Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thousand Trails-Lake of the Springs in Oregon House, CA.

Thousand Trails-Lake of the Springs in Oregon House, CA is absolutely PAWtastic!  Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, about 70 miles north of Sacramento, this 950-acre campground provided our family (Mom, Dad, sister Meaghan, Papa and his dog Molly and of course Us!) with camping, fun, excitement, tranquility and much more.  The campsites there were abundant with 507 power and water only campsites and 33 full-hookup sites in the summer.  In the winter there are 192 power and water only campsites and 33 full-hookup sites.  These sites have space for RV's, tents or both.  They even have a section for tent-only camping. 

The site we stayed in was awesome and had space for our papa's 5th wheel and our parents' tent which is where we also slept.  Even though they take reservations, take heed that all campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis as your parents cannot reserve a specific site.

There are many fun activities for your family to take part in such as swimming (at the Dog Beach, the people only Swim Beach or in the pool), boating, fishing, shuffle board, volleyball, tennis, horseshoes, playing on the playground, miniature golf, basketball, baseball and even gold panning.  The one activity that confused us the most was where our parents, sister Meaghan and papa had a metal stick and were trying to get a tiny colored ball into a hole across some green carpet.  Why anyone would want to hide a ball is beyond us.  Naturally we hide bones, but to hide a ball, we play with those.  Maybe they didn't want us to snatch them up and run off with them like we do with the larger yellow ones.  Although we do bring them back so that they can be thrown again.  By the way, we also saw some people hitting those yellow balls over a meshed divider back and forth with a wierd looking slapper thingy.  We don't understand some activities that humans like to do.  We just love to swim, play fetch, act silly and make our parents happy.

One of our most favorite twice-daily activities was swimming at the designated off-leash Dog Beach, reserved especially for all dogs and their families, located near one end of the campground's private 120-acre lake. 
The gated and fenced-in pathway down to the sandy shore is enclosed with pine trees and brush which enticed our sniffers with the wonderful smells of the forest.  No fishing here ensuresd that our paws didn't step on any discarded fish hooks or barbs.

Our sister Meaghan enjoyed swimming with us and throwing sticks and balls for us to fetch at the Dog Beach.  She also enjoyed swimming and searching for frogs at the people only Swim Beach  located at the opposite end of the lake between the boat dock and Los Verjeles Dam.

At the boat dock, your family's choice of boating experience includes kayaks, paddle boats, bumper boats, patio boats and more.  Our family decided to cruise the lake on a patio boat which we all, yes including us dogs, got to enjoy one early evening towards the end of our stay.  Let us just say, Woof Woof! 
As soon as dad found a spot to anchor the patio boat, we couldn't wait to jump right into the lake for some swimming with our  sister.  Once we finished our swim, which consisted of circling the patio boat a few times, we made it back on and relaxed while our dad decided to do some fishing.  He did well, catching and immediately releasing some Bass and Crappie and hoping to catch and release a Catfish or two.  Hey, speaking of Catfish, what is so darn special about cats that they have a fish named after them?  They don't even like water!  Well, dad just informed us that actually there are Catsharks, which are ground sharks of the family Scyliorhinidae with over 150 known species that are generally known as Catsharks while many of the species are commonly called Dogfish.  Whatever dad, they are still Catsharks.  Anyway, moving on...
Touring the lake, taking in all of the beautiful scenery and gorgeous sunset was just another wonderful way we enjoyed spending time with our family.

Our nightly ritual consisted of listening to the crickets chirping their nighttime symphony, gazing up into the night's sky at the universe's vast array of constellations and going for walks spotting deer.  Mostly does and their fawns would come into the campground to graze.  It was amazing and truly awesome to see and experience them in their environment.  There are other wildlife as well, that thankfully we didn't encounter, such as bears, bobcats, snakes, fox and others.  We even saw many a squirrel spiraling up the trees after one another and tons of feathered friends such as ducks, blue jays and humming birds.

