Northern California, from the sky

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This past weekend we got to see San Francisco Bay from the sky. It was incredible. We took off from Sausalito (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge), then flew over the city, circled around Alcatraz and the east bay, before heading north along the coastline up to Point Reyes. It was so cool to look down and see the giant redwood trees in Muir Woods, and take turns spotting gray whales off the coast. Trey capitalized on the opportunity to look for drained swimming pools in the area from up above (for riding bmx/skating). Jack was our co-pilot. Well, actually, we decided at the last minute that it would be too loud for him in the plane (preserving his hearing was more important) – so he stayed back on the dock with Ava, the woman who wrangles the plane in after it lands (thanks Ava!). Once we landed, Jack jumped inside the plane so he could see what we had been up to! It was so much fun. We were reminded just how beautiful this place we call home really is.

I’d probably have to say my favorite parts were flying close to the Golden Gate Bridge and seeing the huge cliffs on the coastline. It was so cool to see another perspective of the San Francisco Bay. That, and seeing Jack on the dock doing his happy dance when we returned. When we were leaving the dock and about to go home, Jack tried to take a short cut and stepped (front paws only) into a foot of ebb tide mud and got stuck up to his shoulders. Trey had to pull him out like a cork stuck in a bottle of merlot (I use this analogy far too often when describing our dogs, come to think of it)…

As you know, we’re into living life to the fullest. Experiences rank higher than any material good could to us. For this experience, we used IfOnly, a company that specializes in “Experiences For Good”- extraordinary experiences that give back to charities. We loved it – and it’s great if you’re looking for something local to do while visiting a new city, or even doing something extravagant like meeting The Weeknd backstage or that hunky Australian actor Chris Hemsworth. IfOnly is a great marketplace for incredible experiences. Not to mention an awesome way to give the gift of adventure to your friends and family.

Thank you IfOnly and Sea Plane Adventures for this awesome experience we won’t forget!

IfOnly is offering $50 off a unique experience of your own using code: wildlandia! Check them out here. This post was sponsored by IfOnly. All content and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting those who support Wildlandia!

Outer Sunset & Ocean Beach, SF

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This weekend was sunny and clear (thanks for gettin’ lost, @Karlthefog!), so on Sunday we headed over to the Outer Sunset to spend some time at Ocean Beach.

On the way, we popped into The General Store (same one that’s in LA’s Venice neighborhood) and Mollusk Surf Shop to pick up a few goodies, then checked out Outerlands for a bite to eat but it was closed (the place is always poppin’ – we’ll have to come back), and grabbed a coffee and a lavender + honey shortbread cookie at Trouble coffee before heading to Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach is a popular surf spot for the brave. San Francisco’s beaches are notoriously cold here…52-56 degree water! Then it’s usually also blanketed with a thick marine layer, making for a pretty chilly experience. Living in San Diego and Florida really spoiled me with warm water. Here you’re lucky if you get away with anything less than a 5/4 mm full wetsuit year round. It was really windy and Trey joked that he was “naturally exfoliating his skin” by standing into the wind and letting the sand hit him in the face. The dogs loved it so much. The beach, not Trey getting hit in the face. Ha! I never get tired of seeing them run wild on the beach. After that, we drove through the Haight where we used to live and made a stop at our favorite vintage shop Wasteland, then gave our old pink building a wave as we drove by on the way home. Janis Joplin lived on the top floor in the sixties. We lived in the garden apartment a few years back. There used to be these ghost tours that tourists would take in the Haight. Our building was one of the stops and the group would congregate right outside our window on the street while the tour guide would talk about how the ghost of Janis haunted the building. Sometimes we’d play along and flash the lights just to hear the “Agh! Omg!” reactions.

Then it was over the bridge and back to sunny Berkeley. Just before arriving home WE SAW IT. The weiner dog in a backpack on a bike. It was so cute I could hardly keep it together. Bay area people are the coolest. I’ve been snapping our trips on Snapchat. We get pretty silly…we’re @wildlandia, wanna be friends?

Happy Monday!

