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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A-Z Letter X is for X Marks the Spot

X is one of those letters that's really challenged me. I had been sailing along in my A-Z theme fine until we hit this road block letter. Then it was like, uh-oh, I think I might crash and burn right here, just three days from the finish line. But the fighter in me wasn't about to let that happen. So here it is- X is for X marks the spot on the Garden State Parkway!!


Perhaps the most well-traveled road in New Jersey is the good ole' Garden State Parkway. The GSP is 172 miles long and runs the length of New Jersey from the New York line all the way down to Cape May. One of the most common questions when giving driving directions in NJ is always,  "What exit?"
No matter what exit you live near, there's always a bumper sticker available to brag about it.
Weird/Random Parkway fact: There is a ghost story that surrounds Exit 82.  People say the reason why so many accidents happen on that stretch of the road is because right before they crash, motorists have claimed to see a tall man in a long coat (at night) waving his arms, trying to get them to stop and they became so distracted, they crashed. Of course, the man is no where to be found afterwards. Freaky!

Here's a little Jaybird parkway secret... Ever since my girls were little, when we went on a road trip, we played this silly game. We nick-named all of the toll collectors by certain physical/emotional traits they displayed in our limited parkway toll booth encounters.  For instance, someone in our car will say, "I guess today's toll collector will be... angry ginger girl with the raging mullet or Emo guy with all the lip piercings that never smiles or my personal favorite... smiley Rasta dude with the fat dreads. Every once in a while we get lucky and meet a "newbie." And then the fun's all about what nickname/label we should give them. I know this may seem really foolish and possibly mean, but don't judge. Because man, whatever you gotta do to make a road trip peaceful with three kids riding in the back seat is all good. Taking turns guessing who's working the booth and betting to see which one of us guessed right has become a tradition, one that has kept my girls entertained since they were tiny kiddos.

This sight is common on the parkway. Especially in the summertime, on the weekends.
The beautiful GSP is not called a "freeway" for a reason. Tolls must be paid. The price varies from spot to spot. I've paid as little as 25 cents and at other exits had to fork over $1.75- $2.00. Ironically, when the toll was initially introduced, it was proposed as being a "temporary" fee, only imposed until the road was paid for.  I have lived here for close to 40 years now and I haven't seen those tolls go anywhere, but up.

What roads are famous in your neck of the woods? Any of you ever take a ride down the good ole' GSP? Do you know of any great games to play on a road trip? How about freaky road ghost stories?


28 comments:

  1. Oh, I’ve been driving the parkway forever. We drove from Edison to Newark every Sunday to see my grandparents. As soon as I got my license at 17, I became the driver. The older I get the less I like to drive on that road, though.
    NJ drivers?

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    1. Obtw, exit 67A or B, either one.

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    2. I try not to take the parkway on the weekends (or go anywhere at all) if I can help it. Getting stuck in shore traffic is the worst part of living by the beach, I hate it.

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  2. I'd hate to have to deal with that traffic and those exits in order to get around.

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    1. It's not ideal. I stay off the road in the summertime as much as humanly possible.

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  3. Those are the temporary, neverending tollways. lol Highly entertaining post, but that gridlock looks fierce. I would say the 401 and the Trans-Canada Highway. I laughed when I saw the title of your post. Mine is X Marks the A to Z Spot. Bwahaaha. Almost finished.

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    1. Hi Elen!! Thanks so much for your comments and I will have to check out your X post too. Can't believe we are almost done with this challenge. Woot woot.

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  4. I love hearing ghost stories about roads. The big interstate in Indiana right now is I-69 and its huge expansion. There were a lot of protests about it, but the state really needs it. We play Traffic Sign Bingo and the license plate game. :)

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    1. I love the license plate game. I taught my youngest all of the state capitals that way. We still play it, on occasion.

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  5. Goodness! That would be so annoying, all that traffic.

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    1. It's the worst part of living by the beach. You have to take the good with the bad.

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  6. I love how people from NJ always ask, "what exit"? And I was telling my kids the other day how comical I think it would be to be a toll booth worker. They think it would be the most boring job ever, but I think you could make it interesting by singing or dancing or telling jokes to all the drivers. Liven things up a bit!

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    1. You would be surprised how funny it is to roll up on a toll both operator. The interaction is priceless. Some don't smile, ever, or say a word. Others, smile, sing, dance and have a ball. I can only imagine how much fun I would have up in that booth. I would mess with everybody!

