Category Archive: Oakland

Last days in the Bay Area…

Words cannot quite describe what the Bay Area has meant to Kevin and me. Our relationship with each other grew deeply being on our own, fending for ourselves and making new friends, exploring an amazing group of communities, growing our family with adopting Lola and having Sirena…the list goes on and on. The decision to move back to Long Beach was one of the hardest things we’ve had to do. To be honest, if it weren’t for having Sirena, wanting her to know her family really well, and having the promise of HELP close at hand we probably would not have moved back at least so soon. There was still so much for us to do and experience up there! But reality won out and in the end we were very happy and at peace with our decision. It was just such a hard thing to decide on and work through until it was said and done.

We enjoyed one last “hurrah” with my sister Jessie–a day trip to Albany Bulb for a little hike and cuddles (Jessie and Sirena of course) on a blanket overlooking the bay.










Some final photos of our apartment before we completely tore it apart with packing for the big move!





Family photos on our air-mattress-turned-couch after we sold our couch a couple of weeks before the move. 😉



Kevin’s family (Dorothy, Judith, and Joshua) made the drive up to help us watch Sirena, pack the van, and caravan back down to Long Beach. What an amazing group of people!! Unfortunately I didn’t get one photo of them!

The joint all packed up…



Just looking at this photo makes me shudder!


All of our furniture lined up down the hallway of our apartment building.

Just before we drove off in the moving truck we took some photos of Auntie Jessie with her favorite girls: Sirena and Lola. The relationship that our girls have with Jessie is indescribable and irreplaceable.



No dogs allowed

Moving to Oakland has been a bit of a culture shock when it comes to having a dog.  We were plain spoiled living in San Francisco with their 35+ dog-friendly off-leash parks and their countless other parks that are accessible to dogs on leash.  This is one of the biggest things I miss about living in the city.

Oakland has a total of 5 dog parks and just about every other piece of grass in the city is off-limits to dogs.  It doesn’t even matter if the dog is on leash, our little Lola is not allowed to set a paw on the grass.

Granted, living in the Bay Area we are still pretty spoiled compared to other cities across the States.  Even with our measly 5 dog parks in Oakland, surrounding us are cities that have as many (or more) dog-friendly spots that we’re just a quick drive away from…and we have been taking advantage of those spots!

Joaquin Miller Regional Park

This is an amazing 500-acre park set in the Oakland Hills with miles and miles of winding trails.  It’s a great place to let Lola off-leash except we have to pretty careful for the joggers and mountain bikers.  Kevin and I have gone to this park twice now and each time we can’t believe that this amazing forest is just minutes from our apartment near downtown Oakland.

Kevin getting a whiff of wilderness (I don’t think he knew I was taking this photo when he bent down to smell that fallen tree, haha)

Sun through the trees

Me ‘n Lola

Piedmont Park

There is a small city surrounded by Oakland called Piedmont and they have a great park that allows dogs to run off-leash.  The trails are mostly paved but when you’re in the park you’re surrounded by a huge canopy of trees that no matter how bright and sunny it is at that time, it’s cool and shady in the park.  The creek running through the middle doesn’t hurt the view either.  Kevin and I have gone walking the trails and me and Lola have gone running a couple of times as well.  This is a little gem!

Alameda dog exercise area (aka Alameda dog park)

Now sure why it’s got such an official-sounding name, I just call it the Alameda dog park.  This is a huge fenced-in dog park just minutes from the beach on the island of Alameda and the best part is it’s only a 10 minute drive from our apartment.  I take Lola here at least once a week and she has a blast running around with the other dogs.

No dogs allowed…

After a trip to the Alameda dog park last week Lola and I drove by the beach in Alameda and I couldn’t pass up such a beautiful sunset so I pulled over, brought Lola out, and had to tie her up to the fence because of the “No dogs allowed” sign that greeted us.

“No dogs on beach”

Lola didn’t seem to mind!

That girl is always happy, no matter if she’s tied to a pole or not.

Sun setting over Alameda

Can you spot San Francisco in the distance??

