Here’s Why Hazelia Dog Park is a Perfect Spot to Celebrate National Walking the Dog Day

The Guardian of the Lake stands guard just outside Lake Oswego's Hazelia Dog Park.

The Guardian of the Lake stands guard just outside Lake Oswego’s Hazelia Dog Park.

Drive around Lake Oswego and one thing you’ll notice—dogs are welcome here. While the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that between 37-47% of American households have a dog, I’d venture to say that Lake Oswegans skew the average on the higher end of the scale.

So it makes sense that we’d have a popular dog park at Hazelia Field that draws both locals as well as neighbors and their pets on a daily basis. The city’s own “Guardian of the Lake” – a reclaimed metal dog sculpture that won the People’s Choice Award in 2014 for the city’s Gallery Without Walls—stands guard nearby on the Hazelia Trail, keeping watch. (He’s so life-like that some of the canine visitors mistake him for the real thing and bark at him to let him know they are not intimidated by his size). Can’t imagine a better spot to celebrate National Walk the Dog Day, this Wednesday, February 22.

Here’s some things you should know:

  • There are two separate off-leash areas, one for timid and shy dogs (northernmost area) and one for more outgoing and assertive dogs (the larger area facing the parking lot). Both are a good size allowing for lots of romping around.
  • Poo bags are provided as well as receptacles to dispose of them.
  • It’s free to all-comers.
  • The park is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Address is 17800 Stafford Road, West Linn.
  • It can get muddy when it rains so be prepared to clean your dog up before loading him/her back into your car
  • Know that the park is as much for socializing among the dogs as it is for their owners. Regulars enjoy the company of other canine-smitten humans as well as their wet-nosed charges.

Here’s what some Facebook fans have to say:

  • “I love the little dog park. My pup doesn’t have to worry about big dogs bothering him and he loves to run like the wind. Great place.”
  • “ …lots of trees and toys for the dogs to play with! Dog pools and water buckets and a hose with running water.”
  • “Very nice dog park compared to North Clackmas dog park. Adequate fencing, and a hose and water for dogs, nice people. Very great dog park well worth it to drive to.”

And one regular describes the combination of fresh air, trees, and furry friends running up to greet you as very “healing.” Can’t argue with that.

A couple other nearby spots to let your dog have his or her day include:

  • Mary S Young Park off-leash dog park and beach area, 19900 Willamette Drive in West Linn (your dog is required to be on leash, however, on your way to the designated area).
  • Tualatin Community Park dog park located on the northern end of the park, 8515 SW Tualatin Road, Tualatin
  • Tigard Dog Parks which include Potso at 7960 SW Hunziker Road, Ash Street at 1270 SW Ash Avenue and Summerlake at 11450 SW Winterlake Drive.

If having room for Fido to roam is on your house hunting checklist, let me help. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I counted three dogs at one time living under my roof so I get it. I’d love to help you find the perfect spot where you and your canine family members can call home.

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6 Ways to Celebrate National Drink Wine Day in Lake Oswego

wine-tasting-1376267_640Saturday is National Drink Wine Day and luckily here in Lake Oswego, we have lots to wine about. If you’re in the mood to celebrate this national holiday, check one of these places out.

World Class Wines. Susan and Rick Baldwin have been catering to the oenophiles among us since 2009 by offering a wide range of services from Friday night wine tastings, a wine club, wine and food education classes, and pre-sale wine offerings based on your individual preferences.  The Friday night wine tastings are a popular option for regulars as well as newbies who want to learn their way around a Tendril Chardonnay or a Capezzana Ghiaie Della Furba Rosso. Things start up at 4:30 p.m. and include six wines for $15 with an optional bonus pour of two more wines for $5. Resident wine geek, Rick Baldwin, is usually pouring, sometimes with the help of local winemakers or distributors. He provides tasting notes along with answers to any questions you may have about how the wine is made, what to pair it with or how it compares to the vintages you tried the week before. 149 A Avenue, 503.974.9841.

Wizer’s Wine Cellar. Although Wizer’s Oswego Foods closed its grocery operation in 2013, the fine wine collection that put it on serious oenophiles’ maps lives on at its downtown Lake Oswego location, 269 A Avenue. Besides an extensive offering of wines from all the major wine producing regions of the world, Wizer’s also offers free wine tastings every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 503.636.1414.

