A Day at the Beach

We hadn’t planned to go to the beach. I had planned to go to Mass and then spend the rest of the day quietly going through boxes and maybe the garage. I remembered after vacation to activate my work alarms, but not my Sunday one. I’m an early riser by nature, so that’s usually not a problem. I looked at my watch. It said 8:30, so I got up and got dressed. Unbeknownst to me, my watch had stopped. While in the car on the way to church, I noticed my phone said it was 9:10. All righty then. On to Plan B.

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The pups were ecstatic that I was back and since I had already awakened Hubby twice (getting dressed and looking for my missing phone) I decided to give him the gift of a quiet house.

USMC Memorial

USMC Memorial

Plan B was to take a quick walk with the pups before it got to be too hot (too late – it’s been hot even at night. Once the sun’s up, it just gets hotter) and then go home and work on the house and garage.

We went to Veterans Memorial Park.

Viet Nam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

A loop around the park was not enough. The pups looked at me as if to say “Okay, now what?” It occurred to me that it was a beautiful beach day, next weekend is already booked with work and an audition. If I get the show (fingers crossed) I’ll be in rehearsal all summer.

Decisions, decisions. Beach or garage?

I asked the dogs “Do you want to go to the beach?” They did. Back to the house to pack the essentials – beach blanket and towel, water for everybody, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Cheetos, grapes for lunch and cherry coke for the ride home. Usually I wear flip-flops to the beach, but I was already in sneakers and socks, so wore those instead. Thought about packing flip-flops, but at that point I had the dog supply bag, the bag with the blanket, lunch, etc. and with four dogs accompanying me, I had enough to carry (Tinkerbell will only walk so far).

The Pup Bag stays pre-packed for day like this

The Pup Bag stays pre-packed for day like this

I thought about going to Lighthouse Point Park across Ponce Inlet for ease of parking, but Smyrna Dunes beaches are so much nicer and it’s fifteen minutes closer, even if it is a long, hot walk to get to our favorite spot, so we went there. Right now the weather is still mostly clear and our summer thunderstorm pattern hasn’t moved in quite yet.

Our favorite park

Our favorite park

A VFW group had poppies at a stoplight on the way, so we got one.

Every state trooper in Florida seemed to be out, cranky about working, and had someone pulled over on our way over (thankfully not us).

What do you mean the lot's full?

What do you mean the lot’s full?

We’ve never experienced a line as long as this one to get into the park. We’re usually there on Friday mornings when it’s relatively quiet. Several people ahead of us got impatient and turned around. We had an air-conditioned car, a radio, and half a tank of gas. We hung out. It was worth the wait.

The only thing I don’t like about this park is the extensive hike to our favorite part of the beach. We’ve tried the earlier cut-throughs and they just don’t do it for us (though I do understand why the guy hauling the giant grill took the first path). It was the busiest day we’ve seen at the park, but only the extremely hardy or those who come by boat make it out that far, so we all had ample space to set up camp and relax. I was hoping there would be an open bush for shade, and there was. We lucked out, though. Gizmo was swimming with a Yorkie whose family was parked under a palm tree next to us. The Yorkie’s family was heading out and offered us their perfect spot under the palm tree. We took it.

Our little piece of paradise

Our little piece of paradise

Gizmo (our Pomeranian) is our only avid swimmer, though Li’l Bit (our Min-Pin) likes to wade and also likes it when I sprinkle water on her back. Tinkerbell (our Chihuahua) and Yuki (our Japanese Chin) regard the water about as fondly as the Wicked Witch of the West did. I take them out anyway, mostly to keep cool. They appreciate the cool, if not the wet.

Our view

Our view

I wanted to take some video of the pups swimming but we were on jellyfish alert. Will save that for another day.

Jellyfish crashed the party

Jellyfish crashed the party

Grateful for the shade

Grateful for the shade

I want to swim some more, Mom!

I want to swim some more, Mom!

One thing I love about palm trees is the natural shelving

One thing I love about palm trees is the natural shelving

Happy to be at the beach

Happy to be at the beach

Li'l Bit and Yuki - after lunch chill time

Li’l Bit and Yuki – after lunch and swim chill time

Gizmo loves the beach as much as I do

Gizmo loves the beach as much as I do

Want to go swim again? (We did)

Want to go swim again? (We did)

On the way back a tortoise wanted to walk with us, but Gizmo barked at it so it left. So much for the tortoise picture.

Contemplated getting a wagon to haul Tinkerbell and the supplies for next time. Tinkerbell has a one mile limit on how far she’ll walk (which isn’t bad since she’s an older dog with extremely short legs). As tiny as she is, she isn’t difficult to carry. Carrying her plus juggling the dog bag, the beach bag and three other dogs can get interesting (and entertaining for those watching us).

We made it back to the car. It was a very quiet trip home as the pups were sacked out – asleep before we got back to the highway.

Today I will work on the garage. I swear.

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