Category Archive: parks

Sunny days in SF!

We have been thoroughly enjoying the past two weeks of sunshine in the city. Some mornings when I get up and the sky is blue and clear of any clouds and the wind is nice and warm, I honestly feel as though I’m back in Long Beach! It’s been so great to be able to spend so many sunny days outdoors (and I’ve regained some of my tan back, woohoo! 🙂 ) Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing with our beautiful days…

Nothing says “warm weather” quite like a BBQ!

Lola and I spent one afternoon with Jessie and the boys she nannies for (McKinley Square Park)

Brandt showing off his static-y hair
Jess and Colby

Lola is a huge fan of the warm weather and she’s been spending a lot of time outdoors. She’s had her way with her basketball and it’s not much of a ball anymore!

We’ve been frequenting Golden Gate Park lately and have been taking our time exploring Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill and the surrounding areas with all of the great trails.

Kevin, Lola and Stow Lake

A waterfall in the middle of Golden Gate Park

Day trip to the Marin Headlands

I had President’s Day off so Kevin and I decided to get out of the city, take advantage of the sunshine and take a day trip to the Marin Headlands. After checking out some of the views over the cliffs, we got hungry and had a nice little picnic in the car.

Then we headed over to Battery Wallace (a battery is a place in which a group of guns/missile launchers are operated together in one place, there were quite a few out that way).

Kevin put the biggest smile on my face when he willingly took this photo that I begged him to pose for: him pretending to shoot a machine gun in the middle of the battery 🙂

The fog kept rolling in and out, and at this point it was pretty foggy so I thought it’d be cool to take a photo like this (if you click it you can enlarge the photo to see it more clearly).

I was trying to get all artistic and have Kevin take this photo of me in a small corner filled with graffiti.

Kevin peeking out of some lookout, pretending he was spying on the enemy I’m sure 😉

There were a ton of huge metal doors that had been sealed shut but I thought this one looked pretty cool.

After checking out the old abandoned military bases, we went to make a visit to the Marine Mammal Center which is free and open to the public every day of the year except for a few major holidays. We got lucky because President’s Day wasn’t seen as major enough for them to be closed!

The time we went to visit most of the sea lions were enjoying their naps in the sun.

“Big Daddy” wanted to say hello to our blog followers!

I couldn’t resist! What a cute little pup.

In the tunnel as we exited the Marin Headlands

It was really great getting away for the day, just the two of us. It was a great place to explore and we’ll definitely be back again (possibly to camp overnight…who’s coming with us? 🙂 )

Thomas and Joshua’s visit

Early in the morning on t he first day of the new year we jumped in our packed car and made the drive back up to SF. Kevin’s brother Thomas and our nephew Joshua followed us in Thomas’ car to spend the weekend in the city with us! The trip hadn’t been planned more than a few days so it was a great way to end our trip.

Kevin and Thomas playing with Lola during a pit stop off the 5

After hanging out at our apartment for a bit we decided to head out to Fisherman’s Wharf (my favorite spot in the city…yeah, not really! haha) for some exploring.

I have to admit, it was nice seeing Fisherman’s Wharf at night
We were entertained for about 3 minutes by “Captain Jack Spareribs Pirate Show” (as you can see, we had to practically tear Thomas away from the show, haha)
We made another visit to the Musee Mecanique (antique penny arcade) and Josh made a little discovery (this photo was aunt/uncle inspired! 😉 )

For dinner we wanted to go to Goood Frikin Chicken or Balompie but unfortunately both were closed because it was New Year’s Day. So we ended up going to a Mexican/Salvadorean restaurant called El Patio in the Mission which had great food but horrible service unfortunately. Guess we should’ve read the reviews first, about half of them had the same complaint as us (click link above)! At least it was good food!

On Sat. 1/2 we headed out for more sight-seeing. We made our first stop at Buena Vista Park in the Haight which Kevin and I had passed many times and always said we’d visit so that day was good as any!

The boys race to the top of the staircase

Thomas, the victor

And of course the most fun the three of them had was in the kiddie playground!

After driving through some neighborhoods and popular spots we decided to get out of the city for a change so across the Golden Gate Bridge we went! We spent the afternoon in Sausalito, a really cute town just across the Bay.

Josh contemplating the meaning of life (or something along those lines, I’m sure…)

After Sausalito, Kevin and Thomas wanted to drive to Point Reyes Lighthouse but met some resistance with me because it was such a long drive and we had already driven 8 hours the day before! So we settled for a visit to Fairfax, a cute little town in Marin County. We spent some time on the major strip on Broadway checking out the cute shops and sipping on some coffee/hot chocolate/tea/coke (whatever our choice drink was 😉 ).

Thomas and Josh left first thing Sunday morning to make the trip back to Long Beach. Their visit was such a great way to start the new year!

A thank you to our visitors, anxious puppies, and Golden Gate Park

Howdy folks!

I just had the best surprise a few minutes ago and that prompted me to get my butt on here and write another post…a few weeks ago I added a map to my blog to show where people are logging into our blog (you can see it on the right column) and lo and behold we’ve had quite a few hits from all over the world! Of course, Southern California has the most hits but I believe I can make a shout out to a few people outside of CA that I think have been visiting: Erin in Illinois, Sneha in NYC and our farthest visitor ever…Shige in Japan!! It’s so amazing to know that people are actually interested in what we’re up to and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to read our blog! Also, there’s someone who logged in from it looks to be Nebraska or Kansas though I’m not sure who it is…so post a comment if it’s you so we’ll know who you are and can thank you properly! 🙂

I’ll update about Thanksgiving in another post later this week but a few things that we’ve been up to since my last post…

Lola’s been acting up a lot lately and it started to really get to me and put a damper on things. Kevin leaves for school between 2-3pm every afternoon and I get home between 5-6pm so Lola is left outside for a few hours a day. Each night when I’d get home, I could expect to be greeted by an excited Lola but also a nice pile of crap that she tore up while she was alone. I’ve come home to a bag of charcoal torn up and strewn across the yard, the hose pulled off the stand with a few holes added to it, her water and food bowls torn up to shreds, and the best yet…her doggy bed torn up and the stuffing all over the yard. It was getting extremely difficult being happy with her in the evenings after having to clean up her crap and knowing that money was just being chewed up and spit out each day.