Riccardo’s Vin Italy Wine Shop. If your inclination is to say, “Beviamo!” when you raise your glass, then you might enjoy wine tasting at Riccardo’s Vin Italy Wine Shop where Italian wines are featured every second Saturday of the month from noon until 3:00 p.m. Tasting fee is $5. Riccardo’s Ristorante next door has a special event planned on  February 23 – Umani Ronchi Winemaker Dinner with selected wines to accompany each of the five courses.

The Harvest Wine Bar.14559 Westlake Drive, 503.747.7263. For a mid-week pick-me-up, head over to The Harvest Wine Bar for their Wednesday and Thursday night wine tastings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Recent tastings featured big bold reds from California as well as Northern California wines from four different wineries. Subscribe to their email and be notified of each week’s focus. Call to reserve your spot. Tasting fee runs $15-$20. You can also order appetizers and entrées from their menu to make it a night.

Oswego Hills Winery. Located just past Luscher Farms on Rosemont Road sits this family run vineyard that was planted in 1997 with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Marechal Foch. Tastings are offered every Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. showcasing their latest vintage. 450 S. Rosemont Road, 503.655.2599.

Oregon Wine Reserve. This 6,700 square foot facility offers ideal storage conditions for your prized wine collection. Services include customized lockers, wine club receiving, inventory services, a conference room and member tasting room. Social events are offered that let members mingle among other like-minded oenophiles. 600 N. State Street, 503.342.3269.

If you’d like to discuss your home buying or selling options over a glass of wine (cup of coffee or smoothie), I’m buying! Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and let me put my 25 plus years experience to work for you.

 

 

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5 Things LO Does Better Than OC

lo-vs-ocI recently visited my daughter who is living in Newport Beach, California. Ironically I left our snowmageddon just in time to catch their rainmageddon. Looking at “sunny” southern California through rain-spackled glasses I realized that despite the O.C.’s draw, we do some things better than them.

  1. Rain. On the morning of the first downpour, my wife and I walked (without umbrellas) to the local coffee shop that is usually flanked by regulars. The place was deserted. So we took up some prime real estate inside and sat down with our coffees and our books and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. A local walked in and took notice, “I love it!” she exclaimed. “Here you are, sitting and reading and drinking your coffee. The storm didn’t faze you.” To which my wife explained, “We’re from Oregon. We know how to do rain.”Apparently, So-Caler’s don’t—they stay inside, put aside their normal routines, and when they do have to drive, they clog the roads leaving newscasters proclaiming the sorry state of affairs on the freeways.
  1. Coffee. Speaking of that coffee we had, it was bad. And not just at that spot. We tried several and couldn’t find a place that made our “wet cappuccinos” as well as our favorite watering hole in Oregon. My wife even showed the baristas pictures of what we wanted our orders to look like but either the artistic talent was lacking and/or the coffee flavor just wasn’t there. I guess we’re spoiled up here living right next door to what Travel and Leisure readers named the best coffee city in America (Portland).
  1. Schools. While one of the things that drives housing prices in Newport Beach is the quality of their schools, you can pay a lot less for a home in Lake Oswego for schools that rank higher nationally. The Newport-Mesa School District ranks 700 nationally among Niche’s ranking that includes state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. Lake Oswego beats them out at 472. And on a statewide basis, Newport-Mesa can’t beat Lake Oswego’s #1 ranking in Oregon with its 40th place finish in California.
  1. Water. Our water tastes better—it’s as unscientific as that. Next time we visit, my wife—who religiously drinks at least 8-12 glasses of water a day, has already said we need to buy bottled water. Not to mention how far the water normally has to travel to get there—being pumped and channeled from Northern California and the Colorado River. Judging by its taste, we wonder if it’s worth the trip!
  1. Cost of housing. When it comes to real estate, it helps to compare apples to apples. Newport Beach is a highly desirable place to live in the state of California. Lake Oswego is a highly desirable place to live in Oregon. But a home there will set you back around $1,700,00. That makes the median sales price of $535,000 in Lake Oswego look like a bargain…especially when you consider the rain factor, coffee quality, schools, and taste of water!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Lake Oswego, Oregon, give me a call. As you can see, I’m very biased about living here so would love to show you around. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas In and Around Lake Oswego

valentines-dayOkay, so maybe you don’t have it in your budget to profess your love for your valentine as profusely as Mughai Emperor Shah Jahan did when he built the Taj Mahal as a memorial to his wife. You can still make a good impression by taking advantage of these Valentine’s Day offerings in and around Lake Oswego.

