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#MiniVacay with DogVacay

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Anna Osgoodby Life + Design :: #MiniVacay with Dog Vacay

If you know me at all {or have been following my blog for awhile}, you know that Scoots is the little furry light of my life! Yep, it’s official — I’m a crazy dog mom.

As much as I love him though, it’s no secret that living in the city with a dog can be tough sometimes! I truly couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve made it to a Happy Hour and spontaneous out-of-town getaways aren’t exactly an option either. The pup has to be walked and fed! And while I’m definitely lucky that Scooter is pretty well behaved, this girl would love to be able to make it out for a half-priced margarita every now and then {especially with the drink prices in the city}!

That’s why I was so excited when the great people over at DogVacay contacted me to introduce me to their service! DogVacay is an awesome website + app that is helping dog parents all over the country find great pet sitters for their furry friends in real homes. The best part? You can find a host nearby, book, and pay for your doggie vacay all through their easy to navigate site! 

Not only was I introduced to DogVacay, but their team also invited me to be apart of their #MiniVacay campaign. The just of it? I got to enjoy a mini vacay of my choice while Scooter had his own doggie vacation with one of the awesome hosts from the website. Mini vacays for the both of us? I couldn’t say yes fast enough! 

When I first signed up for the website and entered my neighborhood in, I was pleasantly surprised with over 800 hosts who were close to my apartment! Wowzers! That’s 800 potential new friends for Scoots!

The host profiles are really great too because every person has their own profile talking about their experience with animals, detailed information about the care they provide and pricing. So you really get a decent amount of information before you even have to reach out. Luckily, I also got some helpful tips from the ladies at DogVacay's concierge service {who were such sweethearts} on tips and tricks of finding a great host for Scooter.

Here’s some of the great advice I got:

  1. Take your time browsing hosts and pay attention to their about section, reviews, and photos. Bonus if they have had multiple repeat visitors! Always a good sign!
  2. Ask a question! Don’t be afraid to reach out to a potential host and ask some questions. Where would Scooter be sleeping? Are there other dogs in the apartment? Whatever might be on your mind.
  3. Set up a meet-and-greet. If your trip is a little further out setting up a meet-and-greet is a great option to introduce your dog to the host and make sure they {as well as you} feel comfortable about the match. 

I browsed a lot of great host options and ending up deciding on a host who only lives a few blocks from my new apartment! Location was definitely a big factor, but my host also had 20 5-star reviews, several repeat visitors, and she had watched multiple dachshunds — who let’s be honest have their own little personalities! 

Just a few steps later and I was feeling great about Scooter’s host and it was time to do a little planning for our mini vacays!

After a little back-and-forth {mostly on my part — Scooter is easy to please ;-)} we both had our itineraries in check for the weekend!

A few sleeps later, and the evening had come! I walked Scooter over to his host’s apartment, said my goodbyes and headed back home to get ready for our date night out! I must say, it was a little weird getting ready at my apartment without the little furball around, but I knew he was in good hands!

We made reservations at a steakhouse in Tribeca called American Cut, that Chris said could possibly be credited for helping keep Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks. Sports talk aside, I was excited to enjoy a fancy dinner for the evening. A little bit of an upgrade from our usual burger outings {which are still awesome but on another level}.

While we were sitting down to our fancy dinner, I received some photos of Scoots spending some quality time at the park! Look at that smiley little dog face :) Both of our evenings seemed to be off to a great start!

We opted for some cocktails to start our evening out {sorry no drinks for you Scoots!}. I went with their Moon Dance champagne cocktail and Chris ordered something a little more adventurous called the Bacon Apple Boom. Which was definitely very bacon-y!

Then out came these perfectly baked everything biscuits with vegetable cream cheese. The perfect way to get our meal started! The cream cheese was light, yet full of flavor. You know it’s good when Chris, who never eats cream cheese, was going in for extra spoonfuls!

Next up? Steakhouse classic choices — steakhouse bacon and a fresh caesar salad.

Then it was onto the main courses! A New York City Cut bone-in Ribeye for Chris, and 21 day wet-aged Filet Mignon steak for me. OH YEAH! Can we talk about the sides too? We ordered a Potato Puree “Robuchon” and Twice Baked Cheddar Truffle Potatoes. Not only were the steaks cooked and seasoned perfectly, but those sides? YUM! I can easily say the twice baked potatoes were the best potatoes I’ve ever had. Hands down.

I didn’t quite make it through my whole half of the meal, but that’s what doggie bags are for! You know you’re at a nice restaurant too when instead of bringing your leftovers to the table you get a coat check ticket to pick them up on the way out. Definitely a first for me!

We really had such a wonderful dinner! Not only was the food amazing, but the service was phenomenal. It was also nice to head down to Tribeca, which is a neighborhood I’ve spent little to no time in since living here. I definitely can’t wait to come back down and explore a little more! 

While we were wrapping up dinner and heading to our next activity, we received some more photos from our host {what an awesome feature}! It put me at ease knowing that Scooter had had fun at the park, played with his squeaky toy and was already heading to bed for the night!

NYC Living :: #MiniVacay with DogVaca

NYC Living :: #MiniVacay with DogVaca

While Scoots was headed to dreamland, we headed down to Battery Park to walk along the water, take in the view and head to our next activity for the night!

As the clock struck 9, we were ready to board our Manhattan by Sail sailboat to take a twilight city lights cruise around the Hudson. One of my favorite things about the city is the view and this seemed like the perfect way to cap off our date night. Plus, I’ve never been on a sailboat before, so I was so excited to try something new! 

If you are looking for a great way to enjoy the city, I absolutely recommend taking one of these sailboat tours! The views were GORGEOUS — photos really can’t do it justice. 

Our boat went right up close to the Statue of Liberty too! So awesome! When you live in the city, a lot of times you end of avoiding some of the top tourist stops — like the Statue of Liberty, so it was so nice to be able to enjoy her beauty in a relaxing setting. Cruising around the Hudson for a few hours with a couple of drinks? Absolutely perfect.

As the sails came down and our boat docked, our date night was coming to an end. I couldn’t be more thankful for our mini vacay! It’s been a busy last couple of months between travel, work, and planning for my move and DogVacay allowed us to have the perfect relaxing evening!

The following morning I was able to sleep in a little bit without being woken up to my face being licked — it’s the little things! After a wonderful evening and a restful sleep, it was time to head over and pick up the pup!

My host said they had a great time together and Scoots left her apartment smiling ear-to-ear. I really couldn’t have picked a better host and will definitely be using DogVacay again in the future. Knowing there are great hosts through the service is going to make future travel plans a lot less stressful when it comes to making Scooter’s arrangements!

Scooter and I aren’t the only ones benefitting from trying out the service either. I loved it so much that the DogVacay crew are offering $10 off your first visit to my readers with the code NYCLiving (new users only)! This is for everyone too, not just those based in NYC! Quit stressing out about what you’re going to do with your pets during your end-of-summer getaways and check out their website today — I really think you’re going to like it!

**Disclaimer: DogVacay’s team sponsored my #MiniVacay and provided me with a promotional credit to try out their service. This post and all opinions stated are based on my own ideas and honest experience with the services and have not been influenced based upon the sponsorship.