I had a few days off from work and Steven suggested that we kick off the nice weather with a trip to the beach. Now that we are a family of kids and dogs, it gets to be harder to find activities that will be friendly to all family members. That's one of the reasons the beach is a great family activity for us.
But which beach?
Sometimes we go to Half Moon Bay, but the only beach we found that allows dogs also allows horses, and it was quite the poopy mess the day we went years ago. Shelby was just a puppy, so the first thing she did was try to eat a big pile of horse poop. (If things have changed, please leave a comment.)
We love Carmel beach, but we weren't sure about Vin sitting in the car for that long a drive.
That left Santa Cruz beach. Some of you may recall our last vacation was in Santa Cruz, and we learned that they didn't allow dogs downtown. A quick search on the Internet revealed that the shop owners had voted to in March to give dogs a 6 month trial to see how things go.
We decided that we would have to go downtown just to prove that dogs can be good citizens. We ate lunch at Walnut Street Cafe where Shelby stayed covertly tucked under Steven's chair. She wasn't a complete model citizen. She ended up getting excited and barking at another small dog, but recovered when Steven started feeding her under the table. She shifted her focus from the dog to the snacks, and there was no further trouble.
They have a few tables out on the sidewalk, and their menu is kid-friendly. I ordered the California Burger which was so awesome that even Vin ate a bite, and typically he regards burgers with fascination and suspicion. It's a great casual restaurant, with friendly staff, and a changing table in the restroom. I'll have to remember it when we visit Santa Cruz again in August.
After a little walk downtown, we headed to the beach. Dogs aren't allowed on the wharf or Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, but there's plenty of sand where a leashed dog is welcome. Shelby found a mussel shell, which was then given to Vin to add to his "sand cakes" that he was busy building and smashing.
The beach wasn't very crowded, though the wind was not exactly cooperating with us; so after about an hour and a half, we headed back to the car and visited one of my favorite fabric shops, Hart's Fabrics. They carry a lot of neat retro and Japanese prints, though every time I visit, I have to remind myself that Vin is a boy, and that prints with cute cherry blossoms do not become him.
We headed home sleepy and covered in sand, but happy that we were able to enjoy some nice outdoor time with the family.
I think this might be Shelby's calling!
A friend of mine just sent me this link with the comment that this might be Shelby's calling.
I think he's right.
I have to look more into it, but if Shelby's incessant shedding can actually help clean up the environment, that would make me a very happy person.
Not so pretty, but hey! It sucks up oil! On inhabitat.com...
Dogs may be our best friends, but did you know they can also aid us in cleaning up the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill? Matter of Trust, a San Franscisco non-profit devoted to “mimick[ing] how Mother Nature integrates enduring cycles and provides access to necessities in abundance” is asking petowners and groomers to gather up their tufts of Fido’s fur that would normally be picked off of clothing and throw away to send them in to be made into oil-busting mats.