Tag: Farley

Booking, While Not Booking

I don’t mind driving on long trips, but I was not looking forward to the trip from Connecticut to D.C. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It’s 300 miles, which is not that bad.  In ideal traffic conditions, it’s a 4.5 to 5 hour drive.  On a summer weekend, it’s more like 6 or 7.  On Thanksgiving Eve, it tends to be much worse.    My school had a half day, so I raced home to pick up Nancy and Farley, loaded the car, and sped off.  We got about two miles down 95 before the traffic got heavy, then congested, then bumper-to-bumper, and then stopped.  It continued with variations of that theme for the next nine hours.

And for once, I didn’t mind.

I had great companions: my wife, my dog, and the perfect audiobook.  We had decided to listen to Solito, on the recommendations of a friend and my sister.  I won’t be writing a review in this space, but if I were to write one, I’d describe Solito as a compelling memoir of a 9-year-old’s journey from El Salvador to “El USA,” as he calls it. I’d describe it as the perfect book for a long drive, since Javier’s incredible struggles will make your whining about traffic seem absurd.

The author, now in his early 30s, does the reading, but his words capture the journey from a 9-year-old’s perspective. A 9-year-old, traveling solo (with a group of people he had never met) to try to reconnect with his parents in California.

We sat in traffic near the GW Bridge as Javier left his grandmother and her pupusa stand in El Salvador.  We crept down the Jersey Turnpike as Javier and his grandfather parted ways in Guatemala.  We inched over the Delaware Bridge as Javier’s coyote escort deserted their group.  We descended into the Harbor Tunnel as Javier reached Mexico. Nine hours of stop-and-go traffic never passed so quickly.  

We listened all the way back to Connecticut on Saturday.  This time it only took 7 hours.  We finished our driving journey before Javier finished his harrowing trek.  Now Nancy and I are trying to figure out how we can take another car ride, hoping we can finally exhale with young Javier. 

I am so grateful to the adult Javier Zamora for recording this ordeal. 

Trip Advisor

Reverse Real Estate Walk, Southport, CT

Farley365

Southport, CT, USA

2 contributions

☆☆☆☆

Walk Not Up to Sniff – 11/13/22

Have to say this walk did not meet my expectations today.  First, my escorts were late getting started, by like TWO hours.  I don’t think I need to remind anyone that that’s half a day in dog years. It’s not that I’m impatient, mind you.  In fact, I’m generally described as “very chill.”  The problem with the absurdly late start is this:  One hallmark of the Reverse Real Estate Walk is that the route takes us past two large churches.  I’m not particularly spiritual, but when the walk commences in a timely manner, which today’s did not, I am able to lift the spirits of many of the parishioners as they enter or exit the places of worship.  I know this, because most of them stop in their tracks, smile at me and say something like, “Well, isn’t he a handsome fellow?” or “What a beautiful dog!”  These expressions of admiration are always accompanied by a smile.  I am a spirit lifter.  Today, we missed both services at both churches, entirely.  In fact, we went the entire four-mile route without a single “Beautiful dog!” comment.  Unacceptable.  

Unfortunately, that is not my only complaint.  In spite of the fact that my escorts were late commencing the walk, they acted as though I was holding them up.  Can you say, hypocritical?  Naturally, I used the occasion of the walk to mark my vast territory.  Anyone (and presumably that includes a pair of certified dog escorts) knows that the main purpose of a walk is to establish the boundaries of one’s kingdom.  I take this task seriously, but for some reason, the lady escort felt that my marking was holding her up.  She even yanked on the leash that I use to keep her from wandering off.  I was having one of my more productive walks, making up for the lost time, and for some reason, she appeared annoyed.

But there’s more.  Another pleasant perk of this and other local rambles is the opportunity to sample local delicacies.  I enjoy a stray pizza slice or a tasty candy wrapper (who wouldn’t?), but I particularly enjoy a ripe and crunchy acorn.  Nature’s biscuits, I like to call them.  Today, however, the acorns were apparently off limits.  I had not been informed that they were a protected species, and I did not appreciate having my jaws so brutishly pried open.  

Finally, one highlight (usually) of an autumn real estate walk is the abundance of leaf piles along the roads.  I take great pleasure in prancing through these piles.  I enjoy the swishing and crunching sounds, and the feel of the feathery leaves as they brush against my legs. Usually. Not on this particular walk, though.  Today, the leaves were neither light nor airy.  On the contrary, they were soggy and clumpy.  They chilled my legs, which slowed from a prance to a slog.  It was not only disappointing.  It was, frankly demoralizing.  

Over the years, I have generally been  pleased with the service of Catering2Canines and with their travel packages.  After today’s disappointments I am seriously considering a new service.

Catering2Canines, a full-service dog-spoiling company

*Manager*

Hello Farley365,

We here at Catering2Canines are very sorry that your Real Estate Walk was less than satisfying today.  As you know, we strive to give our clients the most pleasant experience possible.  While we understand your disappointment, we do wish to point out a few details that you might take into consideration before looking for a new service provider. 

To your first point, the frustrating delay, we should point out that it was pouring rain until just prior to that delayed departure.  Perhaps you hadn’t noticed the cats and dogs falling from the sky. We realize that you do have your own Catering2Canines bright yellow rain slicker, but we have found that walking four miles in torrential rain can also be a less-than-pleasurable experience.  We are very sorry that this caused you to miss the adoring church crowd.  We have also sent our apologies to both church congregations.  

As for the impatience of the “lady,” we have checked into that situation as well.  The “lady” has informed us that you did successfully mark no less than 163 different spots on the route.  She wonders how many more boundary points were needed to establish your dominion.  As an aside, she noted that you made three other substantial deposits (of a different form) along the route, each of which she dealt with in a  painstaking and “patient” manner. 

In regard to the acorn situation, the escorts have informed me that the extraction was performed in accordance with your own medical requirements.  On your personal waiver form, we noted that your veterinarian had diagnosed you with “sensitive tummy syndrome,” a condition that has led to frequent, severe, and negative consequences for both the carpeting at your home and the bank accounts of your caretakers.  It seems that the acorn prohibition was both considerate and prudent.

Finally, as to the soggy and demoralizing leaf piles, we refer you to item one (above).  Studies have shown that steady rainfall has been known to dampen a leaf pile, causing the leaves in said piles to become significantly less crunchy and fluffy.  At present, we have little control over this natural phenomenon.  

With these explanations in mind, we hope that you will give us another chance to serve your needs in the future.

Note: Despite Farley365’s assertions and sprinklings of dominion, it should be pointed out that The Reverse Real Estate Walk follows a route originally charted by humans (specifically, the “lady”) for the purpose of ogling at the homes and yards of wealthy humans. The fact that many canines now regularly water and otherwise decorate the lawns of those wealthy humans is, well, a bonus.