The Sand Between My Toes, Finally

HL Beach 1 thek9harperlee

It happened, friends. It really and truly finally happened. After driving 760 miles for 13 hours (we made a few stops), spending a relaxing night at the hotel, and a taking a leisurely morning stroll through historic downtown Melbourne, Florida, it finally happened. I made it to the beach. I put my toes in the sand, surveyed the waves, breathed in the ocean breeze, and glanced back at my humans as if to say, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

HL Beach 2 thek9harperlee

And then I headed straight for that water. For the first time in my life–after five years, eight months, and five days on this Earth–I was in the ocean. I think my human daddy was every bit as excited as I was.

HL Beach 3 thek9harperlee

We walked and walked and walked along dog-friendly Canova Beach Park. My humans kept telling each other how wonderful it was that I liked the beach and how great it was that I wanted to be in the water and how happy they were that the waves didn’t bother me. Seriously, humans? I’m a Golden Retriever. Of course I like the beach. I was just wondering why it took you so long to take me there.

HL Beach 4 thek9harperlee

And then, just like that, the humans told me that it was time to go. They were hungry and we needed to find a place to eat. What? They promised that we would return to the beach. My humans keep their promises, so I reluctantly agreed to join them for lunch.

HL Beach 7 thek9harperlee

So we headed back to downtown Melbourne and discovered dog-friendly La Crepe de France.

HL Beach 6 thek9harperlee

La Crepe is owned by Patrice Chaffaut from Brittany, France, and his lovely wife Celeste. Their sweet daughter Nadege was our waitress. You might be wondering why I look a little drunk in this photo.

HL Beach 5 thek9harperlee

Well, the very creative menu offers suggested craft beer and wine pairings for each crepe. Yum! I also had a bit of turkey from lovely Celeste, so it’s possible that the tryptophan tired me out (although I’ve heard that’s actually a myth). Mommy had the Parisian–smoked turkey, sliced apple, glazed walnuts, brie, and honey on a traditional white crepe–with La Chouffe Strong Pale Ale from Belgium. Are you drooling yet? Daddy enjoyed La Tarragon–chunks of chicken breast and organic mushrooms in a creamy tarragon sauce served on an organic buckwheat crepe–with another Belgian beer called Duvel. I know you’re drooling now. There’s a good chance that my humans would get back in the car and drive 760 miles to see Patrice, Celeste, and Nadege at La Crepe de France.

HL Beach 8 thek9harperlee

Thankfully my humans were able to roll themselves out of La Crepe so that we could go back to the beach.

HL Beach 9 thek9harperlee

Now I totally understand why my mommy is so crazy about the ocean.

HL Beach 11 thek9harperlee

Before we could leave the beach for the day, there was one last thing that we had to do. You might recall my dear, sweet Golden friend Bear. In August 2013, after Bear lost his battle to cancer, I wrote this about him in a post titled “Remembering Bear”:

Even though I live in South Louisiana and he lived in Southern California and more than 1,700 miles separated us and we never actually met, Bear was my friend . . . and he was special. Bear loved the beach. He called the ocean his, and it was. Last October, when Bear had tweeted several playful beach photos, I tweeted back that I loved the photos and I was with him in spirit, romping through the waves. I still love Bear’s response: “So glad! I’ll put you in my mind next time I go to the beach so you can come with me! BearHUG!!!”

This past May, Bear found out that he had cancer. His incredibly loving human mom and dad did everything they could to make him better. But perhaps more importantly they did everything they could to make Bear happy. Bear ate pizza. He swam in his ocean and he chased his tennis ball. Bear enjoyed dinner from Smashburger. He dressed up for opening day at Del Mar Racetrack. He visited his favorite park and he rolled in the grass. Saturday evening, my mommy read this tweet from Bear:

Woof bye anipals. I am going to see Fuzz & Oliver real soon. Thx for being my friends. #bearHUGs

My mommy hugged me, and she cried, and she cried, and she cried. And I knew that I had lost a friend. One day, Bear, I will visit the beach and I will put you in my mind so that you can come with me.

 I had finally made it to the beach, and my humans and I put Bear in our minds and our hearts, and he was there with us.

HL Beach 10 thek9harperlee

It was quite a day, friends. But the best was yet to come. Stay tuned!

36 Comments on “The Sand Between My Toes, Finally”

  1. Dina says:

    ENJOY, my dear!!!! ❤ ❤ 🙂 Smashing post!
    Wishing you all a happy weekend, take care

  2. Emmadog says:

    The ocean is awesome. I spent most of my first year on the North Sea coast and was at the beach almost daily. I’ve been to the dog beach in Florida too, and it was great. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Oh, Emma, the beach is fabulous. I cannot believe my humans were holding out on me for such a long time. 😉 You are one lucky dog to have lived close enough for almost daily visits. If you don’t mind my asking, what beach do you visit in Florida? My humans would like to take more beach trips with me, so they’re making a list of potential locations. Yippee!

