Puppy Playdate!

When MaMa only took me on a short walk this morning, I didn’t really think much of it. I figured it was kinda cold out and she just wanted to get home and warm up. What I found out later was she wanted me to save my energy, because she had a puppy playdate planned!

MaMa’s friend Amanda has a nice house with a HUGE backyard, and they’d been trying to set up a playdate for me and her three furbabies, Zelda, Gabby & Gizmo for a long time. Today it finally worked out! I’d met Zelda before, and we get along great, but this was my first time meeting her brother and sister. As we were driving to their house, I was listening to MaMa tell me all about them, and really hoping we would all get along.

When we got there, I was so excited to see my old friend Zelda! We hadn’t seen each other in two years, but meeting up again, it was just like old times. She seemed really happy to see me, and we had so much fun running, wrestling and playing in the yard!

Zelda showed me all around her big yard, which even includes a fish pond! I stayed away from the pond though. We all know what happens when my hair gets wet!

dsc06124-3

They also have a big garden filled with some of my favorite veggies, like kale and cauliflower. I tried to follow Zelda’s mommy in there.

dsc06126-2

But she knew I would eat all of her veggies, so I got left outside the gate. Boo-hoo!

dsc06127-2

After getting a good look around the yard, it was time to wrestle and run with Zelda.

dsc06119-2

dsc06129-2

I run like the wind, and sometimes she had trouble catching me, but when she did, she made some pretty funny faces at me!

dsc06135-2 dsc06133-2 dsc06132-2

So I made some crazy faces right back at her!

dsc06130-2 dsc06136-2 dsc06137-2

It was so much fun running around her yard and playing with someone my own size for a change. We had such a good time!dsc06142-2

After a while we got tired of running and playing, and took a little break in the shade.

dsc06149-2

Our break didn’t last for long though. Soon we were joined by Zelda’s brother and sister, Gizmo & Gabby. They weren’t sure what to think about me, but luckily Zelda stood by me!

dsc06153-2

After checking me out, Gizmo decided that he didn’t like the looks of me. Zelda tried to negotiate a peace treaty between us, but to no avail! I just sat my ground and let him tell me off. It was his house after all.

dsc06156-2

At one point we tried to play a game of follow the leader. I figured if Gizmo were the leader that he’d be happy and maybe he’d like me then!

dsc06157-2

It turns out that he doesn’t like to be followed and that made him like me even less! I really don’t like it when someone doesn’t want to be friends with me, so I gave him a piece of my mind.

dsc06158-2

He retreated to his porch and proceeded to tell me off! Why, I never!!  His sweet sister Gabby mostly stayed quiet during all of this.

dsc06162-2

Finally I’d had enough and I told him to put up or shut up. I was ready for a show down!  He even had to call in Gabby to back him up.

dsc06164-2

Can you tell by the looks on our faces who won the showdown?

dsc06166-2 dsc06170-2

So, I let him sulk on the bench next to his sister and found a place of my own to sit. It was time for us all to retreat to our own corners. Zelda was suspiciously absent after trying to negotiate peace. I think she knew better than to get in the middle of us!

dsc06168-2 dsc06171-2

Even though Gizmo didn’t seem to like me, and Gabby was afraid to get to know me, I still had a GREAT time on my playdate! Zelda is an awesome friend and we have so much fun together. I can’t wait to see her again soon! It sure is great having friends!!

dsc06152-2

THE END!

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Arizona Adventure: And We’re Off!

Soon after we returned home from our Route 66 Road Trip, I started sending subliminal messages to MaMa about going on another, preferably longer, family vacation. I’d heard her and Pops talking about his dad’s house in Arizona, and that sounded exotic and exciting to me, considering I’d never been out of the Midwest. It definitely seemed like a place I’d want to visit, so I started sending Arizona vibes to her. It wasn’t until January that MaMa finally picked up on my messages, and mentioned another road trip to Pop. MaMa had never been to Arizona either, and she was really good at convincing Pops that we needed to take a longer vacation together as a family. Levi and I had shown her how well we could behave in a hotel and for long stretches in the car. In early February, Pops consented, and it was time to do some planning! Levi and I were so happy, because we’d had quite enough of the snow and cold by then and were ready for a some desert warmth!

