Life with Pugs

Friday, May 30, 2008

San Francisco Favorites

Many people have asked me what my favorite part of San Francisco was, and honestly, I cannot pick out one thing to call my favorite. I loved it all. Seriously. From the time we got off the plane until we left again, I loved it. Okay, there was a brief time on the bus as we drove through the rough part of town that I didn't love, and I wasn't terribly crazy about the people on the streets asking for money, but you get that in any large city. But I loved everything else. When we first arrived in SF and stepped out of the airport, I could feel the cool breeze and it was so refreshing, so different from the air in Denver. I loved being close to the water, I loved taking public transportation everywhere, I loved the beautiful flowers and plants everywhere, I loved walking up the hills, I love seeing all the quintessential San Francisco sites, I loved the different cultures represented, I LOVED IT ALL (can you tell?).

Jason and I even had a brief conversation while we were there about what it would take to live in San Francisco (but that conversation was short-lived, as we realized we would have to sell our souls and be forever in debt to live there) because we loved it so much. I am not sure if the love-fest would continue if we actually did live there, but we sure loved visiting.

But if I HAVE to pick my favorites, they would be:
Cliff House (not so much the house, but the beach and the view)
North Beach
Lombard Street
Japanese Tea Gardens

I hope we get the opportunity to visit San Francisco again someday. We loved it!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

SF Day 3

Sunday was our last day in SF, and we woke up a beautiful, sunny day! We headed to North Beach, where I had the most amazing breakfast. We went into a little bakery, and I ordered homemade granola with yogurt and fresh fruit. It was outstanding, and I wish I had it again right now!

We then headed to Fisherman's Wharf to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. We arrived a bit early, and Jason was still hungry, so we stopped to get him some tea and a crepe to snack on. It was a banana and Nutella crepe, and I LOVE Nutella! We then walked down and hopped on the boat over to Alcatraz.

We really, really enjoyed our visit to Alcatraz. The history of the island is so amazing--I had no idea that families of the prison guards lived on the island, and I didn't know that a group of American Indians lived on the island for 19 months in the sixties (after the prison closed) to protest being forced onto reservations. The audio tour of the prison was very good, and the flowers and birds on the island were beautiful. We loved it and spent several hours out there!

We did a little shopping on the Wharf when we got back, and had In 'N Out for lunch (Jason's favorite). We spent a little time that afternoon in Chinatown (not as long as I wanted), then headed to our hotel for another nap. We had dinner at The Stinking Rose, a garlic restaurant in North Beach, and had an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista. It is right off one of the cable car lines, so it was so fun to sit inside and sip our coffee as we looked out the window at the twinking lights outside and the cable cars going by.

We then took a very fun cable car ride back and walked to our hotel. It was a wonderful way to end our wonderful trip to San Francisco!

The boat to Alcatraz

On the ride over to the island

One of the cells--I don't know what I was expecting, but it was so tiny

The view of the city from the island

There were THOUSANDS of seagulls on the island! Apparently it is a wonderful habitat for birds, because there are no predators around. It is seagull nesting season, so there were tons of them sitting on nests. They even had part of the island closed to visitors so the gulls would not be disturbed.

One of the windows in an original building on the island. I just love it because of the contrast between light and dark (plus if you look closely, you can see a sailboat off in the distance).

The flowers on the island were beautiful! I was so excited to see calla lillies, because I have only seen them in flower shops!

Our lunch stop

Dinner (see the sign above? "We season our garlic with a little food." They even had garlic wine, garlic martinis and garlic ice cream!)

I was still full from our late lunch, so I only had salad.

Jason had lamb wtih garlic mashed potatoes

Mmmmm, Irish coffee

Our last cable car ride of the trip

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SF Day 2

We woke up Saturday to a cool and drizzly day, but that did not slow us down! We had breakfast at a little cafe in North Beach (SF's Little Italy), which was very good, and then we walked over to Coit Tower. We didn't go up into the tower, but I walked through the bottom of the tower to look at the murals. We then walked down all those steps and caught the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge!

