When my Dad moved from Sonoma County down to Palm Springs eleven years ago, he did so with the intention of always leaving during the brutal summer months. The plan was to travel either to San Francisco or to his parents’ Cape Cod house. Since I joined the family we’ve continued this tradition and this year just as the temperature broke into the 100’s we headed north for San Francisco on June 18th.
Usually on our journey North we stop in Santa Barbara to visit one of my best friends, Skyler the Basenji. But this year, poor Skyler got into a nasty dog fight and it was decided Skyler needed some rest before having a houseguest. I was sad for my friend Skyler and not being able to see him.
But the next day we arrived at our loft a few blocks from the bay. Right away my Dad took me to Crissy Field dog beach and I dove into the water and I felt like I was home. This year we didn’t go to Ocean Beach too often because of the Velella velalla – a small blueish jellyfish-like ocean animal that washed up, covering the entire shoreline. I couldn’t resist scoffing them up and my Dad was worried that I might get sick. I missed the beach but I couldn’t help myself, they were so delicious.
Every day we did something different. Sometimes we went to Golden Gate Park or for a long walk along the waterfront. One night we even went to ATT Park where the Giants play. We were able to sit in the infield and listen to a simulcast of the opera, La Rigattoni, or something like that.
My favorite part about visiting the city is leaving and going to Golden Retriever heaven – the Russian River, where I got to chase the ducks. I’m talkin’ lots of ducks and swim in the river twice a day. I got to meet a new friend, Rocky the Golden puppy. Rocky and I weren’t able to play this year as he’s still too small to horse around with big dogs like me. But boy was he adorable. I can’t wait for us two to play in the river next year. Of course, the highlight of the summer for everyone is my birthday bash on August 16th, when I get lots of cards, toys and treats. (See picture.)
Our two months in the Bay Area went by too fast and before I knew we were packing up and returning to Palm Springs. Usually this means the end of summer vacation. But this year, my Dad and I got on a plane and when we got off there was Nana and Grampy and I knew where we were. We spent a few days at their city house and it was good to see all my cousins, but I knew where I wanted to be and before too long we were swimming every morning at Craigville Beach on Cape Cod. I couldn’t believe my luck.
One day, Nana, Grampy, Dad and me all took a big ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard. It was so exciting to be on a big boat. You know that famous presidential dogs summer at The Vineyard. Then my Dad went to New York to see some people about this book he’s writing about me, of course. As soon as he got back we were at the beach again every morning. This time when we returned to the beach most of the people had gone away and nature returned. It was like somehow all the sea creatures knew. We explored from one end of the beach to the other. I got to chase the seagulls but I never caught one. Twice I saw the beach covered with hundreds of tiny sand crabs. I wanted to devour them but my Dad pulled me away. Seals were popping their heads up and we finally saw a blue heron.
We spent the last few days of our visit back at Nana’s city house where we walked every afternoon around Wollaston Beach. I enjoyed spending quality time with nana and it was an emotional moment when we said good-bye.
Finally we boarded the plane to come back to Palm Springs and can you believe that there were 5 dogs on the plane! I’ve never seen so many canines on a flight before. Luckily they were all lap dogs and didn’t bother me. Now Dad and I are home. The weather has cooled down and we’re back to our old routine. I know I’ll be dreamin’ about my best summer vacation ever for a long time.