Packing For A Tropical Island

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In a few weeks we’re heading to the Philippines for some sun, diving, and island hopping. I’m so stoked! Visions of fresh local seafood, fruity drinks with slivers of citrus, and limestone cliffs that fall into turquoise waters have been dancing in my head. I’m excited about the marine wildlife too, of course. Dolphins! Sea turtles! Sharks! Nudibranchs! Dugongs! Well, those are extremely rare where we’ll be from what I’ve heard – they are a relative of the manatee, which we swam with while living in Florida. But, who knows. Whale sharks are also around, which we free-dived with in Mexico. Anyway, Here are a few things that will be in my backpack/carry-on:

1. A few good tanks
2. Some polarized shades
3. A bandana for keeping my hair back
4. Coconut lip balm
5. A pair of old Levis jeans I made into shorts – “jorts!”
6. My trusty sandals
7. Reef-safe sunscreen for exploring coral reefs and leaving no finprint behind.

Other things I’ll take:
A gauzy dress I’ve had forever
A swimsuit
The backpack I always carry
Chacos

Has anyone been to the Philippines and have recommendations? What do you usually pack when you go somewhere tropical? I’d love to hear about it!

On confidence.

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I can remember exactly when it clicked for me that I was important. That’s what true confidence is anyway, realizing you’re important. That your thoughts are important, that what you feel is important, and that your ideas matter. It happens at different times, and in different ways for everyone – that moment in life when you reach a breaking point and say “f*ck it” to your insecurities and decide to be 100% yourself.

For me, it happened when I was 27 and sitting on the platform of a research boat off the gulf coast of Florida looking down at a female bottlenose dolphin we had brought onboard to examine. The boat was filled with aquatic vets who had come from various research institutions from around the country to accompany our research efforts. Everyone onboard was busy tending to their assigned tasks, moving about the platform to perform blood work, urine and fecal sampling, ultra sounds, etc. It was my job as resident biologist of the lab leading the research mission to monitor every dolphin we brought onboard. Whenever their oxygen level dropped too low, or there were signs of stress, I would call for a bucket of water so we could splash it over the blowhole to initiate breathing. While others took samples, it was my job (and the lab’s) to ensure she stayed alive.

Continue reading…

Life with Dogs / 09

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Tip #9: How to make a harness on the fly.

You’ve likely fell victim to it at least once, if not all the time. Maybe it was a tree full of squirrels, an approaching dog, or a bicyclist ahead – but, the signs were clear: ears perked, body stiffened, eyes focused. You knew what was coming next: an assault on your arm. In situations like these where your dog might tend to pull on the leash and you find yourself needing more control, here is an easy way to make a harness quickly.

Step 1. Using the collar and leash you already have, hook the leash onto the collar as if you were getting ready to go outside.

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Step 2. Wrap the leash underneath the body and around the chest, loosely.

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Step 3. Cross the leash over the top of the body and put handle through the loop you’ve created

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Step 4. Pull the handle of the leash towards the center and you’re ready to go!

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For long distance hikes, or daily walks with a dog who tugs on the leash regularly, I recommend getting an actual harness. This tactic is great for those times when you just need a little extra control to get from point A to point B.

Leash and collar are from the nice folks at RESQCO.

Around Here

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1. / Mila cat in her bed jungle / 2. Diversity in coffee / 3. Hats hangin’ / 4. A new book I’m reading (it’s good) / 5. Bookstore kitty / 6. Morning coffee conversationalists (ok, it’s me who does all the talking) / 7. The city, above. / 8. A few new favorites / 9. The city, below. / 10. Those pots need somethin’…ideas welcome.

 

 

DIY Shoe Organizer

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Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset Come home, kick off shoes, hang jacket, put keys in the wood tray. That’s how it usually goes when we come into our place. Lately though, the pile of shoes/ human obstacle course we had created by the door was getting harder and harder to ignore. So, this past weekend I decided to sort out the beef I had with the current state of entryway and come up with a helpful solution. The result was a very simple, modern shoe organizer. 

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Here’s what we used:

Two 1×8 ft boards
1.5″ nails
Measuring tape
Pencil
Hammer
Hand saw
Sand paper

Here’s how:

Measure the dimensions of your space using a tape measure. Cut boards to fit dimensions (essentially you are creating a rectangle – ours was made using two long pieces measuring 36 3/4” and two 10″ pieces). The next step will likely be a little different than ours because we took advantage of the molding along the bottom of the wall to use as a place to rest the bottom board. We then nailed the side pieces into the wall, and nailed the remaining long piece on top. If you are constructing this without the help of any molding/wall features, you could use wood glue and clamps to secure the pieces together in a rectangle shape, then nail them together. You could even add legs or wheels to add storage space underneath.

