Ah, little old me... I wanted to surprise Boricua for his birthday with a trip to Cornwall. My friend from work is from there and I heard how beautiful it is - I really want to visit!
I thought Boricua would appreciate the aqua-colored water and getting out of London. Plus, I joined a car club and was now approved to rent a car, kind of like Airbnb for car rentals, from people around our neighborhood and the city. I even found one relatively nearby that was "dogs allowed," so I thought it would be a fun first family trip with Charles, to celebrate my beloved.
Well, this planning was in the midst of helping my sister get her wedding invitations made up. She herself was getting married in Dover, and that address must have engraven upon my memory because when I went to find pet friendly hotels for Boricua's birthday vacation, I booked for Dover! I calculated mileages with the rental, looked for things to do, and felt ready!
Sometime later in the week, I Skyped my colleague excitedly to let her know we were finally making it to her hometown -
Upon further research, I realized that visiting Cornwall would be better served over a few days, not a really quick drive and back. So off to Dover we went!
This was the hotel we stayed at. Charles wasn't such a huge fan of sleeping/being in a place he wasn't familiar with. He kept roaming the room and was so curious what was going on outside. It looked like a ship, and it was full of families and older couples in full-fledged holiday mode. Game rooms, dining hall, book signing. Not what I expected but fun.
The next morning we ate breakfast from the buffet and prayed Charles would NOT pee on the carpet. He didn't! In fact, the whole hotel stay was incident free.
My boys. <3
After a quick walk we were off to visit the White Cliffs of Dover!
Charles was mostly comfortable in the back, we put the seats down for him and brought along his sleeping mat, although it was just tilted enough that he was never quite upright haha. He seemed to know exactly what to do, though! Car rides were no foreign thing to him.
When his little teeth stick out like that, it just kills us.
Must be Banksy.
As we were trying to find the starting point for hiking the cliffs, we definitely almost went to France. You can see below, we were driving around in there trying to find our way to the cliffs, but one of the exits took you straight to the Chunnel!
Charles was beyond excited at the first part of the walk. We thought it was really cute, and it mostly was, but we realized it was because this place is full of rabbits!
After that we had to keep him on the lead. He was just too hyper, and running so extremely fast, he could have run right off the cliff just like that!
New camera lens. No zooming out, really haha.
Charles going crazy upon a rabbit sighting.
I believe this was a WWI fighter plane?
It was a pretty gray day but we were happy because we have discovered this summer that Charles (and greyhounds in general) overheat very easily. It doesn't help that he has a black coat!
Next we went to the beach :)
I didn't want to take our DSLR camera down to the water and sand, but here is a photo from one of our iPhones.
Complete with castle! This was one of the few beaches open to dogs during the summer, it was awesome! We had lunch at a pub with this view.
Sadly, our fun ended way too soon and I had a "dog parent" learning moment. It started out so great, Charles seemed a little bit afraid of the water, and it certainly wasn't a nice comfy temperature, but he loyally followed us out past where he could stand. He would occasionally look back to shore, but if we called him, he kept following us. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
Then we went on a walk along the beach and Charles thought it might be fun to chase a seagull. There were rocks there, so he gingerly tested them and decided he would stay on the sand. I, sadly, saw that he could walk around the rocks and showed him a little path. After that, he SPRINTED after a seagull and cared not whether he treaded rocks. When he came back, we noticed that his paw was bloody - he tore his paws - the pads underneath - right open. We had to get him up to the car, rinse what we could of the sand and dirt out, bandage him with what we had on hand, and dress those wounds for the next few weeks, if not longer! It took a long time to heal, they were deep gauges in his pad, and he would often find a way to take his bandages off and open his wounds up again a bit. It was so heartbreaking and an abrupt end to our trip. Lesson learned - do not encourage Charles to do things he has wisely decided not to!
We had intended on visiting Canterbury on our drive back to London, so we literally drove through the main part of the city, I got this one photo. :)
Overall this birthday trip was somewhat full of mistakes, from the very location to our wounded pet, but I am grateful for the person and dog that made it special - next birthday Boricua might want to take it easy ;)
Texas Sheet Cake, Grandma's recipe, for my man.