      I was at a comedy show one time, out of state, when the comedian asked people where they were from. Another couple we were with yelled out, Jersey! And right away the comedian yelled back, Jersey, oh yeah, what exit? Thinking he would get the last laugh. But the couple, without missing a beat, yelled right back at him, "69" And the crowd went wild... I lmao.

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  7. Our toll road was supposed to be temporary too. I don't think the government has ever gotten rid of a tax they got us to agree to. The worst city for tolls had to be Chicago. I swear, I don't know how people afford to live there.

    Speaking of names, my oldest son always had to know everybody's names, so my husband would make something up, usually something silly. Caleb would hear the name and ask no more, but then his outgoing little red-headed brother grew up. One day, as we were walking into a store, he walked past a hillbilly looking couple and said, "Hey Jim Bob. Hello Sally Sue." Fortunately hillbillies have good senses of humor...or they really were named Jim Bob and Sally Sue.

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    1. Oh man that's hilarious. Most people, I'd like to think, have a sense of humor. When I was a teenager, we never gave our real names to the boys we met. We came up with fake ones before we ever left the house. If one of us actually gave our real name, that was a sign that we really liked the boy.

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  8. When I was in NJ with my hubby to visit his family I saw the toll roads for the first time. My sister in law always keeps quarters in her car for the toll and since we don't have anything like that here I found it to be interesting.

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    1. We used to have tokens. Now they don't fly anymore. The state came up with an E-Z Pass system. But we don't use it. It's inconvenient for sure to stop every ten feet for a stupid toll. I was not used to that, living on the West Coast, we had freeways.

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  9. That traffic looks awful. Glad I don't have to deal with toll roads, although occasionally I have to deal with stopped traffic.
    And I won't judge.

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    1. Thanks Alex. It's all in good fun. I'm never mean to anyone. I hate traffic too, it's the worst part of living at the beach. I lalways love it in the fall when no one is around but it's still warm and it's quiet. That's my favorite time of year to visit, and no traffic to worry about.

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  10. Once you have a toll, there's no way they are getting rid of it.

    We used to play all sorts of crazy games in the car too when we went someplace because with seven of us we would have driven our parents crazy in short order.

    There was an old country road where I lived that was haunted near the railroad tracks. A young woman died there years ago and everyone said she walked along the railroad tracks in a long white dress and carrying her head. I never saw her, but you can imagine how stories spread around.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Oh that's a good ghost story!! How creepy. And yeah, I'm pretty sure that toll booth is going no where any time soon. We will never be rid of it.

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  11. When my kids were little we played a LOT of Twenty Questions in the car. But listen - you haven't gotten EZ Pass yet? Seriously, it makes the Parkway almost bearable! And congrats for having only 2 more letters to go!

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    1. No E-Z pass for me. The Hubs is vehemently against the use of them. I try to avoid the GSP as much as humanly possible. I don't have to commute anymore, thank God, so it isn't much of an issue as it used to be for me.

      I am really looking forward to letter Z. This challenge has wore me out.

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  12. This makes me glad of two things: 1) We don't have toll roads in Nashville and 2) I don't have to commute to work every day anymore! Sounds like an adventure, though.

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    1. Yes! I agree. Thankfully, I don't have to commute to work anymore either and I am so grateful that I don't have to go through that every day anymore. It was miserable. I understood road rage for the first time when I had to commute. It makes good people loose their minds.

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  13. UGH! That traffic gives me a shiver. I've lived in rural or small areas for so long, I can't imagine living in a heavily populated area where you have no choice but to deal with snarled up traffic like what's in your pics.

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  14. I park my car on the weekends and don't move it again Monday. I can't stand all of the traffic. Makes me crazy!

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  15. I am SO familiar with the GSP. I went to Drexel but my fam lived in New England so as you can guess, I was driving up and down the coast constantly.

    Actually, because of my constant travel on the GSP, I was one of the first to have an EZ pass about 10 years ago? I forget how long ago but it was when I was traveling the route often. Then, when the holidays came and I was trying to shoot through the toll booths with my brand new EZ pass all the other cars had no idea what to do. They piled up in front of the EZ pass booth and stopped. I would then try to inch my way towards the booth and hold my EZ pass up at my window to show them that they should let me go forward because I have a pass... oh man, it was a mess.

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