The last few days have been a whirlwind of exciting things, and I want to go into detail on all of it, but the whirlwind won’t stop for blogging, apparently, so I’m just going to have to stick with the highlights for now.

First things first — I got a new camera! (Take that, number 33!) This was not a rash decision by any means. We’d saved up gift cards, and done research, and finally, this weekend, I realized there were a number of things I really wanted a Big Girl Camera for on the horizon, and, well, why not just do it now? And, to top things off, a nice guy at Best Buy gave me his 10% off coupon to use, out of the blue. I wasn’t even showing (much) cleavage!

I’ve quickly learned that the curse of owning a really nice camera is that you tend to photograph everything, and, well, I have so many pictures that it’s almost impossible to edit down to a few of the best. So, I’m saying screw the best, and I’m just going to show a couple of favorites. And you’ll like it. (Well, I hope you’ll like it, anyway!)

We went to St. Pete Beach with the dogs. I won a slogan contest at I Love Dog Friendly, and the prize was two nights at a pet-friendly hotel. We chose the Tradewinds Island Grand because, for one thing, it’s a gorgeous property, and it’s near where we got married, and my parents were spending a week in the area, so we thought it would be fun to hang out with them for a couple of nights. AND IT WAS.

The hotel was great — we particularly liked the little fenced in play area and the doggie room service.

island grand welcome

A warm welcome and gorgeous view.

ball fire hydrant

Classic Hollie. No interest in the fire hydrant or ball. Just hunting lizards.

black lab trees

Rudi posed for her Hollywood shot.

And, we were only 15 minutes or so away from Fort Desoto, which, OMG YOU GUYS. If you have a dog and are ever in the area, I beg you to go. It was amazing. Possibly made more so with champagne and shrimp, but it would’ve rocked even without. And the biggest surprise? Rudi swam. A lot. We’ve taken her to water before, and she’s shown zero interest, but apparently she just figured out that she’s part lab, and, well, see for yourself.

dog swim

Hollie takes her first and only swim. She was a natural, but preferred chasing and barking at the other dogs to getting in the water.

dog girl swim

Good thing I've been taking swim classes, or Rudi would've left me in the dust. Erm, saltwater.

dog shake

Forget doing it like a Poloroid picture. Outkast knows nothing about shaking.

And, as adorable as they were on the beach, I think the dogs were at their cutest back in the room, where they were out like lights. They’re such little angles … when they’re beyond exhausted and practically comatose.

tired dog

No dogs on the bed! Oh, wait.

dog feet

Evidence of the day was still stuck to their feet.

Rudi feet

Rudi's, too.

Night, y'all.

I’m off to New York this weekend for work (though I’ll get to see a few friends, including my dear Metalia while I’m there) and then, I head to Michigan to see my cousin and goddaughter. And oh my god, can you imagine how many damn pictures I’ll have by the time I get home?