So one night last week when I came home to a bag of wood chips torn up I decided to Google the issue and see if I could find any solutions. Come to find out…she has anxiety problems! (Go figure…) Each time we would leave her, she’d get separation anxiety and would act out as a result. The most eye-opening part of my research was that us humans were the ones causing the problem in the first place. Something I found extremely interesting and also quite sad is that separation anxiety is the #2 reason why dogs are put up for adoption and euthanized…the dogs seem unruly and just plain ol’ “bad” and so are given up…but in reality the humans are the ones that need to be trained to fix this behavior. I found two great articles on this topic (links here and here) and Kevin and I have been working really hard this past week to help Lola with her anxiety problems. It really seems to be working…she’s getting more used to being by herself even when we’re home (so that when we do leave it’s not such a shock to her) and she’s starting to calm down before and after we leave so that our leaving is not such a big deal anymore. Tonight we were actually gone from 1-7:30pm and when we got home not a thing was torn up! 🙂 So far, so good!

Last weekend on Saturday we decided to take a trip to Golden Gate Park and have a picnic lunch. We went to a part of the park that’s pretty quiet and off-the-beaten-path (on this map, we were near number 25 in the key) and spent a great few hours in the sunshine, enjoying our sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies, and playing fetch with Lola. We’re trying to take advantage of the sunny days because we won’t see many of those for a while come December!

Lola anxiously awaiting Kevin to throw the ball for her

A very tired and happy Lola
Hanging out with mom

Our pretty little girl (who thinks she’s a model with that pose, haha)

Trip to Alameda & Oakland

On Friday 10/9 I had the day off from work and Kevin had the night off from class so we decided to take a road trip to Alameda & Oakland near where Kevin has classes. He had driven by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, Arrowhead Marsh many times before but didn’t have much time to visit so we took a day trip there with Lola. It’s a really pretty area and a nice, peaceful retreat in the middle of the city of Oakland.

A good ol’ egret

There was this very strange piece of artwork (at least that’s what we think it was) right in the middle of the grass area so Kevin decided to climb up it with Lola. Watch the video here:

Lola, like a little kid, playing on the whale playground toy

Though I don’t think we’ll be driving across the bridge just to go to this park again, it was a nice get away from the city for a change!

Sunny Sunday at Crissy Field

Today was a beautiful, hot sunny day in San Francisco so what better way to spend the afternoon than at Crissy Field with Kevin, Jessie and Lola? Crissy Field is in the Presidio and is a great dog beach right near the Golden Gate bridge. Though Lola had experienced the water at Granite Creek where we went camping in August, she hadn’t fully immersed herself in the water because it was so cold there. So this was the first time that Lola went all in and she absolutely loved it! It took her a little while and some prompting from Kevin to go deep into the water where she couldn’t touch the ground, but once she did there wasn’t any stopping her! She had a blast playing fetch and stomping and splashing around and I know that we’ll be back many more times!

Doesn’t look like much of a sunny day, eh?? The fog started coming in pretty strong by the time we got out there, but luckily it was still warm out.

Normally, that’s a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge…

Kevin playing fetch with the Lola-meister
Lola giving Auntie Jessie some kisses

Love this action shot!

Our first family photo

Me and Jess

Cutie pie Lola coming to give her mama a kiss!

Video of Lola swimming at the beach

Fun times with the Lola-meister

I have to say, having a dog of our own is 100% more fulfilling than we could have imagined! We have been enjoying our time together so much and here are some highlights:

Hanging out with her Aunt Jessie

She’s just a big ol’ baby when she’s around Kevin!

She LOVES her Loofah Dog…too bad one week later the dog’s head was ripped off! haha

Hanging out with mom at Franklin Square Park

One of the funniest pictures yet!

In our neighborhood about a 5 minute drive away is McLaren Park. This truly is a gem in the middle of nowhere! It has a lake, a dog play area, and great trails that make you feel like you’re in the middle of the forest. Kevin and I are thinking about becoming “Friends of McLaren Park” where people get together once a month to work on restoring the park and making it more family/kid/community friendly.

One of the best things we’ve found around our neighborhood is St. Mary’s Park, a wonderful dog park about a 15 minute walk from our apartment. We’ve taken Lola both days this weekend and she has a BLAST as you can see in this video:

Lola really has been a great dog this past week. She’s got “sit” and “stay” down pat. “Lay down” she knows most of the time, but a lot of time she flips her whole body to get a belly rub so we’re still working on that. There are a few things that we’ve got to work on with her: walking straight on a leash (she’s gotten better, but she doesn’t understand that concept and will sometimes walk right in front of us) and her motion/car sickness! Even on short car rides, she has a tendency to get sick and throw up on the ride. 🙁 So Kevin’s taking her to the vet this week to see if we can get her some doggy Dramamine for our 5-hour car ride we’ve got coming up this Wednesday for our camping trip! We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’ll be okay! The last thing that happened was last night…she got sprayed by a skunk! So Kevin had to wake me up and we spent an hour trying to clean off the skunk oil before it dried on her. Her face still smells a bit, so we bought some de-skunking wash and are going to give her another bath today. So needless to say, Lola sure has kept us on our toes!