Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Starting a Happy 2014 at Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara...

Happy 2014! There's nothing liking ushering in the New Year with a day at the beach with someone you know will really appreciate it.

Dog-friendly Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara
Hendry's Beach Santa Barbara
Today we ventured to one of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in Southern California, Hendry's Beach in Santa Barbara. It's not the first time we've visited the dog beach on New Year's Day, so it's obviously becoming an annual tradition to help blow away the cobwebs and start the New Year in style.
Happy Yellow Labrador Cooper
Fortunately there were no hangovers to recover from and with a friend along for the ride, we all drove up from West Hollywood to enjoy a beautiful start to 2014.
Chasing balls Hendrys Beach Santa Barbara
I don't really have any New Year's resolutions, apart from to drink less and run more (and hopefully beat my previous marathon times), but if you needed a place to ponder your future this was it, whilst throwing tennis balls along the shore for a very happy Labrador.
5 year old Labrador Cooper
This beach really is worth the drive (although today's traffic was wonderfully light by comparison to other times of the year) and even though the tide was high, it's still a wonderful shoreline to walk along, with the long stretch of sand and the interesting cliffs beside you.
Hendrys Beach cliffs Santa Barbara
Cooper loves it here and it's always a joy to see his ears flapping about as he bounces through the waves and chases after his ball. It really does remind you that the simple things in life can bring the most pleasure.
labrador playing in the surf
If you can't already tell from the pictures, it was a beautiful morning and even though there were loads of families and their dogs on the beach, it often felt like we were all alone along our stretch of sand.
Labrador Cooper Hendrys Beach
Coming to Santa Barbara at the start of the year always reminds me how lucky we are to live in sunny Southern California and I'm always in awe of the beautiful blue sky here, it's a far cry from storm-ravaged Britain at this time of year.
Labrador splashing through waves Hendrys Beach
The only surprise and disappointment about our visit was that the dog showers at Hendry's Beach no longer seem to be operational (and haven't been by all accounts since November 2013). It's a real shame and I hope they can get them working again in the future, as they are the perfect way to wash the salt and sand off your dog's coat after he's been splashing through the surf and rolling in sand for a couple of hours.

Cooper and his two dads welcome the New Year in style
One man and his dog Hendry's Beach
One man and his dog Hendry's Beach
This really was a lovely way to start a fresh New Year and if I do have one new resolution, it has to be to make sure we do more of this in the future, make the most of every moment together.
2014 in sand
Let's hope 2014 is a magnificent year, full of amazing adventures and spectacular sights.

What's more to say apart from have a very Happy New Year. Make it a good one...

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