Yesterday - Mallory, the dogs and I set out for an Adventure Day
We were going to my little slice of Heaven here on earth, the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Lower Michigan. More specifically we were on a M-22 adventure. M-22 is quite a famous scenic route running through the Leelanau Peninsula and the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. Sleeping Bear Dunes was voted Good Morning America's "Most Beautiful Place in America" in 2011.
I had plans to take oodles of photos to document our adventure, but I knew that could prove to be a challenge with the dogs along. We don't usually take them on these kind of outings, where there will be quaint little towns and shopping involved. They go when we have a day of State Parks and hiking planned.
You see, they are Golden Retrievers and they get VERY excited when they go new places and see lots of people. They think that everyone wants to pet them and they want to be everyone's new best friend.
So I conscientiously put my camera away for the day (I did get a few shots here and there) and made the day as calming and enjoyable as possible for them. You see, Riley will be 11 at the end of month and Scout is 10, so just never know how many summers they have left to enjoy a day like yesterday.
After arriving in Leland, my favorite quaint touristy town, we got their initial excitement worked out of them in a cute little park. After that we were able to browse fairly easily. One of us would stay outside with them while the other went in and looked around. Scout was quite content to sit ON the bench with me, while Riley was a bit more antsy always looking for someone to pet him, but in general he sat or laid down.
We ordered bag lunches from The Village Cheese Shanty and took them to a nearby beach to have a picnic. That went extremely well. I had packed their food and water, and by the time they were done eating they were tired and content to lie under the picnic table while we ate our sandwiches.
After lunch we turned them loose on the beach. This is one of those tucked out of the way beaches that only the locals know about. Great expanses of sand and water, and very few other people around. They ran with the wind lifting their floppy ears, they chased after sticks thrown into the water, and rolled in the sand with great abandon. They lived their lives to the fullest yesterday.
We took two tired, wet and sand saturated Golden Retrievers home last night.
My kitchen floor has a fine coating of sand on it this morning, but that's okay. I have always wanted to have a beach cottage, where two happy Golden Retrievers are always tracking in beach sand after a perfect day of frolicking on the shore. Today I am pretending that I have that beach cottage.