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Get Your Licks on Rt 66 Diary

Tour recap 9/20/2013

It’s been a fun couple of weeks on the road for our 5th annual month long pet adoption tour: Get Your Licks on Route 66. My husband Greg and I, along with rescue dogs, Junior and Jake, travel down America’s Favorite Highway, stopping at shelters along the way to support adoption events. Without our sponsors and host hotels and doggy daycares, we could not make this important trip and I want to thank each and every one who supports this life saving mission.

It is important to me to share our experience and pay homage to the hotels, restaurants and doggy daycare that provide food and shelter. It is also important to me to share this information so that dog lovers will feel confident in planning their own cross country trips, safe in the realization that there are great hotels and restaurants that they can enjoy while on vacation.

We look forward to this trip each year in anticipation of helping to support adoption events, provide our sponsors products to folks donating money to spin the wheel with proceeds going to the shelter at the end of the day.

Traveling for six weeks with our two dogs, Junior and Jake and staying at different hotels along the way along with scheduling doggy daycare time for the boys, takes a bit of preparation. Once finally on the road, air card in hand so I can work while my husband Greg drives, we take a deep breath, looking forward to hitting the Mother Road and helping to shed light on the plight of homeless pets.

Driving from Idaho to Los Angeles to pick up our Ford F150 truck is a trip our dogs, Junior and Jake are used to making as friends and family are in Southern California so we mix Fido business with pleasure, often. For the second year, Ford has provided our tour car and this year, a big beautiful Ford F150 was waiting for us to load up product and pets. This truck is roomy and comfortable plus, we can travel 500+ miles on a tank of gas. This is fabulous since we put a lot of miles between Los Angeles and Chicago and some of those miles are in the middle of nowhere and last time I checked, nowhere does not have a gas station.

First adoption event: Riverside, California

Doggy hosts for the second year were the Ruff House Pet Resort in Riverside, California. As returning doggy guests, the boys were given a warm welcome and as soon as paperwork was in order, without a backward glance, they trotted off to play with their new furry friends.

First adoption event was held at Riverside Humane and several families came out in search of a new family member. When we rolled up our banners and packed the truck, there were several folks still looking at pets. Total adoption numbers are not in but at last count, 10 pets found new forever homes.

You know that you are in California when: It takes 23 minutes to drive three miles.

First host hotel was the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Westwood and it was obvious that we were not the only guests with dogs as doggy names are on display at the entrance along with treats and water. Nice welcome! All Kimpton properties know the difference between ‘dogs allowed’ and ‘dogs welcome.’

I have not seen this many dogs at one hotel in a long time. The concierge notes, ‘well, it is California.’ We happened to time it just right for wine hour too. The onsite restaurant, Blvd. 16 was our choice for dinner and the menu offered both this vegetarian and her carnivore husband a myriad of choices. How do baby beets, beet vinaigrette and goat cheese sound for starters? Sounded good to me along with fresh lemon pasta, English peas, olive oil, tomatoes and kale. Kale is so hip and happening and good for you too. Oh, there is more: A Chef special treat of roasted pepper hummus, piquilla pepper and feta cheese was a yummy bite.

Boneless ribs my husband found most delectable and that included pesto grits, summer squash and roasted tomatoes. Compliment this dish with a glass of Pouilly Fuisse and call it better than good. The restaurant showcases a different artist each month and Jarod Farver was featured during our stay.

Boulevard16 Sustainable Practices

BLVD 16 Chef Richard Hodge and Hotel Palomar Los Angeles - Westwood share a passionate commitment to sustainable practices, from comprehensive recycling to the use of local organic ingredients in our food and cocktails. Our own rooftop garden supplies fresh herbs and more to our kitchen, making farm-to-table dining truly a reality here in LA. Learn more about Kimpton Hotels' EarthCare program, the foundation of BLVD 16's eco-friendly and sustainable practices. 

LA Animal Services

Official spokesperson, actress and animal lover Ashley Bell came out to lend her celebrity status for the event. She was most gracious to visit with adopters and fans. Cast of the Young  & Restless were on hand and two of the cast adopted puppies from the shelter. The spinning wheel saw a lot of action and last count on adoptions was close to 50.

On the way to Arizona we stayed at Casa Cody B&B in Palm Springs. Casa Cody is a 1920 property and very Fido-friendly. The historic Casa Cody Inn is the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs. Designated as a Class I Historic Site, it was founded in the 1920's by the beautiful Hollywood pioneer, Harriet Cody, cousin to the legendary Buffalo Bill. Casa Cody is nestled against the spectacular San Jacinto Mountains in the heart of Palm Springs Village. Our room included a living room, kitchen and bedroom situated in front of a large grass area, perfect for walking the dogs. I loved the giant grapefruit tree on the grounds and I had the feeling that I was walking in the footsteps of celebrities of the golden age of cinema long since gone to the acting stage in the sky. Casa Cody is close to town but off the beaten track just enough to ensure quite and privacy. 


Sedona is a magical place and on our way to Flagstaff. Staying in Sedona has become routine and the first glimpse of the famous red rocks never loses its impact.

Host hotel: Kimpton Amara Sedona

Newly under Kimpton management, the Amara sits along Oak Creek and our room had a balcony overlooking the slow moving stream. A breeze blowing leaves in the giant trees and hum of cicada lulled us to sleep. Sign up for free Yoga class to start your day off right and take a dip in the infinity pool.

Onsite restaurant Hundred Rox was a delight to these road warriors and the view from the patio was awe-inspiring. I am a big fan of the wedge salad. There is something about the chunk of lettuce and blue cheese that sets my palate for what the chef has in mind for our entrée. This particular wedge was dressed with slices of red onion, hold the bacon, and a house blue cheese I have been dreaming about ever since.  Greg chose the filet mignon and said it was tender and perfect. That is saying a lot from the man who always and I mean always, sends back his steak at least once. Chef treated me to grilled shrimp and pasta and a glass of wine from local winery, Page Springs Cellars, pulled it all together.

The boys stayed for the second year at Kingsmark Kennels in Flagstaff while we worked the adoption event with Second Chance Animal Center and Coconino Humane. Kingsmark Kennels has the most delightful locally baked cookies for Fido, hard to pass those up, so we didn’t.

Flagstaff adoption event held at Babbitt Ford.

During adoption day, a touching story stood out. A five-year-old dog was turned in the day before to Coconino Humane by a family with a new born baby, the reason escapes me but the family felt they could not manage both the dog and the baby; a man was looking for a new dog for his current dog who had recently lost his furry friend. As they say, timing is everything.


It is still very surprising to me when after setting up for the event at each stop that the days fly by, the stories are touching and most always provoke tears of joy and of sadness. That I am in awe of the volunteers who must witness daily acts of kindness and cruelty but who still, show up and devote their time to help save lives.

Next time:

Albuquerque and Santa Fe

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