No matter how many times I think or say it, it still feels wrong to my British sensibilities to be able to go to the beach at the end of November and frolic in the surf and sand, but regardless, that's what Cooper and I did today.
I packed up the car with frisbee, tennis ball, camera and water and off we drove for fun in the sun at Sycamore Cove.
I've only ever been to the beach in Ventura County at the weekend before and always with my other half, so it was a mini-adventure for me and my seven month old pup on our own.
He loves to be off-leash at the beach and to run across the sand and through the waves. This time I'd brought toys along to play with, so it was double the usual fun.
The beach was pretty much empty, but there were still a few people sun-bathing and walking along the shore.
I arrived around 11.30 and there was still a bit of marine layer overhead, but the sunshine was breaking through and warm on my skin and the car said the temperature was around 70 degrees, so really not bad at all for November.
It's really the first time I've been able to properly play catch and fetch outdoors with Cooper. He quickly learned that if he chewed the frisbee I wouldn't be able to throw it for him and he really enjoyed chasing it up the beach (although it's quite hard to throw and capture the moment on camera at the same time).
Sadly, the frisbee that's been sitting in our cupboard at home for many a year and was even shipped from London to L.A., was lost at sea today.
Cooper went diving in after it, but the current was strong and its silver colouring didn't help it stand out from the Pacific waters and it was swept away.
It was such a shame as Cooper was really enjoying playing with it. I was careful to watch that our favourite pup wasn't swept out to sea too.
Luckily I had a fallback toy to hand, his trusty tennis ball, which was equally well received by the pup.
As you can see from all the photos, which as always I make no apology for the multitude of images (although always the perfectionist I wish the picture quality was slightly better), our bounding Labrador puppy had a fabulous time racing through the surf and playing with one of his dads.
Today's excursion is part of my new philosophy to get out and explore more of L.A. and Southern California with our Labrador whilst I have this fantastic opportunity - just one man and his dog. I think we're off to a good start.
When I drove back along the Pacific Coast Highway I couldn't help but notice how many people the Highway Police in Malibu were stopping. I'm assuming it was for speeding, but it wasn't the best thing to see my first time driving the hour or so to and from the beach on my lonesome.
It goes without saying that with my prized passenger I kept to the designated speed limit and just enjoyed the music and Malibu coast scenery.
As always a morning at the beach means bath-time for pup (which he loves) to get all the sand out of his fur.
So all in all he's had a pretty fun day. Lucky pup...