A Rich Full Life

Many people wouldn’t think of me as lucky from the outside looking in, but every single morning before I get out of bed, I count my blessings. And it doesn’t take very long for me to feel grateful for the many good things in my life. 

First of all, I’m in excellent health. On most days, if I’ve not burned the candle at both ends, which I often do, I feel fantastic. Then, I have my wonderful family, and in particular my spectacular daughters. Then, I have the most hilarious golden-doodle, named Polly, and her two side kicks the black and white cats, Dash and Jam. 

Next, I have friends galore. And make more everyday. I have been spending time with my sailing friends this week. Especially, my business partner, and my sailing instructor Tom. There is nothing like a common interest to connect and deepen ties with people.

But, I especially love my neighbors and my beautiful neighborhood. I have so much love and support here that I feel blessed everyday. My neighbor Sandy, who brought Paris’ bedding to her college dorm in LA after we forgot it, my dear friends Craig and Denise who help me with everything I do, including building Ocean SF. My husband’s three best friends, and their families, that are always here for us. And, my neighbor Alecia, who made me the beautiful pearl and rose quartz necklace I’m wearing above. And Barb, who I met when our daughters were two, who took me to the polo tournament where the above photo was taken a few weekends ago. 

Recently, one of my neighbors sent me the following note. It was so generous and kind it brought tears to my eyes. 

“Dear Sydney,

I have been thinking about you a lot over the last few weeks knowing that a year has passed since losing your husband. I have not seen you in years nor spoken, but I do want you to know that I have always admired the woman, and Mother that you are. You have been a true role model from the day I met you. My daughter, has always spoken of you with admiration and your unconditional kindness towards her made her love being in your presence. Both Siena and Paris are so fortunate to have a loving, attentive, involved, active and beautiful Mother who truly loves her children. I believe Paris must be heading off to a College, and that must be an exciting yet difficult transition after your past year. These next two years will be very special for you and Siena. Time is precious as you are aware, and it’s never too late to tell someone how wonderful they are. So before I turn in I wanted to let you know how much I admire you and if you ever need anything I’m here for you.”

People like this, and the precious town I live in, give me deep roots, and a priceless sense of security. 

Love and blessings to all. 

Black Dogs & The Cypress Inn – Carmel-by-the-Sea

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Cypress Inn Carmel, California


There are few things in life that a day or two in Carmel, California can’t cure.  The Cypress Inn on the corner of Lincoln and 7th is in the heart of this seaside town.  Surrounded by quaint shops, restaurants and galleries and a mere few blocks to Ocean Beach it is the perfect boutique hotel experience.   For an additional $30 the hotel will allow your dog to be their pampered guest.  They provide dog treats, a dog blanket and water and food bowls for your room.  Established in 1929, the Cypress is beautiful and reminded me so much of being in Paris.  Our room was small, but the hotel had an elegant room with a stone fireplace to sit and read with your dog at your feet.  Later in the evening the hotel provided entertainment and a classical guitarist played into the night.  We had a wonderful dinner on their patio in front of a big fire with the waves crashing in the distance.

In the morning the hotel provided a delicious breakfast with eggs, country potatoes, fruit and a to die for pastry selection (this was amazingly included with your room).  The mini chocolate croissants were some of the best I’ve ever had.  Later that day we ordered pizza and ravioli  from one of my favorite restaurants, El Fornaio, at the Pine Inn, which is on your way to the beach. We had a glorious picnic looking out over the ocean with our dog.  There are also dozens of restaurants that take dogs and some even provide a dog food menu.

Ocean Beach, Carmel

Carmel is definitely a dog friendly town and Polly Lou had a blast.  This was one of our favorite trips to Carmel ever.

When I started this blog about my favorite things I knew I wanted to write about dogs.  To say that I love dogs is an understatement.  I am in love with our dog.  Almost eight years ago I decided that a dog was the only thing that our family lacked.  I was warned by friends and family that once the dog was no longer a cute puppy the kids would want nothing to do with it.  The wise advised me not to get a dog unless I was ready to be the sole care taker.  I had grown up with a black lab named Sport that I loved, but was horribly allergic to.   I began my search looking for a Labradoodle which is a crossbred dog created by crossing the Labrador Retriever and the Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodle. The term first appeared in 1955, but was not popularized until 1988, when the mix began to be used as an allergen-free guide dog.

Over several months I researched dogs and looked at so many dog website that I saw nothing but dogs in my dreams.  White and fluffy, cinnamon and chocolate brown.  Little dogs in baskets and little puppy mug shots.  I was ready to buy a grey Labradoodle from Bakersfield when one last Google search put a beautiful black Goldendoodle on the screen.  This was the closest to love at first sight that I have ever experienced.  She had the most beautiful nose for a dog.  I started to read all of the reviews from people who had bought dogs from this breeder and the common thread in all of the reviews was how funny the dogs were.  As someone with a keen sense of humor I kept wondering how could a dog be funny?  Well, I was about to find out.

Along Came Polly

Polly has done nothing but make our lives happier.  We all love her and although I do spend the most time with her everyone participates in her care.

If you are in need of a get away, and would like to take your dog along, the Cypress Inn in Carmel provides a unique and magical experience.