We're ready for a warm-up!
We’re ready for a warm-up!

They hemmed and hawwed for a couple weeks about the best time to go, and it wasn’t until mid-February that they decided on early March. We hoped for good weather because you just never know what you’re going to get in March, considering it is still Winter. MaMa also wanted to go before it got hot in Arizona, since that wouldn’t be good for me or Levi if we were too hot to explore! Since time was running short, MaMa had to be diligent with her online research, but with her experience, she easily found hotels for us to stay at on the way out there, and on the way home. With that done, all we had to do was wait the few weeks until the big day arrived. It seemed like forever, as time always drags when you’re looking forward to something, but finally it was time to hit the road!

Since we had so far to drive, we had to wake up super early and hit the road by 3:30AM. I’d never woken up that early and was not very happy about it. But then I remembered why we were up so early. I laid under the table and watched as MaMa and Pops hustled in and out of the door, carrying all of our luggage. Pops spent a lot of time the night before making a cozy place for Levi and I to hang out in the back of our rented GMC Denali. They decided to rent a car for this trip, because it was a little bit bigger than Pops SUV, it was a brand new 2016 car and had a lot fewer miles on it too. Not for long though, as we were about to drive many, many miles in the next nine days! Over 1,000 miles on the first day alone! We had to make it all the way to Amarillo, Texas, which meant we had 15 hours of driving ahead of us, not to mention stops along the way. The stops along the way are the most fun and memorable part of a road trip, as we’d learned while traveling Route 66 last October.

"Ugh, what time is it? Oh yeah, it time for vacation!"
“Ugh, what time is it? Oh yeah, it’s time for vacation!”

Soon enough we were in the car, and on our way. It had snowed a little bit the night before, but not enough to slow us down. If anything, it gave us extra incentive to get out of Illinois as fast as possible! We didn’t want to see anymore of the white stuff for a long time!

I don’t remember much about the first few hours of the trip, because I was sound asleep for them. But once the sun rose, I woke up and took my position up front. It was time to give MaMa a break from being co-pilot, and help Pops navigate his way down Interstate 55.

"Are we there yet? HaHa, just kidding!"
“Are we there yet? HaHa, just kidding!”

Before too long, Levi was up too and I reneged on my co-pilot duties to sit in back and have a chat with him. We both agreed it was going to be time to make a stop soon.

Road Warriors!
“Umm guys, we have to pee!”

So, we made our first of many rest area stops, and to be honest, there isn’t much to say about that. It sure was a relief though!

Not much to see here, just trucks for miles!
Not much to see here, just trucks for miles!

When we got back in the car, I heard MaMa and Pop say that we’d made really good time and Missouri wasn’t that far away. My excitement started to build when I started to think about everything I had to look forward to. This was going to be an epic day, filled with many firsts for me and MaMa. Levi and Pops had taken this drive before, but never with us ladies. It was bound to be an adventure for all of us to remember.

We’re so happy to have you along for the ride!

Next stop, The Gateway to the West!

 

 

 

 

 

A Better Day at Goodenow Grove

Have you ever visited a good place at a bad time? That happened to us this summer when we headed out early one morning to check out Goodenow Grove Forest Preserve in Beecher, IL. Despite the title of another blog post, A Good Day for Goodenow, it really wasn’t that good of a day to visit a forest preserve. Even though we tried getting there early to beat the heat, it was still too hot to walk. I mean literally, I kept laying down, and MaMa had to carry me if she wanted to go anywhere. Also, when we tried to find some shade and decided to walk around a pond in the woods, the bugs were ALL OVER Levi. We ended up calling it a day well before noon, and said, “We’ll have to come back here in the fall!”

So that’s what we did this past Saturday. We got a later start this time, but it didn’t matter because the weather was much cooler, and this time MaMa was prepared! More about that later…

After a pleasant drive through the country we finally arrived at Goodenow Grove. We knew we wanted to check out the longest trail at the preserve called the Plum Creek Greenway Trail, but first decided to take a quick walk around the area surrounding the Nature Center. As usual, Levi took the lead!

