Have you ever vacationed with your dog?
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t get excited for travel until the day before. We book it, and I put it out of my mind until I need to pack - which is usually the night before. I’m not sure why I approach travel plans like this, because I absolutely love vacationing. In fact, we've agreed to stop wasting money on gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc., instead focusing on food and travel. Last summer, Dana and my sister-in-law Jenn traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine for Jenn’s birthday. When Dana came back, all I heard about was how we need to go, and take Dexter with us. Neither of us had ever vacationed with a family dog before, so the idea of that was foreign and exciting. So we booked it.
We talked a lot about how we’d likely need to be patient with him - during the 8 (which turned into close to 10) hour car ride, walking around the busy town, and in the hotel room (he usually can’t settle down in new places). What ended up transpiring was the most spiritually rejuvenating and beautiful trip I’ve ever been on. Bold adjectives, I know...but when you’ve had an experience like the one we did, there’s no other way to describe it.
We posted on our Facebook and Instagram pages about spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with Dexter for 80 straight hours. The pleasure we derived from this was something we hadn’t anticipated, and frankly is difficult to put into words. In day to day life, it just doesn’t happen like that. You run errands, you go to work, you visit with friends, etc. There are hours in every single day where your dog is home by himself, catching up on sleep. Sharing new sights, sounds, smells, hikes, and tastes (we split our apples with him while hiking, he also tried some of our ice cream. Hey it’s his vacation too) with Dexter was a truly amazing experience. Most folks won’t understand this, as they aren’t dog people. But I suspect if you’re actually reading this, you have a deep connection with dogs that is probably rooted in your childhood. We both left this trip feeling more deeply connected to him, better able to read him and know what he’s feeling. In my opinion that heightened connection can only come when you spend every second of the day for several days with your faithful companion. In short - you really need to do this. Find a town that has things to do and that is dog friendly, and just do it.
May we suggest Bar Harbor, Maine?
Bar Harbor is a bustling town with plenty of shops and restaurants, and it’s very dog friendly. We spent our nights walking around after eating, just enjoying the good vibes. Dexter of course joined us on all the outdoor patios that we ate at, and he was a champ. For us though, the main attraction was Acadia National Park. If you haven’t already, check out our social media pages for some of the pictures. The marriage of the Atlantic Ocean, the rugged coastline, and pristine forest make for one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet. We love hiking the Hudson Valley, but man, the first time you ascend a mountain and you’re overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll be left speechless like I was. I’m not going to give any more description, because it won’t do any justice.
We snapped nearly 500 pictures on this trip - memories frozen in time of what was easily the best trip of my life with my beautiful wife and loving companion Dexter.
Experiences and memories are life’s true currencies - and we are much richer for having gone on this trip. I hope these words have inspired you to consider your furry family member in future travel planes. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the last few days of summer.