      • Emmadog says:

        There is a dog park on the beach in Bonita Springs by Fort Myers, but it is not fenced and close to a real busy road, so we stayed on leash. Fort Myers itself is NOT dog friendly at all.

      • Thanks for the heads up on Fort Myers not being dog friendly. What’s with humans? Don’t they know that we make people smile? Melbourne was super dog friendly. Some of the store owners even said that we could come in. Wow. The dog beach has a leash rule, which was ok with us. You’ll see in our next post that some of our friends were not on their leashes. It was a chilly, overcast, and really windy day and there weren’t any other people or dogs on the beach, so that didn’t seem to be a problem. Several people have told us about super dog-friendly St. George Island in the panhandle of Florida. It’s definitely on our list of places to visit.

  3. Oh, we want to go play on the beach! What a great vacation. I can’t wait to see what else you get to enjoy. ☺

    • I cannot wait to share pictures and tales (and tails . . . hint hint) from my fabulous second day at the beach. On the way to Florida, when my humans and I stopped at the Alabama visitors’ center, we found out that Dauphin Island is dog friendly. You might want to consider a trip there. I know we’ll be going . . . and not wearing our LSU gear. 🙂

  4. dogdaz says:

    Wow what a wonderful trip. Enjoy!!!

  5. Kim H. says:

    You need to become friends with Bree of Bree’s Connecting the Dots. She recently moved to Beverly Beach, FL. She has a golden retriever fur baby, also named Bear. My husband and I have a golden named Max and he loves the beach, too!

    • I just dropped in on Bree and saw a picture of her sweet Bear on his bed. Golden Retrievers are so precious on their beds, but of course I don’t have to tell you that, now do I? 😉 Enjoy the beach with Max!

      • Kim H. says:

        St George does have a very nice dog friendly beach and the nearby town of Apalachicola is dog friendly, also! Apalachicola is a small quaint town on the bay with cute shops, cafes, restaurants and buildings that have been renovated.

  6. Kuruk says:

    Oh Miss Lee! The beach, the sand, the water that chases you if you get too close! Wuvwuvwuv that you got to go! Woooooooowooooooooo ❤

    • You are so right about the ocean water, Ku. It’s such a tease . . . rushing up to kiss your toes and then running away, and the coming back again and running away again over and over and over. It’s wonderful!

  7. Mike says:

    Love this. Great photos, joyous post.

  8. Ranger says:

    Arrrrrrrrrrrroooooooo….. I’m soooooooooo happy dat you finally made it to da beach. I get to go all da time and I love, love, love it. You look so happy at the beach and in da water. Pawsome pics.
    Oh…. my mom wants to go to dat cafe. It sounds great.
    Thanks for takin us on your beach adventure.

  9. What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your ocean adventure with us. Just love the ocean and the sand. What a nice tribute to your buddy bear! hugs

  10. Marcie says:

    So happy that I didn’t miss this post…you made it to the beach! Sounds like it was a lovely trip for the whole family. Oh, and I just love finding great restaurants! So happy for you!

  11. Misaki says:

    What a fab time you had!

  12. What a fantastic day!!!!! I LOVE Melbourne! I had a 2 week training course down there and booked my hotel on the beach. It was HEAVEN!!! Your heart for Bear was so touching 🙂
    Luvs to you Miss Harper Lee and your great parents!
    Marty’s Mom

  13. OMD! We are desperate to visit the sea…it is on our and mom’s joint bucket list. Uhm…just to clarify, mom has been to the sea many times before, her wish is to take us *BOL*

    We can’t wait to see more pictures.

    Wally & Sammy

    • Oh, boys, I really and truly hope that you get to see the beach one day. I think you’ll love it, and I know that your humans will love being there with you. My humans have wanted to take me to the beach forever, and boy were they relieved that I liked it. 😉

  14. Suzy Crain says:

    What a lovely trip! Daisy, Kasey, and Kloey love the beach too!

  15. cafall says:

    Oh beautiful post – Momma has leaky eyes reading your tribute to Bear.

    Monty and Harlow

    • When we drew the heart for Bear at the beach, Mommy just stood there very quietly remembering Bear. And then when she went back to that post about him, the leaky eyes started again . . . and I got lots of hugs.

  16. Rosy Rue says:

    OMP! We feel so bad, we never commented on this post! My family wants to thank you so much for taking Bear in your hearts to the beach with youl This made Mommy cry again, but with a smile. Again and always, thanks so much for loving Bear. xoxoxo

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