Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Last Legs Of My Road Trip

I knew we had to go through Oklahoma on the way home from Texas so I contacted my good friend Pearl and invited her to lunch. Pearl lives in Oklahoma City and I just knew she would be up for a midday snack. I was so happy when she accepted my invitation and told Mom to put the pedal to the metal because Pearly and I were getting hungry!

Pearl's pretty momma Kelly found a great restaurant with outdoor seating that was dog friendly. After being in so many pug friendly cities I figured all restaurants allowed dogs but this is not the case. Kelly told Mom that Oklahoma City is not as dog friendly as most cities but that they're slowing getting with the program. I didn't care where we had lunch as long as Pearl and I could get some food. Menus please!

Look at Pearl and her momma! Aren't they just the cutest things ever? I felt like I already knew Pearl since we've been blogging friends for so long. I know that Pearl has a reputation for acting a little how do I say this, not so ladylike, but she was a perfect little lady at our lunch.

Pearl was so excited to meet me that she never stopped moving. I couldn't really keep up with her so I just played it cool and sat there like the gentleman that I am. Mom ordered her usual boring food while Dad ordered me something really special.

Fried pickles! OMD! These things were delicious. I couldn't get enough of them and wanted to get an order to go. Apparently everything is fried down in Oklahoma and that's right up my alley. Yippee!

Nom, nom, nom!

Mom took so many pictures of Pearl and her momma. Look how cute they are with the lighthouse in the background. That Pearl sure isn't camera shy! Work it Pearly!

Our lunch was over way too soon. Kelly had to get back to work and Pearl had to get back to her nap. I wish you could hear what Pearl was saying or should I say screaming to me in this picture - "Y'all come back now, y'hear?" I just love that Pearl!

One last picture before we said goodbye to Pearl, Kelly, and Oklahoma - sigh. I didn't want to leave but we were on a tight time schedule. Thanks again to Pearl and Kelly for a great lunch date. We were so glad we got to meet you guys and can't wait to get together again.

We couldn't drive all the way back home on Friday after lunching with Pearl so we stopped in Springfield, Missouri to get some rest. Dad got us a suite and boy was it sweet! I loved having rooms to cruise around in and a nice comfy bed to rest my tired body on. All that visiting wears a pug out!

I sure didn't want to get up and leave Missouri on Saturday morning but Mom convinced me to move my body. And I did - slowly.

Because my road trip was almost over. This would be my last morning in a hotel and I wanted to savour each and every moment. As I was laying there half asleep, I reflected on the past two weeks with awe. I met friends I felt I already knew, met many new friends, visited so many new places, and ate so many delicious foodables.

I got to do things I'd never dreamt I'd do like see the Golden Gate Bridge. I had such an awesome two weeks on the road that I didn't want it to end. Ever.

As our car flew up Interstate 55 in Illinois, I promised myself that I would do this again. I would take another road trip and visit more friends. Friends who live here and there, in warm places and cold, in houses and apartments. Oh yes my friends. I will do it again but the last leg of my road trip called and it was the one I looked forward to the most.

The one that would take me to that special place that Dorothy talked about. She recognized it and so did I. I knew I would be there soon because there's no place like home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

High Desert and Cowboys

This dude was hanging out at our hotel in Santa Fe. Mom had told me all about Santa Fe but I had to see it to believe it and believe it I did. It was totally awesome! This high desert living is perfect for pugs and I think I might want to relocate here.

I loved how chili peppers hung above all the doorways. Mom knocked into the ones that hung above our hotel door several times but I always ducked to avoid them. I need some of these for our front door back home.

Check out the cool courtyard at our hotel. We had the first room on the left, room 101. I think they put us in a room close to the front desk because they wanted to me close to them. They totally loved me!
I took many walks through the courtyard checking for food at each door. Our hotel, The Hotel Plaza Real, was very dog friendly and there were several dogs staying there. I never found any food but that wasn't for lack of trying.

We even had a cool deck off the back of our room. I liked cruising out there too because the weather was perfect. I wanted to dine al fresco every night but Mom put the kibosh on that.

Mom and Dad left me on Wednesday to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. Mom fell in love with Georgia the last time they were in Santa Fe and there was no way she was missing the latest exhibit. The museum is not dog friendly so I had to hang out at the hotel, watch HBO and dream about my next food discovery.

