Jewel and Willow Video Collection

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

California Christmas in Monterey

3rd time's a charm:
The girls got to go to Grandma and Grandpa's in California for Christmas.
FINALLY!!!!!

We used up our babysitters, the girls HATE boarding (well, the ONE place we've tried)
and we miss them terribly at Christmas.
There was some concern about the shih tzu's getting along with a samoyed/husky hybrid on her turf.

Boy were WE in for a surprise!

But first, the plane trip. All animals being transported by plane need to get cleared by a vet within 30 days of travel and deemed non-contagious for anything, updated on certain vaccines and their crates must fit certain guidelines depending whether they are flying in cargo or in the cabin. There are only certain flights that allow animals- talk to an agent on the phone to find out what they are before buying your seats online. It was $85 per dog, per direction ($340 is still cheaper than boarding for the number of nights we were gone)
Also, certain breeds, essentially all brachycephalic (smashed nose) dogs are not allowed to fly cargo as they tend to overheat more easily. We found fab crates for the girls that they got cozy with in the months leading up to the trip. PetCarrier from Sturdi Products www.sturdiproducts.com. Soft sides with partial roll-down canvas with mesh windows over the dome, front and back panels. See a pic of what it looks like under a plane seat and a note from a flight attendant that uses them.

Ok, Healthy dogs, official document that says so in hand, check. Crates, check. Live animal stickers, check. Now, where's the cheese to get these shut-up pills into the girls?

They were more or less pretty good. While waiting in the terminal, carrying the bags and walking around kept them quite. Sitting with a still crate is BORING, we've found out. On the plane, Jewel grumbled (high pitch grumble) unless Daddy rocked her crate with his foot for the last 1 1/2 hours (Seattle to San Francisco isn't too long). Willow slept. Sleep deprivation is a GOOD thing ahead of time when traveling.



Jewel and Kaya got along famously





Willow interpreted Kaya as *big,* *white,* and *guards food bowl so there MUST be something good in there* and kept a respectful distance. So much so, if everyone was upstairs and Kaya was in her bed and the bottom of the stairs, Willow would not pass by Kaya's bed to go up there. When Kaya was out of sight, Willow ate as much of Kaya's food as she could often before we figured out where-she-are and what-she-do. We saw more Willow flying-under-radar activity than ever before. I mean- look at that face. It's up to all sorts of nonsense.






We arrived a day or 2 before Christmas in sunny Monterey, made our usual (and greatly anticipated) trip to Gail's in Santa Cruz for dynamo deli and goodies: a welcome change from previous years' In-N-Out burger trips. Which is also dynamo, as anything called double-double-animal-style outta be.






At the beach at Monterey Bay


For Christmas- Grandma and Grandpa- Daddy's parents- gave us gift certificates to a BUNCH of FUN restaurants to take the girls to. In fact we went to, count them, FIVE dog-friendly restaurants (went to one 2x)

Casanova- Dog Friendly. Carmel-by-the-Sea's "most romantic restaurant." Don't let the small front fool you- it's takes up most of the block and goes on for ages.

The Forge in the Forest- Outdoor fireplaces, Dog Friendly, Menu JUST for dogs:
Plain ol' Kibble- 1 cup $2.50
Hot Diggity Dog- 1 kosher dog $3.95
The Quarter Hounder- 1/4 lb patty $4.95
Hen House Chicken Strips: 5 oz of grilled sliced boneless chicken breast $4.95 (we got this one for them, and fed it to them for 3 days)
Good Dog- 8oz of grilled and sliced New York Steak $12.95
Milkbone "bonies"- just for the asking

PortaBella- Dog Friendly, they bring water in a bowl on a white napkin on a white platter

Hogsbreath (Pub?)Dog-friendly, outdoor fireplaces, feels a little like Disneyland.

At Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea. a Doris Day hotel that is Dog-friendly: Like, you don't go there unless you have a dog. You would look weird. We went for High Tea, in the hotel. With the dogs.
Here's Jewel being a good girl at Cypress Inn




Jewel wanting out of her SturdiBag in Grandma's car. Really mom, why can't I sit in front?


Siiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhh. Christmas was an exhausting fun-fest. Like camp: Never get to sleep.

It was, without a doubt. The Best Christmas ever.

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