Winter was just lovely in LA, all two weeks of it. This past weekend we had an unusual warm front, with 80 degree beach weather. Pretty phenomenal really.
So what to do on a hot winter afternoon? Go to the beach for a picnic of course.
Mr. Harvey, my mother and I ventured off to the famous Huntington Dog beach for an afternoon of picnicking in the sun. Whether you love dogs or just enjoy the sun, this beach can’t help but put a smile on your face. Humans and dogs alike are running in the waves, playing catch, building sand castles and lounging in the sunny rays.
It was truly a magical way to enjoy a magical day of heat in the middle of winter.
Our winner is: Justine Smith and her pup Squid.
“My terrier mutt Squid and I would head up to the Pacific Northwest for forests and lakes and wild rocky beaches – he loves nothing better than a good walk full of good smells!” – Justine
Justine, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your prize! And thanks again to everyone who entered. Safe travels to you and your pups!
WOW! What a magical trip this has been. Truly, one of the best road trips I have ever taken.
Over the past 18 years of living in Los Angeles, I had never really taken the time to discover the beauty that California has to offer. So when I finally decided to make the time to see it, I chose to take my dog as my co-pilot. And what a wonderful decision that turned out to be!
We experienced every kind of ecosystem California has to offer–ocean, forest, prairie, city, and dessert–and even had a chance to spend some quality time with dear friends along the way. While our trip itinerary changed a bit throughout our journey (you can’t plan for everything), we never ran into any obstacles when it came to Harvey joining me on my adventures. Extremely grateful for that!
So if you are considering hitting the open roads of Cali, I highly recommend traveling with your furry companions (with the proper research of course). Here’s how our trip went:
We started our trip with a quick stop in Santa Barbara. A cappuccino and a beach romp were the perfect way to get this road trip started!
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: If you and your pup make it to the beach, be sure to bring a towel with you to dry off. A wet pup on a long road trip is no fun…for anyone.
I had never been to Pismo Beach before, but had a feeling I would love it. And, as usual, I was correct. This sleepy beach town was the perfect location to spend an afternoon playing in the sand and getting cozy by the fire. We stayed at the absolutely adorable Cottage Inn along Highway 1. Upon arrival, we were gifted some dog treats and dog brush (which came in handy along our travels), as well as some sweet swan-shaped towels. Perfect! And after a long day of running on the beach, the toasty fireplace and a glass of wine were the perfect way to unwind.
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: If your dog-friendly hotel doesn’t provide you with a brush like mine so graciously did, be sure to pack one. Sand is sure to get stuck everywhere on your dog and you will want to brush that off before heading back to your sand-free hotel room.
I was told by all of my friends that Big Sur was a “must” on my road trip. Not part of the original itinerary, I decided to go a bit rogue and make a stop…and boy am I glad I did. This forest-by-the-coast is absolutely gorgeous and the drive up Highway 1 ain’t too shabby either. All in all, a magnificent detour.
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: There are only a few dog-friendly restaurants along the Highway 1 drive, so be sure to call in advance to make sure you and your buddy have a place to eat.
San Francisco has a very special place in my heart. So in order to spend as much time as I could in this beautiful city, I decided to skip over the Santa Cruz day trip and head straight into SF. With only a day to enjoy all this Nor Cal metropolis has to offer, Harvey and I set upon a whirlwind tour. From the Presidio and Baker Beach, to several dog-friendly parks and Fisherman’s Wharf (we stayed at the Sheraton down there), Harvey has officially become a quintessential city boy. To end our time up north, we headed over to the charming Sausalito to visit a dear friend for dinner and a night’s rest. All in all, a splendid 24 hours!
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: SF is very dog-friendly, so be prepared to run into other dogs. If your dog is a little on the aggressive or fearful side, be prepared.
We woke up the next morning eager to get to the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite that we decided to skip over the wine country (we’d had enough wine between Pismo and SF anyways!) The journey to Yosemite was absolutely breathtaking. Never having been to the park, I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as we entered those wooden Yosemite gates, I truly could not stop snapping pictures (457 to be exact…I did a bit of editing for your sake). The park is truly captivating and I wish I had more than a couple of hours to explore.
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: The great outdoors surround you in Yosemite (obviously), so make sure that your pup has taken their heart worm and flea and tick medication prior to romping around.
I’ll be honest, the actual Sequoia National Forest was a little underwhelming (not to mention, extremely confusing to get to. Thanks a lot iPhone map!). But the road we chose to take was absolutely gorgeous. Throughout the 20 mile drive into the park, you are flanked by fields of flowing prairie grasses of the most vibrant gold hue. As you all know, Harvey can’t resist a delicious breeze, so we took our time along this winding road to enjoy some of the sweet wind.
