My hero and I just got home from a getaway to Idyllwild, a mountain community about two hours from San Diego. It had been almost ten years since our last visit to an inn where we’d enjoyed a couple of great weekends, and when I made the reservations, I didn’t know what to expect. Of course, I went online, and was pleased to see that the place looked about the same: a line of handsomely designed “cabins” along a rushing creek. But a mouse-smelling cabin with knot holes in the floor can look fairy tale charming on-screen, so I was ready to be disappointed. What a wonderful surprise to discover that the inn is not only as comfortable and welcoming as it used to be but even more so.

Usually, we leave the dogs – a Doberman and a yellow Lab, Diva and Lexy — with our house sitter but alas, she has developed a social life and was otherwise engaged. We paid a little extra to have the dogs with us.

We were ten miles outside Idyllwild at four thousand feet when the snow began, big fluffy wet flakes that stuck on the pines and manzanita and quickly spread a blanket on both sides of the road. Driving wasn’t a problem until we hit town and then I was glad to be with someone who’d lived through many Boston winters. We just made it to the inn before it became too dangerous to drive.

First thing, we let Diva out of the car and she tore off along the path like she’d lived there all her life and then, suddenly, her hind legs were in front of her and she was skating on her butt end. She tried to stand, couldn’t, managed and took off and there she was again, spinning on the ice. We stood in the falling snow and laughed.

Idyllwild Snow

Snow doesn’t last long in most of Southern California. Two days later we were able to hike along a fast moving creek for a couple of hours. Lexy who is our surfer dog and rides the waves at Dogs’ Beach if there’s a ball anywhere near, stepped into the creek and out so fast, he looked like he’d been stung. After that he stayed away from ice water.

I felt like I should apologize when we brought them home to a walled, city yard but looking at them now, they seem happy to be home. Dogs don’t compare one place to another. They take what they’ve got and enjoy the day. We should all be more like them.

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