Happy Friday, Happy Summer


Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; 
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.  
-Henry James

Memorial Day weekend, the beginning of Summer!

See you at the beach,


Dogs at the Beach - Part II - Does your Doggie Paddle? Teaching Your Dog To Swim

The majority of dogs can swim and they love it!
But dogs entering the water for the first time should be tested. 

You don't want to have to call these guys!

Here are some important tips for teaching your dog how to swim:
  • Never throw your dog into the water.
  • Start in shallow water, and call your dog's name. You can also try to coax him in with a treat or toy – but always keep your dog within reach.
  • Another way to introduce your dog to the water is with a dog that already swims and is friendly with your dog. Let your dog follow his friend.
  • If your dog begins to doggy-paddle with his front legs only, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and will then keep his back end up.
  • Swimming is a great form of exercise, but don't let your dog overdo it. He will be using new muscles and may tire quickly.
  • Be careful of strong tides that are hazardous for even the best swimmers.
  • Never leave your dog unattended! You should always be in a position to help him get out of the water.
See you and Fido at the beach,


Happy Friday

A little inspiration for your next beach vacation!

See you at the beach!

the story behind the shot:
"When I saw this couple making out, I asked if they wouldn't mind continuing. 
They were happy to do it."


An Oyster Tutorial

OR Wish I Could Shuck 'em As Fast As I Can Eat 'em!

“If you don't love life you can't enjoy an oyster; there is a shock of freshness to it and intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes. They shiver you for a split second.” —Eleanor Clark

  About 180 miles or 4 hours east on US 98 from Good Haven House is Apalachicola Bay, thirty miles of shallow oyster paradise on the Florida panhandle. This bay produces 90 percent of Florida’s oysters. 


 Apalachicola Bay is the last place in the United States where wild oysters are still harvested from small boats using tongs.

Fortunately for us, the Gulf Oil Spill did not affect the Apalachicola Bay oyster beds. Chances are, if you’re eating an oyster anywhere around Pensacola, you’re eating an Apalachicola oyster.

Wine lovers may be familiar with the concept of “terroir.” Like wines, oysters are sought not only for their species (as in kind of grape), but also for the flavor imparted by where they grew. Salinity, minerals and available food all affect the flavor of an oyster.

"The oysters from Apalachicola are among the best in the nation." Says noted food writer John T. Edge.  "They are fat, abundant, rich, and lusty. The oysters are both sweet and salty, and it's the interplay of the freshwater of the river and the salt water from the Gulf, forming an estuary, that makes the difference and sustains these vibrant oysters. It's about the confluence of that river and the Gulf of Mexico. The uniqueness of that combination, along with the timeless appeal of the fishing village of Apalachicola, is hard to match anywhere in the country.

Explore an interactive map of oyster regions across the country.

Oysters are heavy drinkers! Oysters are filter feeders. An adult oyster can filter 25 gallons or more of water per day in search of food. In doing so, they remove things like toxins, algae and extra nutrients that flow off the land into nearby saltwater.

Besides the essential job of filtering water, oysters provide habitat for lots of other species.
See why oyster reefs matter.

  And now for the most important part, the eating of the oyster! Barring a 4 hour drive east,
you can get you some of this oystery goodness a little closer to home at:

The Original Point Restaurant
The Oyster Bar
Atlas Oyster House
The Shrimp Basket (call ahead 850 492 1970 and ask when 25 cent oyster night is)

Save some for me!


Happy Friday

Wishing you the perfect weekend from the perfect couple :)

This portrait is by one of my favorite artists, Holly Farrell. I love her style and subject matter. 
Take a moment this weekend to check out her website, guaranteed to make you smile.

Vacation Portrait, 2010, acrylic & oil on masonite 24x 17 in., $4800, framed.
Available for purchase through GARDE RAIL GALLERY, Austin, Texas

See you at the beach,


Pet Safety Tips (and Vet Numbers)

It may be cold where you live but when you get to Good Haven House it'll be alot warmer!
Here are some things to keep in mind if you've brought pets along on your vacation 
or when traveling with pets in general.

General Warm Weather Safety Concerns
Hot weather can make anyone feel uncomfortable, and your pet is no exception. Here are some safety concerns for responsible pet owners:
  • Never leave your pet unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle. Heatstroke can occur and lead to brain damage or death. Signs of heatstroke are panting, drooling, rapid pulse and fever. Immediately immerse the dog or cat in cool water and seek emergency veterinary assistance.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a hot, parked car. When it's only 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 120 degrees in just minutes. Leaving the windows partially rolled down will not help. Your pet is susceptible to heat stroke and possible death in these conditions.
  • Always make sure your pet has access to fresh water.
  • Beware of insect bites. If your pet is bitten or stung, remove the stinger and watch the site for an allergic reaction. If a reaction occurs or there have been multiple wasp, bee, fire ant or mosquito bites, take the animal to the vet.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about flea and tick prevention medications. These are concerns year round in Florida and all warm weather states.
  • All pets should have proper identification at all times, but especially on vacation. The AKC suggests a collar with an ID tag (with CELL PHONE number) along with a tattoo or a microchip.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when he is outdoors to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Try to avoid strenuous exercise with your dog on extremely hot days and refrain from physical activity when the sun's heat is most intense.

No matter how careful and responsible you may be, accidents can happen.

The nearest vet is (regular hours):

After hours:

Please make sure these phone numbers close at hand and available to all family members.

(click on links above for vet websites and click on addresses for exact driving directions)



Happy Friday and Happy Mother's Day

Wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

See you at the beach,