A Total Eclipse of My Nap

Yesterday was odd. Slightly before 1:30, just as Tallulah and I were deep into our mid-afternoon pre-dinner naps, Mommy started opening all the shutters in the house. (Normally the shutters stay closed during the day. Something about keeping the blazing sun out so that the air conditioner doesn’t run non-stop so that the electricity bill isn’t sky high so that we can still afford dog treats. Tallulah and I are totally behind that reasoning.) And then she said, “Wake up, girls. We’re going outside so that we can experience the eclipse.” Whatever. As you can see, I had no problem continuing my nap outside.

But something was a bit off. Even Tallulah noticed it. It was strangely dark for the middle of the day, and the temperature felt somewhat cooler than it should have. We didn’t hear any birds and the school children who would normally have been out on the playground were all inside. Was this that eclipse thing all the humans were so excited about? “Don’t look up, girls.” Mommy said. Now why on Earth would Tallulah and I even think of looking up? All dogs know that food falls on the ground–it doesn’t hover in the air–so our eyes are generally focused downward.

And then she said, “Let’s get our official Solar Eclipse 2017 photo, girls.” Seriously? The first attempt was a dud. I was yawning (did I mention that this was my nap time?) and Tallulah had some shadow on her nose. Hey, wait a minute. You don’t think that was the eclipse thing, do you?

The next attempt wasn’t much better, but this is it: the official Harper Lee and Tallulah Bee Solar Eclipse 2017 photo. Whoop de do! We only had 75-percent coverage in New Orleans, so it wasn’t like we were seeing stars or anything, but I guess for Mommy it was pretty exciting. For me? It just turned out to be a total eclipse of my nap.

While our official photo wasn’t such a big deal, we did get a kick out of these two pictures. They’re from our Twitter friend Susan Whelan (@nolamaven). She Tweets and Instagrams about all things New Orleans. Here in the Big Easy, we know a thing or two about cooking, so it’s only natural that we’d turn to the kitchen to find the perfect utensil for viewing an eclipse: a colander. And of course the whole experience would have to include some sort of canned beverage. And just look at those images of the eclipse. Perfect little crescents in the Crescent City.

We’ll have to wait another seven years for the next solar eclipse. Tallulah will be just shy of her ninth birthday, and seven more years would put me at just over 15 years old. It made Mommy a little sad to think of that.

I tried to assure her that I can make it . . . but she’ll have to stop interrupting my mid-afternoon pre-dinner naps.

Tell me about your solar eclipse experience.


On the Second Day of Christmas: A Quick Trip to New Orleans

Second Day of Christmas 4 thek9harperlee

And on the second day of Christmas . . . my humans and I jumped into my chariot and took a quick drive to New Orleans to meet my Instagram friend @goldenluver, also known as Erika, who’s visiting the Big Easy from her home in Indiana. Naturally, our tour of New Orleans had to begin at my favorite watering hole, The District. We then headed to Grand Isle for a bite to eat and a very nice visit. Miss Erika has three sweet Golden Retrievers back home–Bogey, Bear, and Bagus. She was having major Golden Retriever withdrawal, which means that I got lots and lots of love and attention. Perfect for me!

Second Day of Christmas 2 thek9harperlee

Then we went on a short tour of New Orleans hotel lobbies. (My human mommy says that you absolutely must visit New Orleans for Christmas so that you can see the decorations in the hotel lobbies. They are truly stunning.) Our first stop was the Windsor Court Hotel. While Miss Erika and my mommy went into the lobby to enjoy the festive atmosphere, my human daddy and I waited outside in the beautiful courtyard. And that’s when the doorman uttered these magical words: “You can go inside. We’re completely dog friendly.” It was the poshest place I’ve ever been. Mommy was so stunned by the fact that I could go into the lobby, she totally cut off Santa’s head in my photo in front of the Christmas tree. But it was a day I’ll always remember . . . meeting yet another of my fabulous Instagram friends, showing her my favorite spots in one of my favorite cities, and walking into the Windsor Court Hotel to see the beautiful Christmas decorations. What a perfect Second Day of Christmas!