This was a wonderful place to get away from it all and just enjoy being together with our family.  Everyone we met and their four-legged children were friendly and fun to play with.  The campground staff was also nice and courteous and we would PAWsitively recommend Thousand Trails-Lake of the Springs in Oregon House, CA. as an absolutely dog-friendly destination to all of our dog peeps and their families!

Check out this video that Mom and Dad put together for us:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Faria Beach Park in Ventura, CA.

Faria Beach Park in Ventura, CA. was a place that mom, dad and I (Gracie Girl) went to before Bobo was adopted into our family. 

It is located next to the Rincon, between the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the base of the Santa Ynez mountains along Highway 1 off the Ventura Freeway. 
It offers spectacular views up the coast towards Santa Barbara and of the breathtaking Channel Islands, which are most notable at dusk.
We got a really great spot, right next to the steps which led us down to the beach. That is where I spent most of my time swimming and splashing in the waves. It was awesome.
When mom, dad and I weren't down on the beach playing and swimming, we spent time watching the local sea birds swooping by. 
We even caught a glimpse of several Porpoises and California Sea Lions.
In the early evening hours we all enjoyed gazing out at the horizon taking in the most beautiful sunset.
We also spent some time nearby in Downtown Ventura walking around window shopping and stopping for a bite to eat.

Faria Beach Park is a lovely beach camping destination.  Tent and RV sites are available, some with full-hookups. Restrooms and showers are also on hand. Make sure that your parents keep in mind that the campsites are highly sought after and are on a first come, first serve basis.  They do not accept reservations, so an optimal time to go would be during the week.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Laguna Beach Dog Park in Laguna Beach, CA.

Me (Bobo) running on the expansive grass.
The Laguna Beach Dog Park in Laguna Beach, CA. is our favorite dog park to visit.  It is located on Laguna Canyon Road and offers an enormous grassy area and hills for the larger PAWs.  It also has a smaller area for the little PAWs.

Me (Gracie) playing on a hill with a friend.
We love running on the expansive grassy area, chasing balls and running up and down the hills along the side.  Many of our friends have enjoyed this park as well.
Waiting for mom to chuck the ball.

It is one of the most beautiful dog parks here in Orange County, CA. and all of the PAWs that we have met have been very friendly and playful with us.

Exploring with our friends.
Be sure your parents are aware of the weather as the park does tend to flood when it rains.  However, the rain does keep the grounds lush, green and very enjoyable to run around on.

Me (Gracie) very happy.

The only issue we've heard our parents talk about is the parking.  Parking is allocated only directly alongside Laguna Canyon Road, which is metered.  So PAWs, be extra careful and make sure that your parents have a tight hold on your leash when exiting and re-entering their vehicle.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, CA.

We love DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, CA. as do our Parents.  As soon as we walked through the gated entrance our leashes came off and we were free to roam the entire resort off-leash as if it were our home.  We couldn't believe it!  We were greeted by the wonderful friendly staff and a POOL!!!! We will tell you more about that later.  DogSpa was our home for the whole weekend including a few of our PAW friends and their parents from our Dog Club.  We had the entire resort to ourselves.  It was awesome!   

The resort has six modernly designed, comfortable, fully-appointed and air-conditioned rooms to choose from either as a Studio, Mini Suite or Double Suite (Suites include a kitchen). 
Each room even comes with its very own dog bed, or you can sleep in bed with your parents as we often did.  There is even a Wellness Room equipped with products by Nikken, such as, PiMag water system, Power5 Pro air filtration unit, Naturest sleep system and KenkoLight.  We didn't know what all that was but our parents sure enjoyed them and the water tasted great.  Free high-speed wireless internet is included for those parents who don't leave the laptop at home.  We tried to convince our parents to leave theirs at home but they brought it anyway.  Funny thing was, they were having so much fun with us and just relaxing that they hardly used it. 