DOG FRIENDLY TIP: The road into the park is quite curvy, so make sure to secure your dog into their seat or they will be in for a crazy ride.
Overall, this trip was simply magnificent, full of memorable and magical moments. Harvey made for the perfect travel companion, never complaining about the long hours in the car or the need to go pee (although we made plenty of stops just for him). Thanks to everyone who recommended spots for our journey and followed along with us! You can see some of the other photo out takes from our trip on our Instagram.
Here’s to our next journey….perhaps we take on Europe!
Steph + Harvey
Today we depart for our road trip up the coast of California. Harvey and I can barely contain our excitement about all that we will see and do on our journey.
This is the first time ever that Harvey and I take a prolonged voyage together, hotel stays and all. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I anticipate many a wonderful memory and photo…of course!
But before we head out, we have to pack. Here are just some of the items me and Harvey are tossing in our bags:
1. Cynthia Rowley Weekender Bag … I found this awesome tie-die bag at TJ Maxx during one of my recent dives (you really have to dig deep sometimes at that store).
2. Grey felt fedora … This hat is my go-to for fall. I am my Sicilian father’s daughter after all, so a fedora is always a travel necessity.
3. Lumberjack scarf … I am so excited to finally experience some chilly weather and this lumberjack scarf definitely needs to make an appearance in the forests of Yosemite and Sequoia.
4. Chambray button down … The. Most. Comfortable. Shirt. Ever.
5. Combat boots … These bad boys can trudge through any terrain–city sidewalk or mountain pass. And they look great with just about anything.
1. Travel dog bed … As you know, Harvey does not use a bed. He prefers the cold hard wood floors of my bedroom instead. But when it comes to being in a strange, new location, I thought he might like something that smelled like home. We shall see how he takes to this bed.
2. Dog food canister and bowl … A simple shake of this canister, and Harvey comes running.
3. All natural rope toy … I was so happy when I walked into my local Petco and noticed these all natural toys. I think Harvey was thrilled too when I saw him sneaking it out of the bag in the middle of the night.
4. Poop bags … Colorful, scented and necessary. Clean up after your dogs–at home or afar.
5. First aid bandage … You can never be too prepared when traveling with your pup. I’ve purchased this dog-safe bandage and antiseptic. Always be prepared.
We are hitting the road!! Me and Mr. Harvey are packing up the car and taking to the open road up the coast and through the majestic forests of the beautiful state of California starting on Nov.1.
I haven’t driven up the coast of of Cali since 1994 and I’m sure a few things have changed since then. And I’ve never been to any (California or other) national parks, so it’s time we check that off our list.
So where are we headed? Check out our itinerary….
Start …………. La La Land
01 …………….. Pismo Beach
02 …………….. Cambria
03 …………….. Santa Cruz
04 …………….. San Francisco
05 …………….. Healdsburg
06 …………….. Yosemite National Park
07 …………….. Sequoia National Forest
There will be a lot of picture taking, a lot of relaxation and a lot of memories. We hope you’ll join us along the way! If you have any recommendations and must-sees, please share them in the comments!!
And wait…there is something in it for you too!
We’re giving away some awesome dog travel products from our friends at Olive! Stay tuned for the details tomorrow!
Happy trails and we’ll see you on the road!
Steph + Harvey
Paris Fashion Week is in full effect this week and canines seem to be getting in on the action this year. The stylish outfitters at Mungo & Maud have the distinct honor of participating in a pop-up shop at the renowned merci shop in Paris this week and we are getting an exclusive sneak peek! I’ve been a fan of the Mungo & Maud brand for some time now and would like to thank them for sharing this fashionable moment with all of us. Looks like dogs are taking over the catwalk. Bow meow!
Check out some of the products Mungo & Maud offer right here!
merci store front image via The Kertz on Fashion; inside store images courtesy of Mungo & Maud
I’m so excited to introduce a new column: Dog Travels! I have always dreamt of the day when me and my 60lb Mr. Harvey could travel around the world together, welcome at all locations and lodging. The good news is that America, and the world over, are becoming much more dog-friendly, so my dreams may soon be coming true!
To start this new column off, I’m sharing my first dog-friendly travel pic: Healdsburg, CA.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a dear friend at her new home in Tiburon. As part of our girls weekend, we spent the afternoon in Healdsburg, a section of the wine region near Napa and Sonoma. We headed straight to the rustic Lambert Bridge vineyard and enjoyed an outdoor picnic and a lovely bottle of their delicious chardonnay.
The afternoon was magical, but what made the day even more special was meeting the three MASSIVE dogs that roam around the grounds. A Great Pyrenees, Golden Lab, and St. Bernard are the masters of Lamber Bridge, managing the roost from the cold concrete floor. A long day or too much wine, either way these dogs are brilliant.
Do you know of any great dog-friendly places? Please do share!
photos by Stephanie Todaro
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