Favorite Places

Hello Again.. San Francisco..

It’s been about 10 years since I lived in San Francisco and a tiny part of me misses the hustle and bustle of the city and all of its excitement. I’ve been a DJ for about 15 years now and back when I would have 2 or 3 gigs a weekend, it was the best place to be and work. Obviously, my life has changed and I have my beautiful family now. So of course, visiting always brings back that wonderful nostalgia of living in that wonderful city. We had a Great Dane meetup in SF last weekend so I jumped at the chance to go and take Lily and Capone to visit one of my favorite places there, Fort Funston.

Its right off of PCH (Pacific Coast Highway/Highway 1) and is on the southwest side of SF near Ocean Beach. It’s one of the few places that allow off-leash dog access at a beach and it was my first time going with both kids.

I also picked up my brother, Gabriel, who lives in the city and it was so nice for Lily to spend some time with her uncle at the beach 🙂

After a very short 10 minute drive.. we drive into Fort Funston.

Boy, was it crowded when we got there! There was already quite a few people in the parking lot but it wasnt hard to spot the Danes waiting to go down the dunes to the water. There was even some fantastic hand gliding daredevils flying overhead which fascinated Lily.

The weather was beautiful with absolutely no clouds in the sky. They did creep in soon afterwards. Chilly? Yes of course but it was so worth it! I used to live about 10 minutes from Fort Funston in the Sunset District and we only got 4 or 5 non-foggy days in the year so this was such a welcome treat for everyone im sure.

We were greeted by everyone and it was so nice starting to see familiar faces. Of course, Capone was loving every second of it and making sure to say hello/sniff everyone.

Everyone getting acquainted

Once everyone was there, we headed down the trail to the ocean. It was about a 10-15 minute walk (depending if you were holding onto Capone’s leash or Lily’s hand) and the entire trail was tree-lined with gorgeous smelling eucalyptus trees. The smell reminds me of my brother who used to collect the little seed pods when we were kids.

View to the right of the trail with Sutro tower in the distance.

Towards the end of the trail at the clearing of the eucalyptus trees. We can see the sand dunes!

My little 3 year old legs cant keep up with those long-legged Danes, Uncle Gabe!

We made it to the beach! Now, time to go down the steep sand dunes…

… after of course I let Capone off his leash before he drags me down the side of the hill!

We made it to the beach!!

It was Capone’s first time at the beach and on black sand!

Duke coming up to say hi. I love seeing all the Dane footprints everyone was leaving 🙂

Capone had a blast! A little apprehensive to actually head into the water but he loved running up and down the wet coastline!

Gorgeous Delia checking out the waves


Lily even got some help digging her sandcastle from Delia and Molly 🙂

But they helped a little too much and made the hole as big as Lily 🙂

Capone even enjoyed a little sand dune climbing

After about two hours, everyone got a bit tired and we all headed back up the sand dune hill and up the trail to head back to the cars..

You mean we cant stay here forever????

Poor Delia looked so sad that everyone was leaving. Her human, Carolyn reassured me that this was her normal look but that it definitely works for her advantage to get what she wants. Hee hee!

Gabe showing Lily the Fort Funston tunnels before we head to lunch.

Well, we said our goodbyes and until next times and we headed into the city for something to eat. Lily suggested sushi so who were we to say no! With Capone happily snoring in the back of the Sequoia, we headed into the city for some sushi. We decided on Nagano Sushi off Geary and it was wonderful! I tried a roll called the “No Name” roll and it was delish!! Salmon, in a tempura fried seaweed roll on a bed of teriyaki sauce.

Can’t forget the seaweed salad!

Waiting patiently for her miso soup and white rice 🙂

What a fun day we had! After lunch, we said goodbye to Gabe and headed back home.

oh yeah, and I actually remembered to have a picture taken where I was in front of the camera too!

The sign of a good outing! Hope to return to Fort Funston again soon!

Categories: Favorite Places, Fun Stuff, Outings | Leave a comment

Fishin’ and Frolickin’!

Hooray for fantastic Saturday’s! This past one, Josh decided that we should take the kids to do some good ol’ fishing. He bought us our licenses and the kids some fishing poles. How cute are they? Lily’s even came with a princess tackle box. It was hard for them to not want to rip them open right away but knowing we had toddlers, infants and a chew-happy puppy, they were photographed and put up on the shelf for the next day!

We have a few options of lakes and reservoirs around our area but since it would be the first time with the two kids and Capone, we thought we would take it slow 🙂 We ended up going to the Campbell Percolation Ponds that feeds from the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Coincidently, they have Kids Fishing Day periodically throughout the spring and summer so we knew it would be a great first time spot for us.

