My vacation is over and it is time to go back to work.
It is defiantly a killer, business wise, to take an entire week off of work, but I think that every groomer should make some time to themselves so the they can take a brake and get recharged.
The first 10 or so years that I groomed, I hardly took any time off.
A day here or a long weekend there.
Then my kids got a little older and they wanted to stay longer at the beach.
So we take a week now, and it is well worth it.
Of course, this year we picked one of the hottest weeks on record to go to the beach.
You know it is hot when your sitting only five feet from the water and you still feel like you are a piece of bacon frying in a skillet.
We were staying in a motel 2 blocks from the beach.
The walk to the water was like walking across the Sierra Desert.
Of course, I have never been to the Sierra Desert, but since it was 103 degrees on Friday with a heat index of 114, I think that the Sierra Desert is a good example.
The haze was incredible, and even the breeze coming off of the ocean was hot sometimes.
Too hazy for a nice sunset shot.
Don't get me wrong.
I am not complaining.
We had a great time.
The boys got to ride the waves on their boogie boards.
The kids played games at the Arcade on the board walk.
My youngest played his favorite game on the board walk.
He takes it very seriously.
He makes every dart count.
Well, we don't do very many rides.
My daughter and I both get motion sick on some rides.
My kids won't go in the hunted houses.
I don't even want to talk about how much the tickets cost.
My youngest son does love the Phloom ride.
Well, we don't really go ON the Phloom ride.
My son has heard the story, too many times, of the one and only time that I went on the Phloom ride, and I guess I ruined him for life from ever going on it.
You see, when my daughter was around 3 years old, I decided to take her on the Phloom ride.
It looked fun.
Even though I don't like rollers coasters, the hill on the Phloom didn't look that bad.
So my daughter and I waited in line for the Phloom.
When the log seat came to us, we climbed in.
It was one long seat going down the center of the log.
We climbed in and straddled the seat, with my daughter seated in front of me.
I remember thinking, 'why don't they have any seat belts?'
We floated around a couple bends before the drop came into sight.
As that drop got closer and closer it started looking higher and higher to me.
I had my arms around my daughter.
I was her seat belt, because she was so little, and it was just now dawning on me, as we got closer to that drop, that I must have been temporarily insane to climb into this floating log.
Then we got to the drop, and I looked down, and I couldn't find the emergency stop button.
Surely they must have an emergency stop button for people like me.
People that realize at the last moment that they just made a big mistake and really want off the ride.
We went down the drop.
I think that I almost squeezed all of the air out of my poor little daughter.
She didn't like the ride.
Maybe she sensed my fear.
I was trying to laugh and make the best of it, I didn't want her to be scared.
We splashed down at the bottom, and got a little wet, that made us laugh.
I was so glad it was over.
I was never going on that ride again.
"Did you like that?," I asked my daughter.
"No, I want to get off Mommy", she told me.
"Okay, we'll be off in a minute," I told her.
I did not mean to lie to her, really I didn't.
I truly thought the ride was over, until..
We rounded another bend, and there was another drop.
Another drop, and it was higher then the first drop.
My daughter saw the drop at the same time that I did.
"Mommy I don't want to go down again!" she told me.
"It's okay sweetie, it will be fun," I lied to my daughter, again, for the second time in a matter of minutes.
"I don't like it," she said, breaking my heart.
Why did I bring my daughter on this ride in the first place?
It's okay sweetie, I"ll cover your eyes and you won't have to look when we go down," I told her covering her eyes as we got closer to the drop.
It was all I could do not to let my daughter know that I was more scared then she was.
We went over the last drop.
I can only thank God today that my daughter still has eyes in the front of her head, because I was pressing so hard on my poor little girls eyes as we went down that drop that lasted forever.
I think that I apologized to her the rest of the night for squeezing her face so hard.
Needless to say, my son has heard that story too many times.
He won't go on the ride, but he still wants to get wet.
So he found another way to get wet from the ride without getting on it.
It takes a little while to get just the right wave to hit him.
There has to be a lot of people in the log seat so that the wave is big when they land at the bottom.
The wetter he gets, the happier he is.
Every year, we walk down to the water in the evening to take pictures.
The dogs find us even when we are on vacation.
This little guy was with his Dad, riding the waves.
For the last 19 years, we end the week by feeding the birds all of the bread we have collected all week.
I did notice something when I got home.
I was amazed to find that all of my dogs where dirty and some were matted.
I brushed them before I left!
I have had owners come in and tell me that their dogs became matted while they were away on vacation.
I never believed them.
I may have to give them the benefit of the doubt now.
I was surprised how matted a couple of mine were.
So I spent my last day off at work bathing and clipping 5 of my dogs.
(Don't look to hard at my white standard. She is all uneven because of the design for creative.)
It felt good to be grooming again.
I missed the dogs.
I really do love grooming.
Happy Grooming, MFF