About Me

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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Toby's first vacation...

Ah, summer time....

Yes, I know I mentioned my next post would be about the pros of hiring a professional photographer. But I am feeling semi-productively lazy today - I'm working on it! My windows are wide open. French Cafe is wafting around me from Pandora. Thunder is rumbling in the distance. The smell of wet desert permeates the house. Heaven.....

I was playing around with some ideas, spawned from my recent respite up the coast with my son and our dog, today. This was our first vacay with the pooch - who is a very energetic 2 1/2 year shepherd mix - mostly Belgian Malinoise with something else with a floofy curled tail and strong herding/snuffling-for-small-varmits instincts, we think. And I am very happy to report that Toby did exceptionally well on this trip - which means that we had a great time, too. There is nothing like spending time away from home in a place that resonates to everyone and everyone has a great time - simultaneously. If you travel with family or close friends or anybody really, you totally get what I mean....

The small coastal community of Cambria has been my mecca for two decades. (That's Cambria, California for my international readers....) I discovered it on a return trip from a conference in Monterey while then pregnant with my oldest daughter. It is the one place that replenishes what the day to day 'regular' life can grind down. I am always in a much centered place when I return, whether I think I needed it or not. Over the years, I've met some lovely people I enjoy seeing while I am up there. It is now a familiar home away from home.

Our beach bungalow, built in the 1930s - just 500 feet from the beach with sounds of crashing surf to lull you to sleep at night. Toby thought it was a pretty cool pad to hang out at for awhile...




























Mornings, always chilly, were spent with a hot cup of tea by the window overlooking the garden - working on my daily journaling - waiting for the fog and the chill to be lifted by the sun....




























Another view on a chilly, foggy morning from a cozy bungalow kitchen...


Toby preferred teatime on the sunny front stoop, nose trained on all the new smells and sights coming from earth and sea...




























And then, there's his first walk along the ocean. The boardwalk can get busy during the summer. It is a couple of miles of bluff trails overlooking kelp beds draped with sea otters, tide pools, and sea lions basking on the rocks below. That particular stretch of beach is off limits to 4 legged family members so Toby had to stick to the boardwalk with its ever teasing band of squirrels...  Mmmm, take a whiff. Sweet grass. Salty air. Kelp. Wildflowers. Wonder what Toby's nose picked up?


The real test was a walk through town. Yes! Toby passed with flying colors! My son does a great job working with Toby consistently. Most of what Toby knows, he learned from his boy. It is very liberating to be finally able to take Toby to dog-friendly, public places. I enjoy traveling but hate leaving him home most of the time. Not only is it a pain to find someone to let him out, but he is such a people-dog - he'd rather be with his humans than do anything else....


This is Abner, an icon at The Garden Shed, my favorite shop filled with local artists and tradesmen along with luscious succulents and gardening tidbits. When my kids were little, elementary school aged, we used to love visiting Abner who snoozed in the sun someplace in the gardens. Abner is somewhere between 14 - 17 years old, the owner figures. I was happy to have found him lounging on a potting table this day, looking healthy and well. So were my kids...


The best part of each day was the daily romp on the beach. Toby had no trouble immediately tromping through the waves. Fearless. Doggie joyful. Happy to be with his boy....


Where will Toby's next adventure be................?