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Exploring in Our Own Backyard

11 Feb

Last weekend, The Hubs and I decided to take the pup on another hike. This time, we were too lazy to drive anywhere and decided to explore a trail that my parents told us about by Lake Chabot that is dog friendly AND nearby.

The weather was amazing, so we decided to walk from our house to the trail head. This seemed like a wonderful idea on the way there, but not so much on the way back!

Here’s the start of the trail.

You’ll note it is only 3/4 of a mile to the top, but because it is ALL uphill and we walked a mile or so to the trail, it felt like FOREVER.

The views of the surrounding hills and the lake were beautiful. I can’t believe this is in the town where we live. You wouldn’t know it from just driving through. We also met lots of other pups on our walk. It seems that this trail is very popular with dog owners!

And because it was such a sparkly day, we could see all the surrounding cities easily, including SF and Oakland. (Sorry for the bad second picture! It really looked a lot better in person. I just wanted to prove that we could in fact see SF!)

I swear all those big building in the background are in SF. 🙂

Once at the top we entered the grove of trees – each tree commemorating the life of a child in Alameda County who was a victim of violence.

There is also an actual memorial, with plaques listing the names of each of these children. It is really sad to see all of the children whose lives have been cut short by violence. They were of all ages, from infants to teenagers.

The way back was so much easier! Everyone, including Rusty, was tired, so we leisurely made our way back home. There was one split second where I thought of calling my parents to pick us up because I was lazy to finish the walk back, but then I figured the exercise was good for me.

We plan on inviting some friends who have dog children to walk this trail in the spring and bring a picnic lunch to have at the top.

The Hubs and I often forget that the Lake Chabot area is one that people drive from outside the area to explore. We live so close and have never even made it around the lake! We’ll definitely be taking advantage of this area this spring, as it is so nice to feel like you are getting away but still are so close to home!

Anyone else have a wide range of activities near their home that they don’t fully take advantage of?


Hiking with the Pup

28 Jan

Last weekend, The Hubs and I thought it would be a good idea to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. The Hubs had done some research and really wanted to go on a hike in Big Sur at Pieffer State Beach to see some amazing waterfalls. However, he also sorta wanted to include The Pup on our little outing. After a little more research, it was decided that dogs were not allowed at these beaches in Big Sur because of the the endangered snowy while plover (whatever the heck that is!).

I then remembered that our friend Teresa had just posted a blog about a hike they went on with their dog up in Marin. So we decided to head up to beautiful and dog friendly Marin to take The Pup on his first hike around Phoenix Lake.

Phoenix Lake is located in the small town of Ross at the Mt. Tam Watershed.

We attempted to park in the small parking lot that was at the entrace to the park, but it was SO crowded, with additional cars just parked waiting for the next open spot. We decided to park outside the park about a mile or so on the street. This allowed us to get a closer look at the beautiful tree-lined street with HUGE houses on it that led up to the park.

We’re not the best hikers, so we basically just walked in about 1.5 hrs in and then back (since our car was parked in a 3 hr spot). It was really nice to enjoy the peace and quiet and just be among nature.

The scenery was awesome. There was moss on almost every tree and a little stream that ran alongside the trail.

The Pup was SO excited about this new adventure. He would keep pulling on the leash and sniffing everywhere we went (even on the way back!). His tongue was hanging out so far and he was excitedly breathing the entire time!

He was very well behaved though and met some nice pup friends along the way. We did cross paths with a tiny little pug who was very rambunctious for being so little. Rusty was afraid of him (scaredy cat!) and criss-crossed his leash around my leg causing a bruise I just noticed yesterday! (Some watch dog!)

One of the best parts of going on the hike…  This is what happened when we got home.

We had a great time on our little adventure and decided we needed to take spontaneous day or weekend trips more often.

So in the true spirit of this idea and because after the week I had I NEEDED a get away, I decided yesterday (which is SO not like me) that we would be going to the happiest (and one of our favorite) place in America this weekend. . . San Luis Obsipo! We won’t be taking The Pup on this trip though, he’ll be babysat by Grandpa and Uncle Michael!

Hope you all have as fun of a weekend as I hope we have! 🙂

My Very Own "Marly"

3 Jan

We’ve had our pup Rusty since he was a wee little pup at 8 weeks old. WOW! He was sooo little! I barely remember him this little! Doesn’t he look like an angel??

Now at close to 8 months, it appears he has hit the terrible twos! It seems we have our very own “Marly” on our hands! I loved the book Marly and Me, by Josh Grogan and thought all of the antics Marly put his family through were so cute. Well, let’s just say I don’t think it’s as cute when I’m the receiver of a dog’s crazy behavior!

Rusty now destroys EVERY. SINGLE. TOY. we give him. If he’s alone with a toy for even just five minutes, this is the result:

A toy massacre! All that brown fluffy stuff… yea its stuffing that came out of jack shaped toy where he ripped off every arm of the jack and dissected out each squeaker!

Then today, while I was on the phone with McAfee to get some tech support on my latest virus subscription, Rusty resumed his crazy antics! First, he destroyed yet another toy, which I was ok with because at least he was sitting in one place. Here’s a shot of him in action ripping the innards out of a cheetah toy…

Then, he stole The Hubs’s chapstick. In true Rusty fashion, he proceeded to run behind the TV in hopes that I couldn’t catch him. I finally was able to pry my hands into his mouth to remove said chapstick. All the while, I’m still on the phone with tech support answering the guy’s questions and restarting the computer. Finally, Rusty decides that he’s going to steal a pen and snap off the part that you use to hang the pen in your pocket. Again, I had to chase him into a tight corner where he proceed to bark at me (I’m still on the phone, mind you.). In the process of trying to remove the now tiny pen parts from him mouth, I spilled a HUGE glass of water everywhere (luckily not on the computer). At this point I really just want to YELL at The Pup, but can’t because the guy on the phone will think I’m crazy!

SO FRUSTRATING! The Pup is in the crate now, so that I could have a few minutes of peace and quiet before I head to the gym!

Hopefully, someday I can look back and appreciate these times as funny and endearing, but for now, I’m just trying to stay patient. Here’s to hoping things can’t be any worse with children! I’m trying to chalk it up to good practice.

Do any of you have pets in the terrible two stage? How do you stay sane? Do you have any recommendations for toys that are hard to destroy?

The Great Glasses Fiasco

11 Dec

Thursday night was not a great night…

I ran out to the store for 5 minutes to pick up some Pam so that I could make a cake for the Champagne and Chocolate party I am hosting at my house for my SWE friends.

I had barely arrived home and gotten out of the car when The Hubs met me at the door. He looked at me and said, “You’re not gonna be happy.”

He proceeded to show me this:

The pup had gotten into our bedroom and grabbed my glasses off of my night table and proceeded to chew the bits out of it. Granted he has grabbed my glasses before off the nightstand (and other things…), but we typically keep the door to the room shut.

Those were the only pair of glasses I had with my current prescription! Luckily, I was able to find an old pair (although I proceed to hit my head on a cupboard and suffer a big bump in the process), which is better than nothing as I’m basically blind without my glasses or contacts.

You wouldn’t think a pup so cute could be SO mischievous!

Now I have to spend today looking for new frames, which is never an easy pursuit!