Must Love Dogs – Mission Bay Morning Walks

Oh, to Own a Dog

Having a dog is both a pain and a blessing.

There are times in the morning when you may want to lie in bed, wake up gradually, do nothing, watch tv, fall back asleep… but that cute little furry creature, who pops his or her head up on the foot of the bed, stares at you with eyes wide open and tail wagging, just won’t let it happen.

This may sound like a pain, and I assure you sometimes it feels exactly like that! Though truly it’s a blessing – we just need coffee in our systems to sometimes realize it.

We work really hard, exert ourselves every single day, and come home exhausted. Only to fall asleep, wake up, and start the process all over again.

Because of this vicious cycle, sometimes all we want is to be lazy and sleep for a little longer. Rid your mind of this mentality!

Sleep is a waste of time, and I know you’ve heard people say that over and over again, but it’s totally true!

How many great memories did you make while you were sleeping? Seriously, how many?

Dr. Seuss once said, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” (Inspiration for this coming Monday’s Yes Quote of the Week! <hint hint>)

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Dr. Seuss

No way can reality be better than your dreams if you’re choosing to lie in bed over the life awaiting you just outside your bedroom door!

So get up, and embrace the adorable ball of fluff that is now on the bed, crazily licking your face in his or her final attempt to get you out of bed and outside for a W-A-L-K.

Our Furry Best Friends!

Nikki and I are both dog moms!

Nikki has an 8-year-old Australian Shepherd, “Auzzy”, and I share a 12-year-old German Shepherd / Husky mix, “Peyton”, with my boyfriend, Ryan.

These two are our little furry blessings!

Every weekend, when Nikki isn’t working the night shift at the hospital, we get up early, caffeinate (it’s a must), and take our boys for a walk. Our favorite walk is along the Mission Bay Boardwalk in San Diego, California.

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Auzzy (Left) and Peyton (Right) on the Grass at Mission Bay.

Mission Bay Morning Walks

Mission Bay Boardwalk never fails – it could be dead of winter and the boardwalk is still absolutely stunning! Shoot, yesterday was a high of 70°F (21°C), and I mistakenly chose to wear my Patagonia Better Sweater – thankfully I had a t-shirt on underneath.

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Aly and Nikki Walking Along the Boardwalk with Their Furry Friends.

There are vast fields of green, occasional trees to provide shade, a perfectly paved path to walk along, and gorgeous views of downtown and the bay.

Not to mention there’s a perfect beach you can hangout on and play Kubb should you choose to not opt for the traditional method on the lawn. Summer Olympic sport? I’m game! Checkout my article about playing Kubb: On Sundays, We Kubb.

And you don’t have to walk the whole time. Nikki and I prefer to take a break, catch up on life, and admire the views. There’s so much happening all the time that you need to take a moment for yourself.

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Aly and Nikki Catching up on Life.
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Gorgeous View of Downtown San Diego From Mission Bay.

Times + Dates Dogs are NOT Allowed on Mission Bay

So, when can you be on Mission Bay Boardwalk with your dog – this is serious because you can receive a hefty ticket…

Dogs are not allowed during the following times and dates:

April 1 – October 31: 0900 – 1800

November 1 – March 31: 0900 – 1600

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North Mission Bay Park, Early Morning in January.

Recommended Dog Walking Accessory

Nikki, my boyfriend Ryan, and I cannot recommend the hands free dog leash made by TaoTronics enough! From easy day walks to hardcore hiking excursions, these leashes have been a game changer.

Nikki is using the leash in the photos for this article if you’re unsure. I forgot mine at home and had to use a normal 6 foot leash… Trust me when I say attempting to setup a camera while controlling a dog is not easy when you only have two hands.

And… hands free leashes do make great sense. The same concept became applied to cars when they installed Bluetooth. Just sayin’ 😉

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

And, more importantly as always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Aly’s Camera Choice

All of the pictures were shot with my Pentax K-70, 18-135mm Lens and edited by me using Adobe Creative Cloud.

I’m in the market for the Prime 15-30mm Pentax Lens so be on the lookout for when I post photos using that bad boy! Landscape and portrait photography are my passion.

Follow ME 🙂

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to my blog for more of my exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation.

However, I will receive a small kickback from Amazon if you decide you want to become a Pentaxian like me! I can’t recommend the Pentax K-70 and Adobe Creative Cloud more – look at all my pictures if you don’t believe me.

