It's been a while since I did that, and I haven't been solo camping since around when I met Florian. Vacations are a bit different now, but they still revolve around bonding with my canine friends.
Last week, my sister rented a house for the family in Rehoboth. It was a beautiful house, large enough for my dad, my sister and her daughter and our friend Eric, our Uncle Johnny and two of our dogs to coexist. Previously I've brought Lamar on these vacations, since Fozzie and Genghis long to tear each other into little bits of fluff. This time, I brought Daria.
It was pretty clear that it was the first time she'd ever seen the ocean, as the first wave caused her to jump straight up into the air. Once it flattened out, she realized quickly that it was just like that wet stuff she likes to lie down in.
So nice to get up early and walk with my sister, to the beach or to town to get a chai latte, or around the lake.
Genghis loves the water too. He likes to go out deep in it, sit down, open his mouth, and just space out. For a while. Daria didn't know what to make of it, so she charged out to him and then bounded back.
We thought Genghis might follow her out, but he was too lost in his own reverie. My sister had to go in after him herself.
The house had a gorgeous pool. I think there is nothing quite so relaxing as stretching out by the pool with a few of your favorite people--or hell, even some people you don't like that much--and something good to read.
But if you're a white pit bull and that's your thing, you'd better put some sunblock on that pink and nearly bald skin around your mouth and nose!
As a responsible parent, I can tell you that that nosie was doused in SPF 70 and no less.
Lots to do around Rehoboth even when the weather's less sunny.
You can go check out the World War II bunkers and observation towers, and Uncle Johnny can release some of his pent-up anger with a real cannon.
If you've got your foster dog with you, you can pose for family photos as your leg is being humped.
Or even catch your foster dog in one of those rare moments when she is being cute and not misbehaving in any way.
Some of the best times were when we went to bed at night, in a tall, super-comfy four-poster bed, and my little piglet climbed up next to me, then curled up into a circle while she was still sitting so that she collapsed against me and partly on top of me, and the proceeded to snore deeply, loudly, and with satisfaction.
It felt just like it used to when I was that 20-something on some beach in California with Lamar and Tashi, when they were all I had and we just brimmed with gratitude for each other, that we could share such a world of beauty and richness and wildness together.
That I was away from my home and my sweetie and my Fozzie and my usual sources of comfort, but I had this adorable, pink, vulnerable, snoring baby right next to me. I don't think it would have been a vacation without that.
Sunday was my birthday, and I drove Dad and Uncle Johnny back to Silver Spring.
Then made out with Fozzie, then left the puppies at home while Florian and I took Uncle Johnny out to see some belly dancing.
What a fun birthday vacation! Thanks Nance, thanks Uncle Johnny, thanks Dad and thanks to my little loving piglet, such a terrific traveling companion!