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Busy bee: To Long Beach for a brief vacation

    We’re home from Long Beach, and I want to go back again.

    Once a year, I coerce … no, that isn’t the right word … strongarm … eh, I dunno … how about convince? We’ll go with convince …

    Once a year I convince my husband to take me to the coast, seven out of eight times to Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Once to Warrenton and Astoria.

    He relaxes and enjoys himself once we get there but he loathes the long drive.

    Yet he knows I’m a girl who needs to be by the ocean. I get thirsty.

    So this year he let me go to Long Beach, Washington, by myself.

    long beach washington

    Born and raised on a beach

    I have faint but cherished memories of my time as a child playing on the beach in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

    My mother would make peanut butter sandwiches, buy a case of Fresca, pack four kids into the Oldsmobile Cutlass and head for Mahoney’s Beach. Sometimes, we’d switch it up and go to Malignant Cove.

    In May, when I was home for Mom’s interment, I took my rental car and drove around Cape George, with Mahoney’s Beach as my ultimate destination. I stood on the quiet, serene shoreline and saw us.

    I cast my eyes to the general area where my mom would stake her claim, laying down the blankets and towels, watching over her four asshole kids and handing out peanut butter sandwiches.

    My toes digging into the sand, I saw forms come to life in front of me.

    I saw us. I saw us building sand castles, running in the water, swimming in the seaweed. I saw our little family in happy, younger times.

    And I loved my mother more than I’ve ever loved her in my life.

    To the coast

    The beach is my happy place.

    As much as living in Calgary, Alberta, made me fall in love with mountains and Mother Nature’s skyscrapers, I need the ocean to thrive.

    The salt seaspray on my face and in my hair.

    The sand in my toes … and my buttcrack.

    A place to play and feel like a kid again.

    I smile a lot more when I’m on the beach.

    me and bella at beards hollow
    Cellfie

    And Bella and I play.

    This week we were in Long Beach, Washington, a new-to-us town and our Airbnb was right on the water. As I write this, I’m watching the pinkish glow on the horizon that lets the world know the sun is rising and a new day is beginning.

    Our trip to Rockaway Beach this year was dreary and rainy. We made the best of it, of course, but I needed a do-over.

    bella and mr. schneider at rockaway beach
    My two loves at Rockaway Beach

    More than a vacation

    I had other motives than getting to the beach to breathe in the fresh air.

    When Mom died earlier this year and we sold her house on Church Street, I came into a bit of cash. The first purchase I wanted to make was the Nikon Z9 and a new suite of lenses.

    The kit arrived three weeks ago and I needed the right place to break it in.

    Long Beach wasn’t just the perfect place to explore and get a little sand on my new 35mm. It was also the perfect place to turn the cameras on me.

    Sisters from other misters

    The dog photography community is a large but intimate one that encompasses the globe. I’ve the best of friends-I’ve-never-met in Boston, Vegas, California, Italy and more.

    We meet over Zoom, we send messages of support and advice over Facebook but we’ve never been in the same physical space together.

    With two friends based in the greater Seattle area, I changed that this week. I met Marika Moffitt of Soul Dog Creative and Holly Cook of Holly C. Cook Photography in Long Beach.

    holly cook, bella and marika moffitt

    I booked a session to celebrate the all-encompassing love I have for Bella. They ran me around the bases, they made me climb barnacled rocks, they made me kneel and bend and …

    (Oh, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds but I do have a new appreciation for the things I ask of my clients.)

    I can’t wait to see what we did.

    All around the circle

    My mom instilled in me a love for photography. During my childhood, she always had her Brownie film camera in her hand, recording the memories of her family’s days.

    A photograph to her was an indestructible, irreplaceable item.

    She wasn’t wrong.

    She also loved dogs. They were constant, intimate companions for her.

    She wasn’t wrong.

    I know she was proud her daughter took two of her greatest loves and turned it into a business and, in turn, I recognize how vital it is to ensure your amazing moments with dog are photographed.

    Frozen in time, these precious days that pass by too swiftly.

    Bella turned 8 in March and I know she has fewer days ahead of her than she has behind her. I see her slowing down on the hiking trails, and I know we have to keep them shorter now.

    I know life has to change as it did when Shep was entering into his senior years. And that’s OK, because it’s the time spent together that matters more than the activity.

    The portrait sessions with Marika and Holly will forever cement that time together, a time when Bella and I were in our happy place, at the beach, laughing and smiling and running together in the surf.

    Which cements Long Beach as another happy place, a new favorite place to be.

    “My favorite ____” is the theme for this week’s worldwide pet photographers blog circle. My pet photographer friends are filling in the blank and writing about their favorite somethings, somewheres and somewhats.

    Start with Jessica Wasik with Bark & Gold Photography, revealing her five favorite pet portrait products for when wall art is not your style.

    When you get to the bottom of Jessica’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going to awesome places around the United States until you find yourself back here to my happy place, the beach, and a new favorite beach, Long Beach, Washington.

    That’s when you know you’re home.

    Right where you belong. 

    nv-author-image

    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

    6 thoughts on “Busy bee: To Long Beach for a brief vacation”

    1. avatar of courtney

      I love the beach, but I’m a winter beach girl – we head to the coast in November or December each year (although here in Georgia that’s still 60-70 degrees).

      Also, I am so glad you had sessions with you & Bella. Those will be so incredible.

    2. avatar of elaine

      The beach calls my name every single year. I have gone alone, or with others, and sometimes, when I’m lucky, I join a beach photography group that brings models to the beach. Enjoy that Z9!

    3. avatar of tracy allard

      Oh, I can’t wait to see those images either! Yeah for you for drinking your own champagne! I grew up in the Florida Keys and Dallas is the furthest from the ocean I’ve ever lived. I get my beach fixes in every year by getting together with some equine photographers to photograph horses on the beaches of St. Augustine, FL every winter as well as visiting my mother who lives on a barrier island off the east coast of central Florida.

    4. avatar of jan

      I’m so glad you had a chance to catch up with Marika and Holly! I can already imagine how beautiful your images will be. I’m not much of a water person, but there’s something peaceful and a bit magical about the beach…

    5. avatar of darlene

      Love that you had the opportunity with Bella to meet up with lovely Marika and Holly – what an amazing adventure! I love the beach, too – especially in winter. I can’t wait to see the pictures – so excited!!! Hope you are enjoying that z9 🙂

    6. avatar of nicole

      How fun! I absolutely love the beach, road trips, and definitely, meeting other pet photographer friends in real life!

      I can’t wait to see your images from your session!

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