I will also receive a small kickback for any of the other items linked to Amazon. As always, I only link to items I believe in! I would never lead you astray.

12 February 2018 – Surrender to What Is

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”

Eckhart Tolle

Too often we get wrapped up in what was or could be instead of enjoying what is.

We run so fast and work so hard that sometimes we don’t even stop think about the present.

We’re  constantly thinking about what we need to do in order to succeed… what we could’ve done better… where we would be if

Let those thoughts and fears leave your mind if for no longer than at least 5 minutes. Take time to yourself to just feel you in the present moment.

Are you outside? Can you hear the birds chirping? Can you smell the fresh air? Can you feel the warmth of the sunshine?

Are you at home? Can you hear the dishwasher running? Can you smell the fresh cut flowers in the vase on the counter? Can you feel the soft beating of the water from the shower head?

Are you in the car? Can you hear the radio playing your favorite song? Can you smell that new car smell after having your car detailed? Can you feel the car accelerate each time you lower your foot on the pedal?

Are you at the office? Can you hear the footsteps of coworkers running around? Can you smell the freshly made coffee in the kitchen? Can you feel the smooth texture of the desk surface?

Take the next 5 minutes or so to think about yourself, and where you’re at right now in this moment. Don’t let your mind wander to what happened yesterday, or what you need to accomplish in the next hour. Simply stop, take a deep meditative breath, and reflect on this moment.

Surrender to what is so that you can enjoy what will come.

Waterfall Obsessions – Hiking Cedar Creek Falls “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Outside is Where I Feel the Most Alive

Nothing calms me more than being outside in nature.

The vast open land, rolling hills, and ability to hear yourself think! Too often are we wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of every day life that we forget to stop and reflect on ourselves.

We have but one life to enjoy!

You may scoff and think, well duh. But it’s true! Treat your body and mind with the upmost care, and life will unfold in the most magnificent of ways – in ways that bring you joy, peace, happiness, meaning, love, fulfillment… the list is endless!

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Aly Admiring the Hills of East San Diego County Along the Cedar Creek Falls Hiking Trail.

For this reason, I try to escape to the great outdoors as much as possible, and I try to encourage my loved ones to do the same.

Cedar Creek Falls “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Acquiring Permits

The area surrounding the waterfall requires a permit to enter.

Only 75 permits are sold daily for $10.00 each, and 1 permit accommodates up to 5 people. You may only buy 1 permit on the day of your choice – so if your group is larger than 5 people, you will have to ask someone else to purchase the permit.

Permits have been known to sell-out two weeks in advance during the peak season so unfortunately this is a hike you have to plan for.

I don’t recommend going on a whim to see if you can purchase a permit at the trailhead. I’ve never been successful with this approach.

As long as you can commit to a weekend date far enough in the future, or are available to go during the week, obtaining a permit is an easy process. Simply head to Recreation.Gov, put in your desired date, and they’ll let you know if permits are available.

This permit purchasing process is nothing like trying to get a Havasupai campsite I promise.

What You Should Pack with you

Required Hiking Items:

  1. Permit (see above for how to acquire permits)
  2. Valid Government Issued ID – dependent minors do not require ID when accompanied by an adult
  3. Lots of water! LOTS!
  4. Hat

You cannot enter the falls restricted area unless your name is on a permit for the day you’re hiking. This is not a joking matter. Last summer I watched 4 high school kids get cited by an officer for trying to enter the restricted area without a permit. It’s not worth a ticket.

You must have a valid government issued ID that matches your name on the permit. The Ranger or Officer will have you check in and out at the trailhead.

You should never attempt a hike without water. Water is vital to your survival – especially when you’re hiking in an area that has highs of 80°F (27°C) in the dead of winter. Don’t tempt fate – pack water. You can fill up your water bottles / bladders at the trailhead before and after the hike.

You shouldn’t hike to Cedar Creek Falls without applying sunscreen and donning a hat. The trail is scarcely shaded – protect yourself from the hot sun.

Optional Hiking Items:

All of these items will make the hike more enjoyable – I’m assuming you took the time to apply sunscreen before you started the hike, right? Good:)

The above are affiliate links. I will receive a small kickback if you choose to make a purchase.

Trailhead and Parking

The Cedar Creek Falls trailhead is extremely easy to find:

  1. Type “Cedar Creek Falls” into Google Maps, or
  2. Type the address into your GPS: 15519 Thornbush Road, Ramona, CA 92065

The parking lot fills up really fast, and there are a very limited number of stalls – maybe spots for 15 cars at best.