Get artsy. Add the personal touch to your valentine wishes by taking a valentine-themed class at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. 505 G Avenue, Lake Oswego.

-Valentine Day Cards using print-making techniques. Wednesday, February 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. $28/Resident; $42/Non-resident. Register for class #14962. 503.675.2549.

-Quill a Heart. Learn the art of quilling (rolling long strips of paper into coils or scrolls that are arranged into unique designs) to create a valentine your loved one will appreciate. Wednesday, February 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $22/Resident/$33/Non-resident. Register for class #14931. 5503.675.2549.

Wine tasting. Our very own wine connoisseurs at World Class Wines have several events scheduled for the month of February that will help you and your valentine, “Love the wine you’re with!” Choose from:

-Bubbles! Wine Tasting Class and Food Pairing on Thursday, February 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $60/person.

-Valentine Day Wines and Big Sexy Reds with Anna Goodman as part of their regular Friday night Wine Tasting series on February 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Cost is $15 to sample six wines with $5 more for a bonus pour of two additional wines.

-Wine and Chocolate Tasting Class on Wednesday, February 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $60/person.

Valentine’s Day Wine-Pairing Dinner. Enjoy a four course prix-fixe meal paired with exceptional wines each step of the way at The Harvest Wine Bar on Tuesday, February 14. Reservations are needed so call 503.747.7263. Seating starts at 5:30 p.m. $40/person for food only; $60/person includes wine. 14559 Westlake Drive.

My Muddy 5K Obstacle Course Valentine Run. If you feel like getting down and dirty with your valentine, then this annual event is just the ticket. Includes 20 fun and challenging valentine-themed obstacles such as the “Heart Stomp” and “Tunnels of Love.” Registration: $65/person; $120/couple or pair. Hot showers are available for $5 extra. A bonfire as well as food and drink round out the activities. Saturday, February 11, with first wave beginning at 10:00 a.m.; final wave at 1:00 p.m. Lee Farms, 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. Free shuttle from free parking at Legacy Meridian Park. Limited parking available at Lee Farms for $20. 503.926.2622.

Art Throb. If your valentine would rather glam up than get down and dirty, then consider the Arts Council of Lake Oswego’s benefit masquerade gala compete with a moveable feast, wine, beer, bubbly, art, auction and dancing. Saturday, February 11 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Tickets: $100/person. Marylhurst University Hawthorn Room, 17600 Pacific Highway. 503.675.3738.

Teen Valentine Cookie Decorating and Card Making. If the teenager in your family is looking for a creative way to let their “certain someone” know they care, steer them to the Lake Oswego Public Library on Saturday, February 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Supplies will be provided to create one-of-a-kind greetings both edible and not. 706 Fourth Street, 503.635.3758.

Cheap date. Okay, so your valentine doesn’t need to know what you paid for this gourmet lunch that includes chicken wellington, raspberry white chocolate scones and red velvet lava cake. Monday, February 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue. Suggested donation: $4/persons 60+; $5/others. Limited seating so call to reserve: 503.697.6580.

coffee-1573161_640Even cheaper date. Treat your valentine to coffee at one of our coffee spots in town and ask them to create latte art in the shape of a heart. You might want to visit a few spots beforehand as not every barista has mastered the craft.

Say it with a song. Make a date at one of our local music venues to let your valentine know that you care. Check out the Lake Theater and Café for An Acoustic Night with Ty Curtis on February 13 or a Blues Dance with Kevin Selfe, Lisa Mann and Dean Mueller on February 20. (106 N. State Street, 503.482.2135). If you’d rather sing her or him the blues yourself, the Open Mic stage is waiting at Maher’s Irish Pub on Wednesday, February 15, beginning at 7:00 p.m. (sign-in at 6:30 p.m.). 352 B Avenue, 503.305.8087.

Dine in or dine out. Riccardo’s Ristorante is making it easy for you to do both with a special Valentine’s Day menu. The restaurant will be serving its guests a four course Italian dinner where tables for two can share an antipasti and primo course while enjoying individual main courses and dessert for $75/person. Seatings begin at 4:30 but tables are limited so call in your reservation now at 503.636.4104. If you’d rather stay in, their to-go menu that night features two bake-at-home lasagnas, two salads, bread and a bottle of wine for $60. Call to place your order: 503.636.4104. 16035 Boones Ferry Road.

