my parents, and my brother and his family, as well as my cousin Chris and a number of friends, which was to my mind the main point of the trip, seeing all those people who have places in my heart but who live lamentably far away. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see – some because people have, you know, lives, and the scheduling didn’t work out, and some because I looked at the list of people we’d already thought to try to catch up to and didn’t see how any more people could be added to the list without violating physical laws and only New York delivery trucks are allowed to do that at this time of year, so we didn’t even try to contact them. It would only have led to disappointment.
This is, of course, a high class problem to have, having more friends and family than you can see in a given trip.
But we’re back. The house is still standing. The cats have velcroed themselves to our laps in a pathetic display of affection that tells us how long we’d been gone and how little they care about impressing us anymore. We’ve retrieved 67% of the rabbits from 50% of the friends who have been caring for them. We’ve unpacked most of the things that need to be unpacked right now and a few things that probably could have waited. We’ll see the chickens tomorrow and get the last rabbit home, and at that point I’ll probably go grocery shopping.
It’s nice to be back. But it was good to be there.