For our March “honeymoon” getaway we did a one-day excursion. Yes, it wasn’t the prescribed full weekend away, but even a one-day excursion can do wonders for the soul (and for a marriage)! This was also our first big excursion with Sutter, so Carl did some research on dog-friendly sites in the area.
First, we headed south to Mission San Juan Bautista. Every time we drive by it on a road trip north/south on the 101, Carl says, “Oh, we should go there.” I think he secretly wanted to relive his glory days in 3rd grade when this mission was assigned to him for the California Missions project. Our niece, who is currently in the middle of this same assignment, prepped us for what she called a “crazy” statue in the courtyard.
We arrived during the middle of mass on Palm Sunday, so we were able to see the beautiful stained glass inside. We pretended that Sutter would sit still with us while we set up a picnic on the lawn nearby. Carl is getting really good at holding Sutter’s leash and eating with one hand. We strolled through the small downtown past antique stores and a kajillion Harley Davidsons, poked our head in an art gallery, and tried to keep Sutter from his self-imposed choking while he dragged us along by his leash.
Next stop. A dog-friendly winery just outside of Carmel. Ventana Vineyards has a great outdoor patio, but it was a bit noisy with planes coming in for landing at Monterey Airport, and trucks zipping by on Highway 68. The service was excellent, and so was the wine. Sutter was a good boy too.
Sutter’s big adventure was when we took him off leash at Carmel Beach with the other happy doggies. We spent most of our time chasing after him, and hoping he’d slow down. During one of these chases, while Carl was disposing of the “yuckies” I noticed that Sutter was nosing his way into someone’s bag while the owner slept on his beach towel. As I got closer, I could see Sutter wolfing down the poor guy’s pizza! I panicked and secretly wondered if I could grab Sutter and sneak away without a confession. No such luck. I felt like I had a disobedient child. Okay.. he kind of is. Thanks to Sutter’s hint that he was hungry, we took him to a dog-friendly restaurant. Carmel is filled with them. Forge in the Forest set us up in a private dog-friendly patio with other dog owners, and introduce us to the special “Dog Pound” menu featuring everything from kibble ($2.50) to the Good Dog New York steak ($12.95) for dogs. We opted for the free treats. Sorry Sutter.
Rating: 1.5 thumbs up. (Loved the day trip and spending the time with Sutter… but I think we need to go back to the official rules for the “Month-Moons.”)
What we’d bring with us next time: If Sutter came along, we would bring the all-important “poop-bags” and our new favorite, life-saving leash – “the Gentle Leader.”