Sunday was one of the most thrilling days of my life. The Lady bought a Discover Outdoors day trip as a birthday present for the Guy (the best kind of birthday present, because it was really a present for me). We have been on a couple of excursions with this company before, but those were day hikes in the woods. Yesterday’s trip offered adventure of a different sort. Dubbed “Dog, Beach, and Vine,” it included a trip to a beach on Long Island and visits to two wineries.
We all met at Manhattan’s Union Square where our guides, Mr. Danny and Mr. Zach, were waiting with two vans. We were a motley assortment of large dogs and small dogs, older dogs and younger dogs, purebreds and mixed breeds, barking dogs and quiet dogs. I was quite anxious as we piled into the van because I suspected this might be some ruse to take me somewhere and abandon me. I am always a little afraid of being abandoned, even if my People are with me and everyone is being cordial. You just never know.
However, as we settled into the drive, I calmed down and took the opportunity to nap for a while. And a good thing I did, because I was going to need my energy later. After a brief rest stop for the humans, we pulled up to something I have never seen before:
You may find this hard to believe, given that Manhattan is surrounded by water, but this was the first time I had ever seen the ocean. In all the time they’ve had me, my People have been more the country sort than the beach sort. On summer weekends, we have gone up to the Catskill mountains instead of the Long Island beaches. Not that I’ve minded a bit, since the woods are full of so many interesting smells and trails to explore. And I have seen lakes. But lakes are quite different from the Atlantic Ocean.
As I may have mentioned in the past, I do not enjoy getting wet, so I stayed clear of that enormous stretch of water, although I got close enough to taste a bit of salt on my nose.
It was a little chilly, but sunny, and there were very few people at the beach. That meant that I had a seemingly endless stretch of sand to explore. I ran faster than I have ever run in my life.
I discovered that sand is an exhausting surface on which to run, constantly shifting under one’s paws. While my People had their lunch, I had another little nap.
After that brief nap, it was time to pile back into the vans. The North Fork of Long Island is known for its many small wineries, which humans like to visit in order to taste and drink smashed, fermented grapes. Once again, I find myself baffled by the ways of humans.
While the humans were tasting their grape juice, I learned that a couple of my fellow canines were also Animal Haven shelter alumni. So it turned out that this trip was an impromptu reunion.
The second winery was larger and more active than the first, with live music and a restaurant.
A variety of animals (besides all the dogs) resided at the farm attached to the vineyard. I tried to herd the alpaca but was impeded by the fact the Lady would not let go of my leash.
This was also my first encounter with a goat. I believe it went rather well.
All in all, it was a day of many firsts, but I hope it will not be the last. Now that I have had a taste of the beach, I am eager to return. But I like the mountains, too, with all those trees and creeks and so many animals leaving interesting odors everywhere. Fortunately, we have the option of both just a few hours from New York. Perhaps I can convince my People to include both beach and country in their summer plans.
What kind of mini-vacation do you prefer: the beach or the mountains?