On Tuesday morning, Mom and I got ready and met cousin Sally and her Australian cattle dog, Bindi, down at the end of Ocean Avenue in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The day was phenomenal — the breeze was cool, but the weather was clear and the ocean water was lapping at the shore in postcard-perfect shades of aqua and teal.
On Monday, Sally had already introduced us to Bindi and we got to see first-hand that even though she’s a working dog breed, she could relax and just enjoy our company without being fixated on a toy. On Tuesday, Bindi showed us how intent on an object she could be, perfectly showcasing her breed’s herding instincts as she never took her eyes off of her orange tennis ball. Her ability to stand still and stare, waiting, made for some great photo opportunities!
One of the things I love about places like Carmel (and Colorado) is that everyone gets outside, and more often than not, they grab their dogs to go with them. This beach had plenty of dogs roaming off leash, and for the entire hour and a half we walked around I didn’t see one fight or one unpicked up piece of “evidence.”
In fact, many dogs came over to say hello to us, including a handsome yellow lab. I checked his collar for his name tag, which read “Ralph.” Mom and I were laughing at the coincidence, because at home in Maryland we take care of and baby-sit a yellow lab named Ralph. His owner wandered over (he wasn’t far behind his dog, no owners were negligent in knowing where their dogs were), and looked a bit confused that we were calling his dog “Ralph.”
“Oscar,” he said. “You don’t have the right collar on!” It turns out that OSCAR was wearing his brother Ralph’s collar to the beach that day. Oops.
Additionally, we saw one woman strolling along the beach with an entire fleet of dogs circling around her, all without leashes. Turns out she’s a professional dog-walker, and she had two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, two Dobermans, a Lab and a mutt or two with her that day. They were all so well-behaved and aware of where she was… that woman became my instant hero!
Bindi led us toward the rocky tidal pool area of the beach, and toward Pebble Beach — where the golf course was in the process of erecting white tents everywhere for the upcoming US Open. We were all in agreement that having access to a place like this (especially a beach where dogs are allowed), is a great bonus to living in the Carmel/Monterey area.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a beautiful place — Mom and I agreed that we could both live there. Easily. Standing down at the far right-hand end of the beach, we watched the fog roll in in a large bank of white that matched the whitecaps of the waves in the water. We saw a lazy “V” of pelicans coast overhead, and daydreamed about sitting in a lone chair left in the sunlight, facing the ocean.
And finally, we climbed a well-crafted set of stone stairs up to the street level and enjoyed the fragrance of spring in California on the walk back, while admiring these homes with their beautiful landscaping, interesting names (Carmelot!), modern architecture (a glass house!) and amazing views.
Mom and I have to thank my cousin, Sally, for showing us an amazing time in Monterey and Carmel — from the great little restaurant finds, to the beaches, to the Aquarium, we were treated to an “insider’s guide” to the best places! We also appreciated being able to spend some one-on-two time with Sally. Thanks Sally!