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Corolla, North Carolina, 2014
Jul18
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Back to NY, by way of Baltimore
Jul17

Back to NY, by way of Baltimore

These past two weeks, I’ve been sharing about our family’s recent trip to North Carolina’s Outerbanks. In the last piece, I wrote about our road trip getting there, specifically a delightful overnight in Delaware. In today’s installment, we’re heading back to the city… Where To Stay Hotel Monaco – This boutique hotel is located right in the heart of Baltimore’s historic district, and it could not be a more pet-friendly place! Harkening back to the old grandeur of the city, the hotel features practically cavernous common spaces combined with a retro interior (thick tapestries and carpets of intricate geometric patterns and designs). Our room was equally grand with a beautiful modern bath, and it also had its share of welcoming materials for the pups. Bowls of food and water were waiting for Galileo and Otis when we arrived, along with a goody bag of a few biscuits, a poop bag, and information for pup parents about nearby locations for dog walks. Right around the corner, there is a large grassy area in a park center, and only a couple of blocks down the road is a gated dog park (though dogs are required to remain on leash). The best walk, however, is just minutes away: a five-minute walk takes you to the city’s waterfront and Harborplace. Plenty of grassy areas, and the pier along the water is the perfect setting for a family walk. On a mild summer Saturday evening, Harborplace  was a hub of activity — people of all ages strolling along, others enjoying some outdoor dining, and a few street performers entertaining the crowd — but it was still easy enough to navigate the pups along this charming center of restaurants and shops. One more thing to say about what’s so great about Hotel Monaco, part of the Kimpton hotel group: from 2004 to 2014, Klimpton has received a score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Kudos! Where To Eat Land of Kush – Vegan soul food! This unassuming, tiny place is AWESOME. I took the plunge and went with the Lush BBQ Ribs (soy protein). Honestly, I’ve never been one for the sticky sweetness of barbecue sauce, but I couldn’t resist trying these and, on the same plate with sides of Baked Mac ‘n Cheese and Smoked Collard Greens… wow… it was so different from the kinds of things I usually eat and SO tasty! Seth, meanwhile, had vegan “Drummies” that are seasoned breaded soy served on...

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NYC to OBX: Delaware Delights
Jul14

NYC to OBX: Delaware Delights

Last week, I wrote about our recent vacation to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. As promised, today I’m sharing with you some delightful discoveries on our road trip south from New York City, during our overnight stay in Rehoboth, Delaware. We chose Rehoboth simply because it was a good half-way stopping point on our route. What a pleasant surprise this little seaside town turned out to be be for us — the pups  included! Not only would I recommend Rehoboth as a a terrific stop for those on the road, but I also would recommend this as a nice weekend getaway. It’s just over three hours from Manhattan, including a scenic ferry ride from New Jersey’s Cape May crossing over into Delaware; and for those of you in the DC/Virginia area, it’s also not too far of a drive. Take note, there’s a lively LGBT community here as well; so while there’s definitely a laid-back seaside vibe, there’s also a lively night life happening around here. Where To Stay The Homestead Inn is one of the most charming pet-friendly Bed & Breakfasts I’ve stayed in — my thanks to BringFido.com for the recommendation. Innkeepers David and Joe are the perfect hosts — Joe came out to greet us right away as we first let Otis and Galileo run around the enclosed grassy backyard area before checking in. The common area is a cozy space of a few tables and, in the midst of all materials for travelers about local businesses and events, there’s an array of stuff for the pups, from treats to beach towels. When we made the reservation, we let our hosts know we were vegans (a rule of thumb when doing the B & B thing), and they could not have been more accommodating: for breakfast the following morning, we were treated to tofu scrambles that were chock full of vegetables straight out of the backyard garden and roasted potatoes. They even gave us bread that was vegan so we could sample the homemade preserves. Delicious! Meanwhile, Otis and Galileo enjoyed some oatmeal before we all piled back into the car and continued on our way. Where To Eat Upon Joe’s recommendation, we went into the center of town for dinner at Hobo’s. Though not specifically a vegan restaurant, Hobo’s has plenty of vegan options. While we enjoyed the patio dining (dogs are welcome — if only we’d known!) and “music poaching” (a woman’s singing Broadway tunes and standards at the place across the street), Seth had a Buddha Bowl. According to our server, the Buddha Bowl is perhaps Hobo’s best-known menu item: a healthy serving of rice topped with seasonal vegetables...

