As many of my regular readers already know, I love a road trip. So you can imagine my delight when the other day while taking my “after morning treats” nap, I was roused by my overnight bag being placed beside me on the bed. Then to my delight, the uprights began packing some of my favorite things, travel bowls, food, grooming supplies and most importantly treat; yum, did I mention they were packing treats?
It wasn’t long before they were loading up the car; I feel compelled to accompany the uprights in this task just to make sure that my bag is not left behind. It has never happened before but a canine can never take the chance, so I feel it best to monitor the process and make sure the uprights know that I am around. They often refer to it as “getting under their feet,” I think of it as a kindly reminder of my continued inclusion. Soon the call for me to get my harness on was issued and we were off. Now usually my overnight bag indicates a long time traveling in the car, so I prepared myself by turning round and round on the back seat making sure the blankets were positioned just right (my uprights refer to this as nesting). I was beginning to get settled, then no sooner had I closed my eyes, (my ears always remain perked) we stopped and I heard the words, “Hairy we’re here, out you go.” What? Had I slept longer than I thought? Boy that was no travel time at all.
Wow, what was this? Were we visiting some friends’ home that I had not been to before? As I got out of the car and sniffed, I smelt ocean, pine trees and yes, the ever-present hint of those annoying squirrels. What was this, no leash? Usually before I exit the car I have to have my leash attached; instead, I was loose and fancy free. The uprights began unloading the car and there it was, my bag being carried down the steps towards this unfamiliar house. Eager as I was to go explore, I felt it best to follow the bag, well it does have treats in it and there is always the chance that if I stick close by I will get one. Once inside the house, I forgot about the treats and I began a thorough search for other occupants and scents that might give me a clue as to who we were visiting.
Once we were all in the house, I completed my search, and for the life of me, I found no familiar upright smells. My dad’s gathered in front of this enormous window and then suddenly the window began to move. I jumped back and looked from side to side as the window began to fold and soon the whole side of the house opened up and the uprights walked outside. Well, as one not to be left behind, I stepped outside. Wow, what a view! Before us was an incredible panoramic view of river meeting ocean, tall jagged rocks and the unmistakable sound of water rolling onto sand. I soon made use of the time outside to mark my presence for those pesky squirrels and began a thorough reconnaissance.
Soon the uprights were unpacking and putting things away. Then all of a sudden the window wall was closed back up and we were heading out the door back to the car. Wow, where to now, we had no luggage! In a short time, the car stopped and I raised my head to look out the window and I recognized that we were in front of Mendosa’s grocery store in the Village of Mendocino. Wired, what were we doing here? Soon the uprights returned to the car with bags of groceries and we set off again. Back at the house overlooking the ocean, with the window wall once more opened and the uprights and I enjoying the view it was explained to me why we had come only such a short distance.
It seems that my good friends at Coast Getaways had invited me to come and stay at one of the beautiful homes they manage. These private homes are called vacation rentals and these exclusive homes are a wonderful getaway option for visitors. In fact, my uprights kept referring to them as “a home away from home.” Some of these homes allow four legged family members to stay in them like the one I am reviewing for you now. Most of the homes offer exclusive views, privacy and upscale amenities. The home we stayed in had a couple of things I had never seen before. Apparently the room that smelt like pine trees but had no pesky squirrel scent is called a sauna and outside was a big tub of water that came to life with jets of bubbling water, the uprights referred to this as a Jacuzzi. Usually I love water but this tub reminded me too much of bath time and I stayed a good nose length away. In fact there was a bench next to the Jacuzzi that was perfect for me to lie on. From this perch, I could see everything and stay dry. Uprights sure like water and there was another big tub that holds water in one of the bedrooms that also looked out over the stunning views of the Navarro River meeting the Pacific Ocean. I had my bowls set out, toys and favorite throw on the couch and my uprights close by, with the sun streaming into the living area from the window that moved, I really felt at home in my home away from home.
One of the benefits of being on the coast for four legged inhabitants and visitors is that the weather seldom gets above 70˚ and rarely below 50˚ during daylight hours. This allows us to remain in a vehicle, with the windows cracked of course, on those rare times when it is more suitable for us to remain safely inside. The first evening of our vacation stay my dad’s had an anniversary and birthday to celebrate; they decided to go to a restaurant called the Ledford House in Albion that was nearby. I had had a very busy afternoon exploring the property and did not mind having a siesta in the car; I also knew that when they came back there would be something yummy for me to try. They did not disappoint, and brought me a delicious morsel of duck liver paté. On our return from the restaurant the uprights could not stop talking about their meal and by all accounts it was a great success. When the uprights talk about food in such excited tones I know that they had a great time, they kept referring to the meal as “exquisite morsels of utopia on a plate.”
Once we were back at our home away from home, the uprights took advantage of the facilities and enjoyed a sauna and Jacuzzi. Later they lit a fire and we all snuggled up on the couch to enjoy a very peaceful and relaxing evening together. The house had everything, books, games, flat screen TVs, DVD player and a selection of movies just to name a few of the amenities. The following morning after a night of pleasant dreams where I chased pesky squirrels, I awoke to the familiar and comforting smells of sausage and eggs. As an alternative to cooking, you could travel a few miles south and enjoy breakfast in Elk at Queenie’s Roadhouse Grill with its alfresco dining patio or head north a few miles to Little River and enjoy the traditional family hospitality of the Little River Inn and savor their renowned breakfasts. Doggie parlor dining is available at the Little River Inn, so if you go, let them know if you will be joining the uprights for breakfast. The house we were staying in was close to Highway 128 and this scenic road takes you on a magical trip through redwood forests to the beautiful wine region of Anderson Valley with its quaint small towns and excellent pet friendly winery tasting rooms.
After breakfast we all piled back in the car and spent time exploring Navarro Beach, although not an off leash beach, it is full of wonderful driftwood and golden sand. Then the uprights had great fun choosing items to cook that evening at the well-stocked Albion Village Store. They told me that some dear friends were coming over in the evening for a visit and to have dinner with us. As many of you are aware, my uprights love to cook and entertain and the challenge they set themselves was to create and serve a gourmet meal using only the cooking and serving items that were available. Once back at the vacation rental the uprights opened the window wall and we all spent time relaxing in the sun on the comfortable patio furniture.
Once our guests arrived, we spent time together watching the sun set over the magnificent view, laughing, nibbling on cheese (another favorite of mine) and clinking glasses. I was up on a lap, chin and belly being rubbed, head and ears being patted and joining contentedly in the festivities, could a pooch feel anymore loved? The home had two outdoor grills but the uprights chose to prepare our dinner using the indoor cooking facilities. Dinner turned out wonderfully and the uprights had a fully stocked kitchen of pots, pans, dishes, glassware, linen and silverware to use.
So on our last night with fires lit, music playing, uprights chatting and tummies full I dozed contentedly and I can’t wait to experience another “home away from home.” So next time your uprights contemplate a getaway, why not suggest a vacation home rental where families, couples and groups can share quality time together in magnificent settings, with complete privacy and luxury at very affordable rates. Vacation homes also make ideal special event locations and make celebrations that much more intimate and fun.
Well done Coast Getaways and thank you for the opportunity and fun, Hairy.
45061 Little Lake Street
Mendocino, California 95460