We’re headed home today. This whole vacation has been a strange mix of awesome and the makings of a new National Lampoon. It was our first ever vacation with our dogs. We’d spent a lot of time trying to find an affordable, pet-friendly cottage to rent on Tybee Island and wound up in one on Wilmington Island. A ten minute ride to both Savannah (which is a favorite destination of ours) and Tybee. According to the listing, it seemed like we were going to be on a nice, secluded road, right off the salt marshes.
In reality, when we arrived after nearly nine hours (lots of stops for the pooches, who hadn’t ever been in the car that long), it was pitch dark and our GPS thought it was on the other side of the road. Once we FINALLY found the place, it turned out it was smack in the middle of a neighborhood with houses jammed in cheek by jowl. Well, whatever, fine. So we come in, unload our stuff and take a survey of the place. It’s loaded with the kind of “art” that’s really more like the contents of some kind of junk shop. Weird and cluttered, but again, whatever.
Then the ridiculousness started. The downstairs toilet stopped up and overflowed before we could find the plunger. After mopping that up, I started supper, which we’d brought the ingredients for (taco soup). That was the point at which we discovered that none of the skillets were non-stick (in truth, why are such things even manufactured?). I have never had ground beef stick to a skillet when browning before. Then we come to find out that the kitchen sink won’t drain, which makes it really damn hard to actually do the dishes. Sigh. And then we found out that there was no internet (we were told there would be) other than what we could pirate off the neighbors. Oh, and there’s no actual signal on our cell phones here. And then Callie peed in the floor. Not an auspicious beginning.
Friday we hit the grocery for provisions and Drano (which didn’t fix the sink), determined to make a better day of it. We intended to pack a lunch and hit the beach–only to find out that Tybee doesn’t allow dogs on the beach. None of the local beaches allow dogs. This was on us for not checking but it never occurred to us that it would be a problem.
We hit the dog park, though, and the girls had a nice romp with some new friends. Then we had a nice lunch at the Tortuga Island Grille, which allowed dogs outside (their blackened chicken sandwich is awesome) and were kind enough to bring them a big bowl of water. After that we hit up Fort Pulaski, where there’s a really nice Rails To Trails trail where dogs most definitely are allowed (and the Fort was free for Veterans Day). We hiked out to the lighthouse. After that, we came back to the house, dropped our very tired pooches off at the cottage, then headed out to Tybee Beach for a nice sunset photo shoot, followed by a magnificent moonrise of a beautiful full moon. That was lovely. After that, we came home and hubby manned the grill to cook us some steaks for supper. We were going to test out the jacuzzi upstairs but couldn’t ever get the water past luke warm. That was a big disappointment as we were SOOOOOOORE after all our hiking about.
So Saturday we opted to drive up to Hilton Head, which is the nearest beach that does allow dogs. It’s about an hour away. We slept in, got up, and I tried fixing breakfast (note to self–next time, travel with my own skillet), then went to shower–aaaaaand found out there was no hot water. At all. To say that we were pissed would be minimizing things. Of course we couldn’t actually get a signal on our phones and the phone in the cottage apparently doesn’t work. There was a signal in the road outside, but I couldn’t actually call because they were busy cutting down trees across the street and I couldn’t hear a thing. I wound up bathing from hot water I heated in a giant stock pot. Grr. So I called on the way to Hilton Head. The owner, who was out of town, said the pilot light had probably blown out and told us where the water heater was.
But when we got up to Hilton Head we had a lovely, gorgeous day on the beach. There were lots of other pooches and everybody was really friendly. It wasn’t too hot, wasn’t too cold, and wasn’t too crowded. Perfect. My dogs had never seen the beach or ocean before. They didn’t know what to think. It was hilarious. Callie seemed to want to go in but Daisy didn’t want anything to do with it. She’s never been much for water unless it’s coming out of a garden hose at 90 miles an hour. After they were good and worn out, we headed to Skillets, a marvelous, dog-friendly restaurant that even has gourmet dog food on the menu. The staff was fantastic. They brought out bowls of water, and treated the girls as if they were two legged customers. Being able to have lunch out with my girls at a restaurant where we can order food just for them? Priceless. No doubt they’ll be begging to go back. After lunch, we wandered over to Tail Waggin’, a nearby local pet store. We wound up fitting the girls out with new harnesses and collars and got them their very own special iced dog biscuits. How cool was that? We’ve decided next dog vacay we take will be up there. They get an A++ for being a dog friendly town.
We were able to get the pilot light lit once we got back, and hubs got some great sunset shots over the salt marshes. We had nice long, hot soak (BLISS) in the jacuzzi on our last night there, so things ended on a high note. Despite the less than stellar circumstances with our lodging and the no dog beaches, we are glad we went. I confess, I’ll be really glad to get home to my own bed and comfy furniture and pausible TV (it’s been years since I couldn’t just pause live TV)–and to get back to the chiropractor to continue getting my neck fixed.