This weekend, I did something I've never done before: brought my dog to the shore.
Yes, I spent a lot of time at the South Jersey shore this summer, but the house I'd rented did not allow pets. So friends, family and a dog walker took care of Emily, my (almost) six-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, while I was gone (something she thanked me for by pooping in the spare room -- lovely!)
I adopted Emily about two years ago, and in that time, I'd never taken her to the shore and, as far as I know, she'd never seen the beach before. The Billmae Cottage (1015 Washington Street, Cape May) isn't just dog friendly but dog WELCOMING (they're the folks who host Yappy Hour), so I packed up the pup and made the two hour drive to Cape May.
Cape May has a wonderful shopping district called the Washington Square Mall, so soon after dropping off my stuff at Billmae, me and Emily took a walk into town. It's under construction right now, it's not as picturesque as usual (the trees are gone for now). But everywhere Emily went, she attracted attention. I took her into a few stores, too, and no one blinked an eye, though she did get a lot of pets from strangers.
Then it was beach time. Even though it was about 45 degrees outside, Emily headed right to the water. She tried to bite the ocean, and she peed on the sand. She barked at birds, at fishermen, and at the water (again). I wish I could have let her run off leash, but I'm too scared that she wouldn't have come back (which is why these pictures have a big black line in them -- that's her leash).
After our beach adventures, we visited Jay and Mary Ann Gorrick, who own the Inn at the Park (1002 Washington St., Cape May). This is one reason why I love Cape May. Most people are so incredibly friendly. I stayed with the Gorrick's in the spring, and after about five minutes of chatting, they'd given Emily two treats, invited me to their cocktail hour AND dinner. I accepted the cocktail hour invite, and went with the Gorrick's to the tree lighting. Emily had a good time. She barked whenever people clapped. The old girl's got great timing.
By the time we got back to our room, Emily was ready for bed, and she walked right into her travel crate. I stopped in at both Congress Hall (215 Beach Ave., Cape May) and the Ugly Mug (426 Washington St., Cape May), the first for a drink and entertainment, and the second for food (I forgot that the Brown Room is drinks and dessert but not dinner food). I ended up sitting next to the guy who played Santa earlier in the day. Wasn't a late night, but a fun one.
The trip must have wiped Emily out because, after a Sunday morning beach walk, she was ready for bed again. She slept the whole way home, and most of of Sunday afternoon. It's strange -- I like having an active dog, but complain sometimes about her spunkiness (right now, she's trying to hop onto my lap). But whenever she's sluggish like that, I worry that she's slowing down. She does have gray hair, after all.
I was impressed with how busy Cape May was for a November weekend. People were out walking, in the restaurants (I had trouble finding a seat at the bar in both Congress Hall and the Ugly Mug), and a lot of the B&Bs had up the "no vacancy" signs. I hear that the only real dead month is January, which makes sense since it's cold and it's after the holidays. But things pick right back up around Valentine's Day. Most of the people were couples, which made me feel a bit out of place. I even saw a just-engaged engaged couple at the Ugly Mug (with a bottle of champagne, mind you). Still, I had a great time. It was nice to get away and not worry where my dog would stay because she was exactly where she belonged: right by my side.
The "Down the Shore with..."series will return shortly. This week's interviewee is in Africa, so we're on a bit of a delay!
What I'm Listening to: Soundtrack to Le Divorce