Levi Pitboxer loves checking out new places!
Levi Pitboxer loves checking out new places!

While out on our jaunt around the Grove, we saw a group of people having a party at one of the two pavilions available to rent for an event. Near the larger pavilion is a 40 foot hill used for sledding in the Winter. They even have sled rentals if you don’t have your own. I wonder if they let doggies sled down that giant hill?

A great sledding hill! But I'm not ready for snow yet!!
A great sledding hill! But I’m not ready for snow yet!!

Before heading out on the trail, MaMa wanted to check out the Plum Creek Nature Center, mostly to find out if they had a bathroom. There are two permanent outhouses (one by each pavilion), but if you have the option to use indoor plumbing, you should always take it (so says MaMa)! As we were walking towards the door, the man working behind the desk waved us inside. MaMa popped her head in and said, “We can bring the dogs in?” and he said, “Yeah, bring them in!”

We were so excited because it’s not every day that we get invited in somewhere. I guess we are kind of like vampires that way. We need to be invited before we can enter a building!!

I was so excited to check out somewhere new!
I was so excited to check out somewhere new! I broke out in a spontaneous dance!

I was dancing and Levi was rolling around on the floor. We really know how to make ourselves at home!

Levi Pitboxer enjoying a good roll!
Levi Pitboxer enjoying a good roll!

Once we were finally settled down, we took a good look around the place. We saw stuffed birds and animals, rocks, books, a living snake and lizard, and lots of activities for little kids to create and have fun!

img_20161008_132036243-2 goodenow7-2 goodenow3-2 goodenow6-2 goodenow2-2

The Nature Center had so much to look at, but it was a beautiful day and time to explore the outdoors. What I didn’t know was MaMa was prepared to go on a long walk this time, and was going to make sure I didn’t hold her up! I wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or elated. But either way, my secret is out. I’m officially a spoiled, little baby princess with her own little carriage to ride in!

dsc05570-2 dsc05572-2 dsc05578-2

It turns out I really enjoy being rolled around in my carriage. I was able to chill out, not get too tired or hold up the group, and MaMa didn’t hurt her back by picking me up and carrying me. Also, I could see all of the same great sites, but with a brand new perspective. The only thing MaMa would have done differently was choose a long trail that wasn’t made out of natural limestone. She said she got a real workout that day pushing me for miles on that lumpy, bumpy surface!

dsc05598-2

While out on the trail we saw some horses having their lunch in a grassy meadow, in addition to a horse being ridden that went right past us on the trail. If there is one thing Levi likes less than squirrels, it’s horses, and he got really worked up after seeing them! Since I get worked up when Levi is worked up, nobody was able to take a picture of the horse on the trail, but Pops did get some nice pictures of the ones just chilling in the meadow.

dsc05622-2
Look, he’s marked with a D for dog!

dsc05593-2

Since Levi’s panties were all in a bunch, Pops decided it would be a good time to take a break and sit in the shade and just relax for a bit.

dsc05602-2 dsc05605-2

Levi really couldn’t get his mind off of those dang horses, so MaMa gave him a good scratching, which always seems to clear his mind because it feels so good! He really liked it!

dsc05613-2 dsc05615-2

While Levi was getting his rub down, I took a look around at all of the beautiful trees. There weren’t too many leaves that had changed colors yet, but it was still a nice, peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the fabulous fall day that we’d been blessed with.

dsc05607-2
Check out Levi in the corner, wondering where that horse went!

dsc05610-2 dsc05600-2

After our nice break, Levi told us it was time to go and chase after some horses! And what Levi wants, Levi gets!

"Come on guys, I have a horse to catch!"
“Come on guys, I have a horse to catch!”

Back we went the way we came, and I really took advantage of being in my carriage and this time I lead the charge! “Onward!” I said, “Let us go forth and conquer whatever crosses our path!”

"Faster, faster, we have horses to capture!"
“Faster, faster, we have horses to capture!”

I had such a good time that day and look forward to going back again. This time it really was a good day for Goodenow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Fun in Frankfort!

