The Road to BlogPaws 2017

Last week my sister and I went over the river, through the woods, across four state lines, and approximately 825 miles on our way to BlogPaws 2017 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If you don’t know about BlogPaws, here’s a little something from the BlogPaws website to introduce you:

BlogPaws is an inclusive, global community of pet enthusiasts who write about and support pets via social media. We connect brands with pet parents and pet parents with each other, 24/7/365.

The nice people at BlogPaws also present an annual pet-friendly three-day conference offering blogging and social media education and connecting bloggers with brands. So that’s why we loaded the chariot with two portable dog crates, a dog bed, a small cooler, enough dog food to feed two dogs for six days, dog bowls, beach towels, dog toys, dog treats, fancy dog collars for the awards ceremony, a few bottles of wine, two computers, two suitcases filled with human clothes, two dogs, and two humans. Surprisingly no one had to ride in a rocking chair tied to the top of the chariot. (That’s a reference to the old Beverly Hillbillies show. Click here to refresh your memory.)

Our first state-line photo-op was in Mississippi. (You might recall from my trip to Florida a few years ago that my human mommy is obsessed with getting photos at every single state line, despite my human daddy’s reluctance to stop. Once again on this trip, Mommy won . . . most of the time.) Tallulah was looking mighty proud in front of that Mississippi sign because she was born in Mississippi. Daddy’s hand and our poo bag holders made a nice little cameo in this photo. You’ll notice this as a recurring theme along the way.

Our next state-line stop was Alabama. Now I have a little something to say about Alabama and its “welcome” centers. This beautiful “welcome” center was under constructions last time we drove through “sweet home” Alabama, so we visited a temporary center where a very welcoming lady invited me in with my humans and told us all about a beautiful dog-friendly Alabama beach. My how things have changed in the last few years. If you’re in the market for a “NO PETS ALLOWED” sign, forget about it. Alabama has bought every single one and installed them all over their “welcome” center grounds. We did find a small patch of grass on the other side of the semi-truck parking that allowed pets. Tallulah and I made our little stop, posed illegally in front of this sign, and then hit the road.

My feelings about Alabama softened somewhat when I spotted this sign. Monroeville is the hometown of the human Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and my namesake. Now if Mommy and I had been alone when I saw that sign, we would have made an immediate detour. But Daddy was behind the wheel and he had a schedule to keep, so Mommy barely captured this photo through the window. Maybe next time.

It’s a good thing that Mommy’s through-the-window-photo skills are so outstanding because by the time we reached the Georgia state line there was no stopping Daddy. He said that we were almost to Atlanta (where we would be spending the night) and we’d take pictures there. Daddy won that one.

So the next time our paws touched the ground we were in Atlanta and checking in to the dog-friendly W Atlanta – Midtown, where we were completely and totally spoiled rotten. Tallulah enjoyed the view out of the window . . .

. . . while I enjoyed the comfort of the bed.

Our hotel was just steps from beautiful Piedmont Park, where we went for a lovely walk before meeting Atlanta friends for dinner at Henry’s Midtown Tavern. After much food (for the humans at least), a fair amount of adult beverages (again, just for the humans), and lots and lots of water for everyone, we said goodnight to our good friends and walked back to our hotel to recharge before starting the final leg of our road to BlogPaws 2017.

It seemed as if Tallulah and I had barely gotten into the car the next day when our humans woke us up for the final state-line photo-op in South Carolina. Moment of truth: Tallulah and I slept for most of the trip. Occasionally we woke up, looked out the window, repositioned, and went back to sleep. It’s good to have chauffeurs. It’s also a good thing we got so much rest on the road, because our next stop would be Myrtle Beach and BlogPaws 2017 . . . where the action was nonstop . . . and I cannot wait to tell you all about it . . . after I catch up on my beauty rest.

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Where in the World Was Harper Lee?

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Things were a little odd around my house a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t quite put my paw on it, but something was up. Mommy was spending a lot of time in the kitchen. At first she was making human food . . . not that interesting. And then she started making dog treats, which really got my attention.

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She carefully packed all that human food and those yummy-smelling dog treats into this big red box. Wherever that big box was going, I wanted to go with it.

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Then my travel crate appeared. I was definitely going somewhere . . . hopefully with that red box filled with dog treats.

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My humans spent a lot of time studying this book. (Just for the record, my humans also looked at maps on the computer and on their phones. They’re not that old.) Hmmmm . . . why would my humans need to look at maps? Were we going somewhere new?

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And then Mommy pulled out this little accessory. Could it really be true? Were we really going to the beach? Was I about to check an item off of my Golden Bucket List? I didn’t dare get my hopes up, but I must tell you that I was starting to get more than a little excited.

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I was slightly less excited when, exactly one week before Thanksgiving, my humans gently nudged me prior to the break of dawn and whispered, “Miss Harper Lee, it’s time to wake up so we can start our excellent adventure.” It was still dark when we loaded my chariot. The chickens across the street weren’t even awake yet. That didn’t seem to bother my humans. We were off, and I was pretty happy that I have chauffeurs and I could get a little more sleep.

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It seemed as if we had just pulled out of the driveway when my chariot stopped. My humans were oddly excited about something. “Wake up, Miss Harper Lee. We’re in Mississippi. You’ve never been to Mississippi before. Wake up so we can take a picture of you in front of the Welcome to Mississippi sign.” Naturally, I obliged. I knew from looking over my humans’ shoulders as they perused the road maps that Mississippi has beaches. Was this our destination? Apparently not, because after a few quick clicks of the camera and then several minutes of walking around while my humans said, over and over again, “Go potty, Miss Harper Lee. Go potty,” we were back in the chariot and back on the road.

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Next stop: Alabama. Fortunately for me, the state welcome center was closed, so I got to sleep a few more miles before we reached the temporary welcome center. The nice welcome center lady invited me in, despite the fact that my daddy was wearing an LSU sweatshirt. Alabama and LSU are huge football rivals. I guess the welcome center lady was feeling charitable because Alabama beat LSU this year. Anyway, Mommy spotted this big mural and said, “Miss Harper Lee, sit here and practice your beach pose.” Yes! I knew I was going to the beach! I couldn’t help but smile as mommy snapped my picture. And then we got back into my chariot and continued to drive.

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At our next stop, I saw this sign. I was in Florida . . . land of sun and sand. Miles and miles of beaches. When would I feel the sand between my toes? When would I frolic in the waves? Who else would be there? And just exactly where were we headed? Stay tuned . . .