4th of July festivities/Moving weekend

The weekend of July 4th, Kevin and I packed up our entire little apartment in San Francisco and drove across the Bay Bridge (about a hundred times) to move all our junk to our new not-so-little apartment in Oakland!  I don’t know what it is about July 4th weekend but that’s the same weekend we moved up to San Francisco two years ago, remember?

Although we had signed the lease and were planning on moving in July, we weren’t planning on moving quite so soon so it was a bit of an impromptu move.  We initially decided to move the following weekend (our anniversary weekend) but after hearing about a potential trip to Reno that weekend with Carleigh and Scott we decided to move the big weekend up some and over the course of 48 hours had rented a truck, packed up (almost) all of our junk, and moved on out of the city.

Some of our junk stacked up and ready for the truck

A blank canvas just waiting for us to fill ‘er up

A lot of photos of us sweating, huffing and puffing are missing since, well, I was too distracted and exhausted to document the actually moving part.

Now entering Alameda County/Oakland city limit

The drive across the bridge (the Budget truck is the second car ahead, that red truck pulled in front of me just as I was about to take a photo of Kev in the truck)

Because our move was so impromptu, with the moving truck we mainly just moved over our furniture and big, bulky items and left a lot of the smaller things at the house thinking that a few car trips across the bridge would do the trick.  A few turned into probably 7-8 total and that was definitely the worst planning on our part for this move.  It doesn’t seem like it would be that bad but it turned out to be so exhausting moving carloads of junk everyday for an entire week.  I’m just glad that’s over!

Photo of Kevin hiking up the hill on one of our last trips

So far we are in love with our new place.  Lots of space, soft carpet, beautiful lake, active neighborhood (lots of runners and cyclists and dog walkers, etc.), and amazing FOOD!  Here are a few photos of the new place, I’ll do an apartment tour when things are put together a little more.

Kevin and Lola taking a break from all the unpacking

Lola. Wiped.

Our new shower curtain! (Can you tell I’m excited?)

Bedroom. Lots of clothes.

We decided to spend Sunday July 3rd relaxing and enjoying friend’s company instead of unpacking (wise decision!)  We went to the AMAZING Lake Anza in Berkeley with Carleigh and Scott for some sunshine and swimming.  Who knew that such an amazing lake would be found in the middle of Berkeley?!

Lots of people out enjoying the holiday weekend

Me and Carleigh in for a dip!

Lifeguard on duty

Carleigh and Scott out for a swim

Nap time on the inflatable swan

Me and Kevin (and inflatable crocodile and random dude)

Disco mermaid hanging from the ceiling in the ice cream shop

I was SO happy to have found this lake and I can’t wait to go back!

After going home to wash up we went to our friend Terri and Scott’s house in Concord for a 4th of July BBQ with the grillmaster Scott in charge.  Our friends Mika and Matt also came along with their adorable 13-month old Mia!  See Mia’s 1st birthday party post here.

We were all just hanging out in the backyard and Terri/Scott’s dog Madeira started paying special attention to Mia, so much so that she tried to herd her!  It was so adorable and eventually the two new buddies sat side by side just hanging out…

My favorite photo of the two

“Hmm, I wonder what this pink thing feels like”, haha!

Best buds

Scott and his furry gang plus Mia

Before dinner we went down the street to the local bocce court (what, your city doesn’t have a bocce court?)

Splitting up the teams

Mia and mama

Trying to figure out whose ball was closer

Mid-game shot

Lola patiently waiting for us to hurry the heck up so she could get back to playing with the dogs

The night sky on the drive home

Updates–Kevin’s new job, our new apartment, etc.!

Lots has been going on in the Delmar-Edmonds household that I thought it was worthy of a blog post!


In late May Kevin graduated from the College of Alameda’s Aviation Mechanics program!  And after two years of evening classes (Monday through Friday, 4:30-10:30) we’re finally able to spend time together on weeknights!

