Swimming in the Atlantic

One advantage of living on the East Coast is being able to go to beaches again. We drove about two hours to beautiful Oak Island with Bella in tow along with towels, chairs, two coolers full of drinks and food, and a tent we had purchased the night before for eight bucks.

Hubby was so excited to finally see a beach again and I had never truly experienced the Atlantic Ocean. I had heard that the sand was softer, the air was cleaner, and the water was warmer. All of these things were true, but it wasn't exactly a smooth trip.

The day started off rocky when we realized that the beach wasn't as secluded as we had thought. We couldn't drive right up to the beach and had to cross some sand dunes before we reached the water. The two of us had over prepared for the trip and saw that we had to take several trips to grab all of our things. To make it worse, the handle to one of our coolers snapped.

On our first trip to the ocean, Hubby walked ahead of us. Bella started whining so I thought she just wanted to be near him, but eventually she collapsed on the sand and wouldn't budge. The sand was too hot for her poor paws! Hubby, seeing this, immediately ran to her barefoot and carried her to the water. In doing so, he burned his feet and blistered.

Next, we tried to put up our tent to shield us from the sun. The blustering wind made it nearly impossible to set it up, but we eventually were able to get it up. Hubby went back to the car to grab a few more items while I sat in the tent and waited for his return. An especially strong wind blew the tent over and since I was alone I had to hold it in place until Hubby could come back and help me.

Finally, we ended up tearing the entire thing down. Once we settled in, Hubby was ready to drink out of the special glass soda bottles we purchased especially for the trip. Of course, we realized that we did not have a bottle opener with us. For a moment I thought Hubby was going to pack everything up and leave right then and there, he looked so frustrated.

I convinced him to cool down in the ocean and Bella amazingly seemed alright in the water. I joined them and suddenly she was a brand new dog. She loved it! The beach was never something she enjoyed until now. She even began fetching in the water. I was such a proud parent!

Bella's sudden love for the water had saved the trip. To avoid Bella hurting her paws, Hubby had to carry her the half mile back to the car, not an easy task considering she weighs about 70 lbs and was wet and stinky at the time. We'll be better prepared the next time. I think we'll even buy Bella a doggy lifejacket.