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Visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina
Jul08

Visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina

I just got back a few weeks ago from a family vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’m happy to hear reports that the area made it safely through the holiday weekend’s storm, and that both locals and tourists are once again enjoying the beauty of their surroundings. The main goal of our trip to the Outer Banks was to witness the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that wander the beaches in Corolla, but it also was about spending some quality time together — lots of long walks with the pups on the beach in the cool summer evenings. And I couldn’t resist the opportunity to strike an “Airplane” pose at the Wright Brothers National Monument. As always when visiting a place new to me, part of the fun is exploring local offerings for vegans and, when traveling with Otis and Galileo, a few spots that make family vacation extra fun for our canine kids. Here’s what I discovered in the lovely First in Flight state: Thai Room (Kill Devil Hills) This little unassuming place is a great inexpensive option for dinner. My husband Seth is pretty committed to trying a Pad Thai wherever it’s on the menu (just make sure to let the server know you’re vegan so that the kitchen makes it without egg and if used, fish sauce). I wanted something lighter than a curry (they offer red and green options), so I went with Vegetables with Basil, a nice assortment of seasonal vegetables with a very subtle sauce. Thai Room lets you choose just how spicy you want your sauce, whichever sauce you select. As an appetizer, Seth and I split the Summer Rolls, my favorite part of the meal here. Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar (Kitty Hawk) I loved the vibe of this place and the Martini Menu can be a lot of fun for adventurous spirits (pun intended). When it comes to martinis, it’s a rare indulgence for me and I like to stick with the simplicity of a vodka martini with one olive. Seth chose the Hot & Dirty, a mix of Absolut Pepper, Absolut Citron, and Chipotle Tabasco. This cocktail usually comes with a bleu cheese-stufed pepperocini, so Seth asked them for three plain olives instead. A great thing about this place is that they have a full separate Vegetarian Menu, though you have to know to ask for it. The menu here is seasonal, so it will change. Unfortunately, on the night we visited (when we made our reservation, we gave them a heads up that vegans were coming), there wasn’t anything vegan on the vegetarian menu, and the selection consisted of...

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The Nutmeg Cookery in Hartford, Connecticut
Mar03

The Nutmeg Cookery in Hartford, Connecticut

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Hartford for Voices for Animals Day at the State Capitol Building, organized by the ASPCA. Connecticut citizens gathered to speak with their individual legislators in support of prohibiting the sale of puppy-mill puppies in new pet stores (and phasing out sales in the sixteen pet stores that still have them). The day started with a welcoming breakfast and — wow — what scrumptious vegan goodies The Nutmeg Cookery had put together for us. A perfect start to the day while people mingled before the press conference and presentation. If you’re in the Hartford area, I hope you’ll keep in mind The Nutmeg Cookery if you’re looking to bring a little extra special vegan love into your home or office. Jenny and her husband mostly work as personal chefs but, as you can see, they are a dynamic duo for events, too. Voices for Animals Day and other “Lobby Day” Events If you have yet to participate in a Lobby Day event at your state capital, I highly encourage you to do so.  They are so uplifting — how inspiring and empowering when kids and adults come together for a few hours to lend their voices on behalf of the voiceless. For kids and adults alike, it also can be both fun and educational. Most of all, it’s incredibly rewarding to meet with your local representatives or their staff members in person. So how do you know when events like these are happening in your own community? Here’s one easy way: sign up for the ASPCA’s Advocacy Brigade. And, if you’re in New York, you can count on seeing me in Albany in...

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