We packed our things ( and plenty of snacks) and hoped we would catch something! Capone loves to eat fish and we thought, since the bass, trout, etc. were all farmed, what a great way to use our resources! Of course, expecting not to catch anything, we still did our weekly Costco run to get Capone’s meat and fish JUST in case we failed miserably at angling 🙂

When we got there, there was already some fisherman along the shoreline so we hopped out of the car and went to go claim our spot.

It was a GORGEOUS day and even though it was a little windy, it was hard to believe that it was in the middle of February. Gotta love California weather! Even Capone looked like he wanted to take a dip in the water!

 Josh carefully got all of our equipment together and helped us get our poles in order. He is quite the fisherman so he had all kinds of trinkets in his repertoire to “entice” the fish. We settled on some fishy smelling pellets and hoped it would do the trick.

After a few attempts at casting, Lily got the hang of it and had no problem reeling in the line and casting herself. Of course, with me holding onto her sweatshirt while she was doing it because the worrywart in me could just see her flinging herself into the water.

Logan however, was quite content banging his fishing pole on the ground and taking it for a walk 🙂

Capone didnt know what to really make of it, all he did was go back and forth between looking like he was about to jump in, to looking as if he would break out into a sprint and chase after the geese that were on the meadow behind us.

Ready to catch the “big” one

Should I go in the water?

Or should I chase after these geese?

Even though we had more than enough equipment and what Josh describes as “fish crack” , we unfortunately caught no fish 😦 Lily still enjoyed herself immensely and has already asked when we would return to do more fishing. I think next time we’ll leave Logan at home because he kept wanting to run in the other direction with his fishing pole!

After about an hour, Capone started to get antsy too. We also picked that spot because there is a local dog park (YAY). So while the kids had snack time, I took Capone to discover a new doggie park. This park was called the Los Gatos Creek dog park and was on the bigger side. Lots of shade and astro turf lined most of the grounds. There were plenty of benches and even a picnic area that you could campout while your doggie played. However, who would picnic inside a dog park while every doggie comes up and tries to beg for food?

Anyway, it was a welcome treat for him and after being so good and patient while we fished, Capone made up for it with sprinting back and forth with some new friends and thankfully getting the zoomies out 🙂

And guess what? As we were leaving, I spotted a familiar shape of dog coming towards us and it was another Great Dane puppy! We introduced ourself and turns out it is a fellow Meetup member! She had not yet gone to a meetup and we exchanged information so that we could get some puppy playdates in order. Here is a picture of little Odin. He is a 6 month old mantle.. he was so cute!

All in all, it was a fantastic day! Until next time!

Categories: Favorite Places, Fun Stuff, Outings | 5 Comments

Dane’s Aplenty!

I signed up for a Great Dane Meetup group when I first got Capone and went to our first Meetup this weekend with my girlfriend Stacy, who also owns a Dane, Toby. I actually met her from the group when I sent an email to get some puppy playdates back when Capone hadn’t had all of his shots yet and I was looking for good ol’ socialization for him.  Fast forward two months and YAY! We get to go and play now. The meetup was at a location in Fremont called Shinn Pond and offered off-leash fun for everyone. Josh was out of town this weekend (as well as the car) so Stacy, Toby and the rest of her family, came to pick us up to take us there. She owns a minivan, which her 2 year old Dane, Toby has no problem leaning his head out the window while he rests his front paws on the passenger seat. Meanwhile, Capone, who has layed down since day 1 on car rides, did his best to stand like his buddy, Toby. It was an interesting carride!! Between Capone howling at Toby to “play” in the car, to Toby wanting to stick his head out the window (mind you, I was in his seat), and Capone trying to squeeze in both Stacy and my lap, we were all happy that it was only a 30 minute drive!

Once we got there, it was a short walk to where all the Danes were playing. According to the map, we were supposed to enter on the right hand side of the pond but we took the left and got a bit lost. It was okay because we got to see more of the pond and other great spots that we wouldnt have seen had we gone the way were were supposed to go 😛

In the distance we saw the group!!

There were a ton of blue, some black and mantles, one fawn, and one harlequin.  It was so nice seeing Danes of different ages, colors, build, temperaments, and personalities! There was even a little blue Dane that was 3 weeks older than Capone! Capone’s reaction was priceless! Its as if he knew he was a part of the “club”. He truly acted like a puppy, on his back and wanting all the attention of the older Danes. He would happily bounce back and forth between all the other Danes and try to play with everyone. Of course, him and Toby (his BFF) always ended up wrestling on the ground as usual 🙂 Those boys never get tired of tackling one another in a brotherly way.

