Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pet Friendly Family

We were brave.  Very brave.  We were so brave to even THINK about taking a vacation with Teddy.  It was something we had been thinking about for a while because we love Carmel and it is the pet friendliest place on the planet, so it was the ideal place to start.  Only the citizens there would understand all of Teddy's shortcomings...because there are many.  We love him to death, however we get that other people don't find him as charming as we do. We get it...honest.

The whole process leading up to this weekend was hysterical.  Last I was hard at work closing a school year, I started making a Teddy Packing List.  This list was at one point equivalent to the first time we took Matthew as a baby somewhere (which I think was Carmel).  I remember loading the back of our Jeep with half the nursery and thinking...we can survive the two days...we can survive the two days.  And we did,  hardly touching half of the stuff we packed.  The Teddy Packing List became very similar to the Matthew Packing List of long ago.  Because again, the rationale of there being a Babies R Us or Target nearby in case we forgot something was gone.  That same rationale of there not being a Petco or any other pet store in the area caused me to pack fifteen different items for a two day stay.

When we got to Carmel, the first place we went was to the beach.  Our thought process was that we would take him down and run him around and exhaust him so he would be mild and calm all the other places we took him.  This was not the case.  First of all, the weather was GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!  It was mid-60's and sunny.  Because I knew the weather forecast I only packed long sleeves and pants for the boys...because mid-60's does not say swim in the ocean to me.  Within the first five minutes of us being there Ryan was drenched from his neck down and Matthew's jeans were soaking wet.  This was not the plan...I only had one change of clothes.  Teddy ran right into the water because he is part fish (he LOVES water) and he looked like a drowned rat.  So, I was on the beach only four minutes before I was heading right back up the car for towels and clothes for wardrobe changes for everyone.

I managed to snap a couple of pics...

Everybody heading down, still dry and looking like they will casually walk in the sand and not go in the water.

That lasted 30 seconds.  The ol' game of "it can't get me" is so tempting and the waves ALWAYS win!!!

You can almost hear the voices inside of Ryan's head saying...GO!  GO!  GO!

Yep....they just couldn't stand it.

This game is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

Ted's turn.  He was not hesitant at all.  He was so ready to go all in...

Do you love that Rich lost his sandal on the way in??? 

Drowned rat.

It's not cold....I promise.  It feels nice...  Soaking wet jeans NEVER feel nice!!!

One last trip in.

After the beach we headed to lunch.  Lunch was a bit of a turning point for the trip because it was during the forty-five minute wait for lunch that I realized...we need backup.  And by backup, I mean a muzzle.  GASP!!!  Yeah, I said it and yeah, we bought one!!!  We really got to the point that we realized that he was scared sh%$less and he was barking at everything and everyone.  It made sense that we brought him to this new place with all of these people and while he is walking, they must look like giants and there were so many of them, it was just too much for him.  So, we got the muzzle. 

We called it the "Silence of the Teddy".  So, he looked a little like Hannibal Lecter, so least he was quiet! :)  As pathetic as he looked, it was a life saver. 

That night we went to a pet friendly restaurant called Bahama Billy's Steakhouse.  It was pet friendly and we could eat outside on the patio with Teddy if we wanted, but we decided he could sleep in the car during dinner.

Now...let me just say that this was the BEST place to bring the boys for dinner.  It was not really a kid friendly place because it seemed a little nicer than the places we usually take the kids, but this place by far had the best children's menu.  Let me vent for a second...we have been to places where prices for kids meals have ranged from $5.00 to $8.00 and we have ordered food that was never touched and just wasted or we have ordered and it was a half of sandwich and two carrots sticks, which was not enough.  Matthew can eat everything on his plate, no problem.  However, Ryan does not and so often we hesitate getting him anything because it's usually a waste.  When I saw that dinner prices at this place were $7.95, I thought about Matthew and Ryan splitting dinner because it would just be cheaper.  And then when we saw the layout of their menu, we let them both order.  It was as if they put all of their favorites in a bento box just for them.  Each meal came with a side of pineapple and carrots and celery with ranch.  Then the other two spots they got to choose a meat and then a side.  Matt chose chicken strips and mac n' cheese, while Ryan chose bbq ribs and mashed potatoes.  They ate every...single...bite!!!  And it was a lot of food.  I don't care paying for an $8 meal if there is a lot of food, but most of the time it isn't (ESPN Zone---I'm talking about you!). 

The next morning we went to the Village Corner, another pet friendly place we had read about.  This time we were brave and took Teddy with us.  We sat out on the patio with all of the other people who had their dogs.  Teddy was a little freaked out at first and then he calmed down.  We do have a little confession to make...we don't ever give Teddy table scraps.  EVER!  Yes, he may get them at both of his Nana's houses, but he knows we don't give them to him so he never really begs.   So, you can imagine his surprise when I kept feeding him under the table to keep him calm and happy.  He got bread, french fries, chicken, ham, potatoes, eggs, name it, he probably got a sampling of it at some point during the trip.  We felt bad...we were over-compensating for the trauma he was going through of not only being out of his house, but in a place that had thousands of people and most of them had dogs too!!!

Our stroll Sunday morning it was great because he didn't bark at anyone or other dogs.  He was finally comfortable with just being out and about walking in stores and such.  How do you not love a place where most signs say, "Strollers not welcome, dogs on leashes...come on in!!!" (He was only in the bag for a short time---don't bother calling Peta)

Scenic drive Saturday night.  I am dead serious when I say I will retire here.  I don't care if we live in a 1000 sq. ft. condo blocks from the beach that we had to pay for with our life savings!!!  This is my favorite place on the planet. 

He survived his first vacation.  We'll definitely be back!

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