Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 6

Everyone staying warm? We hope so! We’ve been having a pretty relaxing January so far. I was casually flipping through some photos on the computer last night and realized I never wrapped up our Have Pug, Will Travel trip from September (Boy, does time fly)! So here is the much-anticipated (I’m sure) HPWT finale!

(If you need to catch up with earlier installments, here’s the whole kit and kaboodle.)

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When we last left you in Part 5, Sid and I had enjoyed an evening stroll along the beachfront after a day of several amazing hikes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. After a restorative forty winks in our home on wheels, we woke up the next day and made breakfast. Sid embraced his managerial role, making sure I split the blueberries evenly between us.

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Since our campsite was so close to the beach, we took an enjoyable post-breakfast stroll in the sand.

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And of course we couldn’t resist taking a few glamour shots.

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We then packed everything back up into the van and got back on the road. Our next destination was the town of Holland, Michigan. After a scenic drive along the western-Michigan shoreline, we eventually arrived at the Lake Macatawa campground located within Holland State Park. And, like most campgrounds we stayed at during this trip, we were just a short walk to the water! Time for a dip!

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As you can see in the corner of the picture, there are kayaks for rent on Lake Macatawa, but unfortunately it was a little too late in the day by that point to rent them, so instead we headed towards downtown Holland. Our first stop was Kollen park where there were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.

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The town of Holland is very charming and we enjoyed just walking around and people-watching. The main drag, 8th Street, is lined with little specialty shops, brew-pubs, and restaurants.

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Oh, and of course DOG BOUTIQUES!

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The staff at Decadent Dogs were very sweet and extremely generous with free samples of their gourmet treats, which Sid very much appreciated. They seemed to be giving Sid extra-special treatment and I didn’t know why until they told me about their town mascot: a pug named Lucy. Yes, you heard me right — A PUG!

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(Photo of Lucy from Discover Holland Facebook page)

Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet Lucy in the fur because she was on vacation, but Sid left her a message (via “pee-mail”) at her headquarters for when she returns.

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We were in our element as it seemed like everywhere we looked, the town of Holland was obsessed with pugs. Even in the old-fashioned clock shop!

After a nice afternoon out strolling through the town, we arrived back at our campsite and Sid enjoyed a few treats he picked up at Decadent Dogs. Yum!

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The next morning, we packed up and headed back to sweet home, Chicago.

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Sid and I had such a fun time on our adventure and we hope you enjoyed traveling along with us! We can’t wait to make plans for our next Have Pug, Will Travel adventure!

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 4

After celebrating Sid’s 11th Birthday (for two full weeks, per his instructions!) we are back to continue the recap of our “Have Pug, Will Travel” road-trip from September. If you need to catch up with earlier installments, here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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When we last left you, we had set up camp at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which is located on the east side of Michigan’s upper peninsula. In the lower falls area, you can row a little boat out to an island that is surround on all sides by several cascading waterfalls. We definitely weren’t going to pass this up!

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After acquiring his sea legs, Sid enjoyed the easy rowboat ride to the island. On the island is a trail that winds around the perimeter so you can get right up close to each waterfall. I made a little video of some of the lovely sights that Sid and I observed.

The shots at the end of video are actually of the giant upper falls. With a drop of nearly 50 feet, it is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.

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I asked Sid if he wanted to try riding over the upper falls in a barrel, and this was his response:

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There were quite a few sets of stairs around the upper falls that connected the various viewing locations, and even though I had to carry a 24-pound furball up and down each set, the views were totally worth it!

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After a fun day of exploring the falls and some nearby trails, we hopped back into the car and headed south towards the lower peninsula of Michigan. My flat-faced navigator decided to switch to auto-pilot.

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We soon approached the enormous suspension bridge, affectionately known as “Mighty Mac“, that connects both the upper and lower parts of Michigan. I was slightly terrified as we crossed, since the roadway is over 200 feet above the water at the midpoint! Eep!

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Our next stop was Petoskey State Park, where we set up camp. The campground was fantastic, with lots of tree coverage, and a quick walk right to a lovely beach.

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We parked our van, got settled in, lit a campfire, and had some dinner.

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After we filled up our bellies, we headed to the beach as the sun was beginning to set.

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There was a picture-perfect sunset over Lake Michigan that evening.

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The moon was full and bright, making the conditions ideal for some dramatic pug posing.

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After a good night’s sleep, we awoke the next morning and headed straight for the beach!

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There were lots of smooth round rocks on beach. Sid insisted upon sniffing every one in the event that one of them was actually a disguised treat.

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We had a great time exploring the beach and dipping our toes in the soft rolling waves. After we had our fill of sand, we went for a hike on one of the nearby trails: the “Old Baldy” trail. The woods were very beautiful, especially when the soft breeze would make all the leaves flutter.

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I wished we could have stayed another day in Petoskey as the campground and beach were lovely. However we had to get back on the road and make way to our next stop: Traverse City and the Sleeping Bear Dunes! We’ll tell you all about it in Part 5!

Have Pug, Will Travel – Part 3

We hope you have enjoyed hearing about our adventure around Lake Michigan. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them earlier.

Onward to Part 3!

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So as we were sleeping that night in Munising, we awoke to the sound of pinging and plunking noises. They started getting more frequent and louder in volume. It sounded like a steel drum band was having a concert right on our campsite. When I peaked out the window, there was no steel drum band, but rather a HUGE thunderstorm coming in and millions of raindrops bouncing off the metal panels of our home. The wind and rain were fierce! In the morning, this is what our view looked like:

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Luckily we stayed nice and dry inside our van, though the poor folks in tents did not fare so well. Most of the tents were flat on the ground and sitting in large pools of water.

