A lot has happened in the last two months: we got a house in another part of the city, we moved in (which was an adventure in itself, but we now have a yard! and a fireplace!), we spent Christmas in a country farmhouse in France (and we drove 10 hours to get there) and we had a cozy New Year’s Eve at home, watching movies by the fire. It was definitely an exciting end of the year and we loved every day of it!
We had Sami with us throughout everything and, as always, he was a valuable part of the team! 😀 He helped us with packing and guarding the boxes as the people from the moving company were, well, moving them.
He probably loves our new home more than we do, since he spends half the time outside and likes to do zoomies and dig in the yard (no pictures here yet). We used to live in an apartment, so he finally has lots of space to run and seems a lot happier!
We had Christmas plans to drive to France and meet with friends, so before we knew it we had to pack again. We drove for 10 hours, with breaks every 2 hours or so, and Sami slept the entire time. Thankfully, he’s a very well adjusted dog when it comes to travels and he takes it really well. No complaining, no trouble. He is always happy when we take a break and take a 10 min walk, even if it’s just around a gas station on the highway. Then when it’s time to start again, he goes right back to sleep. A contributing factor is we make sure he has all the comfort in the back seat. We recently bought a new seat cover that has an anti-slip surface (both front and back, which means it sticks well to the seat and Sami doesn’t slide aaaall the way to the other side whenever we take a curve, like it used to be). You can find it on Amazon US (and UK here).
He also has his fluffy pillow and a blanket (he loves curling up into plush-like blankets, haha) and at every stop we take out our dog traveling water bottle and check if he’s thirsty.
Before getting to our holiday destination, we made a two day stop in Biarritz and we started our French adventure right by the ocean! It was pretty cloudy and rainy, but Sami enjoyed his first visit to France!
Sami had a great time running on the beach and accompanying us into restaurants, which by the way is another reason why I love France. Most restaurants and public places are so dog friendly, the staff doesn’t even notice. Every time we went into a new place, we would politely ask if we can go in with the dog and their reaction was always “Yees, yes of course! Come in, come in!” and they would bring us a water bowl for him. This happened in bars, pizza places and high end gourmet restaurants, so we can assume this is the normal thing in France, which allowed us to have Sami with us all the time. However, dogs are not welcome in supermarkets, which was surprising and it was pretty inconvenient, since we never leave him in the car alone, so one of us had to stay with him outside. But still, it is way better than anywhere else we’ve traveled with Sami and we really enjoyed having him always with us.
After leaving the coast, we arrived in the Pyrenees mountains and we stayed at this charming inn that used to be a farmhouse. They had a big yard with chickens running around, which makes for a lovely, rustic experience, but when you have a small, prey driven beast… it has its challenges. Who do you think was chasing after Sami on Christmas morning, screaming at the top of her lungs, because he decided he had to go after the chickens? Yeah… that happened.
Other than that, it was a lovely Christmas! We had great weather, it was warm and sunny so we spent lots of time outside, which was unexpected for us too, since we thought we’d even have snow. We had traditional French food and desserts (Sami did get a tiny piece of cheese, just so he can say he ate French food too).
Sami got a gift too, which he opened himself (not kidding, he actually grabbed the cute package from my hand, put it down, put his paw on it and started shredding the gift paper to pieces! The nerve of this dog, unbelievable!). He was very happy with his toy though. The toy, not so much. It lasted three whole days.
After a wonderful Christmas and many presents, we drove home, where we had some more unpacking to do, but we got to spend a relaxing, cozy New Year’s by the fireplace, binge watching all the Harry Potter movies 😀