Scenes from Saturday + Holiday Driving

We are almost there. I can see it. I can sense it there just over that last pile of already discarded new toys. The holiday finish line is close. I can smell it. The house is infused with the scent of decaying pine, fresh plastic, children’s tears and half eaten candy canes. It smells like the end of December.

Despite that last sentiment, we did enjoy Christmas, the Santa excitement and seeing family and friends, but it’s all starting to take a toll. Cecilia has this weird rash on her arm, Allison is leaving a trail of used tissues behind her, Dash is throwing up more than usual and Michelle’s champagne supply is dangerously low.

I’m just hanging on by my fingertips. Holidays and introverts are a tough mix. Outwardly it can appear that we are Grinches that dislike holidays and company which, of course, isn’t true, but the forced ebullience, small talk and long spells of togetherness can be exhausting. Bring on the cold solitary of January!


What’s more exhausting: the holiday grind for an introvert or driving the New Jersey turnpike in a snowstorm? Even I will admit it’s the latter. We spent our last Saturday of the year in the car driving. Driving and driving and driving. I’ll spare you most of the details as we spent most of the daylight hours in the car. 

This drive came in as the #4 worst drive in the long list of Donohue drives between Philly and Boston. Just behind Thanksgiving 2007 and just ahead of Jeremiah Donohue’s 3-day 1878 trek went awry when the Housatonic ferry sank. True story. My Mom is really into and has the ferry receipt!

We started the day not on the couch but in the EZ Pass lane. 


Exit 9 – 84 minutes into the trip. Cecilia’s looks would only get more dramatic.


Exit 15 – 2 hours and 29 minutes in – DVD battery at 50%. Cecilia is worried.


3 hours 15 minutes – Somewhere in New York (I let Waze take over). Ally’s tablet has died. Outlook bleak.


4 hours 36 minutes – Made it to Connecticut where they are stating the obvious.


Silver lining to the drive. Waze took us up 84, not our usual route, but we got to stop at the Blue Colony diner.


Food and drink and old-fashioned diner culture perked the girls up. This past week I think the girl’s officially changed their out-to-eat drink from milk to Shirley Temples.


This spread would have been appetizing if we hadn’t just come off a week long eating binge.


After eating, Michelle tried driving to give me a break, but it proved a little too stressful for her. She can handle cranky kids, washing hair and HR disputes, but 18 wheelers and constant windshield washing put her over the edge.


Almost 8 hours after we started, we did make it safely home.


Happy New Year and may the last days of holidays be merry and quiet.



  1. 1. How did your mom find out about Jeremiah and where can I read that story?
    2. Where does my family’s failed trip when we had to turn around on the GW bridge rank?

    1. Is it my imagination or did most of your family trips to see us usually end up on the side of the road?

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