life · photos

This Week in Review: August 2, 2015

Well, this should probably be more of a “these past four months in review” but hey, what are you gonna do?

So what have I been up to since March?

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My favorite people in the whole world came to visit.

dog in birthday hat

Maeby turned 3. I love this picture and I love this dog.

connecticut trees

I headed back to Connecticut to see family, friends, and celebrate my grandmother’s 99th birthday.

A week later, I had to go back during one of the hardest moments of my life.

dog san diego beach

Upon returning after my second trip to Connecticut, I spent a lot of time focusing on myself. Time at the beach with Maeby definitely helped.

houston skyline

I headed to Houston for work.

del mar sunset

Caught some amazing sunsets while my mom and her boyfriend were in town…

torrey pines san diego

Hiked Torrey Pines with them…

petco park at night san diego

Caught a Padres game at Petco Park.

rain in san diego

Survived a pretty epic thunderstorm in San Diego and the first real rain storm we’ve gotten in a looooong time.

dog adoption event san diego

And met this handsome guy while volunteering at an adoption event.

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Obviously this isn’t all that I’ve been doing, but definitely some highlights. I’d say over the past few months, there have been some incredible lows and some very incredible highs, but overall, everything has been good.

I’ll get into the details of life’s lows a little later on, but for now, I want to know:

What’s been the highlight of your summer so far?

business review · los angeles

This Weekend in Photos: July 11-13 – LA Craft Beer Tours + Dodgers Game

My brother’s birthday was July 6, and his girlfriend’s birthday is this week, so to celebrate both of their birthdays, they decided they wanted to do a Los Angeles brewery tour/beer shuttle and a Dodgers game.

My brother booked the brewery tour through LA Craft Beer Tours, and for 14 of us, it was $60 a person for a 5-hour, 3-stop tour. They offer tours in Los Angeles, as well as down to San Diego, Orange County, or up to the Santa Barbara area, but since everyone (except for us) was LA-based, we took a tour of LA breweries.

Adam and I drove up from San Diego and got to my brother’s place around 11:30, where everyone met up. The shuttle picked us up around noon and after signing some waivers and putting the pizzas we ordered and cooler full of water and beer on the bus, we were off.

los angeles brewery tours la craft beer tours

Our first stop: Angel City Brewery.

We put together some tables, and Pat, our tour guide, brought a box of pizza in with us, since this brewery didn’t offer food but allowed you to bring in your own food. Before the tour started, Pat got us some samples of everything and we began tasting all the different beers.

We took a tour of the brewery, learning all about the process and the different kinds of beers…

angel city brewery 1

And then after, we ended up in the store where we could purchase items and where they continued giving us different samples of the beer brewed on site.

We then walked around the space some more (where we saw people playing games like foosball and cornhole) and got a couple of more flights to sample. The one thing I have to say about Angel City Brewery is that the building in which it is housed is incredible. It’s a 101 year-old building that used to be a warehouse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise based on the architecture.

angel city brewery 3

angel city brewery

Of the three breweries we visited, this one was by far my favorite because of how beautiful the building was.

After some more samples, we got back on the shuttle and Pat told us about our next brewery, Eagle Rock Brewery.

eagle rock brewery

So, I kind of completely forgot to take pictures inside of this place, but here’s what we did. Again, we got flights of all different kinds of beer they brew, and Pat kept grabbing the glasses for us and bringing them over, and also kept returning them for us. He also went out and grabbed some more pizza for us, which definitely helped balance out all the beer we had drank. We didn’t get a tour of this brewery, but from where the tasting room was located, you could see inside to the big metal barrels and see people working in there. While I wasn’t as impressed with this space as I was with the first brewery, I still really enjoyed all the samples we were provided and liked the atmosphere. There was a big group of us and the employees there never once seemed inconvenienced or bothered by it, so that was nice.

In order to keep us on track for the Dodgers game, we jumped back on the bus and Pat brought us to our final location: Golden Road Brewing.

This place was the most popular of all of them, and so it was the busiest, but it also seemed less like a brewery and more like a restaurant…which makes sense, because on the website it says to visit the pub on site.

golden road brewery

We couldn’t bring the pizza with us into this location because this place served food (which all sounded and looked really good), but we didn’t end up ordering anything and instead Pat just got us some pitchers of a variety of beers.

golden road brewery

Around 4:30, we all got back on the bus and Pat dropped us off at a metro stop of our choice so we could head over to Dodger Stadium for the game.

I actually didn’t know this until this weekend, but with your game day ticket, there is a free shuttle from Union Station to the stadium. We ended up taking the metro to Union Station, and then we all got onto the bus which took us to the game. This is definitely a great option if you’re coming from out of town, especially since the stadium isn’t like Fenway Park in Boston or Petco Park in San Diego; the stadium isn’t located within walking distance of anything, and most people drive to and from the game.

From the entrance of the park, you can see a view of downtown Los Angeles…

dodger stadium downtown los angeles view

We walked around the stadium for a bit…

dodger stadium view

And then eventually found our seats…

dodger stadium reserve section 59

Adam and I left the game early so we could get back to San Diego, but were disappointed to learn that the Dodgers beat the Padres.