Here are a few pics from the afternoon 🙂

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Thanks to Stacy and Teri for some of the wonderful pictures! Teri and Eric are the organizers of the meetup group and also asked Stacy and I to organize some meetups for the South Bay. So I’m on a hunt to find some fantastic non-city spots that the doggies can run and play off-leash. Perhaps a beach down in Santa Cruz or at one of the many open fields near Stanford University.  Eitherway, im excited to have finally introduced myself and Capone to the group. Even Logan got the initiation.. doggy-wise that is 🙂

Afterwards, we all reluctantly went home and it was a very quiet ride back 🙂

Categories: Favorite Places, Fun Stuff, Outings | 4 Comments

Hooray for new places!

As promised (to Capone that is), last week I took him and the kids to some new spots to check out. How happy am I that we get to adventure to new spots now that he has had all of his shots. He enjoys our walks around the neighborhood but anytime we can go somewhere new its an added bonus!

We ventured to Reed Street Dog Park in Santa Clara and it was really nice! There was plenty of places to sit, an overhand shade and plenty of trees. They don’t call Santa Clara ” Tree City” for nothing!

Its located off of a pretty busy street and the local CalTrain runs somewhat near it so there are plenty of “city distractions” but Capone didnt seem to to mind.

Other than Fremont City Dog Park, this is by far our favorite nearby city-sanctioned dog park.

There are other off-leash locations near us that we have yet to try because we’re still working on Capone’s recall. He likes to “adopt” people that are nearby and its hard to get his attention to bring him back sometimes.

We were only here for a little bit due to there not being very many dogs to play with but

Capone did find a very cute pitbull puppy to sniff while we were here 🙂

 We also had another break in the cold, wet weather to introduce Capone to the Stevens Creek Trail. Its not a “hiking” trail per say but its a nice paved path along Stevens Creek that is visited and traveled by runners, walkers and bicyclists every day. I used to run this trail very often when I was single, and now take both kids in the jogging stroller when the weather is too beautiful not to be outside. So now, I get to come with Capone and enjoy with him and the kids as part of our weekly cardio regimen 🙂

 We started at the Yuba Drive Trail Head beause it has the easiest access to parking. It also features a very welcomed human and dog fountain to quench the thirsties after a nice jog or walk along the trail.

 It was REALLY windy that day so hoodies were completely in effect 🙂

 Capone did a really good job at maintaining his gait with my speed ( I have short legs so sometimes he looks at me like “hurry up slow poke!”) and made sure to watch his back legs from running into my rear stroller wheels.

 I know you’re not supposed to really “run” a Dane before he is 18 months because of possible joint damage but this little guy was ready to run! Its as if he was on the verge of sprinting the whole time 🙂 We made a couple of strategic stops just so I could curb the itch!

 Oh! Is that a squirrel?

 Everyone loved the little blue bridge

Can we go down that way?

On the large blue bridge.

One hour later, the zoomies were finally cured and we had our mellow boy back.. snores and all ♥


Oh and for the record.. we’ve found 4 of his teeth already! How is this kid going to eat without his teeth!! Until next time… 🙂

Categories: Favorite Places, Outings | 2 Comments

Dog Parks!

Now that Capone has had all of his shots, I have been trying to get him to visit all of our local dog parks in search of the nicest ones in our area. Luckily, we have fantastic trails, beaches and state parks that we can always go to, however, I’m trying to get him to have as much socialization as possible. Of course, dog parks arent the only place to have him get socialized but going on walks, visiting schools, malls, and other public places that we have been to sometimes work against us. I sometimes find people walk away from us because Capone is a big doggie. While I would love for him to meet every person that walks past us, 9 times out of 10, they either pass us quickly, or actually go out of their way to avoid coming near him. If only they knew what a big pile of mush he is 🙂 Of course you get the occasional person who wants to meet him which is fantastic, but for the most part, our outings that aren’t at dog geared locations, sometimes just end up being him and I doing little training sessions.

SO, the dog park really helps with meeting other doggies that want to play and other people/kids that go there knowing that they are going to meet dogs, want to meet dogs and know how to meet dogs. Read up on this wonderful post shared by Honey the Great Dane ‘s Facebook page which demonstrates proper pooch etiquette. Its very cute! http://boogiebt.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/how-not-to-greet-a-dog/

So far we have visited three..

Fremont Dog Park, Las Palmas Dog Park, and Mountain View Dog Park.

