Most of you know I returned a week ago from an 11-day trip to southern California where I taught a workshop in Santa Monica. But many of you don’t know that the final 7 days I was in So Cal I was on vacation. I went from Santa Monica to West Hollywood, to Long Beach, then to San Diego, where I finished my trip at the fun and hilarious Loews Coronado Surf Dog Competition. It was gloomy and raining, and Nichole and I nearly missed the entire competition due to traffic, but the little bit we did catch made the entire trip worth it. A bunch of my favorite shots from the day:
I don’t have words. LOL.
I love how this little girl and her dog have the same looks on their faces.
I loved watching the interactions between dog and owner. So sweet.
A truly amazing feat.
I fell in love with this little white bulldog.
You know what’s coming here, right?
That’s not very nice beach behavior. lol
OMG this little dog cracked me up, and had a crowd around him/her the entire time.
check out the flames on the sunglasses, ha!
Oh, that underbite. so. cute.
Another shot of the winner, who I think was far more interested in the sand her human friend was kicking up after the award ceremonies.
Tamandra Michaels of Heart Dog Studio’s dog Borias. He is the most expressive german shepherd I have ever met.
This little golden puppy just embodied the spirit of beach life in southern california. It was the perfect parting shot.
Even though we were only there for a little while, I had so much fun at the competition and couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. It’s so awesome to see people come together with their dogs, both participants and spectators, and just have a fun day on the beach. No pretensions, no mean-spirited competition, just a good time with their furry buddies.
After the comp Nichole and I went out for mexican and margaritas with a few of my virtual friends, the aforementioned Tami and her pup Borias, the lovely Mia Clapton of Thousand Hound/A Dog A Day (and her sweet hubby), and the fabulous and warm-hearted Bernie Berlin of A Place to Bark fame (Bernie’s popular and inspiring Tennessee animal rescue). While in LA I also had the chance to have a fantastic Korean BBQ dinner with my bud Grace Chon of Shine Pet Photos (yeeow was that alcohol strong), and meet up later for dessert with the uber talented Sharon Montrose and her dearheart Spencer for dessert (yes, a ride does go a long way in my book Sharon, lol).
It was really incredible to meet these pet photographers and friends for the first time in real life, after having networked with each of them for over a year and developing great friendships online. I had such a good time in San Diego, so much so that I have already planned my trip for next year’s competition with Nichole and Emily. This next time will be vacation only, and we’ll stay in San Diego the entire time, one of my favorite places on earth.
It really was an awesome trip, and all of the meetings, both business and personal, and experiences I had there will last me a lifetime. A huge thanks to those of you who met up with me for the first time ‘in the flesh’, and who I met for the first time (the guy at Ariane, the awesome hat shop!, Louie, my friend from the first night in Santa Monica, Jami, the manager at Orange Bone on Melrose), and especially to Bernie, who I was completely honored to spend time with both in LA *and* San Diego. (Can’t wait to see you in Chicago!)
Looking forward to next year’s trip already.
Hope everyone is having a great week!