When I went Gluten Free in December of 2012 and Brian joined me a few months later, our traveling lifestyle changed. We’d never been huge fast food people, but going Gluten Free eliminated most fast food restaurants…. which made traveling a bit more tricky. The Find Me Gluten Free app (iOS & Android) has been priceless. We’ve discovered several amazing little places that we’d have never discovered on our own. We picnic a lot too. Fill a small cooler with deli meat and cheese and a bag of chip and you’re good to go. There are a lot more Welcome Centers and nice rest stops along the road than I ever realized. Brian has become a master at locating cute little parks and picnic areas for us to eat our picnic lunches.
Well…. now we’ve added another challenging element….. Our Pomeranian, Boo has started traveling with us. Mom is traveling with us too, but she’s pretty easy. Mom is GF too and our travel style works for her, but since she’s going with us we’ve lost our baby-sitter for Boo. I just can’t stand the idea of leaving Boo in a kennel and most of our friends know how neurotic I am about Boo and they’re too afraid (of me) to baby-sit. So Boo has to become a traveling pup.
I wanted to introduce Boo to road trips gently, so we took her on a day trip to Alton, IL to see the eagles. She was a bit nervous at first, but but got bored pretty quickly and slept through most of the ride home. We didn’t see any eagles… I don’t think she was too disappointed…. she does look like a little fox, so I don’t think she’s a huge fan of eagles.
I’d been thinking of a short weekend trip for Boo’s next excursion, but our ‘short trip’ turned into an 8 day adventure all around Texas and into New Orleans. Boo was nervous for the first 20 minutes and then got bored and fell asleep…. which is pretty much how I travel too.
Boo had a great time. She was totally relaxed in the hotels… Love the Holiday Inn Express (some are pup-friendly) and Candlewood Suites… (Most were pup-friendly). Boo snoozed in the car and had a great time running around the parks and rest stops.
Breakfast is always easy. Since we like to stay at Holiday Inn Express’ we usually grab breakfast at the hotel. The omelettes, sausage and bacon are usually GF. The scrambled eggs make me nervous. I haven’t been able to get a hold of the packaging for the scrambled eggs to confirm that they’re GF and I’ve heard that some places add flour to their eggs to make them extra fluffy. So on the mornings where my option is scrambled eggs I grab a banana and peanut butter from the breakfast bar instead. When we stay at the Candlewood Suites we usually opt for Cliff Bars or Laura Bars brought from home. We’d get our food from the breakfast bar and then eat in the room since fur-babies aren’t invited to the dining room. 😦
Lunch is easy too… Boo is a huge fan of picnicnicking at parks and rest areas. Dinner is the bigger challenge. By dinner time I want real food… I want to try the local foods and sit down for a real meal. Finding a sit down place that accomidates fur-babies and offers GF food is a bit more of a challenge. Most places with a patio or outdoor seating are likely to allow pups (always ask first!). I found the BringFido app (iOS) which lists pup-friendly hotels, parks and restaurants. We didn’t bother using it for the hotels, but it really helped finding restaurants. I do wish it had a section for Gluten Free restaurants.
Boo was super well behaved at the restaurants. She usually sat under the table and then sat on our lap after the meal so she could join un while we finished our drinks and chatted. She loved the attention from the waiters and waitresses… especially when they’d bring her a fresh bowl of water and talk to her.
I’m pretty sure we’ve made a spoiled monster now. She’s never going to want to be left home alone again.
Some of Boo’s favorite places were:
Freebirds in Waco, TX
Austin Terrier in Austin, TX
Cafe Amelie in New Orleans, LA
The Rum House in New Orleans, LA
Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop in New Orleans, LA (We ordered take out, since it wasn’t actually pup-friendly, just GF, but we took it back to the hotel and had a fabulous dinner… and Boo got to try a bit of Cajun food.)
And, of course, Starbucks! Boo is now addicted to the Puppuccino on the Secret Starbucks Menu. Just ask for a Puppaccino and they’ll give you a little cup of whipped cream…. Boo thought it was the most fabulous thing ever!