The amenities don't stop there.  As mentioned before there is a pool, two hot mineral pools,  kept at the perfect temperature year round.  For the swimmers like us, we, along with our friends, were in the large swimming pool almost all day, every day.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Dogs ARE ALLOWED in the pool! Woof!! Woof!!!

There is also a communal lounge which is called the Dog House Lounge, where you can  watch movies, listen to music or just relax.

It includes a kitchen where you will receive a complimentary health conscious buffet breakfast served inside or poolside. 

Just off the Dog House Lounge, on the back patio, there is an enclosed Dog Park with fire pit for everyone to enjoy.  Our parents, their friends and ours all enjoyed this area in the evenings after being in the pool all day.  It was so relaxing and fun!

The staff is so accommodating and nice.  They even offer a Pet Nanny service so if your parents want to take a trip into nearby Palm Springs or other locations in the surrounding area, you can stay at the resort and swim, play or just relax with your Pet Nanny.

Your parents can either go with just you or rent the entire resort for friends, family and PAWs, just like our parents did.  By the way, we just found out that we are going again in September with some friends from our Dog Club.  We can't wait!!

Overall, DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, CA. is an absolutely wonderful place to vacation with friends and PAWs and it's where DOGS RULE!

Click here to visit DogSpa Resort & Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, CA. website! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fred's Mexican Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. Doggie Date Night

Fred’s Mexican Café in Huntington Beach, CA. is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy with your four legged best friend on Doggie Date Nights every Monday throughout the year.  The restaurant is upstairs, which offers a spectacular and wonderfully gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and awesome sunset from their large dog-friendly patio.  We even saw a couple of seagulls and a dolphin out in the ocean. 

The aroma of the food and the smell from the ocean had us torn between wanting to eat or go swimming.  But we knew we were there for dinner as mom and dad wanted to relax from a long day of work.  There were a lot of other PAWS enjoying dinner with their parent’s, too.

Our parents ordered the Cajun Shrimp Tacos, which from what they were saying about it seems to be their favorite entree, and a blended Margarita or two.  We even got to chow down on a scrumptious stew of our own that the restaurant staff graciously gave to us amongst kisses of joy, and guess what, it was FREE!

The atmosphere is also friendly, lively and very welcoming to us friendly dogs as Fred’s Mexican Cafe is so popular and filled with tons of people that we were constantly getting petted and loved on from everyone there.  It was absolutely great!

Parking for our parents was simple and easy in the parking structure directly below the restaurant. We even got to ride in this large metal container thingy that took us up to the restaurant and then back down again after dinner.  Our Parents even got 90 minutes of free parking, which Fred’s Mexican Cafe validated with a meal purchase. 

We can’t wait to go again. 

By the way, who is Fred, anyway?  We’d like to meet him and give him tons of love and kisses for the great hospitality he lends to us four legged patrons!

View of the Pacific Ocean from the Dog-Friendly patio.

One of our many PAW friends hoping for a morsel of food.


Another one of our friends enjoying the stew.

Many of our friends enjoying dinner with their parents.

Fred's Mexican Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. is so dog-friendly that they even help support the "PAW IT FORWARD" Campaign which aids Needy and Adoptable dogs in finding their New Forever Home.

Click here to visit Fred's Mexican Cafe in Huntington Beach, CA. website!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gracie Girl's Conversation- As She Scolds Bobo the Toy Thief

(Gracie is talking to Bobo about his inconsiderate behavior and how she is tired of him stealing her toys. Gracie is sitting on the lawn in the backyard while Bobo is ignoring her)

Gracie Girl: "Bobo I am sick and tired of the way you steal all of my toys when Dad and I are playing and especially after I do all the work to retrieve them."

Bobo: "What are you talking about?" "I don't do that, you are exaggerating!"

Gracie Girl: "I am not exaggerating!" "You always steal my toys and I am sick of it?"

Bobo: "Get over it!" "If you can't handle it that is your problem and besides you don't know what you are talking about I don't steal toys."

