It’s been forever since I’ve posted any travel adventures. Admittedly, there’s been a few distractions…. life, two new dogs…. a pandemic. You know, the usual stuff. I don’t know about you, but this whole pandemic thing has really put a damper on my adventuring spirit. I was a high anxiety germaphobe before and now…. well…. I can’t say the past few years have improved those issues.
When we adopted a new dog in 2019 I’d expected to be taking her for adventures all over dog-friendly Florida…. but…. well, ya know… covid. Recently we’ve adopted a second Corgi and we’re cautiously venturing out into the world again with two dogs in tow. It’s a whole new world to learn to navigate, but we’re taking it slowly and having new adventures. Gluten free, dog friendly, pandemic travel and adventures!
My birthday is in early May and I love to make a whole big deal out of it. It’s a nice time of year to travel, just before schools let out and before the heat of summer hits. This year Brian and I decided to take our two pups, Winnie & Pooka to Savannah, GA for a short road trip.
On our way into Savannah we stopped at Wormsloe State Historic Site to give the girls the chance to stretch their paws on the trails and take some cute photos.
The driveway into the park is a one mile road lined by arching trees that just drip with Spanish Moss. We parked at the gate and while Brian went in to purchase our tickets ($10 per hooman) the girls and I set up the tripod to snap a few photos. I love this little selfie stick/tripod. It’s folds up small enough to fit into a purse or backpack, or better yet, into one of Brian’s pockets! It’s sturdy enough to hold my iPhone with a thick case and not wobble. It doesn’t extend very tall, but with the girls we’re usually taking photos sitting on the ground. I use my Apple Watch to trigger the phone to take a burst of ten photos, so I don’t have to run back and forth resetting a timer and shooting 10 photos at a time I can usually get both girls to look at the camera for at least one or two.
The trails around the park were nice and shady, but it was a hot day and there wasn’t much of a breeze. Winnie and Pooka pooped out pretty quick. Fortunately we’d packed the girls’ K9 SportSacks (they both use the Air2) and we were able to load them up and carry them around the park. Brian and I walked one of the shorter trail loops and then headed out. Note: the visitor center and museum were dog-friendly and air conditioned! There was also a water fountain to refill their water, but Savannah water tastes awful so be sure to pack plenty of bottled water for yourself and your pups.
Since it was Pooka’s first time sleeping away from home we decided to stay in VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner). VRBO also make us feel more comfortable than a hotel, in this pandemic world, since it’s just us in the house. We stayed in the Historic District of Savannah since we’ve already visited the Riverwalk area and I wanted to do more outdoor sightseeing than shopping. A suggestion for traveling with dog: check that your VRBO is a single rental. Twice now we’ve stayed in places that had a second story that was rented out also and, of course, the upstairs people walked around and made lots of noise at night. Not ideal for doggos staying in a new place.
For dinner the first night we visited The Public Kitchen & Bar which was highly rated in the Find Me Gluten Free app and had street/patio seating.
I have to gush for just a moment and say how proud I am of Winnie & Pooka for how well they behaved at the restaurants. All this dining out is pretty new to them and yet they both took it all in stride. People (and I mean TONS of people…. It’s like traveling with rock stars! You’ll hear a squeal and then someone will come up and ask to pet the girls. Its crazy! But the girls handled it like it was no big deal.)
My absolute favorite part of our trip was the walking tour we took through the historic squares of Savannah on our first full day. Oliver Bentley’s Historic Dog Walking Tour was fun and informative. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone visiting with dogs. (They do welcome unaccompanied hoomans too!)
We lucked out and the other family that was supposed to be taking the tour that morning rescheduled and we got our own private tour. The tours are only available at 9 am or 4:30pm to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Fortunately we had a nicely overcast day and the weather was nice and cool (for Savannah!) We’d brought Winnie’s stroller along, but there were so many interesting things to sniff that both pups insisted on walking the entire one mile loop. Eric, our tour guide, made frequent stops in each square to explain the monuments and their significance. It was a nice, leisurely stroll with plenty of opportunities for the pups to rest and for me to snap photos of them in all the beautiful spaces. The girls were thrilled to each get a bag of Oliver Bentley’s signature doggie biscuits at the end of the tour.
After the tour Brian and I started trying to locate a place to eat lunch. I switched between the Find Me Gluten Free, Bring Fido and Open Table apps to locate someplace that was open (a surprising number of places were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays), had a gluten free menu and offered patio dining (which made it dog-friendly and open air so hopefully more Covid free). We finally settled on Kayak Kafe – Downtown which should have checked all of the boxes except that there was major street construction happening downtown and the sidewalk patio was completely torn up. I was hungry and the girls were not happy about the construction noise so we placed a mobile order and I took Winnie & Pooka back to Oglethorpe Square to wait while Brian picked up our food. After lunch we headed back to the VRBO to let the pups nap and cool off since none of us had slept very well the night before. I didn’t want to over tire them so that they didn’t want to go on future trips.
We were headed back to the VRBO when Brian spotted and open parking space near Forsyth Square and insisted that if I wanted pictures with the fountain this was my chance. We unloaded two very sleepy pups and hauled them through the park with promises that this was the last stop and then they could take a long nap in the a/c.
After naps we headed out to an early dinner at Cha Bella. Dinner was absolutely delicious, the patio was large, open and shady and the staff oohed and ahhhed over Winnie and Pooka like the little rock stars they think they are. With or without fur-babies or a gluten issue I would highly recommend Cha Bella.
We slept in as long as the girls would allow on our last day. Which wasn’t nearly long enough since Pooka had decided that the upstairs neighbors were still scary and she needed to sleep in bed with us or she’d just have to stay up and bark all night. Pretty sure I’ll never get her back to sleeping in the crate after this.
After the girls ate their breakfast and we packed up the car we headed to The Funky Brunch Cafe for a late breakfast. I’ll admit, I’d been looking forward to visiting the cafe since I’d read the first review. Pancakes! Gluten Free Pancakes! They had lots of good reviews on Find Me Gluten free and I’m a total sucker for pancakes.
The pancakes were absolutely delicious and the staff was awesome. You know how it is when you go to a restaurant and you feel like they understand the importance of your food issues. It’s just such a relief. I can stuff myself full of pancakes and not worry that I’ll be sick later. Bliss.
All in all I’d say our first big adventure with both pups was a huge success!