I am a dog freak. I love them. I have always loved them ever since I was a little girl. I grew up with dogs and I still remember my favorite childhood pup. Her name was Sam and she was a Brittany Spaniel. My dad had those kind of dogs because they were good to hunt with, but Sam was also a family dog. I cried my heart out when she died and I still remember it vividly.

Anyway, I have wanted a dog of my own ever since I moved away from home. I have been somewhat obsessed with the idea. Since I have lived in Seminary housing that has not been an option and moving out of that housing was also not an option. I mean who would pass up rent for $215.00 a month? So, the plan was to get dogs after graduation, and yes, I said, "dogs." My roommate and I both wanted one. We were going to graduate in December, travel for the holidays, return to Fort Worth and January and head to the pound, but that timeline was moved up a bit.

I got a call from my roommate on the 21st. She was at her family Christmas when her uncle mentioned that someone had abandoned a litter of puppies on his neighbors doorstep. She called me somewhat jokingly, but with a large hint of crazy excitement and I knew....she was going to go see them and I also new that seeing them meant bringing them home. Her whole family piled in the car and drove down to Galveston to "see" if these puppies were likely candidates. And no surprise to me, she called me in love. Part of the reason she new they were what she wanted was one of the four came walking out and she was the exact colors I always make a fuss over, black and white with freckles and patches. She knew then, and I knew that we had our two puppies. She chose the one boy in the litter who was playing with my little girl.

His name is Henry and her's is Cali. It was 8 days before I got to see them and it almost drove me crazy. It has actually turned out to be a great decision to get the puppies that we got. It has given us two full weeks of uninterrupted time with them to bond and start training. They are amazing. Both of them are everything puppies should be and more. I am already obsessed with them and I cannot wait to see what they turn out to be like, but right now I am enjoying every second of owning a puppy.

Meet Cali

At first they didn't know how to get on the deck and they would stick their paws up and whimper
They really enjoyed helping out with Christmas


Day 5: Church and Coit

Thursday December 18th, 2007

Today the plan was to wake up early and attend a prayer service at a church that Melanie had heard about. Well, the waking up early part didn't really work out, what can we say it was our vacation, so we slept in some and then got up and just went to see the church. It is called St. Gregory Episcopal church and it is the home church of an author whose book Mel read.

After the church we headed over to Haight Ashbury and walked around some. This was a more strange area of San Francisco with a rich hippy history and lots of colorful scenery. We went in a bookstore, but had trouble deciding what to do next, so we hopped on a bus and headed back to our side of town. Since it was our last full day, we decided to revisit the delectable Sears Fine foods for brunch. By the time we got to the trolley we realized that the weekend must have been coming because there was now a line at the trolley. We almost missed the breakfast window at Sears, but we did end up making it. And again, it was yummy!!!!!

After Sears we took the trolley back up to Lomard street. The famous Lomard street is a brick street that winds around and down like a bunch of S's put together and most of the year is filled with beautiful beds of flowers.

After Lomard we made our way up to Telegraph Hill and Coit tower. It was getting dark and a storm was coming up, so we didn't spend much there, but it was a pretty view of the city.

Coit tower is the tall object in the top right of the photo.
This is a view of the city as a storm came through, it turned out pretty good I think.
So, this is a toilet at the top of Telegraph Hill and you press a button and the door slides open. I thought it was neat and was going to use it, but it was GROSS!!!!! ha oh well. We went back to the hotel after Coit tower and decided we wanted to have another round of yummy Italian! We went to a place we had first eyed in North beach the first night we walked around there. It is called Panterei. It was yummy, but the other place had better gnocchi.

And then to top off the night we went to a different Italian pastry shop! We got coffee and pastries and it was wonderful!


Day 4: Golden Gate, etc.

Wednesday December 17th, 2008

Today was our 3rd full day and we had a full day planned. We started off in Union Square for bagels at a place we had seen our first day, Posh Bagel and then it was off to revisit two shops we wanted to poke around in, H&M and Lush (a soap shop).
After our shopping we headed to tour a Victorian House; The Haas Lilienthal House. It is in the Pacific Heights area and is one of the only Victorian houses remaining that you can tour. We had a tour guide dressed like a Victorian woman. It was a neat experience.

After touring the house we headed to the famous In and Out burger near our hotel. I have seen the t-shirts all over the country and always wanted to go. It really is just their burger fast food place. It was very good though.

It was a beautiful day outside, so after we enjoyed our In and Out Burger lunch we headed over to the Golden Gate Bridge. We figured out the bus route, by asking around and we headed out. It was probably my favorite thing that I saw because it is classic San Francisco. Everyone grows up knowing about the Golden Gate Bridge even if you know nothing else of the city, especially if you grew up in the "Full House" era.
Above is a picture of the width of the actual cable that runs up the bridge....it is massive!!!!

After the bridge we headed back to Ghiradelli square and popped in a little winery shop where Melanie did a wine tasting. It was a cute little place that owned a vineyard in the California wine country.
After the winery we relaxed some and then headed down to Pier 39 to eat some Pacific coast seafood at a place called Pier Market. I got shrimp and Mel got crabcakes...it was quite tasty, but our waitress was not very good.

And then of course, the perfect end to the perfect day has to be some type of yummy treat and this night Kara's cupcakes was the ticket. Its a cute little cupcake place in Ghiradelli square. It was good, but not as good as Sprinkles!


Day 3: Escape to Alcatraz

Tuesday December, 16th, 2008

Today was a special day. It was the most money we were going to spend and the only thing we bought tickets for ahead of time...ALCATRAZ.
We started the day though, of course, with breakfast. We found this cute little place called Hollywood cafe right down from our hotel. The food was great, the only hiccup was the Cash only requirement and the fact that we didn't have enough cash. So, while Melanie waited patiently, I ran everywhere trying to find a Bank of America ATM to no avail and finally settled on cash back from a Walgreens.

At 11:00 a.m. we boarded our boat for our Alcatraz cruise and tour. It was FREEZING! The tour was fascinating. We watched a video on the history and then took an audio tour of the cell house. It was fascinating.

Below is a view of the city from the island
After our tour we were freezing, but very near Pier 39, a famous pier filled with shops and restaurants and most of the year, docks filled with noisy sea lions.

Later that evening we spent lots of time researching Italian restaurants to eat at. The area called North beach, just north of our hotel is filled with yummy authentic Italian food. We wanted a place that had good Gnocchi and we found it. Firenze by Night. And that would not be complete without a trip to an Italian bakery for some treats!