7 Things I Love About Bailey

Monday was Bailey’s 7th birthday. I can’t believe that it’s already been seven years since Bailey joined our little family.

Bailey and Laura on Kitchen Floor

In honor of the occasion, I thought it would be fun to share seven things that I love about our big girl.

1. Bailey is a gentle giant. Bailey is a big girl, there’s no doubt about that. But she knows it. She was always extra careful when roughhousing with Thea, and she’s still gentle with Naya despite her puppy pestering.

2. Bailey has one of the most expressive dog faces I’ve ever seen. When she’s curious, her face lights up. When she’s confused, you can see the wheels turning. She really does communicate with us with a look.

Bailey-Soccer-Ball

3. Bailey rarely barks. Thea barked all the time. Naya barks at her own reflection. But it takes extraordinary circumstances for Bailey to bark (or the sight of our neighbor – poor guy). We actually taught Bailey to bark on command, but she’ll only do it if she’s frustrated.

4. Bailey loves to camp with us. From her first camping trip to Devil’s Lake, Bailey has become the best camping companion. She does awesome with us in the tent, she loves hiking, and she’s so content to relax by the fire with us. In short, she’s a perfect camper.

Bailey and Jason at Devil's Lake

5. Bailey has mellowed with age. As a lab, Bailey still acted like a hyper puppy past the supposedly magic age of 3. She has even been known to knock visitors to the house off of their feet. But in the last year, she has really mellowed out. She’s borderline lazy. But the fact that my mom, who isn’t very steady on her feet, can come into the house without us wrangling Bailey, it speaks volumes.

6. Bailey is smart. Despite no formal training classes, Bailey is pretty obedient. She does an excellent job of staying. Somehow, she learned how to “back up” (apparently, this is a challenging command). When she plays fetch, she actually brings her toy back and drops it on the ground in front whomever she’s playing with. It makes the game much more fun.

7. Bailey loved Thea. We never realized just how bonded Thea and Bailey were until Thea was gone. Bailey truly has not been the same dog since Thea died. Bringing Naya into the mix at least jolted Bailey out of a depression, but I can just tell that Bailey misses Thea. We all do.

Thea and Bailey at Top of Stairs

Happy Birthday, Bailey! And to all my friends and followers with beloved dogs in your homes, give your pups a treat from Bailey.

Question of the Week

Do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? If so, how do you celebrate?

Vegas/Yosemite 2013: The Complete Trip

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Jason and I had a great time visiting Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park this past summer. It was one of those trips that I didn’t want to end. But it did come to an end, as all good things do. Here is a complete wrap-up of my trip posts, fun beginning to beautiful end.

Vegas! Visiting Pawn Stars and the Hoover Dam

Vegas! Exploring The Strip

Vegas! Lagasse’s Stadium and Cirque du Soleil

Driving Through Death Valley

The Eastern Sierra and Whoa Nellie Deli

Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park

A Day of Rest and Relaxation in Yosemite

Anniversary in Yosemite

Yosemite Hike: Gaylor Lakes

Yosemite Hike: Gaylor Lakes

As we prepared for our summer trip to Yosemite, we planned on doing two hikes. The first hike would be the Panorama Trail with our friends Robyn and Jason. The second hike we intended to do was the hike to Cathedral Lakes.

Our Panorama Trail hike did a number on our out-of-shape legs. And although we had two full days to recover, we seriously doubted our ability to take on another “moderate” trail. So I pulled out our handy book – Yosemite National Park: A Complete Hiker’s Guide – and started browsing for alternatives in the high country.

The morning of our final day, we got going early to drive up to the Tuolumne Meadows area and check out the hike to Gaylor Lakes.

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What we gathered from our book was that the Gaylor Lakes hike was “easy” (a relative term for Yosemite hikes), offered beautiful scenery the likes of the Cathedral Lakes hike, and saw far fewer hikers. Winner!

The trailhead is located just inside the Tioga Pass entrance. It’s a pretty steep climb from there to the top of the ridge, but it’s not a long climb. Just as we were starting to regret our choice, the trail evened out and we were rewarded with glorious views of Dana Meadows and the surrounding mountains.

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While the views behind us were beautiful, they were nothing compared to what awaited us just beyond the ridge…

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The first lake you see is Middle Gaylor Lake. The lake is a good size and crystal clear. We made our way along the north side of the lake and then headed out towards Upper Gaylor Lake.

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At this point, we started to encounter larger patches of snow. The snow was quickly melting, and the trail was more of a stream than a walkable path. We made it to the south edge of Upper Gaylor Lake and hit our end point. We were hoping to make it a little farther and get to the Great Sierra Mine, but the snow cancelled those plans. So we turned around and found a nice spot to sit, eat our snacks, and take in the view.

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Seriously, I never wanted to leave. But eventually, it was time to start the hike out.

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And carefully make our way down the steep stretch we struggled to hike up.

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We absolutely loved the Gaylor Lakes hike in Yosemite National Park! It gave us just the right amount of challenge and rewarded us with amazing views. And our book was true to its word – There were barely any hikers out there. We encountered two guys headed out to fish, a dad and two boys heading back from fishing, and two other couples just hiking. For Yosemite, this is a rare occurrence. We soaked it up.

A beautiful day and a fun hike were the perfect endings to our time in Yosemite National Park and our summer vacation as a whole.

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