Ocean Beach Adventures

^^ no one can throw driftwood for the dog like Chris can ūüôā

This weekend we changed up our normal beach routine, instead of heading over to Baker Beach, we decided to venture a little further & hit up Ocean Beach. ¬†Baker is super close to our apartment & has sweeping views of the Golden Gate so it’s our usual go-to. The weather this weekend was SO beautiful that we knew Baker Beach would be saturated with tourists and locals alike so we decided to try & find a spot with a little more room for Juno to run around. We went to the south end of beach & it ended up being perfect! I think spring may have finally sprung in San Francisco & hopefully we’re past all the non stop rain. All this warm weather & sunshine makes me so happy & excited for summer! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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January Beach Days 


^The best winter beach foot wear – rainboots!
^Running for dear life haha 
^ these two make my heart explode ‚̧

Lately the weather in San Francisco has been sooo rainy! Which doesn’t seem like it would make for good beach weather, but when you have an 80 pound puppy you gotta find some way to tire them out. For us it’s so much easier to wipe sand off of her than it is to try and get mud off, so the beach it is! I actually love going when the weather is questionable, because it’s almost always just dog people there; aside from a handful of tourists who get out of their cars walk to the beach, touch the water, take a few photos of the Golden Gate, and call it a day. We’ve spent most of January taking Juno to Baker Beach which as you can see from the photos has incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge. She’s finally trustworthy enough to let her roam off leash & she seriously has the best time. No amount of time is long enough in her opinion. We have some fun trips planned this year so stay tuned for more blog posts! Hope everyone had a great weekend & stayed dry!

Carmel By The Sea

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^French 75’s by fire light!img_9362



This past weekend we celebrated Chris’ 31st birthday in Carmel, if this sounds familiar it is, last year for Chris’ 30th we splurged and stayed at Carmel Valley Ranch, which was wonderful but this year we decided we wanted to spend more time in Carmel proper. This seaside town is so quaint, filled with little cobblestone alley ways, italian eateries & wine pours as far as the eye can see. There are no street numbers in Carmel, so all the places just say what street they’re on and which streets they’re in between. We stayed at¬†The Hideaway¬†which is located right in the heart of Carmel. Everything, including the beach was walking distance. One of the best parts about Carmel is how dog friendly it is! We brought Juno along on this trip & it was a blast. She has so much fun roaming around new places & on Saturday she swam in the ocean for almost two hours. So many restaurants let you bring your dog and have them lay on the ground next to you & you can find dog friendly shops, and even wine tasting rooms. We got to Carmel on Friday afternoon & just enjoyed walking around and exploring. Our hotel offered a complimentary happy hour with wine & light snacks. So we sat in the courtyard and just enjoyed the fire pit & some free wine (score!). Saturday morning we got up early and headed to the beach. Carmel Beach is one of the few truly dog friendly beaches that allows you to have your dog off leash. So needless to say Juno was in HEAVEN, as I’m sure you can tell by the photos. After the beach we made it our mission to end up back in the same serene courtyard we found the first time we visited. Sure enough we were able to locate it & we sat outside enjoying the awesome weather. Next up we took a quick nap & then headed back to the complimentary happy hour. Finally we ended our evening with a super romantic dinner at Casanova. We ate at this place last year, but unfortunately I was ill at dinner & really couldn’t enjoy my food, however I am pleased to report that it completely lived up to the hype and might be my favorite restaurant in carmel!! Anyways hope everyone had an awesome weekend, I know I’m already dreaming of being back at this little seaside escape.

 

I do, me too. 

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I blinked & a year went by, or at least that’s how it feels. It seems like yesterday I was putting on that white dress & speaking promises of love to a man I love so much more with every passing day. 

As our anniversary got closer, I spent some time trying to think of what I’ve learned about love & marriage. One thing in particular stood out as the calendar pages kept turning this year & thats: The days are long but the years are short. 

This time right now is beautiful. I don’t care that my wedding album is unfinished, or my dress is still waiting to be cleaned and packaged. Why? Because I’ve been busy being happily married. I know life won’t always be this simple. I want so badly to cherish this beautiful time with my husband before sleepless nights & teething babies become the normal. For now, 10pm dinners, fancy drinks & late nights are absolute perfection.  

Baker Beach Day

img_0084img_0080img_0081img_0078img_0092^^^ Happiness is a sandy snout – Juno spent a good portion of her time yesterday trying to dig gigantic holes in the sand!¬†img_0086img_0088It feels like a lifetime but we’ve only had Juno, our black lab, for 2 months. It’s been so fun getting to explore San Francisco with our newest fur-baby.¬†¬†Yesterday we¬†ventured out to Baker Beach. The weather was so strange but¬†when we got to the beach the sun was actually out. The cloudcover made for some pretty amazing photos, especially with that little bridge in the back drop. Baker Beach is an awesome mile long beach tucked beneath the Presidio Cliffs with¬†phenomenal¬†views of the Golden Gate Bridge & Marin Headlands. It’s hard to believe that a beach this beautiful can be empty enough to let my puppy run around! Yesterdays beach trip was the perfect start to the weekend! We’re off to the foot hills this weekend to let Juno explore the 4 acres my parents live on. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Carmel-By-The-Sea – To Celebrate 30.

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This past weekend we celebrated Chirs’ 30th birthday with a short trip a little ways south on the California coast, to Carmel By The Sea. We left Friday morning & took our town driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping along the way in Pescadero to check out Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which in case you can’t tell by the photos, was awesome! Next we stopped & had lunch at The Bench at Pebble Beach. This famous spot overlooks the 18th hole at Pebble & is open to the public! After refueling, we continued on & enjoyed the rest of the 17 mile drive & stopped to watch the sunset, it was so beautiful. I’ve lived in California all my life, but I’m constantly taken aback by just how breathtaking the coastline can be.