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If you’re ever in the LA area and looking for something unique to do with friends, definitely check out LA Craft Beer Tours. Overall it was such a fun day, spent doing something a little different with some really great people, and I had so much fun that I’m actually considering looking into doing something similar for my birthday down here in San Diego.

 

cuddly things · life

Two Years

It’s been two years to the day that we said goodbye to our family dog, Oscar. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read my tribute to him, please do. June 2012 was probably the most difficult month of my life for a number of reasons, and saying goodbye to him was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. He was the best dog anyone could ask for, and we miss him every single day, especially his singing and his love of marshmallows.

oscar5

oscar6

oscarchristmas

Before SoCal · cuddly things · life · photos

For Oscar

I’m currently sitting at my kitchen table, trying to figure out the words for this post.  A lot has happened in my life over the past few months (and you can go back and read all about all the fun stuff that’s been going on), but nothing has really prepared me for this.  Over the past year, maybe even longer, my mom, brother, and I have had conversations about this and knew that the time would come, but we didn’t know when it would happen.

Tomorrow night, we are bringing my lovely, amazing dog Oscar to the vet one last time.

We got Oscar back on July 1, 1998.  My dad really didn’t want us to get a dog, but my brother and I convinced my mom to go to the Humane Society in Newington, CT, just to “look,” but obviously we knew we could convince my mom to take one home.  As we walked up and down the hall, with all the dogs barking at us, there was one dog in particular that seemed to choose us.  I told my mom that he jumped up when he saw me, but when other people approached his kennel, he would just sit there.  While I can’t recall if that actually happened or not, I can tell you that a few hours later, we were in the car, taking Oscar back to our house.

My dad was less than pleased, my grandma said that Oscar had “wolf in him” and was terrified.  Over the next few months, Oscar escaped through a hole in the door and chased down a cyclist, was so strong that he pulled me over and dragged me down the street, and managed to run away numerous times.  But he always came back.  My dad and grandma both quickly changed their minds about Oscar.  Oscar ran away a little less, and mastered some impressive tricks.  He knew how to give his paw (both of them, actually, because clearly he’s ambidextrous), beg on command, speak, roll over, stay, and eat a dog biscuit off of his nose.  We also trained him to be “gentle,” in which he would eat food from your hand gently; to “bring,” which involved licking a yogurt container and bringing it back to the kitchen and dropping it next to the garbage can; and to “sing,” in which he would howl on command.  My uncle began referring to him as the Einstein of dogs and his name stuck with him throughout his life, despite getting sprayed by skunks multiple times and running into a glass door once.

As the years went on, we stopped having to keep Oscar confined to fenced areas, and we were able to let him off his leash at schools nearby so he could get all of his exercise in.  Other exercise included running through our yard and visiting neighbors when it snowed and we were outside shoveling.  He refused to eat dry dog food and would only eat it if it was mixed with canned food.  He also really enjoyed when we put ice in his water or put a fan right next to him on hot summer days.  But more than anything, he really began to appreciate marshmallows.  We don’t know what it is about them, but he loves them and he’s probably had one everyday since we discovered how much he enjoyed them.

A few years ago, we noticed that Oscar began walking with a limp.  As the limp worsened and his back legs began having problems, my mom talked to the vet and tried to figure out what we could do.  Some illnesses were written off and some were believed to be the cause, but we never got any testing done to determine anything for sure, because by this point, Oscar was already getting old and we didn’t want to put him through too much.  So my mom did some physical therapy with him at the vet’s office, which included walking on a water treadmill and doing various exercises to keep his strength up.  My mom also invested in Eddie’s Wheels to help him walk.  His wheels helped him for awhile, but within the past few months, it’s been clear that his front legs aren’t as strong as they once were and Oscar isn’t as happy as he once was.

My mom, brother, and I have discussed over the past few months when the time would come and what we would do.  Would we know it was the right time?  Would Oscar tell us when he was ready?  Would we never have to make that decision and he would do it on his own?  Over the past few weeks, we’ve known that the time was getting closer and that we’d have to make a decision sooner rather than later.  We have honestly done everything we can and have prolonged his life years beyond what would’ve been possible had we not done physical therapy, gotten Eddie’s Wheels, and gone out of our way to make sure our dog was comfortable and happy.

Tomorrow at 7 p.m., we are taking our lovely dog into the vet.  He’s 14 1/2, which means he’s lived a long and happy life.  And the most amazing part about it is that despite being completely dependent on us for the past couple of years, despite his inability to walk and run and do all the things that dogs do, up until recently, Oscar seemed happy.  I’ve always felt that dogs hold all of the qualities that ideally, humans would possess, but their purity and their ability to love and exude happiness exceeds what I believe any human is capable of.

I’m not quite sure how to wrap this up, but I am going to include a collage I made (which unfortunately only has pictures from the past few years).

Oscar, we are so lucky to have chosen you and even luckier that you chose us.  You are honestly the best dog in the entire world.  Thank you for everything you’ve taught me and all the love you’ve given me.  I love you so much.