It started off the same way as the holiday does for any typical New Yorker:
1 1/2 hours of gridlock. And then she got out of the city.
The irony was that the moment that PC had decided to give up and go home and leave Thursday morning instead, she found herself stuck in a tunnel-only lane and ended up in New Jersey. She took one look at the same 1 1/2 hour of gridlock going into the city and knew she was committed to heading south.
Some 4 hours later, with a hungry and cranky mini and her even crankier mother, they decided to pull off and get some dinner. Of course, peeps with kids who can eat anything (grr, jealous much?), could have just pulled off at any kid-friendly restaurant and been fine. But PC couldn't. She needed a place she knew was safe. And in the middle of nowhere the answer to that is a chain restaurant you've eaten at safely. No other place will do, because the last thing you want to do with a cranky group is try and talk to a busy maitre d's about food allergies. Everyone loses patience and that's too risky. So she found herself on the blackberry with google maps trying to find a Bertucci's in the dark. 57 wrong turns later she finally found it and everyone cheered.
Thus, 5 hours and 21 minutes after leaving New york, they finally made it to their destination 100 miles away. Turns out they won't be returning in the same rental car, but that's tomorrow's chapter....