Uberdog – West Hartford, CT

One of my favorite businesses in Connecticut (that I really can’t say enough good things about and that I really do miss) is Uberdog in West Hartford.

We began taking our family dog to Uberdog, 635 New Park Avenue, West Hartford, 860-236-8237, when it first opened a few years ago. Since then, my mom’s boyfriend has brought his dog, and I began bringing Maeby once she was old enough to go there.

The owner, Dan, is a really nice guy, who loves his family, dogs, and is clearly passionate about what he does and the people and dogs who come there. I feel the same about his staff. Maeby has had issues with her stomach in the past and when she’s gotten sick there, they have immediately called me to let me know what’s going on and have taken care of her to make sure she was feeling better. Or any time that anything has been even remotely questionable about her behavior (for example, one time she seemed disoriented and began walking funny), they have called me to let me know. Dan and his staff care about the dogs that come in, and I’ve always felt comfortable and confident leaving Maeby at Uberdog, even for overnight stays. And when I found out I was moving to San Diego and asked if I could transfer remaining days to a family member, Dan and his staff let me do this, no questions asked.

While I can’t comment on the price (though I have researched similar places in San Diego, all of which seem comparable to Uberdog), I can honestly say that it is worth every single penny. Especially in the winter, when Maeby and I couldn’t go running a few times a week, I found that taking Maeby to Uberdog even once a week (and supplementing it with taking her to the dog park on the weekends) kept her happy and kept me happy too.

If you’re looking for an awesome dog daycare in the greater Hartford area, please stop by Uberdog, 635 New Park Avenue, West Hartford, 860-236-8237, with your furry friend. Dan and his staff will make your feel comfortable and will take care of your dog like its their own. I can’t recommend this place enough.

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Road Trip Wrap-Up

So, it my trip was a little different than I initially planned.

Initially I said my drive across country would consist of the following:

Just over 3,000 miles.

5-6 days.

3 dog parks.

12 states.

Stops overnight in the following cities:

Roanoke, VA
Nashville, TN
Oklahoma City, OK
Santa Fe, NM
Phoenix, AZ (possibly – it depends how tired we are)

And ending at our destination…San Diego, CA

In the end, our new route looked like this…

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…and consisted of:

3400 miles.

7 days.

2 dog parks: Jackson, MS and El Paso, TX.

14 states.

Stops overnight in the following cities:

Roanoke, VA
Nashville, TN
New Roads, LA
Round Rock, TX
Silver City, NM

…and of course, we ended in San Diego.

New Mexico, Arizona, and San Diego.

All day Monday was spent driving through Texas (literally all the way across) from Austin through El Paso, and to Silver City, New Mexico for the night.

Before we got to our hotel, we did what we did throughout the trip: we stopped and got dinner.

We did some Googling and Yelping before getting to Silver City, and decided on The Jalisco Cafe.

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We got an incredible combination plate, which included chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, rice and beans, as well as chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers). We opted for the green chile sauce, which was spicier that the other option, but we were happy since green chiles are native to New Mexico. The pictures of the food weren’t all that great, but I promise you that if you’re in or around Silver City, this place is a must. Even the locals we talked to agreed.

We then headed to our hotel, the Econolodge in Silver City. It was merely a place for us to rest our heads, but we were surprised by all of the amenities in the room and at the hotel (including a microwave and fridge, swimming pool, and full breakfast), and we would definitely stay here again.

The next day, we woke up early, and began our trip west for our last day of our trip. I was most excited about New Mexico before my trip began and I was not disappointed by its beauty.

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Next stop: Arizona.

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Not much to write about here. By this point we were eager to get to San Diego. We did stop in Yuma for lunch and liked that city a lot. We planned on getting In-N-Out but then saw there was a Chipotle and thought that would be a healthier option after all the food we ate during our trip (and before, with Thanksgiving and various dinners/happy hours with friends and family before leaving).

More Arizona…

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Then we made it to California!

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We got into San Diego around 4:00 pm, after 9 hours of driving. As we drove towards the city and got off our exit, I made Adam put on California Love for me. It was necessary.

And so, I will leave you with that song.

More Louisiana and Texas.

Dinner at Morels Restaurant in New Roads, Louisiana. So, so good…

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Fried alligator and crawfish from Prejean’s in Lafayette, LA…

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Finally made it to Texas…

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Our beautiful hotel room at the Windgate in Round Rock, TX. This was by far our favorite hotel from our trip, and the second cheapest. Our room included a sofa bed (which we obviously didn’t use), king size bed, cable, free wifi (this was also the best wifi of all the hotels we stayed at), and a free breakfast in the morning (again, the best breakfast of all the hotels, as it included hot entrees, including biscuits and gravy).

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We might have had BBQ in Nashville but Texas BBQ is different. We picked up brisket, sausage, ribs, baked beans, green beans, creamed corn and tamale pie at Johnny T’s in Round Rock before stopping at the hotel for the night. It was all amazing.

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Maeby wanted some of our food.

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We stopped at Pebble Hills Dog Park in El Paso, TX on our way to New Mexico. We had a little trouble finding it (the GPS directed us to a library, and the park was a little bit past that), but once we found it, Maeby had a great time. She also got to make new friends, and the people there were really nice (just as they were in Jackson, MS).

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More Texas.

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We had to stop at Whataburger. It had to happen; we were in Texas, after all. And Adam wouldn’t stop talking about how we had to go there…so we did. I wasn’t disappointed. It was really good.

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On to New Mexico…

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More Nashville, Some Louisiana, and a Dog Park.

A few days into our trip, I gave a quick update about the weather. And it’s true–things don’t always go as planned.

If we went north, we’d hit bad weather in Missouri; our original route across Arkansas and Oklahoma City was the worst possible option; and if we went south through Dallas, we’d be driving through iced-over roads.

We stayed an extra night in Nashville, got drinks and some reallllllly delicious fried green tomatoes at Merchants, stopped in a couple of other bars for live music, and then wrapped up our evening with a second round of Nashville bbq at Jack’s Barbeque.

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It was all so good.

The next morning, we made our way south. Way south…to a small town about 40 minutes outside of Baton Rouge, where Adam’s former boss lives. On our way, we stopped in Jackson, Mississippi at this wonderful shelter and dog park, so Maeby could get in some exercise. She had a blast.

 

The park was located at CARA – Community Animal Rescure & Adoption and I really don’t have enough nice things to say about the staff there.

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As someone who is very passionate about animal rescues and shelters, I really admired the people who worked here, because they were kind and caring (and loved Maeby), and they were providing shelter to over 300 dogs. They take in strays and owner surrenders, help nurse sick dogs and cats back to health, and find homes for all of these animals. I don’t think I could ever do what these people do; I’d get too attached and have such a hard time dealing with some of the animal cruelty cases they handle on a daily basis. If you have a moment though, please check out and like their Facebook page. They are an amazing organization staffed by an incredible group of people.

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There’s more to come…

WTF Cleon

So…Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee are being hit with a major winter storm (named Cleon).

Friday

We changed our hotel reservation to stay an extra day here in Tennessee, and our plan to go through Arkansas to Oklahoma City may change, depending on how bad those states have been hit. Unfortunately, whichever direction we go in will be questionable; if we go north through Missouri to Kansas, we will have to drive through a hard-hit part of Missouri; if we go the southern route (which we definitely looked at), we will be fine in Louisiana and Mississippi but will hit ice in Dallas. On top of all that, there have been power outages in many of these states so finding a hotel room may be difficult.

So, we will reassess the situation this evening and decide where we should go from there.

For someone who hates having to break away from a plan (and be kind of spontaneous), I think I’m handling things pretty well.