As Thursday morning rolled around, I tried to convince Mom that we needed to stay in Santa Fe just one more day. I must need Bellatrix's orbs because my sad eyed look just didn't do the trick. I stayed in bed as long as I could before being carried to the car to head out to see the cowboys.

We were in the car about 2 seconds before Dad pulled over and stopped the car. I wondered what was going on but soon found out that we had stopped to take a picture. Of me with a picture of me.
Mom and Dad bought me a collar last time they were here and the jeweler put a picture of me wearing my collar in the display case. We had been so busy doing this and that that we never even visited the store. Dad had visited with the jeweler on Wednesday as he walked around town but I wasn't with him. You may need to biggify the picture to get a look at it because it was really early in the morning, hence the darkness.

And then we finally left Santa Fe and headed for the land of cowboys - Texas! The Pugpants were anxiously awaiting our arrival and they had big plans for our visit.

That's Aunt Nancy and AnnieBelly greeting us at the door. Aunt Nancy made me my own name tag so that everyone on my road trip would know who I was. Isn't she the best?

The rest of the gang were behind the gate in the kitchen because they were so excited. From left to right, that's Howie, Tanner, and Java. Tanner is a foster that is living with the Pugpants until Aunt Nancy can find him a good home. He is learning the ropes of living with a family from Howie. Poor Tanner lived in a crate for the first seven years of his life and has a lot of catching up to do. Dad wanted to take him back home with us but there was no room in the car.

AnnieBelly was out and about the whole time we were there and don't think she didn't rub the other puggies face in it. She was so much fun to be around and she didn't even freak me out. Usually puppies act all crazy around me but Annie was a perfect little lady. I told Dad I would make room in the car for Annie but he said there was no way Aunt Nancy was parting with her princess.

Uncle Carlos brough Red Hot and Blue bbq home for dinner and not a moment too soon. There aren't any pictures of the food or of us eating because it was all gone in the blink of an eye. It was so delicious and I sure wish we had a Red Hot and Blue close to home.

After dinner Aunt Nancy took Mom and I to a DFW Pug Rescue fundraiser at a sno cone shop. Aunt Nancy does a lot of work for them by fostering pugs like Tanner and editing their newsletter. She is a true champion for pugs in need and I give her two paws up for all the great work she does.

I had to have a group picture of the people that were still at the fundraiser and even though we got there as it was winding down there were still some people left. The founder of the club is on the far left and it's his mission to find homes for all the pugs that don't have homes. He gives of himself tirelessly and I hate to think about what would happen to all the homeless pugs if it weren't for him.

Mom wouldn't let me have a sno cone because she said I had already had enough food for one day. These cute little second graders came over to say hi and pet me and I almost had them talked into getting me a sno cone when Mom busted me. The girls wanted to know if I was up for adoption because who wouldn't want a cute Stubby at home?

I slept so good at Aunt Nancy's house despite the 4 am wake up call. I didn't answer it but Mom and Dad did. Silly parents!

Soon it was time to hit the road yet again. Java and Annie didn't want me to leave and I didn't want to leave either. I could have stayed there forever because Aunt Nancy loves me so much but I had to go because I had more stops to make on my road trip.

Java thanked me for stopping by and for the bag of treats I brought. I sure hope Howie shares the treats with his siblings because I think he thinks they're all for him.

Howie pouted as I packed my bags and headed for the door. I really liked Howie and I think he gets a bad wrap on the bloggie. He did try to jump in our car as we were pulling away but I don't think it was because he was trying to get away from his peeps. I think he wanted to go road trip and was especially interested in our next destination. Poor Howie. Maybe you can get your maw to take you on a road trip.

I can't thank Aunt Nancy and Uncle Carlos enough for their hospitality. They gave us a whole boat load of gifts to take home and even gave us breakfast to go. They are so sweet!

I hated to leave Texas because it was so much fun but I knew that I had more places to go and people to meet. Everything really is bigger in Texas and it felt like home. I will go back someday with an empty belly and a loving heart.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cruising Down Cali Highway 1

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved the bed at the Ritz Carlton. It reminded me of Salinger's big cloud bed. It was so comfy cozy that I didn't ever want to leave but Sunday morning rolled around and Mom told me we were hitting the road. So soon? We just got here!