Don’t sweat it if you don’t get lucky with a parking space in the lot! Parking along the street is free, and abundant even if you have to walk a bit further – you’re going for a hike so you shouldn’t be worried about a little extra walking.

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Ranger Booth Setup at the Cedar Creek Falls Trailhead.
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Cedar Creek Falls Designated Parking Lot.

Hiking Difficulty: HARD

It’s recommended that you hike this trail from late October through early April because the trail is scarcely shaded, and it can get extremely hot (+100°F / 38°C). This wouldn’t be as much of an issue if the trail wasn’t entirely uphill on the way out.

Because of the extreme heat and uphill hike out, the trail has received a rating of Hard on All Trails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/cedar-creek-falls-trail

I complete agree with this difficulty level. However, I believe that anyone, as long as he or she is able to walk a block without feeling completely out of breath, can manage this hike. Just make sure you take your time, don’t push harder than your body can go, and conserve water for the hike out.

My furry buddy, Peyton, who is a 12 year old German Shepherd / Siberian Husky mix, and he did just fine. And no, my dog is not in shape – he’s old enough that he gets spoiled however he wants, which generally takes the form of bones, treats, and sometimes extra portions of food.

Dog Friendly – With Caution

This trail is dog friendly! Yay! I feel like dog friendly trails are somewhat few and far between these days.

Peyton made the hike from the trailhead to the falls without skipping a beat! But, as I’ve already cautioned you, the first half of the hike is all downhill.

The hike back out took us a considerable amount of time to ensure Peyton didn’t overheat. We stopped at almost every shaded spot to break and let him drink water.

And just because I did this hike with my old, out of shape dog doesn’t mean that you should perform this hike with your dog.

DON’T HIKE WITH YOUR DOG WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE SKY HIGH! Your poor, four-legged creature will not fare well when the temperatures are at their peak in the summertime. Your dog may burn the pads of his or her paws causing him or her immense pain when walking, or worse he or she might die of heatstroke.

Know your dog’s limits. They trust you!

Now Let’s Hike!

Now that I’ve talked preparation to death – sorry guys and gals, but it’s important I give you the blunt details – let’s get on to the trail!

The trail is absolutely gorgeous throughout the entirety of the hike!

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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View of the Trail Shortly After Starting the Hike to the Falls.
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View of the Trail that Leads to the Falls from Julian, California.
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Imagine How Much More Beautiful This View Would Be if We Had Received Fresh Rain!
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A Grand Waterfall is Quite Near!

Every time you round a corner you get a more beautiful view of the rolling hills until you finally reach a majestic waterfall.

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Cedar Creek Falls “Devil’s Punchbowl” in Late January.

And because my Pentax K-70 has an amazing HDR Landscape mode… sorry not sorry in advance… I have to share with you one of the photos from our shoot!

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Aly and Alisa Soaking in the Beautiful View.

Hiking Cedar Creek Falls is always a true nature treat.

If you’re looking for a waterfall with more spunk than the one in my photos, I recommend hiking closer to springtime when it’s “rained” – we all know San Diego doesn’t truly experience rain.

I’ll be sure to make another hiking excursion come springtime so you can see what I mean!

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to the blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

NYC Idiotarod – Shopping Cart Race Circus Train Style

New York City Idiotarod!

I want you to think outside of the box when you think of New York City!

When you think of New York City, I’m sure you instantly think of the Yankees, Rangers, Giants, Knicks… Maybe you’re not a sports fan so instead you think of Broadway Shows, Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street…

Maybe you loathe or at least have a strong dislike for the crowds, congestion, and inconsiderate people that accompany tourist traps. Well I’m exactly like you!

When you think of New York City, I want you to start thinking of experiences like the Idiotarod!

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Caitlin Racing Through the Streets of Brooklyn in Her Badass Clown Costume.

So, what is the Idiotarod?

According to Wikipedia, the Idiotarod is a shopping cart race in which teams of five “idiots” tie themselves to a slightly modified grocery store shopping cart and run through the streets of a major metropolitan area.

Each year is a new route, with new bars, and a new theme! No one gets informed of the actual route until right before the race begins, and awards are given out at the finish line for Best in Show, Best Design, and more.

Brooklyn Here We Come – Idiotarod Circus Style!

