Friday, September 21, 2012

Santa Monica

My 2012 "California (stay-cation) Adventure" kicked off in Northern California with a trip to San Francisco (click here for that part) and concluded in sunny Southern California with a fun visit to Santa Monica. Santa Monica is a vibrant beach city just miles outside of the hubbub of Los Angeles. It's a "don't miss" destination if you are in Southern California.  I wore my pink camo EzyDog harness while treking around to make sure I looked uber stylish, incase the puperazzi were out.

While the sandy beach area is not dog friendly in Santa Monica, don't be discouraged. There is still plenty to do and explore. Leashed dogs are allowed on the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding boardwalks. And the nice part is that you won't get scared or run over by bicycles while you're out exploring, because they have separate designated lanes for walking and biking. Pawsome! You'll also find ample grassy areas adjacent to the beach and plenty of pet friendly hotels, like Shutters on the Beach in the area. While I haven't stayed at Shutters for a personal review, be sure to let me know what you think if you have! You can get more information about pet friendly things to do in Santa Monica through this link.

Don't forget, there are always more pictures of me at Tokyo: My Shiba Inu Tumblr and be sure to follow me on twitter @tokyoshiba

Hey, look over there! Isn't that Tokyo shiba walking by?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hotel Bel-Air

Hotel Reviews: The Hotel Bel-Air is a luxury pet friendly hotel nestled within 12 acres of lush gardens, situated one mile west of Beverly Hills, California. The iconic hotel originally opened in 1946 as was considered one of Hollywood's infamous hideaways. The design of the hotel retains a mix of Spanish colonial with French deco influences. The hotel features 103 accommodations, including 58 guest rooms and 45 suites. We opted to stay in one of the new contemporary Premier Canyon View Guestrooms. Our room #266  was 540 square feet and had retractable glass walls which opened up to the outdoor patio area. The spacious private patio featured a gas fireplace and seating area, lounge chairs, dining table for four, and an infinity edge spa pool. Inside, the room was fully modernized with amenities and features, including an iPad for guest internet usage and also to request any hotel services, such as housekeeping and ordering room service. For super posh accommodations, the hotel offers a Presidential Suite that features 6,775 sq ft of indoor and outdoor living space.

Through the Precious Paws program, the hotel charges a one time $200 pet fee and allows dogs up to 35 lbs. When we entered our room, my pet amenities were aleady in place. I found a pet bed, food/water bowls, bottle of water, a Hotel Bel-Air monogrammed neck scarf, and homemade peanut butter biscuits. For dog friendly dining options on site, the hotel has a bar & lounge with four garden alcove seating areas where you could *ask* to have your dog join you. However, we decided to stick with room service during our stay as our patio area was well-suited for dog friendly dining.

Don't forget, there are always more pictures of me at Tokyo: My Shiba Inu Tumblr and be sure to follow me on twitter @tokyoshiba

Sunday, September 9, 2012

San Francisco

Last week I kicked off my week long California adventure with both Northern and Southern California mini trips. For the first part of the trip, I flew on United Airlines up to San Francisco to spend Labor Day weekend visiting my Northern California friends and family. This was my first time flying on United and I'm pleased to report that their pet reservation system is really convenient and we didn't encounter any issues. My people were able to make my pet reservation online at the same time they booked their flights (unlike on US Airways.)  United charged $125 for a one-way in-cabin pet fee. When I got to the airport check-in counter, they printed and attached my paper reservation to the carrier and we were off. That's 19 flights for this jet-setting shiba -woof!

Once we arrived in San Francisco we checked into the dog-friendly Cavallo Point just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. Be sure to check out my separate post with a review of my stay at Cavallo Point

It was a wonderful trip filled with many adventures, the best of which included meeting up with my shiba beau Zuko aka Demon Dog.  Zuko took me on pawsome hikes all around Lands End, the Sutro baths, Golden Gate Park, and the streets of San Francisco. There was lots of dirt, many steps and old stone things for us to jump on. We even got to encounter wildlife, like seeing ducks up really close. Zuko also took me to the uber cool George pet store at 2512 Sacramento Street (at Fillmore) and bought me a bag of cheesy hearts and a bouncy ball. High-paw!

I had a great time in San Francisco. There are plenty of dog-friendly places with patios to eat, like Nopalito, a sustainable organic mexican kitchen. It's a big city with much to explore. I'm sure I'll be back soon. Till then, I'll enjoy my cheesy hearts!

Don't forget, there are always more pictures of me at Tokyo: My Shiba Inu Tumblr and be sure to follow me on twitter @tokyoshiba

Cavallo Point

Hotel Reviews: Cavallo Point "the lodge at the golden gate" is a great pet friendly place to stay in Northern California. Located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, the hotel is part of Golden Gate National Parks and offers both historic and contemporary lodging accommodations. Formerly the site of the Fort Baker U.S. Army post, the historic accommodations were once officers' residences and have been fully restored with modern amenities. One of the best things about this lodge is its prime location for dogs. With plenty of grass and hiking trails from your front door, there are ample opportunities to relax just minutes away from the hubbub of the city.

We opted to stay in the historic queen suite #602, which is in an ideal location on the property- very close to the spa, main building, mercantile and restaurants.  Our "house" was divided into six accommodations with our unit being conveniently located on the first floor with a private entrance off of the partially enclosed porch. Our suite was 540 square feet and had one bedroom, bathroom and small living room area with a desk and gas fireplace. Through their Eco Luxe Pups program, the hotel charges a one time $75 pet fee for the length of your stay (and allows up to 2 dogs per room). Upon entering my room, my dog amenities were already in place - dog bed, water/food bowls, a frisbee, doggie towel, and a bag of special organic cookies.

For dog friendly dining onsite at Cavallo Point, dogs can join their people on the small casual porch area of Farley Bar and Murray Circle. We took advantage of the mid-day sunshine and headed over to the Farley Bar porch where I politely snuggled on a blanket on the couch while my people enjoyed lunch.

I spent plenty of time walking around the property and on the surrounding trails. It's a short walk from the lodge to the Golden Gate Bridge (note, dogs are currently not permitted to walk across the bridge.) I walked under the bridge and up to the top for a super pawsome view!

Don't forget, there are always more pictures of me at Tokyo: My Shiba Inu Tumblr and be sure to follow me on twitter @tokyoshiba