I’ll admit it, the further Northeast we get, the more apt I am to be white knuckling the door handle in fear of the traffic we will most likely encounter, but I’m also drawn to it because of its history. There is a certain tourist ideal about so many photo opportunities in such a small radius, like Raven’s Stadium, the view of DC and the Washington Momument on the horizon as well as the plethora of rivers and toll ways. West Coasters such as myself (I’m assuming there are more of them out there) find toll lanes both fascinating and annoying so while heavily sighing in response to the slow down and stop approaching, we’re also clicking photos because it’s not an every day sight in California. Being in a truck proves its own set of uncertainties when it comes to tolls as well. There are some states we have EZ Pass which allows us to crawl past the toll booth and the company will pay the toll and other times we are charged anywhere from a couple dollars to a photograph of Jackson and a few of his buddies. We always keep receipts though and when we fill out our trip pack on Wednesday we are sure to include those in since they truly add up.
Once we are back on the two lane highways, it’s easy to unclench my hand from the door and enjoy the beauty that rain and humidity can bring to vegetation (although my hair hates this kind of weather), trees so full and lush green grasses. It is on these smaller stretches of Interstate you see how the outskirts live; expansive plots of property, many with sturdy brick homes and detached garages and no fenced in yards, you’d almost expect to see a person walking across the shared lawn with a cup in hand to ask their neighbor for some sugar!
I think I may have gotten a little more comfortable with New Jersey as well, for the most part it isn’t as congested and populated by snobbish Guidos as MTV portrats (okay, I haven’t been to the shore but I’ll pretend it’s that way there as well). And the best part is, we can meet up with my husband’s Aunt Cindy and bridge that family gap from time to time.