Let me be your resource when it comes to knowing what’s going on in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates. Let me also be your resource when it comes to buying or selling a home in Lake Oswego. I’ve been doing it for over 25 years because I love living here and know you will too! Check out my website and/or give me a call at 503.939.9801.

 

 

 

 

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Lake Oswego Homeowners

2017If you’re lucky enough to live in Lake Oswego, your home is one of your most important assets so why not take advantage of the spirit of the season and set some goals to ensure it keeps going up in value. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 25 years I’ve seen homes where folks have failed to do some of the things I suggest here and as a result, they aren’t able to maximize their home’s full earning potential upon selling.

So even if you’re not planning to move this year, take time to preserve your asset by making one of these resolutions.

  1. Declutter. We’ve just finished a season where chances are you’ve accumulated more “stuff.” Before you make a home for the new, find a way to get rid of some of the old. Trust me, you’ll feel better and you’ll also find more space to enjoy your home as you re-claim a closet or a cupboard or part of your garage that has been held hostage to “stuff” you didn’t know what to do with.
  1. Budget for home improvements. Once you’ve tidied up and cleared things away, you can really see the condition of things. Start making a list and prioritize what needs to be addressed from the chipped bathroom cabinets to the stain on your daughter’s bedroom carpet. Get some estimates so you know which projects are doable and then plan for them.
  1. Do a smell test. You might want to enlist the help of a neighbor or friend with this one. We can often become immune to the odors in our own home but they can build up and prove offensive to visitors, and especially to homebuyers if and when you’re in the market. Pets, smoke, mold and mildew are the worst offenders. Take the time to address this issue by scheduling regular carpet cleaning, keeping pet bedding clean, smoking outside, providing adequate ventilation, and using an ozone machine.
  1. Create a home inventory for insurance. If you’ve ever had to file an insurance claim, you know how important documentation is. Take advantage of online apps to take photos and store your inventory so it’s accessible and can be updated as needed. Check first with your insurance company to see if they have a free online tool you can use. If not, check out Know Your Stuff provided by the Insurance Information Institute. It will guide you as you walk through your house, making sure you document all the important information.
  1. Invest in your neighborhood. The real estate mantra, “Location, location, location,” has been around for a reason. There’s truth to it so see what you can do to improve where you live. Drive by your house and ask yourself, “How’s the curb appeal? What can I do to make it better?” Get involved with your neighborhood association. Sign up for the next CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training scheduled for the spring.  Reach out to senior neighbors who might appreciate some assistance in keeping up with their yard work or exterior maintenance.

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is looking into selling your home, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website. I’d be more than happy to suggest the best way to get your house market-ready.

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5 Lessons to Take Away from Last Week’s Snowstorm

2017-snowstorm-5-editedLike most Lake Oswegans I was hunkered down for a day or two last week due to the snowstorm with lots of time to think. These are the lessons I came away with.

  • Life in the fast lane is over-rated. With no place to go and no electricity to fuel our normal distractions, we ended up doing what a lot of Lake Oswegans were doing—reading, playing games, talking and taking walks. Won a new convert to the card game our daughter gave us for Christmas called Exploding Kittens. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but try it—you’ll be a convert too. Bottom line, we all felt recharged despite the absence of any electrical juices running through our home.
  • Don’t always believe what you read. According to Sperling’s Best Places website, the average annual snowfall for Lake Oswego is 1 inch. That might come as a big surprise to a newcomer arriving during the middle of our 10 inch snowstorm on Wednesday. As we all learned in some version of a How to Lie with Statistics class, averages don’t tell the whole story. Which is why I dissuade clients from relying too heavily on national real estate sites like Trulia and Zillow. It’s always best to get your information as close to the source as possible, like from a Realtor who lives where you’re thinking of moving, or even from this blog if Lake Oswego is on your sights!
  • We live in a community of folks who care. Neighbors checked in. On our walks, everyone we passed left us with the greeting to, “Stay safe.” Neighbors without power were taking advantage of the kindness of neighbors with power by coming over to shower, eat, and sleep. And all of us developed a much deeper appreciation for the PGE repairmen and first responders who placed caution strips to warn us of downed power lines and worked 24/7 to get our power back on as quickly as possible.
  • There is another line that divides us. When bad weather wreaks havoc in our everyday lives, it becomes very apparent there is another way we are grouped that differentiates us. Those who are prepared and those who are not. You know, the neighbor who just kicks on the generator and doesn’t fret about the leftovers spoiling in the refrigerator. Or the guy who has the snow shovel and diligently scrapes his walkway and driveway clean (and maybe his next door neighbor’s too) by the next morning. And the folks who actually have window scrapers to peel the snow off their windshields compared to the rest of us who wield dustpans, spatulas, and anything else that resembles a flat edge just to create a peep hole big enough so we can see what’s straight ahead.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Despite the inconvenience and the frigid temps (both outside as well as in our homes the longer the power was out), the snowfall showed Lake Oswego in a beautiful wintry glow. And for that, I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