This morning we had to get up and out the door early because MaMa scheduled an appointment with a furnace technician to clean and check the furnace, so it would be all ready for winter. They gave her a 9am-12pm timeframe. It’s now past noon and they haven’t called or shown up, so she is about to cancel the appointment, and find someone else. Don’t mess with MaMa, I always say!

Anyway…

Since we had to be home (we thought) by 9am, we needed to keep our morning adventure local. We spend a LOT of time in downtown MO-town (i.e. Mokena), and wanted to mix it up a little bit today. We decided to visit nearby Frankfort, which is where my MaMa grew up many years ago.

Historic downtown Frankfort is so pretty and the town is all decorated right now for fall making it even more picturesque. Early morning is a great time to visit and take pictures, because none of the shops are open yet (and there are LOTS of cute shops), and you’re not likely to run into too many people. Of course, we always see another dog or two and some runners and bike riders, since the Old Plank Road Trail runs right through the center of town. Other than that, it was really quiet and peaceful this morning.

After parking near the Frankfort historical society museum, we walked up Kansas street, which was completely devoid of any traffic whatsoever! We made sure we looked both ways too!

GiGi and Levi on Kansas Street.
Look both ways before standing in the middle of the street!

Once we were certain there was no traffic in either direction, we determined it was a safe place to set up for a photo shoot. I decided it was the perfect time for me to work on my different facial expressions! Can you pick a favorite?

ff3

ff1

ff2
I can be rather expressive when I set my mind to it!

After a while, Levi grew tired of waiting on me, and barged into my photo shoot! He said the people want some variety to spice up the pictures. I guess I can see his point, and we DO look pretty good together!

ff9
Yin & Yang are at it again!

We didn’t stay there long because just down the street and around the corner is Chew on This Dog Barkery, our favorite shop in town! Every time we visit Frankfort, we hightail it to their door. Little did we know it wasn’t open yet. Foiled again! MaMa and Pops had other ideas though. “Let’s set GiGi up for more pictures!” Uggh, not again, I thought. I mean, I know I’m cute, but seriously! I could feel my annoyance at the situation deepening and refused to look directly at the camera. That is my secret trick when I don’t want my photo taken. I just refuse to cooperate. Some might call me a Diva! But I don’t care!!

"Nope, I will not pose for you!"
“Nope, I will not pose for you!”

Once again, Levi wanted in on the action. He can be a real camera hog. But don’t call him that! He’s put on a few pounds and takes offense at being called a hog. BOL! Of course, he looked right at the camera, so I had to point and laugh at him for being putty in their hands.

He thinks he is so cute!
He thinks he is so cute!

Once we finished up at the shop and were convinced that it wasn’t going to open up just for us, we took a quick stroll around town, enjoying all of the fall and Halloween decorations. The old homes in town are a perfect backdrop to the spooky decorations!

Finally we ended up at the Breidert Green, which is where they put on concerts in the summer, along with a lot of other fun events throughout the rest of the year. We’ve spent a lot of time there in the past, but there was a new addition that I simply had to check out. A giant pile of wood always gets my attention, and this particular pile was giving off heat, even though it wasn’t on fire. I have no idea how they do it, but it sure was a nice place to warm up my little bum!

Giant sticks...for me to chew on!
Giant sticks…for me to chew on!
Maybe I'll just warm my bum instead.
Maybe I’ll just warm my bum instead.

It was almost time to go home to make sure we were back for the furnace appointment, but not before taking one last picture on the Green. In the background is the Trolley Barn, a fun place to shop or get a treat. We’ve never been inside, but hopefully one day we’ll get the chance. MaMa said there is an ice cream store inside. I need to get me some of that! Pops said they have popcorn too. Yummmmy!

ff5
Notice I’m still not looking at the camera!

It was a fun morning! We sure are lucky to have such a pretty place so close to home. Thanks for the fun fall morning and for being a beautiful background for our photos, historic downtown Frankfort. We WILL be back!

The Grainery is a historical landmark and the tallest building in town at 132 ft. tall.
The Grainery is a historical landmark and the tallest building in Frankfort at 132 ft. That’s 131 feet taller than me!