It was pretty amazing to be at such an iconic landmark. We walked about halfway across, and honestly, I didn't love that part of it. I am not a huge fan of being suspended high up the air, so all I could think as we were walking was how freaked out I was. I didn't get near the edge and walked as close to the traffic side as possible. We were amazed, though, at the enormity of the bridge and how they could possibly build such a structure. It is beautiful and a must-see.

After the bridge, we headed to Golden Gate Park. We walked through the Botanic Gardens and then the Japanese tea gardens, where we stopped for tea and snacks. It was beautiful, and we really enjoyed that.

We then headed back towards "home" and stopped for some quick Chinese food close to Union Square. Once at our hotel, we took a nice, long nap!

For dinner that night, we had reservations at the Cliff House to celebrate our anniversary, and it was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. The Cliff House is on the west side of San Francisco and has a beautiful beach with AMAZING views of the Pacific Ocean, plus a really cool history. We arrived shortly before our reservation time, but I wish we had arrived much sooner to spend some time on the beach. I LOVE the ocean and could have looked at that view for hours.

Our dinner was great--I had crab cakes and halibut, which was very fresh and very good. After dinner, we took the bus back to our hotel and called it a night. It was another wonderful day!

Our breakfast stop in North Beach--I had a prosciutto omelet (I LOVE prosciutto!) and coffee. We also stopped for lattes before heading to our next stop to help us warm up in the damp, chilly weather!

Coit Tower

That's me on the steps coming down from Coit Tower

See, I was really there!

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the entrance

Jason kept talking about how many people commit suicide by jumping off the bridge each year, which did absolutely nothing to help my anxiety level

Our yummy snack in the tea garden--I had jasmine tea and Jason had green tea

That is the Cliff House in the upper right corner

View of the beach in front of the Cliff House

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

San Francisco Fun Day #1

To celebrate our 5 year anniversary, we decided to spend the weekend in SF. We left Denver Friday around 11:30 in the morning, after dropping the pugs off at Moxie's house. Once we arrived in SF, we took the BART to downtown SF and walked to our hotel. We stayed at the Intercontinental San Francisco at 5th Street and Howard (found a great deal online!) which just opened in Febrary and was amazing! We were on the 22nd floor in a corner room, so two of our walls were floor to ceiling windows!
We were too excited to sit around, so we headed to catch the cable car, located just a few blocks from our hotel. The line was LONG and the car was CROWDED, but it's something you have to do in SF! We went first to Fisherman's Wharf, where we stopped at one of the seafood stands. I had a crab sandwich, and Jason had fish and chips. Yum! We were so excited, though, that I forgot to take a picture! We then went to Ghirardelli Square--Jason had the World Famous Chocolate Sundae, and I had a brownie sundae. On our way to the chocolate shop, we passed the Keane Eyes Gallery, and we HAD to stop in! Moxie's mom has a pug print from the gallery, and it is beautiful! Unfortunately the painting I wanted was $22,000, which just wasn't in the budget. But check out the website--the artist paint things with big eyes and has several pug pieces. My favorite was the fawn momma pug with the black and fawn babies on the gold background.
After Ghirardelli Square, we headed to Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in the world" (pictured in earlier post), which was one of my favorite things in SF! Because we used public transportation while we were there, we didn't get to drive down the street, but we did start at the top and take the stairs down. The landscaping was AMAZING (beautiful hydrangeas growing all along the street) and beautiful red brick paving. You just don't see things like that in Denver!

After Lombard Street, we headed back to Fisherman's Wharf. We walked up Pier 39 and looked through some shops and visited the sealions. They were so funny! We then took the bus back to the hotel and had an evening snack of wine and cheese before we called it a night!

Jason having fun on the cable car

My sundae! I can't believe I am saying this, but it was almost too chocolatey for me (the brownie part especially). I could only eat half, and Jason finished it off for me (after devouring his own!).

Those crazy sealions--they were so entertaining!

Monday, May 26, 2008

San Francisco!

