Summer Vacation – Mystery Beach Edition

Have you ever had a day that,  in spite of itself, turned out to be perfect?

In late September (I know, I know… so long ago!) we were just wrapping up the tail end of our vacation and decided to make good on our promise to head back to Cleveland Beach. We’d first discovered this spot back in August while we were out on a South Shore road trip (you can read more about that here) and had decided it would be an ideal spot on a weekday, especially in the early morning, to let the dogs run along the beach.

Well, morning came and…. six degrees. SIX. No freaking way was I traipsing off to let my dogs get in the Atlantic freaking Ocean at six degrees. Brrrrrrrrr. Stupid September with its stupid fall-ness! So we did the only logical thing.

Nope. Not getting up. No. Just... no.
Nope. Not getting up. No. Just… no.

Hours later, we all rolled out of bed and decided we better do something to salvage the day. Cleveland Beach would still probably be pretty deserted at like, noon… right?

Well….. no. For one thing, it had warmed up considerably and there were a few families around with their kids (who we didn’t want to disturb). But more importantly, we had neglected to check the oh-so-important tide schedule, and at one in the afternoon the long, expansive sand of Cleveland Beach was basically just a sliver fully populated by the aforementioned families. Nuts.

We talked about going home and finding a lake, but we decided to just head down the road a little bit and check out Queensland Beach. Queensland is beautiful, but extremely popular (for good reason) so we weren’t holding out much hope… and then…

Too good to be true!
Too good to be true!

We’ve driven past this “beach” dozens of times but it’s usually packed. As far as I know it has no name – I can’t find a map that even recognizes it. (It’s near a Whynaughts Beach Lane so that could be it, but Mystery Beach is way cooler so that’s what I’m calling it because I can).

It was warm. It was deserted. And it was beautiful.

How can you not love a happy dog?
Surf’s up!
Play time with Dad!
I don’t think she could be happier if she tried. Maybe if we figured out how to rub her belly while she swam.

Kaylee and Guinness had an amazing time. The surf was stronger than they’ve seen before but they loved it, darting in and out of the waves and riding them in to shore. We didn’t really let them swim very far – the ocean is an unpredictable mistress – but there was plenty to do closer to shore. We played hard, and at the end Kaylee came to me and laid down… a first at the beach.

Handsome devil
Best day ever!

We had the beach entirely to ourselves for more than an hour. A few cars pulled into the parking lot, looked at us, and pulled out – I’m not sure if they were put off by the unleashed German Shepherd (a reality you get used to when you own one) or were just there for the view, but we relished the opportunity to enjoy this near-perfect beach all by ourselves.

Just kissable!
Kaylee… at a beach… lying down… of her own free will. THAT’S a tired dog!

Eventually a family staying at a nearby cottage joined us, and their kids played with the dogs while we chatted, but that seemed to open the floodgates and within twenty minutes the beach was filling up fast. We decided it was time to head out – and probably a good thing, as we were all getting tired! – and head for home… with two happy dogs sound asleep in the back seat.

What a perfect way to end vacation.

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