Central Coast Dog Days

Penny here.

Most often, Friday nights are pretty easy around here. There’s usually a trip to the chaparral and then comes the drink-making (I never get one, but after they’ve had a couple, I can always count on more treats…) and the dinner-making and the whole weekend thing gets started. I like weekends. My people are around more and we tend to go places.

But last Friday, this place was a beehive of activity, and beehives always get me a little edgy. There was a lot more talking and list-making and a lot less chaparral and treats. And then the suitcases came out! If there’s anything more stressful than a beehive, it’s the suitcases! The last time they came out, my people went to this “France” place for three weeks. Without me! I may have started panting and then gnawed my bed a little.

Getting ready

The next morning though, as things were getting packed I saw that the dog hammock (which is really more of a blanket, but there you go) got put into the back seat. Before anything could change, I got right in. I knew what this meant – ROAD TRIP!!

Now. I’m an old hand at road trips. When I was still a pup, we went on a long long long one, and when I was a little older, we went to the mountains. That was really fun. I wondered where we were going this time. After a while though, maybe I got a little less excited.

Are we there yet?

Fortunately, we weren’t on the road too long. My people seemed glad that we got through “L.A.” without any stopping and after we went over some mountains it got really hot and dry. I hoped we weren’t stopping there.

Way hot!

We didn’t. Well, except to get burritos. And just guess who in the car didn’t get a burrito? Anyway, moving on. We went on to a town called Cambria. It was cool and misty, and we had our own house there! Even better, it had a special place for me. Steve kept calling it a window seat for some reason, but I knew it there so I could keep track of everything. Like this one time, these three “deer” walked right into our front yard. I’d never seen them before, but I could tell they were up to no good. I let them have it with the big barks. Just like that, no more deer.

Window seat dog

The best part though wasn’t even the cool house, it was the trips we went on. The first morning, we went to a place called Fiscalini Ranch, where I was allowed to go off-leash. There were trails through a forest (I almost never get to see forests), and then it opened out onto this huge grassy meadow that went all the way down to the sea! I ran and ran and ran. And then I ran some more. I flushed all the birds!

On the trail

Flush flush flush


Did I mention that I love this place?

Nice view, but I’m really all about the birds

It was so great, we even went back there the next day and it was so foggy you couldn’t even see. I mean, I could see, but you probably couldn’t. But that’s okay, because by now, I totally had this place figured out. Steve said I looked liked something called “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in the fog. I don’t know what that meant, but I doubt Baskerville can be more fun than Fiscalini Ranch.

In the fog

The next day we got in the car (without packing up though) and we drove to what had to be the most awesome dog beach ever. It was super-foggy, but I ran and ran and retrieved the ball out of the water, chased all those annoying seagulls, and made a new friend, Charlie. We chased each other for a long, long time. At some point, these “horses” showed up – and they had PEOPLE on top of them! And man did they smell! (The horses, not the people…) – let’s just say we gave each other a wide berth.

Me & Charlie

Horses in the mist

Now, we did those things each morning, and I have to say that I’m not really sure what happened the rest of the day. After we’d get home, I’d get up on my window-seat – watching out for the deer, and that old lady in the big hat (oops, I was told not to bring that up) – and then I’d get sort of sleepy, so I can’t really tell you what they did with the rest of their days.

Rest of the day, indeed.

Apparently, our Cambria trip was such a success that we’re going to go back in January after one of Susan’s “big meetings” so we can “unwind”. Well, I don’t know what unwinding is, but if it includes Fiscalini Ranch, that beach, and my window seat, then I’m all for it.


26 thoughts on “Central Coast Dog Days

  1. Penny got to go to one of the destinations on my Bucket List? Yay! And I’ll bet she showed those deer a thing or two. But yeah, give the horses wide berth. They’re known to kick a bit.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the coast lately, as it’s been so hot here in the Valley. It’s hard to believe that cool foggy beach and the scorching, literally on-fire Central Valley are in the same state.

    • HG — Cambria is on your bucket list? That’s a pretty small bucket — or an awful big one, I’m not sure. :)

      It was SO nice and cool and foggy there — we had thought about going to some dog-friendly wineries and some off-leash areas in the Los Padres National Forest, but both were > 100, so we said screw it, we’re staying right here. :)

  2. Oh Penny! I’m glad you had such a nice trip with your people. The window seat shot really showcases your fantastic profile. I was in Cambria in 2000 but I can’t really remember it. Pretty sure we stayed in some sort of B&B. I really liked the Central Coast, that is where I’d want to live if I was in CA.
    Is there a happier place on earth than a dog beach? I think not.

    • cranky — we were already in “how can we retire here?” mode by Day 2. We had stayed in Cambria a couple of years ago (sans Penny) and I kept thinking, we really should go back to Cambria sometime. Great choice!

  3. Penny, Penny, Penny … it is high time you had a chance to share your world with us. You’ve got two great two-legged caretakers, but it is nice to hear from the four-legged one that runs the place.
    Your weekend of travel sounded wonderful! I sure hope you will share more adventures with us soon!

  4. Definitely got me all happy when I saw that Penny was posting! (Not to be a downer on anyone, but is there anything more fun to look at than a happy dog?)
    Great pics, great trip!

  5. What a lovely time running in the fog, Penny! You’re lucky, our kitty Ives can only sulk when we bring out the suitcases, although we’d love to bring him with us.

    Don’t be sad about the burritos. If Dad had given you some, you’d have made quite a few stops along the way!

    • Amelie — she DID forget to mention that she got a nice piece of linguica sausage that fell on the floor during one dinner prep. She loved that — and there were no digestive mishaps!

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