For months leading up to his graduation we weren’t sure where life would take us–would we stay in San Francisco?  Move to the East Bay?  Or even move back to Southern California?  We were open to any opportunity that life would throw at us, and we were lucky to get that opportunity so soon after Kevin’s graduation.  Just a week out of school Kevin’s professor let him know that Rolls Royce approached him and asked for the names of his top 5 students (Kevin being one of them).  The following day Kevin got a phone call and was asked to come in for a job interview that same afternoon.  He showed up and was basically handed the job offer right then and there!  So he put in his one week notice (thanks to the understanding administration at his previous job!) and started working on jet engines the week following our trip down to Long Beach!  He’s been there almost two weeks now and comes home everyday with a smile on his face, so he is exactly where he’s supposed to be.  I couldn’t be more proud of him or happier for him–he worked his rear off in the program and I am so happy that other people recognize how freakin’ smart that guy is.  🙂

Move to the East Bay:

After a few weeks of apartment hunting we finally decided on a place–a two bedroom apartment in Oakland!  We signed the lease yesterday and put our 30 days notice in and we’re getting more and more excited about the move across the bay!  Here’s a link to more-or-less where we are on Google Maps.  And here are some photos of the new place (they’re painting and putting in new carpet/flooring so it’s not completely done, but you get the picture)…

Kevin found a cool website that lets you create a floor plan for free, so here’s what the apartment basically looks like (click on photo to enlarge)!

The apartment building–it’s a 36 unit complex and we’re on the first floor in the back, right corner

We’re a block and a half from beautiful Lake Merritt!

A drive-by shot of the lake–you better believe I’ll be getting myself very acquainted with this lake for lots of long runs with Lola

Even before we signed the lease they already had our name on the intercom list!  So cute.

The front lobby with a really neat painting of Lake Merritt

The first bedroom (the one we think we’ll be staying in)

The window view from the bedroom–the yard area is basically private and we’re looking forward to putting in a garden!

The hallway from the first bedroom looking to the second bedroom (at the end of the hall) and the bathroom to the left/living room to the right

The bathroom–AKA Kevin’s favorite room of the apartment, haha

The second bedroom

The view out the window from the second bedroom, we see right into the patio of our neighbors

The kitchen–this is the one downside to the apartment and I’m not super happy about how stinkin’ small it is.  Plus it’s an electric stove. Bleh. But we’ll make do!

Our semi-private patio (where I’m standing taking the photo is the beginning of our neighbor’s patio, it’s a long shared walkway between all of the apartments)

The view from our patio down the walkway to all of our neighbor’s patios

We should be getting the keys in the next two weeks once it’s all painted and the floors are put in so a new update will be coming shortly!  🙂


The move across the bay means that my commute to work will change a bit, but luckily not too much.  We’re a 20 minute walk from the Lake Merritt BART station so I’ll most likely be making the walk every morning.  Then the BART ride to the Embarcadero station is about 15 minutes and the walk from Embarcadero to my work is another 20 minute walk.  I could take a bus to the BART then a bus from the BART to work but at least on the non-rainy days I think I’ll try my hand at a 40 minute walk to and from work.  Luckily the walk on both sides of the bay are beautiful–the lake is gorgeous and the walk along Embarcadero is pretty as well.

Other than the move, not much else is going on with me.  I’m going to be looking to connect with the Buddhist group that I’ve been pretty highly involved with in SF but I’m looking forward to making new connections.  Last week I got hit with an awful case of the stomach flu or food poisoning (not sure which)–I was out for three days and I had never been so sick in my whole life.  I’m just glad it’s all over!  🙂


Now that Lola isn’t making her daily appearance on Pet Camp’s blog (because Kevin’s not working there anymore and he can’t take her to work like he used to) Lola’s got a new routine–I take her for a 15 minute walk before I leave for work, then she’s at home for 8 hours 🙁 , then Kevin comes home around 3pm and takes her out while they wait around for me to get home.  I’m hoping that once the move is over and we start to notice the bump in pay from Kevin’s new job we’ll be able to hire a dog walker for at least one of the days she’s home alone.  With the new place, though, she’ll have a lot more room to roam around so I think she’ll be a happy camper even being stuck at home.