Again this year, Klondike, Mieko, and Bill made the drive from Berkeley to San Diego to spend Christmas with The Audrey, Klondike’s honorary grandma.
The trip was a leisurely nine days from start to finish, leaving Berkeley for La Jolla on December 22, stopping in Santa Barbara both coming and going, and finally returning home on December 30th.
The weather was great the entire time. We hit some moderate rain in Southern California on the 30th, but other than that, the only other rain was late at night, when we are all safely indoors. Klondike was also better used to long drives so while of course we did walks and park explorations, we didn’t feel the need to give him a break every few hours.
Here are some trip highlights, in very roughly chronological order
Most people don’t know it, but science has proven that Pyrenees are mammal-reptile hybrids, created by mixing wolf and dinosaur DNA. We stopped at Dinosaur Caves Park at Pismo Beach and in their dinosaur-themed playground Klondike was able to reenact his own hatching from a life-like Pyrenees egg.
And speaking of Dinosaur Caves Park at Pismo Beach, the three of us at sunset.
No Velociraptors emerged but had they done so I’m sure Klondike would have protected us. Unless said Velociraptors offered him cheese, in which case Klondike would need to give the situation some serious thought.
Klondike immediately recognized The Goodlands, the dog-friendly Santa Barbara hotel we stayed in last year, and immediately headed to the reception desk to ask about
a welcoming bouquet treats. The receptionist is honored but just a little surprised.
Still at The Goodlands and…
Where’s Klondike!! Anyone seen Klondike?
Klondike isn’t allowed on our bed at home (up until recently, he wasn’t even allowed in our bedroom), so the above is very much a vacation treat. Which he seems have thoroughly enjoyed.
We’re in La Jolla now. Here’s Mieko and Klondike on Christmas morning, right next to Scripps pier at the La Jolla Shores, a few miles down the hill from where I grew up.
Later on, Christmas morning, opening presents at my mom’s house.
Klondike is taking a break while waiting his turn to open a gift, but not too exhausted to spend time near The Audrey, his grandmother. The Audrey’s house is usually occupied by Parker, a cat. However, to accommodate Mr. Klondike, Parker was kind enough to spend his Christmas at a hotel, the absolutely incredible Helen Woodward Club Pet Boarding Center to be specific. We are grateful to The Audrey for the accommodation and apologize to Parker for any inconvenience.
Klondike posing with one of his gifts, cow ears. He usually gets much smaller pig and sheep ears, so these are a great treat.
Klondike got into the holiday spirit by generating his own snow. We’re talking massive shed. To avoid just carpeting my mom’s house, we were brushing him 2-3 times a day. What you see above was a pretty typical yield from any of the daily brushings.
This is the once clean back of the car looked after about a week.
The black and white strap you see above, attached to the shoulder belt in the top right, is attached to a yellow and black carabiner, which then clips to a shoulder harness we put on Klondike when driving. I figure in case of a sudden stop, a hundred pounds of Klon flying through the cabin would be bad for everyone.
Another shot at the La Jolla Shores. Beautiful dog, beautiful ocean, beautiful beach, not so sure about the restricted hours notice or my Santa hat.
The La Jolla Cove, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Too bad about all the regulations…
Regulations that do not overly impress Klondike. Apparently, these rules have been in place for years and years, but I just noticed them for the first time on this trip.
Unleashed at La Jolla Village Center. Klondike figures pet supply store + counter = treats on demand. He’s pretty much right. Note that Klondike seals the deal with a double handshake.
Meet The Real Pyre Paws of Orange County, our Pyre peers and their pyres. A great chance to vibe with our tribe.This shot is from the Irvine Spectrum Center, a huge and beautiful outdoor shopping center where we had dinner. Klondike is the one with the short fur, next to the
This shot is from the Irvine Spectrum Center, a huge and beautiful outdoor shopping center where we had dinner. Klondike is the amused looking dog with the short fur, next to the hunkalicious gentleman in gray.
Through Facebook, we’d gotten to friends with a member of the group and then got to know the group itself. Since Orange County was right on the way back to Berkeley our friend set up a dinner for us and the group. It was great. Wonderful people, wonderful hospitality, wonderful dogs, lots for people to talk about, and for dogs to sniff at.
Of course, being in the middle of a busy shopping mall we were surrounded by Paparazzi. “Can I pet your dog?” “What kind of dog is that?” “What a huge lab!” and so on. But I think no one minded, and some of our friends, like Klondike, enjoyed the attention.
Klondike vouging on an old bench in the mission courtyard.
And that, ladies and gentleman, was our 2016 Christmas trip.
Last year when we did this trip Klondike was wiped out for two days after returning, but this time he was a little sleepy for a day or so and then back to full power. I think he’s getting the hang of car trips.
Stay tuned for a summary review of dog parks visited during the trip, and have a wonderful 2017.