I am no blog superstar by any means, but occasionally I am approached by advertisers to check out their products or pay me in exchange for a post on the site. As you can tell from the lack of sponsored posts on this site, I normally reject them. I’m not against sponsored posts per say, just am very selective about the companies I endorse and never ever want to come across as writing something just for a buck. If it isn’t something I naturally wouldn’t write about anyways, I politely decline.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from the folks at DogVacay asking whether I would be interested in using their service for my dog for free and a gift card towards a night on the town, in exchange for a blog post. They even included a picture of Leia found from my blog in their email:
Presh. Advertisers, if you want to get the attention of a publisher, find an adorable picture of their dog and they’ll be 10x more likely to pay attention to your message.
DogVacay reminds me a little of Airbnb, except for your pet. Instead of sending your dog to a boarding place, you can send your pup to stay at someone’s house. A little home away from home. Plus they include free pet insurance, 24/7 customer support and (my fave) a daily photo update so parents know what’s going on while they are away from their pet.
I love this concept, and it’s certainly something I could see ourselves using for the next time we go out of town. So I decided why not! Let’s have a fun evening downtown and see what this service is all about.
I searched the listings and found Shelly, who lives fairly close to my house, and contacted her whether she was free to watch Leia Saturday to Sunday. We met up at a dog park to make sure Leia and her pup got along (they did), and I made the reservation online. Easy peasy.
Saturday afternoon we dropped Leia off for her Dog Vacay date, then hit the town!
As much as J and I love to travel, we’re kind of boring cheapskates when it comes to where we live. We tend to stay in the five-mile radius of our house and stick to our same old restaurants and same old routine. And normally when we do anything fun for an evening, we always have to rush to be back to feed and take Leia out, so it was good to know she was in good hands while we were out.
We parked our car at the Red hat Amphitheater and explored downtown Raleigh.
We walked around downtown for a bit, stopping into a few antique shops and boutiques. We first went into Father and Son’s Antiques, which is a four-story shop filled with vintage indy treasures.
^This chair felt very Emily Henderson to me.
I liked this shirt from Deco shop. North Carolina residents, are you a tomato or vinegar bbq fan? :)
After walking around for a bit, we ate dinner at Cafe Luna, a charming Italian restaurant near Moore Square. I am in the middle of the Whole 30 challenge, and it was reeeeeeally hard to stick to the diet when all I wanted bread and wine and pasta! But I was on day 18, and determined not to cheat, no matter how tempting. I ordered red snapper with grilled vegetables, and it was delicious.
Sorry for the blurry photo … I always hate being “that girl” that is taking photos of her food in a nice restaurant. ;)
Meanwhile, I got some sweet pictures from Shelly! They went to the dog park and she said she was having a good time and behaving herself. :) It was so nice to get an update!
After dinner we walked back to the Red Hat Amphitheater for the Ray LaMontagne concert. This was my first time at the amphitheater, and it’s a really nice venue with the Raleigh skyline behind you.
The show was great! For a concert in July it was certainly warm, but not nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. The whole time J and I were like Why do we never do stuff like this?! So add “do something new in Raleigh/Durham” to every monthly goal for the rest of the year. ;)
We got home late, and then picked up Leia Sunday morning. She evidently had a great time because she literally slept all Sunday afternoon:
It was so nice to go out for an evening and explore downtown Raleigh, all the while knowing Leia was in good hands.
If you’re a dog owner and need a place for your pet, use the promo code PRETTYPENNY for $10 off the next time you use DogVacay.com.
Also! A lot of readers have asked me about how to make a little extra cash if you’re trying to pay off debt or looking to make a little extra income, so if you are a dog lover, you could sign up to be a host. Sounds like a really easy way to make some money doing what you love. :)
Dog owners — what do you normally do with your pup when you are out of town? Friends or boarders?PS – Disclosure: If you couldn’t tell from my first paragraph, this was a sponsored post by DogVacay, but all opinions were mine. :)