I am not sure I like going on vacation with mom. Six days of hiking two miles a day. Sleeping in a strange bed. Laying under the table at outdoor restaurants. I am not allowed to go inside restaurants. Not knowing when we are staying in the room or going out. My routine is completely disrupted. I miss my house.

I like the thick green grass and the cool air. It’s much cooler in the mountains than in the desert. Mom buys her coffee at Late for the Train across the street from the County Courthouse. She inserts her credit card and types in the license plate number of the car. This is how you have to pay for parking in downtown Flagstaff. It’s not easy to get a parking spot downtown. Mom always arrives early enough to scope it out. We are always lucky. It costs $1 per hour. Mom pays for two hours.


Mom knows how much I like rolling around and laying in the grass. It feels so good. The grass at home is very short, scratchy, and has stickers. Mom always has to comb the stickers out of my thick brown hair. Thanks mom for giving me this special time to lay in the grass. She takes her blue folding camping chair from the back of the car. Puts the chair on the grass. Takes out her notepad from her backpack and begins to write. We spend the next two hours watching people.

A two-year-old, Avery, is doing bunny hops across the lawn. She wants to put a little bow in my hair. I don’t want bows in my hair. Mom says, “Chloe, be nice.” I am always nice to little kids. I crawl on the grass so that she can pet me. I like to be pet. She gets closer. Her mom tells her “Avery, it’s ok. Chloe won’t hurt you.” She does a few more bunny hops. Her mom says, “Avery, say bye to Chloe. We have to go now.” I wiggle my little butt. Avery taps me on the head and off she goes. “Bye Avery” I say.

Our time is up. The meter is running out of time. Mom gathers her backpack, and chair and heads for the car. “Wait mom, you forgot about me.” “Chloe, you wait here, I will be right back.” She comes back for me and I jump in the car. We are going back to the cabin.

Mom likes to write in the afternoon. I can’t sleep. The windows are opened. Dogs are barking. People are talking. Every time I hear a noise, I bark.  Mom gets mad. “Be quiet Chloe.” At home I can’t hear anything. It is so hot. Mom never opens the windows. She always has the AC on.

We don’t have a bathroom in our cabin. Mom has to use the main bathroom about forty feet away. The first time she left me alone. I whined so loud. Mom got mad. She takes me to the bathroom every time.

The best time is at night. I am not allowed to sleep in the bed. I can’t read the sign on the door. I get in bed anyway. Mom doesn’t make me get out.

Seven days later mom packs the car. “Where are we going now?”  I want to go home. I lay in my bed in the car. I try to sleep. I don’t know where we are going. “Are we going home?” We stop for coffee. Mom needs a lot of coffee. Three hours later we arrive at home. It is really hot. I am happy. I rush inside, run up to the loft, and fall asleep.


Mom, next time leave me at home. Find one of those nice pet sitters to take care of me. All I want to do is be a coach potato.



No More Vacays


I am a retired ESL teacher. I have a dog that owns me. I travel to learn about a culture. I want to share my stories with you. Come along with me!

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