Wally’s Great Adventures. Day 1: Noah’s Ark.

here we are. my new mom is holding me. we’re outside of something called noah’s ark, or new ark or newark. i look around and this sure doesn’t look like a salvation ship to anywhere, but my new mom told me not to worry. but i’m scared, i’m shaking. i left my two siblings and my mom and dad behind. it made me sad to leave them and fly alone. and what’s worse, i didn’t get anything to eat, because they were worried i would go poopy on the plane. mom whispered to me that “your dad is so cheap, i had to fly coach on the floor, and i shouldn’t complain as i’ve already cost him an arm and a leg.”  i looked at him and he seemed to have both still attached so i didn’t understand. my dad is yelling at us to get in the car as N.J. cops are circling the arrivals area. wow, this is my dad. what have i got myself into here?

i look over at my dad as he drove. he doesn’t smile much. he mumbled something about “getting a puppy at this age warrants some form of sanity test.”  mom pulled out a little baggy with kibbles in it, and i licked them out of her hand. boy, they tasted so good.  dad noticed that I was licking my lips and told mom that i was thirsty. that dad of mine is so smart.  mom bought a little dish and filled it will water. i slurped it all up and looked up at mom. she poured me more. i slurped all that up too. dad said that was enough as it will be coming out my other end all over the car seat and he “wasn’t stopping for nothing in this shit storm” of something called rush hour.

my new mom held me the entire car ride home. she said that she bought me as a birthday gift for my dad, but she’s holding me so tight, I don’t think she’ll ever let me go.  we finally get home, it was a long car ride. and i held my wee wee the entire way because i didn’t think dad would like it if i peed in his car.

so, i ran around the house a bit to check things out. i couldn’t go up the stairs or down the stairs because dad said i was too little, i would take a header and he didn’t want to pay to take me to the hospital.

it was such a stressful day that i needed to take a little rest. here i am in my new bed. i like this bed a lot. it makes me feel safe. between the bed and all the new toys my mom bought for me, i think i’m going to like it here.  i’m learning that mom is a real softy and i know she loves me. (she still hasn’t let me go.) my dad, on the other hand, seems to be a project.  he said that until i can make myself useful, and join him on his morning walks, and walk on the slippery rocks by myself without falling in, i’m practically useless.  i didn’t think that was a nice thing to say on my first day home but you just wait. i may be little, but i’ll show him.

so that’s it for today.

oh, btw, i’m walter, or wally for short. i’m 6 lbs and 11 weeks old. my dad said i can have my own column here on his blog as it might lighten things up a bit. so stay tuned.

have a great sunday!

Let’s Go

…“Let’s go” is on the minds of many people in these last days of summer, especially the getting-out-of-here, going-away, going-home mood of Labor Day weekend. And it is much simpler by car…The long improvisational trip by car is quintessentially American, just as the road book is a peculiarly American form. […]

Yet it is perhaps truer today to say that the road trip has kept alive the romance of travel. Consider the misery of air travel, in what constitutes an average journey by plane. Much has been written about the stress, intimidation, limited space, germ-laden air and the intrusion of other people—the oaf in the seat in front of you who lowers his chair back into your lap, the child behind kicking your spine, the agony of the middle seat. Then there is the sludge that passes for in-flight meals, or the option to pay $7 for a “meal box” of chips, pretzels, cookies, candy, three crackers and a rectangle of industrial cheese that resembles a yellow piece of Lego but isn’t as tasty, and it’s five hours to LAX. After Sept. 11, 2001, casually showing up at the airport—often at the last minute, in my case—and easy boarding became distant memories, and since then air travel has degenerated further, so that the simplest flight is a secular version of hell. […]

This is why—for reasons of dignity and personal freedom—more and more Americans are rethinking the air journey and seeking the pleasures of the open road. […]

Not much on Earth can beat the American road trip in travel for a sense of freedom—no pat-down, no passport, no airport muddle, just revving an engine and leaving at will. Though the driverless cars that await us might have their uses in dense city traffic or on tedious L.A. freeways, they will certainly diminish the exuberance of a driver gripping the wheel, flooring it and rejoicing, “Eat my dust.”[…]

The American road trip rekindled my interest in travel and, most of all, reminded me how lucky we are in our country’s spaciousness and modernity. […]

So over the course of 2012-14, in four seasons, I drove tens of thousands of miles, meandering through the back roads of the deep South, listening to the blues on the radio, visiting churches and gun shows and family farms, and writing down people’s stories—of hardship and striving, raising families, struggling in adversity and remembering the past. […]

Nowhere else in the world (though Canada is a contender) is it possible to drive 3,000 miles—the distance from Boston to Los Angeles—and be certain that you will encounter no roadblocks or obstructions; that you will always find a place to stay and somewhere to eat. […]

Though I’ve been driving in the U.S. since I got my license 60 years ago, there is an immense amount of landscape I have yet to see. Driving through the deep South was a wish fulfilled, and so was my trip along the entire 1,900 miles of the Mexican border.

But I still have plans. My Road Trip Wish List includes: driving from Cape Cod to Seattle with many detours. Heading north from Cape Cod and keeping on, past the villages of my ancestors, until I run out of road around Lac Albanel in northern Quebec. Or heading south, as I mean to do soon, crossing La Frontera and taking an extended road trip in Mexico. […]

What made the experience a continuing pleasure was that, in my car, I never knew the finality of a flight, or the ordeal of being wrangled and ordered about at an airport, the stomach-turning gulp of liftoff or the jolt of a train, but only the hum of tires, of telephone poles or trees whipping past, the easy escape, the gradual release of the long road unrolling like a river through America. It is in many respects a Zen experience, scattered with road candy, unavailable to motorists in any other country on Earth.

~ Paul Theroux, excerpts from The Romance of the American Road Trip (WSJ, September 1, 2017). No other travel experience, especially today, can beat the sense of freedom it brings


Photo: Guy Le Querrec (via Mennyfox55)

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