Have a rad weekend.

sunset

Dammnn Daniel

Have you been quoting it too?

It’s raining out. The combination of overcast weather and the faint headache I have from the cocktails I had with a girlfriend last night makes me want to curl up and take a nap rather than do much else. Good thing it’s Friday and the weekend is almost here. It’s supposed to rain clear until Monday, limiting what we can do outside (bummer). But, I’ve got a new book I can’t wait to dive into, and a growing list of projects to work on that will consume most of the next few days. I told Trey I’d challenge him to karaoke/lip syncing at some point. He’s pretty good at it, but so am I. Tonight we’re having our usual fall back Friday night plan: Indian take out and watching crime dramas in our sweats. Hope you guys have a rad weekend, here are something I came across this week:

 

A Mean Girls Musical is coming our way

Hey guys, you busy?” (from Reddit)

Oceanographers record sound from the deepest part of the ocean

To anyone who thinks they are falling behind

Surfer’s granola

Future Island’s side project drops a new album and it’s really good

Modern beach vibes

A Taste of Streep.
 
 
Photo above: the sunset on San Francisco bay from our window earlier this week.

Life with Dogs / 08

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Tip # 08: An easy solution for dirty paws:  A paw pan.

Once while doing research in the Bahamas, I lived at this lab on the sandy island of Abaco for a month. Every day I would eat a tomato sandwich for lunch on the beach and every evening after work I would paddle out to watch the sunset while a labrador named Harold waited for me on shore. When it was time to come back into the lab, there was a wash pan filled with water just off the back deck that you were to step in to wash the sand off your bare feet before coming inside. This kept sand and dirt off the lab floor.

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At home here, the dogs track all kinds of things into our place – sand from the beach, dirt from hikes, and worst of all – mud from the dog park. This winter was rough on the California coast in terms of the rainfall we got from the El Nino this year. It seemed like every time the dogs would go out and play they would come back with mud-caked paws. I had been taking them straight to the bath tub to wash up, but after half a dozen baths, I remembered back to that wash pan on the deck of the lab in the Bahamas and thought hey — we need one of those.

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So, I bought one. I call it the paw pan, though it’s useful for a variety of different things (hand washing delicate items, washing dishes when camping, a helmet for falling debris from an earthquake…you name it…DREAM BIG). Now when the dogs come in, I just fill it up half-way, dip their paws in, and towel them off. Not only does it save time, it also avoids the dreaded “Ah nuts” look Jack flashes me every time he hears the bath running. Have you seen his “Ah nuts” sad face? Good, you don’t want to. It’ll melt you into a pile of goop. Don’t be goop! Use a paw pan!

And, an aside:

Here’s Harold the Bahamas dog who followed me around. He was a wild one who roamed the beach. His collar read “Do not feed”, written in big block letters with a black sharpie marker. If you leaned in to pet him he would walk away, so we sat on the beach a lot together…always around 4 feet apart. One night me and two others were in the lab late and let Harold in. Later that night he defended us when we got robbed. We were all glad he was there to guard us (although they did make off with 2 boat engines). Dogs are the best.

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(For some reason it isn’t letting me link to where I bought our “paw pan”…but, if you search on Amazon there are lots of options).

Tom Boy Style / 05

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This weekend was really fun. We hung out with friends, got brunch at Le Note – this french spot that has the best eggs and beignets, went to yoga, took the dogs to play at the dog park, got all the supplies for a little home DIY coming up, booked tickets for an upcoming trip in March, then fell asleep watching the Oscars. I realized I hadn’t done a Tomboy Style post in a while, so I snapped a few photos of one of the outfits I wore this weekend and felt good in. Just a simple white tank, black jeans, a pair of boots, and a rad black leather jacket. I’ve been wearing this jacket so much lately I feel like it needs a name. Something like “Ray” or “Mick” or “Wolfgang”. It’s perfect for when you want to add a little bit of badassery to whatever you’re wearing. I capped it off with a punch of red lipstick, because why not?

Notes from Editor (Trey): “You and Keeper match”.

…welp.

Leather Jacket: Topshop / White Tank: Free People / Black jeans: Madewell / Boots: h&m (similar) / Red lips: Iila.