This year my friends and I outdid ourselves! Instead of having just one cart, we dressed up four carts to create a circus train.

And you can’t have a circus train without a circus: a lion, bear, elephant, strongman, tarot card reader, knife thrower, tightrope artist, conductor, and most importantly, clowns! I’m the awesome blue one with the sickest hot pink wig ever.

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Circus Train Idiotarod!

It’s good to be the Clown

At each bar there are various challenges for all racers, along with interactive elements for each group.

If you’ve ever been one to fear clowns, I can tell you how to tame them in an instant: bond them and feed them strawberries. Special thanks to Bondage Brunch for the lovely memories!

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Caitlin Being Fed a Strawberry by the Bondage Brunch.

You can find my Forum Novelties Big Top Clown Teen Costume here if you’re looking to clown it up in the future, and for sure don’t forget the awesome pink wig!

This Idiotarod Circus Train is…

All of our hard efforts were not in vain either!

We ran through the streets of Brooklyn…

We bar hopped like professionals…

We drank our weight in beer / liquor / wine…

We took all our challenges in great stride with fierce competition in our eyes…

We were even bondaged and fed strawberries – at least I was!

And through the completion of all these obstacles our awesome circus train was awarded Best in Show!

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This Idiotarod Circus Train Won Best in Show!

Put the Idiotarod in your Memory Bank

This city, as well as many others, is full of quirky, fun, and out of the box opportunities!

Even if we hadn’t won, which I’m stoked we did, the Idiotarod will forever be one of my favorite NYC just say yes experiences.

I challenge you to step away from the congested tourist traps, and get yourself a shopping cart to race. You won’t be sorry.

Reminder to Just Say Yes!

And, more importantly as always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Follow ME 🙂

Subscribe to my blog for more of my exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation.

However, I will receive a small kickback from Amazon if you decide to purchase your clown costume and wig by following the links above!

On Sundays, We Kubb

San Diego Living

Man oh man am I a spoiled one! Living in San Diego is an absolute treat! An expensive, but well worthwhile one.

While my East Coast friends are experiencing horrid weather shifts from 60°F (16°C) to below freezing, I’m debating on which enticing outdoor activity to partake in!

For example, us San Diegans experienced an 81°F (27°C) day with perfect sunshine this past weekend! Talk about winter isn’t coming…

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Mission Bay Crew on Sunday, 28 January 2018.
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“Our” Spot on Mission Bay.

Winter Isn’t Coming… So Let’s Kubb!

When you live in a gorgeous place you should take advantage of everything available to you! Especially when you’re blessed with perfect weather – the possibilities are endless.

And, because us Southern Californians can bank on this kind of weather regularly, my group of friends and I thoroughly enjoy rallying together to play Kubb on our days off. And, the keyword being Californians, we play Kubb in the high sand instead of on the lawn.

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Nikki Setting up for Some Seriously Extreme Kubb Playing.

This is pretty much our Sunday routine: wake up, caffeinate (duh), put a little food in our systems, and head to Mission Bay to play Kubb.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, what on Earth is Kubb?! According to Wikipedia, Kubb is a Swedish lawn game where the objective is to knock over wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing wooden batons (kastpinnar) at them. Brilliant right!

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All Setup and Ready to Play Kubb.

It’s okay if you’re not yet convinced.

I for one cannot just go to the beach, lay out my towel, and roll over like a rotisserie chicken every 15 – 30 minutes… that’s a complete waste of my time! Yes, I love the warmth of the sunshine on my smooth skin, but there are plenty of other ways to tan your sexy bod!

Being at the beach is way more fun if you’re actually doing something! Let it be volleyball, spike ball, lawn bowling, cartwheels, whatever!

Let me know in the comments section below if you would like for me to post another article about how Kubb is played or anything else related to Kubb. I may even include a video!

If you’re looking for an affordable Kubb set, I recommend this Kubb set from Amazon!

Reminder to Just Say Yes and Follow Me!

As always, say yes to experiences that present themselves to you! Life is full of fun and wonder – don’t be stuck at home wondering what life could be like, should be like, would be like… drop that nonsense! Get out there, say yes, and never look back!

Click on the links below to follow me on my social media accounts, and definitely subscribe to my blog for more exciting Yescapades!

As a disclaimer, I was not paid by any of the above linked sites. This review is solely mine without any monetary compensation. I will however receive a small kickback from the affiliate links if you choose to make a purchase.

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