2017-snowstorm-4-edited2017-snowstorm-12017-snowstorm-82017-snowstorm-92017-snowstorm-6Be sure to click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column to subscribe to my blog and get weekly insights into “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.”

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Lake Oswego Reads 2017 Kicks Off Tuesday with Free Book Giveaway

loreads17Once again, the Lake Oswego Public Library is ahead of the curve. Before Hidden Figures—a movie about three African American women scientists whose mathematical prowess helped NASA launch its first successful space missions—was released last month, the Lake Oswego Public Library had already selected Rise of the Rocket Girls as its 2017 featured book for its award winning citywide reading program. Bringing the contributions of female mathematicians to NASA’s success to light, the book promises to fill in a gap that exists in most Americans’ versions of history.

While most of the Lake Oswego Reads activities begin in February, the program kicks off this week with its annual book giveaway on Tuesday, January 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Enjoy popcorn and Tang and receive a free copy of the book with your LO Public Library card.

Here are some other events to look forward to:

  • Free Ticket Giveaway to hear author, Nathalia Holt, speak on February 8 at Lake Oswego High School. Show up with your library card and receive two admission tickets free of charge. Get there early as a line forms. Saturday, January 14 at 11:00 a.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street. 503. 675.2538.
  • Women in Space. What do Sally Ride, Peggy Whitson and Pamela Melroy have in common? They are just a few of the women who have contributed to the NASA space shuttle program. Learn more from NASA enthusiast, Dave Suing on Thursday, February 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Springs Living at Carman Oaks, 3800 Carman Drive.
  • Breaking the Sound Barrier: Celebrating Unsung Heroes in Science. Who says you have to learn everything from a book? Let Reader’s Theatre introduce you to women of achievement in science that you’ve probably never heard of, drawing from an impressive list of Nobel Prize winners, inventors and astronauts. Saturday, February 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Lakewood Center for the Arts-lower level – 368 S. State Street.
  • Rocket Launch Demonstration. If you can’t get to Cape Canaveral, head over to Palisades School for Oregon Rocketry’s rocket launch demonstration. If you’re more the do-it-yourself variety, launch pads and controllers will be available to those who want to fly their own rockets as long as they have A and B motors only. Saturday, February 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 1500 Greentree.
  • 50s Dance and Demonstration. Step back in time as you watch how it’s done from the Madison, and Stroll to the Hand Jive and Cha-Cha. Saturday, February 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m at Step It Up Studios, 449 Third Street.
  • Trivia Night. Test your 50s IQ with questions ranging from math and science to food and fashion. Tuesday, February 21 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lake Theater and Cafe, 106 N. State Street.
  • Living in Space: How to Pee, Poop and Barf. This is Lake Oswego’s version of “Everything you wanted to know about how astronauts live in space but didn’t know who to ask.” Enter Marylhurst Associate Professor of Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Jan Dabrowski with the answers. Thursday, February 23 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Flavia Hall Salon, 17600 Pacific Highway.
  • Women in Aviation Program for 5th through 8th grade girls. Hilda Pereyo from Evergreen Aviation will inspire your young ones with stories of key mentors and pioneers in the aviation and aerospace industries. Monday, February 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Limited space so please register: 503.675.2538.

For further information on Lake Oswego Reads, call Cyndie Glazer at 503.675.2538.

Don’t miss out on what’s going on in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and subscribe to my blog for weekly updates.

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