Here are my reviews and some pictures..

Fremont Dog Park

Rating: B+

This is a great park because of its space, however it only gets a B+ because it is completely covered in astro turf. While its nice to not be on dirt, its pretty stained and just doesnt look very appealing. The dogs dont seem to mind it at all and during the rainy season makes it super convenient to still be able to bring your doggies out to play and not have a mud field.

Second is Las Palmas Park.

This doggie park unfortunately gets a C- rating. While its the closest one to our house, it is very dated, all dirt,  and only has 1 human bench. People have brought in plastic chairs but even then, those are falling apart. I dont think we’ll be coming back to this dog park often but its nice to have it for a quick pre-doggie preschool zoomie releaser.

And lastly, we’ve visited Shoreline Dog Park in Mountain View. While it was dirt as well, it was a much nicer dirt and there was lots of places to sit, trash cans with doggie bags, a doggie fountain and a picnic area with shade. I give it a B- only because of the non-grass. It is in a nice area (surrounded by Google offices and the Shoreline Amphiteatre) and there’s no loud traffic to startle any of the dogs 🙂

Next week we’ll be going to Santa Clara Dog park and walking the Stevens Creek Trail. Lets hope for no rain!!

All this dog park talk is making me tired!

Nite Nite!!

Categories: Favorite Places, Outings | 1 Comment

Weekend Shenanigans!

What a great weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful so we decided to go to our local park to get some fresh air. After being plagued with the flu last weekend, I was dying for some sunshine! This park is actually connected to a local Elementary school called Ponderosa Elementary and has a wonderful field that gets visited by all the local doggies in the evenings. We are regulars on Wednesday nights since Josh goes to softball and its always nice to run off some energy before it gets too dark.

Ready to hit the field!

So much to smell, Mom!

Wait for me Lily! I want to go to the playground, too!

Maybe I’ll come back for some yummy treats 🙂

Say cheese!

Kisses for Dad!


Headed to the playground

Checking out all the kids!

Enjoying the people watching 🙂

I was very happy at how Capone was so well-behaved. He even made some children friends and got to display how well he can sit for a tripe treat 🙂 We went back to the field after a little bit so that Capone could enjoy a little more of the sunshine.

This morning, we had our usual pancake breakfast made by my husband (he makes the best Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes) and we headed to the puppy socials we take Capone to every Sunday. Its at A Dog’s Life in Sunnyvale and its where we take our Puppy classes. We have the best time there and everyone is amazing with the doggies. They even have grooming, boarding, daycare and a long list of classes (which im sure we’ll take). Its also a nice way to run off some energy and have Capone play with his friends. They also have a webcam so you can see everyone in action! http://www.dogslife.biz/webcam_sv1.html

Waiting for his friends to show up

Playing with Raja.. his girlfriend:)

Afterwards, we headed home and visited with some family and friends. All in all, it was a fantastic day and Capone ended it with some princess chutes and ladders and in his new comfy orthopedic bed!

Hooray for wonderful weekends!! Until next time!

Categories: Favorite Places, Outings | 5 Comments

New Bed/Training Mat

So Capone is now officially in his Puppy 2 class! One of the requirements is to bring a soft mat that will be comfy and welcoming in order to teach “park”, “stay”, “on your mat”, etc. But silly me thought a doormat would be enough. Poor Capone didnt even have enough room to stretch out let alone have a mat that would be comfy and inviting enough to want to stay on. So I set out to find the most comfy mat (that could grow along with him) that I could find. I visited my local dog boutique (because we like to support local businesses). Its called For Other Living Things and its a wonderful store! Here is a short video of their dog section.

Capone loves to go in and select his own pig ears, tracheas and bully sticks for the week. Its one of our favorite places to visit since they always have a new treat for him to try. Well, we found the biggest mat/bed we could find but unfortunately it is a little too square to fit into his new crate. I couldn’t resist picking it up so that we could use it for his puppy 2 class (of course he’ll have the biggest mat in the class) especially since poor Capone needed a big one that we can use for more than a month! So I ordered one to fit his crate and we took the bed home.
I think he likes it!!
So much so, that he fell off of it because he was snoring so hard!
We’ll see how he does with it tomorrow at his Puppy 2 class! Maybe he might even share it with some of his smaller classmates.
Speaking of sharing, or lack thereof…. I think sharing Lily’s comfy chair days are over because she was NOT happy! Hee hee!!
Until next time! Woof Woof!
Categories: Dane Info, Favorite Places, Fun Stuff | Leave a comment

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