We stayed at the amazing Carmel Valley Ranch. The ranch is on 400 acres overlooking the Carmel Valley. Not only do they have phenomenal suites with their own privates baths on the balcony (swoooon) but the ranch offers activities for anyone and everyone (golf, archery, yoga, swimming, bee keeping, etc). With our limited time we took advantage of the complimentary smores & hiking trails. Saturday morning after a quick mimosa filled breakfast we hiked to the top of the ridge that overlooks the valley! It was gorgeous! Then we headed out to Carmel proper to spend a day wine tasting and get lost in the seaside town. The cobble stone streets are filled with galleries, boutiques & wine shops. We even found a store dedicated to everything Alice In Wonderland related! The downtown is also lined with Italian restaurants, we stopped in and had homemade pasta at Casanova, which is listed as the romantic restaurant in Carmel, verified by our friendly uber driver, haha.

Sunday morning we packed up early & headed back. I dropped Chris straight at the airport as he’s traveling for work this week, but Carmel felt like a world away & such a wonderful escape from our busy hectic lives!

Do you have a favorite California Seaside town? If so I’d love to hear all about it! ūüôā

Tuesdays with Ocean Beach


  
  
  
  

My favorite time to visit Ocean Beach is mid week when you share the 3 miles of beach with just a handful of people.¬†I swear there were more people in the water than on the actual beach itself on Tuesday. After living here for 7 years Ocean Beach just never loses it’s appeal, even when it’s foggy and cold I still think it’s one of the best / most beautiful places in the city. Tuesday was a perfect day to head to the beach in sweatshirt with a good book in tow. Above are some of the photos that were captured on this spur of moment beach trip. Hope you enjoy.

A Drive To Jenner CA – Nuptials Await

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How cool are these spider webs?! They hold on to the drops of morning dew – I couldn’t get enough!

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Talk about a view!

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Excuse our incredibly squinty eyes…

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Our last wedding of the year had us driving from San Francisco up the Pacific Coast Highway 1 to Jenner / Timber Cove for a spectacular wedding along the coast side. We woke up Saturday morning to a thick blanket of California fog that completely engulfed the coastline. We spent the morning before the ceremony hiking along the fog filled trails and getting some awesome photos. The two or so hours before the start of the ceremony the fog started burning off and made for an incredible backdrop to witness two incredible people becoming husband and wife! Sunday morning we drove back the same way taking our time, enjoying the California coast, stopping for BBQ oysters & fish n chips along the way. The last photo pictured is a view of Stinson Beach. If you ever get the opportunity to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, take it! There’s nothing quite like it.

Calistoga Escape

IMG_2387Calistoga you are a dream come true, located 75 miles north-east of San Francisco, experience the same warm weather, fantastic wines but a fraction of the Napa crowds.

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Lincoln avenue is lined with tasting rooms, restaurants & boutiques.

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Most tasting rooms we found had excellent prices & generous pours of delicious local wines.

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^^These pours were found at Huge Bear Tasting Room, which was once the location of the Calistoga Bank.

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At Romeo Winery tasting room you can be surrounded by tall redwoods in their outdoor tasting garden.

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A can’t miss Calistoga experience is the gondola at Sterling Winery.

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A 4 minute gondola ride leads to outrageous views of the valley. 
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Off in the distance you’re able to see a castle…

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Three miles away Castello di Amorosa winery awaits you. $25 buys you general admission & the basic wine tasting which includes 5 wines.

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Visitors are able to wander the castle grounds or enjoy the sunshine in the courtyard.

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My pretty friends ūüôā

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After a day of gondolas & castles & many wine pours later we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Sam’s Social Club, located in downtown Calistoga.

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^^ Those deviled eggs were no joke; a must if you’re there.

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We stayed at The Roman Spa, not only is this resort just one block from Lincoln Avenue, but the resort has 3 mineral pools that stay open until 10:30. The pools range in temperature from 90 degrees to 104.

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Aside from the pools, Roman Spa has luscious gardens that I could spend all day capturing.

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Hope you can see why & how we fell in love with Calistoga.

Capturing Nostalgia 

This past weekend I was lucky enough to capture the details of my parents first home. When talking to my mom about selling the place her & my dad started their family in, ¬†she mentioned she was sad she didn’t get around to taking photos of some of the details of the now 100-year-old home. So I borrowed a set of keys & got to photograph this gorgeous empty house during the golden hour. It was an honor to be able to take these photos for my parents, to give them a way to remember their first home. Although I never lived in the home, I spent plenty of time there & watched the house change hands multiple times, the majority of the time I spent there the house was vacated in-between tenants. But this weekend walking around the empty house filled with the setting sun felt different. Selling this house is so bittersweet for my parents, realistically they were never going to live in it again, but it still means letting go of the place they brought their first baby home to, where their family really began. Taking these photos was so special to me, as Chris and I talk about starting our family and deciding where we’ll live I think of how excited we are now & I think of all of those excited, happy moments that this house held for my parents. So getting to capture the beauty of this house for my parents is as much as a gift to me as it is to them.

I’m in love with the way the light floods the back bedroom. ¬†¬†
Gorgeously detailed light fixtures scatter the house, layers of paint chipped off, but memories remain Elaborate Built-ins occupy the dining & living rooms.  

These rusted nails were hammered into the windows by grandfather for extra security, because the locks weren’t up to his standard at the time, over 40 years later the ¬†nails are still in place.

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Sacramento – The city of trees.
    
  An old football hangs by a nail in the garage, patiently waiting its next debut.   
 Crystal doorknobs connect one room to the next.

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