Can I just say that it is a VERY long drive from Tennessee to Massachusetts? It was quite eventful, too, as the air conditioner in my car broke halfway through the extremely large state of Virginia. If it hadn't been a sunny 90*F day, I would have tried to ride it out until we got here, but because it was just so hot, I had to stop and get it repaired. Thankfully it was an easy fix and we were able to get back on the road after three hours or so -- and I have to give Firestone a huge shout-out (the one in Nowheresville, VA) for being so awesome and letting Claire hang out in the lobby. They even gave her treats and water while we waited. Talk about service!
We finally made it to Harrisburg PA where we stayed in a hotel for the night. Claire got her own queen-sized bed, which she was quite excited about, as you can see by the blur of her wagging tail in this picture:
We made it to the Cape the next day without any hiccups, and I cannot emphasize enough how glad we both were to get out of the car. I actually have no recollection of what we did that night because my mind was blank from driving for so long. The one thing that I did not anticipate was how rough the drive would be on my body. My fibromyalgia flared up like mad and after a full week, I'm finally feeling better. Note to self for the next time: break up the drive into three days, not two.
The next morning, Claire and I woke up early and took a long walk on the beach. It was her first time there, and y'all, I can't wait to post the video of her reaction. But that will have to wait until I get back to Nashville, so hang tight in the meantime. At first she was afraid of the waves, but by the end of our walk, she was running straight into them. She tried to drink the water like she does when I take her to the river in Nashville, but the salt from the ocean made her sneeze. Puppy sneezes are the cutest! But she didn't try to drink it again, which was a safe bet. And hey, this is a picture that I took of the sunrise that morning. Can you tell that it was the perfect day?
Later that day, one of my besties came to visit and it was AMAZING to see her. It had been a year since we'd seen each other, and I fully intend for us to visit a lot over the next month!! We went out to lunch to catch up and then spent the afternoon hanging out on the beach. Claire was so tired after her morning romp in the waves, so I didn't feel bad leaving her for a few hours. She needed the rest!
I know some of y'all are connected with us on our Facebook page, but for those of you who aren't, you need to know that part of my mother's preparation for our arrival included putting sheets all over the furniture to "protect" them from Claire's fur. Clearly, we never had dogs growing up. Anyway, Claire's new favorite lookout is the window behind the sheeted couch, which gives her a good view of one side of our neighborhood (and, more importantly, of the squirrels and rabbits), so she's been spending a lot of time here. Again, please note the happy tail.
Interestingly enough, my mom forgot to cover one chair in the house, which has become a great place for naps. Claire is smart enough to curl up here when my mom isn't home. I don't have the heart to tell her to get off, especially when she's as cute as she is. Who wants to disturb a comfortable dog, anyway? Not me. That's just mean!
Of course, I still have to work during the week (though I'm so thankful that I can work remotely!), but Claire and I have settled into a routine that seems to be working well. My "office" is in a room that I only go into while I'm working - I thought that would help Claire understand that I can't play when we're there. We get up in the morning and go for a long walk, eat breakfast, and do a little training, and then I get the work day started. Claire hangs out with me and naps until lunch, alternating between the floor, the couch, and this cozy little pallet that I've set up for her next to my desk.
I've got an hour break for lunch, so after grabbing some food, Claire and I spend some time playing frisbee, going running, and doing more training. After she's gotten out some energy, she's ready to lounge around while I finish up the second half of the work day. At night, we've been heading to the beach after most of the tourists have left, and we'll go for another long walk/run so I can unwind and Claire can get back outside for a bit. Then it's time for dinner and playtime (she likes to play tug with her stuffed animals, and four of them have already succombed to her destruction), and then we hang out with my mom and her boyfriend before calling it a night.
The other night we went for a walk at the Harbor instead of at the beach - mainly because I was feeling nostalgic for a place where my friends and I hung out a lot when we were in high school. There were a couple other dogs around and Claire did really well by not reacting to them. I was so proud of her! Anyway, while we were walking on the docks, Claire saw ducks for the first time EVER and was absolutely fascinated by them. She didn't cry or whine or bark, she just sat there transfixed. Birds in the water? Who would've thought!
So, now you know what we've been up to and where we've been lately! I'll be posting again next weekend, for sure. And of course I'll share more pictures too. Hope you all are well and have been enjoying your summer!