Five more minutes, please? I told Mom I was still tired from all the food I ate on Saturday but it didn't work. We were checking out of Half Moon Bay and heading south to see the California coast.

The California coast is simply beautiful. California Highway 1 hugs the coast and as we headed south we drove through Santa Cruz and and Monterey. I have to admit that I slept through most of the pretty scenery, but once I woke up I was so excited to hear that we were going to Carmel. None of us had ever been there and we were meeting up with one of Mom's turtle peeps, Jim. Mom is always talking about Jim and I couldn't wait to meet him. He was taking us to the Forge Restaurant because it's dog friendly. I told Dad to step on it because I was starving!

OMD! A menu just for me. How cool is that? I couldn't believe my ears when Mom read me the menu. I told her I wanted one of everything but she told me that it wasn't a buffet and that I could only have one thing. Hmmm. What to choose? I finally decided on the "Good Dog" because that's what I am!

I had to get my picture taken with Jim and the restaurant menu because this was the first time I had ever eaten in a restaurant and I have Jim to thank for it. Jim was so cool and now I know why Mom likes turtling with him.

I was very impatient while I waited for my food. What was the cook doing? Didn't he hear me crying on the patio? Hurry up dude! Starving pug at table #1!

Finally my food arrived and not a moment too soon. I wish there were pictures of me eating but you know no one can snap pictures that fast. The "Good Dog" was delicious and I give it two paws up!

After lunch Jim took us to the beach. There were so many people and dogs everywhere! Dad carried me in the pooch carrier while he walked on the beach. Jim reminded me that this was the last beach I would see on my Cali trip. I loved the beach and can't wait to visit it again. Soon we were on the road again and where do you think we were headed? To the Smushie Ranch!

I was so excited when we pulled up to the Smushie Ranch and were greeted by Gunther and Betty. What an awesome welcoming committee! This was our final stop in Cali and I just knew we were going to have a great time hanging out with these guys.

Shannon showed us around the ranch while all the Smushies follow us. Here they are in Shannon's office doing what they do best. They have beds all over the place. What a life!

Shannon always has at least one Smushie on her lap at all times. Stella usually does her own thing but Shannon picked her up for this picture. How cute are they?

Newman is such a momma's boy. He's still a baby and needs lots of attention which is okay with everyone because he's such a lover. I know that some of your parents wanted me to put Newman in my suitcase and ship him to them but there way no way Shannon was going to part with him.

How many of you have ever seen Bruce, aka Smushie dad, before? He usually hangs out behind the scenes but Gunther was acting so silly on Bruce's lap that Mom couldn't help but take a picture. Silly Gunther!

Gunther and I had lots to talk about. I asked him if it was hard living with two sisters and Newman and he told me that he wouldn't have it any other way. That dude is so cool that I wanted to take him home. Dad loved Gunther and couldn't get enough of him.

I slept so good on the ranch. The bed in the guest room was so comfy that I didn't want to get up. It's so quiet there that you find you have no sense of time. All the Smushies get up early and Betty takes her medicine bright and early at 6 am. For all her toughness, Betty is really a softy at heart.

Shannon said that this was a typical morning on the ranch. Smushies on top, on the side, and all over her! Shannon is such a great mom and she welcomed me with open arms like I was one of her own.

I chilled out on the couch before we headed out on Monday morning. I wanted to stay because the alpacas were due to arrive by noon but the road was calling my name.

We left Smushie Ranch at 10:00 am and were sent off in style. Thanks again to Shannon, Bruce and the gang for opening up their ranch to us. We will definitely be back!

We spent 2,957 hours in the car after leaving the ranch of which I slept 2,956 of them. Our Monday night stop was Flagstaff, AZ and even though there weren't any pugs to welcome me to town, I had a good time just hanging out in the hotel with Mom and Dad.

Tuesday's destination was Santa Fe, NM which is where we still are. I love it here because I get to go everywhere even if I do have to ride in my buggy. This town is very dog friendly and the weather is very pug friendly. I really like it here but we are heading out early tomorrow morning as we continue to make our way back home. We left home 1 1/2 weeks ago but our trip is far from over. We still have so much to see and do. And to eat!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thanks Again Puglet!

I've been so busy on my road trip that I haven't even had time to do a blog post. Crazy, huh? We left Cali yesterday but I still have more to tell you about the time I spent there. I had such an awesome time and it still all seems like it was a dream. But it wasn't and neither was the Stubby World Tour Meetup that was held on Saturday. My best pal Puglet organized it and it was a great success!

