In one fitful day, the parental units (more accurately and affectionately, the father/driver) managed to take us through a whirlwind tour of as many New York and New Jersey over- and underwater passages as transport-ably possible.
The final rough estimate:
7 Bridges (3 passed, 4 ridden on),
5 or so Navy & Junk yards, including the POW/MIA memorial parkway (an especially apt title for a highway that does give off the distinct and unsettling feeling that you have indeed been consumed and taken hostage by the Brooklyn coast, with little or no hope of return, or at the very best, the prospect of being marooned on an impending Staten Island).
Right before entering the tunnel:
Question: Where are the return directions?
Paternal Answer: We don't need them, we just go back the way we came.
Question: But aren't there, like, four one-way streets on here?
Paternal Answer: We're only going one way.
Holland Tunnel (into Manhattan from Jersey).
Side maternal comment:
"Wait, we're under the river?"
"But how is it so long?"
Williamsburg Bridge (out of Manhattan, after numerous dead ends, a track back down Canal, and a few seconds reflection on the state of shops where some by back ally purses and knicknacks).
Side maternal comment (while on Canal Street): " So is this Queens?"
Response: "No, Manhattan."
Maternal further comment: "Is that different?"
Kosciuszko Bridge, from Brooklyn into Queens
Maternal comment: "what about the one in Albany?"
Response: "They're different."
Four & Five
Passing the Manhattan Bridge, then the Brooklyn Bridge
Passing multiple navy and junk yards. Note the random American flag. Not sure why we would want to make it perfectly clear that these junk yards are distinctly American. Getting an alternative view of lower Manhattan, and it's cold steel fortress-ness.
(you can't actually tell, but the cars are all going very slow--almost in reverse--in attempts to forgo the disaster that is driving through the alien landmass of Staten Island.)
Bayonne Bridge. No pictures exist of this bridge, due to disruptions in the atmosphere caused by the combined fumes of Staten Island and New Jersey. Luckily, a fall in cabin pressure did not necessitate the standard dropped yellow oxygen bags. There was no need to first secure the cups over our mouths and noses, and then assist any small children sitting next to us.
Also, debates were held amid Staten Island traffic, the lead being that Bush is not, in fact as stupid as he acts, talks, and overall seems to be. Father, although a staunch democrat, was somewhat defensive of a certain passenger's insistence that Bush is, in fact, an idiot. But since father was the one who decided to divert said passengers through three additional bridges, an extra hour and a half of traffic, and STATEN ISLAND--all in an attempt to circumvent five minutes of lower Manhattan driving--we can neither confirm nor deny the doubt we have that if we were, as the father suggested, to ask Bush (off the record) whether or not Iraq was a good idea, he would admit it wasn't.