On Sunday, I drove to Delaware to spend a few days with my new team. Driving is relaxing to me and I am used to longer drives. I was looking at about 5 hours so I packed some snacks and water, as well as a large coffee and headed out.
My drive was uneventful for the fist 100 or so miles. I was listening to my playlists and as usual, singing along with Pitbull. I exited the NYS Thruway and hooked up with the Garden State Parkway and that is when things went sideways. Should I have been surprised? No. Welcome to New Jersey.
Now I am not shaming or judging the Garden State- the great state of New Jersey. It is actually a beautiful state, once you get beyond the section that borders New York, more specifically, the New York City traffic. I have family and friends in New Jersey who, in all fairness, also complain about driving in New Jersey. The traffic, the speed of the traffic and my personal favorite- the jug handle.
The upper part of the Garden State is very peaceful but it doesn’t take long for the speed to accelerate and the grip on the wheel become tighter. It reminded me of driving in Italy where real men don’t drive under 95 miles an hour, with less that 6 inches from the bumper in front of you. There were parts of Italy where the gas pump was on the side of the road like a mailbox. With little deceleration and never a turn signal, the cars would pull over, gas up and literally floor it back into traffic. Traffic that included weaving mopeds and old ladies walking with bread and rosary beads.
The further south I drove, the heavier the snow got and the more I needed a bathroom break. I was sweating profusely on the Turnpike, in the slow lane, at 68 mph. I probably would have made it to Delaware in under 5 hours if I didn’t need to stop and compose myself along the way. My hat is off to the NJ drivers who still drove their way in that snow. But…You’re still not on par with my Italian brethren but you’re a close second.
I’ll be high-tailing it home before that nor’easter hits at the end of the week. My heart and soul cannot handle another ride like that. However, bonus points to the gas attendants in Jersey who pump gas (at $1.79/gallon) in that weather. You are truly appreciated! The Italians don’t even do that.
Italians are hard core drivers. Sorry Jersey, you’re not all that and a bag of chips. When you can drive like that while smoking an unfiltered cigarette in a 6 speed Fiat, you will get my vote!