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Sid didn’t really mind since he just ate his breakfast in the car instead of outside. But little did he know he’d have to soon run out in the monsoon to do his business (He was not happy about this!).

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The wind and rain did not abate so we decided to leave our campsite and hit the road towards the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We were hoping to do some more exploring there, and possibly a kayak trip to see the enormous striped cliffs along Lake Superior, but the weather was not cooperating. We were still able to drive to a few lookout spots to see some of the wonder of the lakeshore.

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The rain eventually subsided, so we were able to explore a bit at the north-east end of the park. Here’s a shot of the lovely Sable Falls.

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As we continued on, now back in the van, the pavement started getting very rough and then suddenly it just ENDED! I kept rechecking the map to make sure we weren’t lost, and sure enough I had missed a small detail that explained that the dashed line we were now riding on was an “improved” road which really dirt and/or gravel. Well, add some heavy rain to an “improved” road and you end up with mud. Lots of it!

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We bounced and splashed along for many miles – not sure when, or if, we were ever going to see pavement again. I laughed out loud every time we made it through a huge puddle – it was pretty thrilling and the forest around us was really breathtaking.

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I’m not sure how we survived but we did eventually reach pavement again. Our pristine white van was now a brown splattered mess. It was ok though because all the vehicles up there looked exactly the same way. Now we finally fit in!

When we arrived at our next campground, Sid didn’t want to emerge from his bed-cave – for fear of getting soaked or splattered with mud.

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He eventually came out when he saw I was whipping up some food.

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Our campsite at Tahquamenon State Park was really lovely and was right in the heart of the lower falls!

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We’ll see you next time in Part 4, when we actually visit the falls up close and Sid rides in a boat!

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Charting the Course

In less than a week, Sid and I will be setting forth on a week-long epic camping trip all the way around Lake Michigan. I’ve been busy gathering up all the camping supplies and paraphernalia we’ll need so I’ve left all the route-planning in Sid’s capable paws.

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Although, I took a quick peak at the route thus far, and there seem to be way more stops at pet supply stores than state parks.

Hmmmm, might need to just keep him in charge of something he’s more qualified to do: meal planning.

Waitin’ For a Train

Sorry we’ve been absent for a bit. Sid and I have been travelling back and forth between the city and the suburbs this past week for some activities with the family and haven’t spent much time online.

We have, however, spent a decent amount of time in transit or waiting for trains, which Sid doesn’t mind at all since he gets a the steady flow of treats while he’s in his travel bag.

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Now put that tongue away so I can zip you up, dude – the train’s arriving!

Riding the Rails

Sid and I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. As expected, Sid was spoiled with all kinds of tasty scraps and got lots of extra belly rubs from his grand-pug-rents.

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This was an exciting Thanksgiving for us because it was the first time that Sid and I got to ride together on the Metra train to visit my family out in the suburbs.

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You may remember, shortly after moving to Chicago, I discovered that pets in carriers were allowed on all Chicagoland public transit systems except the Metra trains that link the city with the suburbs. I met another person who had just started a petition as she wanted to bring her small dog with her to events in the city. So for the past couple years we worked together to get more and more signatures on the petition. We were able to get articles written about the issue in local news sources, we attended meetings of the Metra board and spoke during the public comments section, and this summer they finally implemented a pilot program to allow pets in carriers on one of the lines during the weekends. It was a success so they expanded the program to all lines during the weekends and holidays. I’m hopeful that by the end of the year the permanent policy will allow pets in carriers on all lines at any time, just like all the other public transit systems.

Sid is a traveling champ and once he gets in his red travel bag, he has no trouble kicking back and relaxing. I always provide him with an ample dose of treats while he’s in his bag, so of course he often doesn’t want to get out of the bag when we arrive at our destination. Most other travelers don’t even notice that I have a dog with me, and those that do ask me all about him and “ooo” and “awww” the whole time (most pugs are used to, and expect, this kind of adoration).

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So this Thanksgiving we were especially thankful for all the Pets on Metra supporters, including all you lovely Pug Slopers that signed the petition, and the wonderful folks at Metra that made our dream a reality!

A-camping We Will Go

Thank you all for the suggestions for Sid’s upcoming 10th Birthday! There will DEFINITELY be baby carrots involved, as many of you recommended. There are also a few surprises in store this month and the first one will be taking place this weekend (his actual Birthday is on Sunday the 4th).

I’ve been busy packing up the suitcase, backpack, and for this trip, some pug supplies and accessories.

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Like most dogs, he seems to know that when the suitcase comes out, something is going on. He’s been by my side every moment and has been trotting from room to room attached to my ankles. Even though he has witnessed me packing up some of his t-shirts & bandanas, bags of his food, and his spare food and water bowls, I don’t think he understands yet that HE’S COMING WITH THIS TIME.

I think once I get his travel bag down he’ll put two and two together. This will be Sid’s first time camping! Well, technically we’re staying in a primitive camping cabin rather than a tent, but still it will be an adventure! We’ll be sure to take lots of photos and will provide a full report once we get back to civilization!

We hope you all have a wonderful weekend and be sure to snack on a b.c. or two on Sunday to celebrate with Sid!