JACKIE: We want to Talk about a getaway that doesn’t take very long to get to. Our summer is close to being a Stay-cation, but we felt our dog needed some beach time, which is pretty tough around here because it’s hard to find a legal dog beach. Fates did collide. While toodeling around the deals on Living Social, up popped an unexpectedly lovely hotel, dog friendly, on the Pacific and near a glorious dog beach. Less than an hour away, we decided to Travel.
Ahhh! The dog days of summer!
DAVID: Time to hit the beach –Long Beach, that is. Now, “why in heaven’s nameLong Beach,” you might ask. “BecauseLong Beach is dog’s name for heaven,” we answer. So, the whole family, Jacqueline, myself, and the dog-love of our lives, Schuyler “Skye”Lawrence, piled into the family Jaguar and headed for the Hotel Maya with its panoramic ocean view and fondness for pets.
JACKIE: When the weather permits, we take Skye along for trips to the store, errands, and family visits. He loves riding, but he really loved the Hotel Maya’s spacious room with a glass walled balcony (overlooking the Queen Mary), where he watched the lucky world go by. We all enjoyed their long walking promenade with little park like green areas for doggies (we packed our tidy-up bags), sauntering by their sandy beach, fire pits, pool, diners, and waterfall areas for weddings. Peaceful and playful.
DAVID: A word or two about the Hotel Maya – a Double Tree by Hilton: I have always dismissed this category, inaccurately considering it motel-like. I admit my snobbery was misplaced. (Jackie: To say the least!) This is a very comfortable, well-run accommodation with everything one could hope for. And (hats off to General Manager Kristi Allen) the staff, from cheerful reception to restaurant to housekeeping, is outstanding. The Fuego Restaurant’s breakfast buffet was vast and varied, “the works” and then some. All freshly prepared by and augmented by the willing staff with any special requests (delish decaf coffee, egg whites, etc.) … Skye understood that the restaurant was off limits.
JACKIE: Since this was Skye’s holiday, he hopped back into David’s lovely old Jag, which he rarely drives because he uses my ten-year-old Prius all the time, but this was special. It was a short distance to Downtown Long Beach, a good surprise for David who had never been there. I was taken aback myself by a lot of dramatic and wonderful changes since 1990 when I played in Follies at the wonderful Long Beach Civic Light Opera. Today it’s an eclectic mix of contemporary buildings, a light show of a Ferris Wheel and quaint ethnic neighborhoods. We stopped at theBerlin café, next to an old bookstore (also, with a zillion records), on the4th street stretch of antique shops.
A destination was theNaplesarea, with lovely homes along the canals that rival ourVenice. Really fabulous to stroll by the party boats and folks floating by on recreational ski-pontoons, floating bikes, paddle surf standing, but best of all was seeing Bob’s Big Boy standing tall (well, standing short) fronting a canal front home. Then, past their village-like main street to Rosie’sDogBeach. A paradise come true, with responsible pet owners managing happy and playful dogs on as beautiful stretch of beach as one could hope for. Oh, people play there too. Skye is not a water dog, but he loves to bite the bubbles as they land with the tide.
DAVID: Back to the warm, sparkling pool at the Maya and then time for dinner at Fuego; another Maya surprise; good enough for an encore on both nights that we stayed. We enjoyed a sampler of three Ceviches, crispy Calamari, first-rate steaks, lobster macaroni and cheese and I had an excellent ’09 Ridge Carignane selected by Food & Beverage Manager Brian Wright. Then I retired to the Hookah Lounge where I was allowed to smoke my Cohiba cigar. Very civilized! (We’re planning a return soon!)
JACKIE … We’ll Travel. And SKYE will woof.