Like I said before, I won't let the fog ruin my vacation and as we cruised to Crissy Field I just knew the fog was going to go away as soon as the sun woke up. Despite the fog and cold the beach was calling my name.

Puglet and Dutch pulled into the parking lot right behind us. Dutch loves the beach and brought Henrietta rubber chicken with him. I had never met Henrietta before so I was psyched to meet her.

Dad brought my buggy just in case I couldn't walk on the sand. I told him that I wasn't going to need it but Puglet sure was glad I had it. He thought it was the coolest thing and jumped right in ready to go for a ride.

Dad hates to be in pictures but I talked him into taking a picture with me. My reasoning? I told him that I needed to document my world tour/road trip. Duh!

Do you guys remember that Puglet did a blog post last week inviting everyone in the blogsphere to the meetup? I didn't know who was going to show up but I was ready to welcome everyone with open paws. One of the first guys to show up was Petey. He was a lot of fun to hang out with. And he loves food just as much as I do.

Petey brought his brother Brody with him and this guy was so cool. He loved playing in the water and fetched the ball his mom threw for nearly an hour. I give him a lot of credit because he didn't mind the cold water one bit. There was no way I was dipping my tootsies in that water. No way!

Don't Puglet and Petey look a lot alike? That's Puglet in the back and him and Petey had a great time playing. It seemed like they were old friends even though it was the first time they had met.

It was so cold that Dad got a blanket out of the car and wrapped it around himself. It was cold but it wasn't that cold. I don't know what got into him but he sure did look like a tourist!

I was playing on the beach when all of a sudden I turned around and saw these gals. It's Zoey and Phoebe and I'm so glad they came out to meet me. They were super cool and had a great time playing with Puglet's ladybug toy.

Every time I turned my back someone else showed up. This is Spencer with his pretty mommy. They came all the way from East Bay and I can't thank them enough for being part of my special day.

Spencer even brought Bellatrix with him. They are best friends and hardly go anywhere without each other. Bellatrix's mom had to work but Spencer's mom talked her into letting Bellatrix come with Spencer. I'm so glad everything worked out because Spencer without Bellatrix is like peanut butter without jelly!

I had such a great time at the meetup. I felt so honored to have my friends come out and be part of my world tour. Even Danielle, one of Puglet's friends, came out to meet me and she doesn't even have a pug.

As if having my friends at the beach wasn't enough, Puglet's mom Amanda brought Popeyes to the meetup. A whole bowl of Popeyes all for us. How cool is that? It was total chaos as Amanda doled out the delicious nuggets. Nom, nom, nom! I wish I could show you how all the action went down but I am having technical difficulties downloading the pics and video. Bummer!

Thank you again Puglet for being the perfect tour guide, host, and best friend. I sure hope you make it to Chicago one day so I can return the favor.

As we headed back to Half Moon Bay, I saw this place in the town of Pacifica and asked Dad to stop the car. This place looked so familiar to me and Dad reminded me that I had seen it on Triple D - Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. This is Gorilla BBQ and any place with BBQ in it's name has my name all over it. I could hardly contain myself as the aroma of the food wafted through the car and into my nostrils. I so wanted to eat my portion in the car but Mom told me that it would make a mess. A mess? Our car is already so messy that a little bbq sauce would just add to it's character.

I waited impatiently until we got back to the cottage and then feasted my eyes on my dinner. Ribs and brisket for me, please! Give Mom that nasty rice and beans because I don't want it taking up any room in my belly. Oh, and leave the mac and cheese for my midnight snack.

I guess the look on my face says it all. All that meat after all that playing made me so sleepy. The bbq was so delicious that I thought about getting some to take back home. I guess I'll just have to order it online and have it delivered.

While I slept, Mom and Dad went to see this guy. Every night at sunset, the hotel has a guy play the bagpipes. They have been so busy that they missed him the three previous nights so since this was our last night in Half Moon Bay, they strolled over to the hotel to see him. A wedding had just taken place and the flower girls were throwing flowers all over the place.

I was still asleep when Mom and Dad arrived back at the cottage but I told them I was wide awake. Of course they didn't believe me because they know me too well. I was tired but happy and didn't want the day to end. I will dream about this day for the rest of my days.