Overnight in the Big Easy

Big Easy thek9harperlee

Last weekend I joined my humans for a less-than-24-hour trip to New Orleans. Although our visit was short, we managed to pack quite a bit of fun into our Big Easy adventure.

Hotel View thek9harperlee

We stayed at the super-pet-friendly Marriott Residence Inn in the Warehouse District, my New Orleans pied-a-terre. The nice lady at the reception desk remembered me from my last visit, and she gave me a very yummy treat. Then, while my mommy and I waited in the courtyard for my daddy to park my chariot, another friendly Residence Inn staffer presented me with a second treat. I love that place! The view from my window was simply fascinating–I could see everyone coming and going in the parking lot, people walking toward the National World War II Museum, and families with strollers making their way to the Louisiana Children’s Museum. But I had limited time and a lot to do, so I had to tear myself away from the window and hit the streets.

Grand Isle thek9harperlee

I have a tiny confession to make. I’m not sure if it’s nerves or excitement or what, but I am a bit hesitant to “go potty” when I get to a new place. This used to freak my humans out, but now they figure that I’ll “go” when I’m ready, and they’re right . . . although I still sense a bit of obsession on their part when it comes to this whole issue. So naturally we had to go to the little park near our hotel, and I had to hear “Go potty” “Go potty” “Go potty” over and over and over again. I went, just to get them to loosen up and stop saying this, and we continued with our walk. We ended up on Fulton Street, which was the main entertainment promenade during the 1984 World’s Fair. Today it’s home to a number of nice restaurants with outdoor seating . . . perfect for me! My humans and I stopped at a place called Grand Isle for dinner. I checked out the menu and settled on a nice beer bucket . . . filled with fresh water . . . darn. After dinner, my humans dropped me off at the hotel to take a little nap while they went to their last New Orleans Hornets basketball game of the season. Actually, it was their last Hornets game ever because next year the Hornets will be the New Orleans Pelicans. Maybe I’ll get some Pelicans gear to wear. A girl can dream.

Tommy's Wine Bar thek9harperlee

When my parents got home from the game, it was time to go out again. We were going to head to The District or Lucy’s, places I visited on my last trip to New Orleans, but when we passed Tommy’s Wine Bar my humans noticed a couple of outside tables and asked if we would be welcomed. Of course! (Just a little note, as you’re out and about and you see outdoor seating at a restaurant or bar, ask if dogs are welcomed. You’ll be surprised how often we are.) My humans and I had the very best time. They enjoyed a little wine with a cheese plate and I enjoyed lots and lots of attention from people going in and out of Tommy’s Wine Bar and those passing by on the sidewalk.

Cafe Luna 2 thek9harperlee

The next morning we were up bright and early to check out of the hotel and head Uptown for breakfast at Café Luna, located in a beautiful Victorian home at the corner of Magazine Street and Nashville Avenue. I sat with my humans outside on the front porch as they enjoyed their breakfast. I also got to play with Henry, a Basset Hound who was visiting from Charleston. Henry’s humans even offered me little tastes of their food. Why don’t my humans ever do that for me? Everyone on the Café Luna porch–canine and human–lingered as long as possible on one of the most beautiful spring days so far, but then we had to head to the last stop of this Big Easy adventure: Audubon Park.


You’ll have to wait for April 26 to read all about my Audubon Park hike, which was really more of a leisurely stroll. I am joining my friends Finn and Gizmo to celebrate Park Day. Click here if you’re interested in participating. I can’t wait to share New Orleans’ beautiful Audubon Park with you!

As I was completing this blog post, my human mommy shared with me the frightening and sad news from this year’s Boston Marathon. It was less than two months ago that my mommy and I waited for my human daddy at the finish line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, which was a Boston qualifier. A marathon finish line is supposed to be a place of joy, filled with runners who have trained and succeeded (and many who have raised money for charity), friends and families who have supported them in their pursuit, and volunteers who are there to assist. Our hearts break for everyone who was affected by the events of Patriots Day, and we offer our thoughts and prayers.