Gracie Girl: "I am going to get Dad and he can tell you the truth, you big toy stealer." "I swear you're a spoiled brat who gets away with everything because Mom and Dad feel bad for you because you're a Rescue Dog they adopted, but not anymore, it ends now, as you have been caught on tape!"

Bobo: "Cry Baby, Cry Baby, Wah Wah Wah!"

Gracie Girl: "I am rubber you're glue whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you"

Bobo: "Loser!"

Gracie Girl: "Dad! Bobo is picking on me and I am tired of him stealing all my toys and taking them. He says he doesn't but I know he does. You Believe Me Right, Dad?"

Dad: "Bobo leave your sister alone!"

Bobo: "Dad she is crazy and she is attacking my character. I am not a ball hog, or toy stealer as she calls me. Now she is talking behind my back to Jake the Cat and telling him not to talk to me until I apologize to her, and frankly I don't have anything to apologize for!"

Dad: "Well Bobo lets check out the video from last summer's vacation and you can decide if you need to apologize."

(Bobo and Gracie Girl sits quietly while dad pulls out the video from their vacation last summer.)

Dad: "Where is that video, Bobo did you delete it? Ah here it is."

Dad: "Now what do you have to say for yourself Bobo?"

Bobo: "Gracie Girl you just don't understand how the brother/sister relationship works!"

Dad: "Both of you enough already, now lick and make up, leave me alone and go wrestle in the grass or something. Oh and Bobo, let your sister win once in awhile!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bed Hogs Gracie Girl's Conversation with Dad

Conversation with Dad:

Gracie: "Dad we know that you let Bobo and I sleep in the bed with you and Mom. Trust us we really appreciate it. But seriously, what gives with the Queen Size Bed?"

"Don't give me that look Dad."

Dad: "What Look?"

Gracie: "The one like I know that you know what I know and you know what is coming next."

Dad: "No look, what are you talking about?"

Gracie: "Let me finish"

"Seriously Dad, Bobo and I have so little room in the bed that half the time we end up laying between your legs or making a sandwich out of Mom only to have you get upset and make us get down. It's not like we are trying to make you upset, but we simply have no room. We are after all, as you know, 210 pounds of dog, with two heads, slobbering tongues, four ears, eight legs, and two wiggling butts. We really need more room."

Dad: (Sighs)

Gracie: "So in order to bring back the cohesiveness and comfort at bedtime, Bobo and I have decided that effective immediately, you are going to have to sleep on the couch."


Gracie: "Don't yell Dad, let me finish!"

Dad: "Where is Bobo in all of this? Why isn't he here talking about this too?

Gracie: "He's hiding in the bath tub."

Dad: "Uh Huh! That Figures."

Gracie: "Now we know it will take some getting use to. But think of this logically.
You already fall asleep on the couch most afternoons. There is two of us and only one of you. The couch is not big enough for both Bobo and I to sleep on but it would be just fine for you to sleep on."

"Don't walk away Dad hold on there mister."

"I know you are wondering why you and not Mom?"

Dad: "Okay why me?"

Gracie: "Well that is easy. Mom gives us treats in bed and belly rubs. Plus she doesn't mind if we drool a little and leave crumbs in the bed. Also you told Mom a long time ago no crackers in bed, so we made the decision to keep her and not you."

"Don't be the Drama King Dad"

"Yes Dad of course we still love you, and we want to be your dogs, but Mom smells better, is smaller than you and much softer too."

(Dad turns to leave mumbling incoherently)

Gracie: "Dad wait where are you going? Don't leave! What did you say Dad?"

Dad: "Going to "Sit N Sleep for a bigger bed."

(Gracie turns her attention to Mom who was eavesdropping on the conversation from around the corner of the hall)

Gracie: "We did it Mom."

Mom: "Great job Gracie Girl! I love it when a plan comes together. New bed is coming! Woo Hoo a new bed a new bed!"