Our trip summed up in one word: AWESOME!

We spent the last 2 1/2 days exploring San Francisco and had a wonderful time! We loved it and have lots of pictures to share, which will be coming soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthday Fun!

To celebrate the pugs' birthdays, we celebrated with cookies and presents. Oscar received a football cookie for his "gotcha" day, and he and Daisy shared it.

Mmmmmm, waiting for the cookie!
Wow, that was good!
I LOVE this picture! I was trying to get Oscar mid-lick, but his tongue was just sticking straight out!
Sweet Daisy
Cookies, Round 2!
Waiting for our cookies!
Daisy and Oscar received new collars for their birthdays--we will have to show them off one day. We are so thankful for our little puggies and are so happy to celebrate another wonderful year with them!
Hope everyone has a great, long weekend!

Happy Birthday, Daisy!

Today, Daisy is celebrating her 4th birthday! I can't believe my little pug girl is 4 already. She has brought such joy to my life, and I can't imagine how boring our lives might be without our dogs. Daisy lives her life with such vivaciousness and never meets a stranger. I love this little girl!

Tonight we will celebrate with doggie cookies and bully sticks (we meaning Daisy and Oscar not Jason and me). And tomorrow we get to go see Moxie!

(FYI, Moxie is Daisy's best gal pal. The two have been buddies since they were just babies! Anytime we say "Moxie!" Daisy's head tilts, and she gets all excited. Moxie came to visit recently while her parents were out of town.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Questions Answered

Okay, this is long, but it should wrap up the question-answering. Thanks for playing!

Mrs. D asked
"Let's see, I'd like to know if you had lots of pets growing up. And, what was your childhood like? It seems like you have a very close, loving family. What's your favorite childhood memory?"

Surprisingly, we didn't have a ton of pets growing up. When I was little, we had 2 outside dogs, a mutt named Angel and an Irish setter named Helga. Helga was deaf and blind and got out of our yard one day and ran away. Angel died from Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever. I don't think we had any more dogs until I was in middle school. We had a black lab puppy named Blaze who disappeared from our yard one night (we think someone took her). During middle school, we moved to the country and had an array of cats and labrador retrievers. Right now, my parents have a yellow and a black lab and 8 lab puppies! We NEVER had inside pets, which is why it is so funny to me that I have inside dogs (especially after I said I would NEVER have dogs in the house!).

My childhood was very good. I attended K-5th grade at Jefferson Elementary School. We lived a block from the school, so I walked to and from school most days. We had neighbors a few houses down who we were good friends with. Our house had a breezeway, so we spent tons of time outside playing. I did lots of bicycle riding and roller skating and having a blast. My sister was born when I was 4 1/2, and I don't remember being terribly jealous. We moved to a rent house when I was in 5th grade, and then moved into our house (where my parents still live) in 6th grade. My brother was born when I was in 5th grade. I wasn't excited about having another sibling, but after he was born, I was very excited. The rest of my school days were spent in a small school in a little Texas town, and I loved it! My family was very close, and we still are. I miss them!

My favorite childhood memory....that is a hard question! Probably when my brother and sister were born. Love you guys!

Norman asked:
"You have such lovely skin. What sort of make-up products do you use? Also, what do you use on your hair? It's always so shiny!"

Such nice questions, Norman! For my skin, I use Proactiv products to keep away the acne, and NuSkin make up products. I have tried numerous things, but I always come back to those. I love them!

For the hair, my favorite products are Bumble and Bumble. They are a bit pricey, but I really feel they are so superior to other products I have tried (I have only used their curly-hair products, nothing else). I use their shampoo and conditioner, and then their curling creme for styling. They are great!

Nevis asked:
"What are your 5 Desert Island movie pics?" Ooooo, this question was hard for me, but here goes:
1. Sound of Music
2. Singin' in the Rain
3. Casablanca
4. Little Mermaid
5. Ever After

Frances Louise asked:
"What do you and Jason do for a living? Daisy and Oscar look so fit -- do they get alot of exercise?"

