One of the advantages of living in Idyllwild is breathing fresh mountain air and enjoying the sound of nature. It is especially enjoyable dining al fresco during the warm summer evenings on the decks of our fine dining restaurants with the view of the mountains, the soft breeze through the pines, and the quiet laid-back atmosphere of a village.

I have always looked forward to evenings like this … until recently. Three incidents, all occurring in one evening, have me anticipating future occurrences that may send me elsewhere to dine (or stay home).

I have animals and I love them. I’m not opposed to dogs on the deck and I actually find most dogs better behaved than their owners.

What I don’t like is the inconsiderate dog owner who parks their car in front of the restaurant where people are dining outside. Then they leave their car engine running so that their aging dog can lie comfortably in an air conditioned car so he doesn’t overheat (at 7:30 p.m. in the evening?).

May we offer you a side of carbon monoxide with your order? Really?

Then there’s the dog owner who has to have their dog sit in the chair that someone will occupy later on, instead of lying on the deck … and wants the server to bring the dog a glass of water and place it on the table from which it can then drink.

I may be wrong, but isn’t the restaurant risking a citation for health code violation?

And, last but not least, we have someone who parks his truck across from the restaurant, engages his motion detector alarm, and then sits on the deck in full view of said truck.

How nice to be treated to the sound of a high pitched alarm being set off every time a car or pedestrian passes within 20 feet, followed by, “Warning! You are in a protected area! Warning, you are in a protected area!”

Are you kidding me? Is that what we have to look forward to every five minutes during dinner?

I hope that Idyllwild isn’t in danger of becoming just another town like so many across the nation where noise and pollution are common, and where people who seem to adopt the credo, “It’s all about me!” act without consideration of others.

Emily Roossien


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