Yesterday Geoff and I went up to visit his newly transplanted sister Liz, brother in law Dan, and their three kids Will, Ben, and Kate along with their dachshund Ralph. Liz was, up to that point, the only sibling of Geoff’s that I hadn’t met yet so I was very much looking forward to it. We made arrangements to take the kids out for the day so that Liz and Dan could have some time to actually get some stuff done around the house. (They just moved in and are still making the house livable.)
We took Thumbelina and Rerun with us and when we got to NH they met Ralph for the first time. The dogs got along pretty well and the kids liked the dogs. Kate was positively *taken* with having a female dog around. Thumbelina is generally not a fan of the younger set so it took a while for them to get used to each other but they did.
After a quick lunch we piled the dogs and the kids into the minivan and headed off to the Portsmouth Urban Forestry Center. It is quite an interesting place. 5 minutes from the center of Portsmouth and you can hike self guided trails, walk through meadow and forest, see salt marshes and ponds. It’s quite a nice place to go, and it is dog friendly. We packed up the kids, all 3 dogs, and we took along the Little Red Wagon of Brimfield fame and took off.
As you may imagine, an outing like this required hats, sunscreen, bugspray, and water. But, considering that Geoff is Mr. Prepared and I’m not far behind, we were set. We did manage to walk out of Liz and Dan’s house without the water bottles for the kids, which was a nice trick, but we had our own water already packed and we had a dog water bottle so everything was fine. Knowing the propensity of certain individual in the party to fall down, hurt themselves, end up in the ER, or otherwise cause calamities, we also brought along a fully stocked First Aid kit. Amazingly, nobody, human or canine, needed it.
Naturally, I had to take pictures. You can find them here. There were lovely flowers, the kids are ridiculously photogenic, and the dogs were having a great time. The forest was also naturally lovely, so there are all sorts of pictures there. Take a look, you won’t be disappointed.
Once we were done we headed into town and went to Canine Cupboard in downtown Portsmouth. It was 5 whole minutes away from the Forestry Center. It’s a gourmet dog treat store, toy shop, and all around fun place. We had called ahead to ask when they were closing and if they had any suggestions about places where we might be able to find outdoor dining that would seat us with the dogs. When we arrived the owner remembered my call and had an additional suggestion for outdoor, dog-friendly dining, the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. Also, he had the bumper sticker I have been looking for forever. The My Dachshund is Smarter Than Your Honor Student sticker. For $1.00. The one we got looks different than the one linked, but you get the idea. For $1.00 who were we to say no?
We thanked him and headed off for the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. We met up with Liz and Dan along the way and, after finding us a table to seat 7 humans and 3 dogs, we had a great meal. The folks at the restaurant were super and even brought us a bucket of water for the dogs.
All in all a great day. Uncle Geoff and Aunt Kelly are a bit tired today. We’re not used to having kids around and it’s been a while since I’ve had 3 dogs on a lead at the same time, but it was great fun. We’re already making plans for a trip back up north when we can take Aunt Donna with us. More photos will most certainly follow when we do.