Zena takes her first vacation and Darwin is left in charge. There’s a first for everything.

Have you heard of snowbird season? Typically a snowbird is a retiree, or anyone with a schedule flexible enough to allow an escape from harsh winter weather by adopting a temporary home in a warmer climate.

In Southern California the snowbirds usually adopt Palm Springs. If you live in one of the coldest parts of the country right now, 90° F in February probably sounds unbelievable.

I really do wish I could at least temporarily transfer some of the warm and dry Southern California conditions to blanket those of you in the extreme cold right now. Between multi-state storm-related power outages and the flooding and ferocious winds in Southern England I think I had best just make peace with drought conditions.

I’ll kick that problem down the road and be grateful I’m not freezing.

After this weekend perhaps I’ll share just the right photos to entice you to come and visit next winter.

Cameras-in-hand, we are headed north to unwind in a beautiful part of our state. Only a couple of hours up the road, but a world away, we will be enjoying ourselves in the gorgeous Santa Barbara County wine country.

It’s one of those long Presidential holiday weekends, and not only was I able to arrange my schedule for some welcome rest and relaxation, but two little girls are also on holiday.  Recent family events have prevented me from fulfilling my time-with-granddaughters-quota, and I plan to make up for that deficit.

One week ago I wasn’t certain we would be able to follow through with our plans.

Thank you very much for the many lovely messages of concern for my father’s recovery. He is doing so well that I feel comfortable leaving town for a few days while he safely continues his physical therapy.

About the time my mother assumes mastery of their many electronic devices, each with unique idiosyncrasies, dad should be home to assume his supervisory role.

So I’m free to move forward, eager for long walks with spacious views and hopefully a beautiful sunset or two.


I think it’s likely we will be entirely off the information highway for the long weekend. Truly unplugged? I don’t remember the last time I was fully disconnected from the Internet. I wonder how that will feel?


Oh, and did I mention we will be taking Zena with us?


She doesn’t look like she really needs a vacation, does she? She’s a very smart dog, so I think she’s wisely resting up for the weekend adventure.

On our way up the coast we’ll stop in Santa Barbara so she can get her toes wet with her good buddy, Obi at the only off-leash dog beach in the area. I do have some concerns about this, thinking specifically of the car interior, but I’m assured by my son that it will be wet and smelly fun.


I think Jay will have to drive because as soon as we reach the coast I won’t be able to take my eyes off the ocean.

I will miss my time visiting with each of you, but I will come home with lots of stories, and be refreshed and eager to share them.

In case you were wondering, Darwin will be left behind to take care of things at home. He is very independent and at the moment he isn’t eating much at all. I think he’s a bit confused by the current weather fluctuations.

I’m sure he won’t miss us very much. And how much trouble can he really get into over just one weekend?


Please don’t answer that. I’m trying to stay positive.

Oh, and did I tell you that the property brochure mentioned goats?  Maybe I’ll come home with a new pet.

35 thoughts on “Zena takes her first vacation and Darwin is left in charge. There’s a first for everything.

  1. So sorry about Dad, Debbie, but glad it’s all positive now. These things take a vicious side swipe at us sometimes 😦
    Have a wonderful weekend. I can hear that ocean lapping now 🙂

  2. Enjoy your weekend away and do not worry about Darwin – I’m sure he will be just fine. And I’m so glad to hear your father is getting better and I know what you mean about the older generation trying to get their head around electronics (I’m not much better myself). The weather in the UK and in most of the US has been horrific. I’m hoping Spring will arrive quickly for these parts of the world xx

  3. Ah, yes; snowbirds. I swear half of our garden club are snowbirds – and good for them. We do know a few folks who have some southern plans, but, this week really on the edge of their seats, hoping flights won’t be canceled and weather will hold. Heading on up to Santa Barbara sounds like pure joy. We’ll keep an eye an Darwin while you are gone.

    Safe travel, Debra, and enjoy!

  4. Have a great break Debra! Some time off with walks and sunsets does sound good. I bet Darwin will hardly notice you’re gone. It will be fun to have a holiday with Zena around – I couldn’t imagine a break without my doggies. Take care!

  5. Have a wonderful weekend Debra! Enjoy the ocean, the air, the grandchildren!!! (I know you will.) California is such a beautiful state. I look forward to your photos. Have a wonderfully unplugged getaway. 🙂

  6. Glad that you’re enjoying good weather and that your dad is on the upswing. Today would have been my dad’s 86th birthday ~ he was a Valentine’s Baby.

    Have FUN in Santa Barbara. Breathe it ALL in! Except for the wet dog in the car smell. Expel that! 😛

  7. I’m sorry to hear that you too have been having concerns about loved ones. I hope your father makes a prompt recovery without being traumatised by the Physioterrorists! Please send our best wishes 🙂

    I loved the images that populate this post, especially your grand daughter with the pink canon shooting the sights 🙂 Zena looks wonderful catching a few rays and zee’s at the same time and Darwin has spotted that no one is watching the succulents 😉

  8. Enjoy your time away, Debra. Think of me as I’m stuck in Charleston with the hoards of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. 🙂 Glad to hear everyone is well, and REALLY glad you’re able to get away for this down time.

  9. Well, you must be on your way by now… You have such the kind heart, Debra, thinking of other Americans blanketed in horrid weather conditions! Indeed, your heart is of gold.

    I noticed your granddaughter has a Canon! Good way to start! And please have her take a picture of Zena as she shakes off in your car! 🙂

    See you when you get back…safely!

  10. Dear Debra, your plans all sound so enthusiastic. You’re ready for adventure and you’ll have some wonderful stories to share with your dad and mom when you return. I bet they will delight in the joy written large on your granddaughters’ faces. Peace.

  11. Having just left you last post, Debra, I’m glad to read that you Dad is doing so much better. Glad, too, that you’re taking advantage and getting away for a few days. Doggy beaches are great and I’m sure Zena will love it. Max certainly loves going to ours here. I hope you enjoy yourselves and leave all of the computer hardware at home! 🙂

    1. Thank you, John. My dad is still in the transitional care unit, but doing well. He is one patient soul! We had such a wonderful time at the beach with Zena. My son took her one time, but we’ve never before seen her romp in the waves, and I just couldn’t stop laughing when I saw precisely how she jumped right in and was totally fearless. We’ll be doing that again as soon as we find a dog beach a little closer to home. I definitely did enjoy getting away for just a couple of days, but admit it felt strange not to have my computer on at all. I might enjoy doing that a little more often. 🙂

  12. Good to read that your father is doing better. Enjoy the holiday! I wonder how Darwin is going to enjoy being home alone? Big parties with all friends in the neighbourhood invited? You might be in for a surprise when you get home…

    1. Thank you for your kind response to my dad’s circumstances. He came home from the hospital this weekend and we are getting back to our routines. Darwin seems to have behaved himself while we were away. On the other hand, he has taken to wandering and hiding in our bushes, rather than going back to his regular little bed! So maybe he is showing his irritation at being left in charge!

  13. It’s true. We really are ought to be happy withthe weather we have here. It’s even hard to sugarcoat it to others who are experience snows and other harsh climate.

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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