I am a registered dietitian/diabetes educator, and Jason works for a company that processes and distributes bone and tissue grafts.

Unfortunately, Daisy and Oscar don't get as much exercise as I would like for them to. I try to take them on decent walks a few times a week, but it doesn't happen every day. They are pretty restricted on their food and very rarely get people food. But don't feel too badly for them--they still get LOTS of treats (just small ones)!

Anonymous asked:
"Who do you love more, your mom or your dad?"

Hmmmm, I think I will skip that one!

Highlight of My Weekend

Okay, it doesn't take much to get me excited. I have to admit that I am addicted to lip balm. But not just any old lip balm, I am pretty picky about it. It has to be the right consistency, not too waxy and not too sticky. I typically use Softlips raspberry flavor. Last year I fell in love with a lip balm at Bath and Body Works. I bought 3 or 4 tubes just in case, and lo and behold, they stopped carrying it. I was so sad when I finished the last tube......

until tonight! I was going through my bike bag and found an unopened tube of Bath and Body Works lip balm! I shared my excitement with Jason, and he just didn't get it. But it made my night!
On another exciting note, we went out for our first real bike ride this weekend and went 23 miles! It was pretty tough, but I have to get serious about training, because I went and signed myself up for a 100K ride in August! I know, crazy, but I knew it would help me if I had a goal in mind. We'll see how I feel after the ride--50K was pretty tiring last year!
Have a great week!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Questions Answered, Part 2

Dwayne asked:
"Do you think you'll ever end up living in Oregon...maybe Salem, Oregon, but I might be asking a bit much?" Funny, that is actually something we have discussed. I wouldn't count on it (Jason loves living in the big city, and I don't think Salem is big enough for him) but it would be very exciting to work with you guys!
"Oh, and do you ever wonder if your pugs would prefer to go through life naked rather than in the clothes you dress them in?" I am pretty sure that Daisy and Oscar LOVE dressing up in clothes, especially Oscar.

Page asked:
"How did you become interested in pugs? How did you get Oscar and Daisy?" It's funny, I am not sure what sparked my interest in pugs. I guess I just thought they were super cute, plus I heard they were good apartment dogs, and we were in an apartment at the time. We had Daisy first--we looked for a pug locally, and when we didn't find what we wanted, we almost purchased a pug online to have flown to Denver. Thankfully, just before we made our decision to do that, we looked at the ads in the paper and found the ad for Daisy. We rushed over and met Daisy, her sisters and her mom. We were the first people there, so we got to choose first, and thankfully we were fast, because as we were standing there, others came and all the puppies were spoken for quickly! After we had Daisy for almost a year, I started wanting a buddy for her. Jason wasn't interested in a puppy, so we put our name on the pug list at the Dumb Friends League. I checked their website every day for a pug. One day I checked in the morning like usual, no pugs. I just happened to check the website around lunchtime, which I did not usually do, and there was Oscar! Thankfully, I had a slow afternoon at work, so I rushed home to pick up Daisy and headed to the shelter. We met Oscar, and everyone got along, so he was ours! We had to leave him overnight to be neutered, so I went back the next day to pick him up. Poor thing was sick with kennel cough, and he was pretty sick for several days. He seemed so sad and confused for the first few weeks, but he quickly became a part of our family. I can't imagine life without him!

Stay tuned for more answers!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day, Oscar!

Three years ago today Oscar came into our lives, so we celebrate his "birthday" today! We are so thankful for this little guy--he keeps us laughing and is always ready to cuddle (and eat). We love you, Oscar!

Oscar's first day with us--he was so scared and sick

This is one of my favorite pictures of Oscar--I think he looks so distinguished

And these last 2 picture just make me laugh!

Monday, May 12, 2008

San Francisco!

Jason and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary later this month, and we just decided to take a trip to San Francisco to celebrate! I have never been to California, so I am super excited. It will be a quick trip, but we are really looking forward to it. Do any of you have suggestions for things we have to do while we are there?