Archives for March 2018

Give A Flying F***

Dog Dies in Overhead Bin…

If you haven’t heard the story yet, a French Bulldog died on a United Airlines flight from Houston to LaGuardia NYC Monday night. The passenger, also traveling with her daughter and infant, was forced by the flight attendant to put her airline-approved carrier in the overhead bin. I am shocked and outraged that this was even an option in this horrendous flight attendant’s mind. The 10-month old French Bulldog was in an airline-approved carrier and had his TSA-approved pet ticket, in compliance with the airlines rules. A live creature in the overhead bin is illegal.

This incident should have NEVER happened and could have been completely avoided with a little bit of common sense.

  • Why did the flight attendant demand that a living creature be stored in an overhead bin with obviously no air and ventilation?
  • WHY did the owner agree? It looks like she refused at first but then eventually complied as she did not want to get thrown off the flight–trust me, I would’ve stormed out of that plane with my dogs and called some lawyers ASAP.
  • Why didn’t anyone else say anything or check on the dog during the 3 hour flight?? Especially after the dog was heard crying for help??

A passenger named Maggie Gremminger publicly spoke out about what happened. Here are her words of exactly what happened:

“I was in seat 24A, the woman (mother) was 23C, with her young teenage daughter in seat 23B. The mother had a young daughter and a newborn.

I was sitting in the row behind the woman with the dog, and the gentleman next to me witnessed it all as well. We both overheard/saw the interaction between the flight attendant and the passenger.

I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin. The passenger adamantly pushed back, sharing verbally that her dog was in the bag. The flight attendant continued to ask the passenger to do it, and she eventually complied. By the end of the flight, the dog was dead. The woman was crying in the airplane aisle on the floor. A fellow passenger offered to hold the newborn while the mother was crying on the floor aisle with the dog. it was this out of body experience of grief.

But holy **** I don’t know how the hell this happened. The flight attendant wouldn’t even NEED to hear there was a dog in the carrier. She was right there looking at the TSA approved bag. (The dog carrier is the black on the ground in the photo. It is clearly a carrier with mesh, which makes me question how the flight attendant could say she didn’t know there was a dog)

I feel angry and powerless and regretful. I know clearly this was not an intent of anyone and yet that flight attendant is responsible for this. How were we to know that maybe there wasn’t a new ventilation system in those bins? It’s not our job to know this information.

I understand emotional distress in a different way right now. I can’t get the image out of my head of the woman on the floor of the airplane aisle, crying and holding that sweet dog.

Immediately after the flight landed, myself and another witness stayed to speak with various United employees. The flight attendant denied knowing it was a dog, but the man seated next to me said he heard the flight attendant respond to the passenger “you need to put your dog up here” – therefore admitting that she knew an animal was in there. Additionally, I’ve been in touch with United via private message on Twitter.

They publicly replied asking me to message them – once private messaging them I shared my confirmation # and flight info. They replied:

“We appreciate you reaching out with more information. Please know that we are in contact with the passenger and thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

I also was offered $75 in credit (along with the gentleman witness) for staying and working with them to share our recollection of events. We both refused the credit.”

 

We have a right to be angry. I’ve been upset about it all day.

But we should also, as a whole, get smarter and braver to ensure that something like this NEVER happens.

Remember, making the choice of being a dog owner means having a voice for your dog as well!

Next time you fly with your animal, make sure of the following:

  1. Be proactive before your flight and follow the TSA guidelines. Get the correct health certificates, pet fees and anything else to ensure you have a smooth check-in process.
  2. Question authority if you’re in the right and make sure you never place your dog in danger! Step 1 comes in handy when you’ve done your due diligence and know you’re in the right. C’mon; if someone tells you (even the pilot!) to put your dog in a small airless overhead bin, say NO and/or LEAVE!
  3. If you see something like this happening to somebody else, stand up, speak up and alert the correct people. Their dog’s life may depend on it.
  4. Remember, flying is not always the best option. If you know you and/or your dog will be uncomfortable, find another way.

 

Miami Dog Friendly Getaway

dog friendly miami

[ Last updated January 14, 2020 ]

 

OMG. I could not wait for this trip. LA weather dropped to the lowssss–58, 59, 60 degrees (sorry, NYC). Plus I was sick with a sinus infection so it was just the right time to soak in some sun and that infamous Florida humidity. Within 24 hours, my sinuses cleared up and my skin was glowing.

Obviously, some months are just too hot to bring the pups (July/August = 100% humidity!) but February/March are the best months to go to Miami. The days are hot but mornings and end of day are nice and breezy, especially on the beachfront.

So, what are some fun Miami dog-friendly activities you can plan?

[ img credit: Wynwood Walls ]

[ img credit: Galerie ]

The Wynwood Walls are a total unique experience–it’s basically like an outdoor museum with life-size murals from graffiti artists around the world. Especially popular during Art Basel, you can check it out year-around and since it’s outdoors, the pup can come and have a walk.

We’ve been a couple times and didn’t know they don’t allow dogs inside the Walls! But the actual Wynwood Walls area is only a few blocks—you can totally explore the surrounding streets instead. Get your camera out—you’ll find lots of graffiti-filled walls + instagrammable murals.

There are really cool restaurants and bars in the neighborhood too. Try Wynwood Kitchen + Bar, Coyo Taco for authentic mexican street tacos, Bakan for even more mexican and a huge mezcal list. They even have a “Los Insectos” section on their menu: fried grasshoppers + agave worms. I didn’t give those a try. Dukunoo for jamaican food, Le Chick for rotisserie chicken + burgers, and Panther Coffee.

You’ll also find trendy shopping like Warby Parker, Illesteva and Scotch & Soda. It’s a great area to spend the whole afternoon.

 

For another walk and for art/history buffs, the Art Deco Tours are everyday–90 minutes for $25–which is a great Miami activity. We didn’t get to check out the Botanical Gardens but will next time–it’s rare that a Botanical Garden is dog-friendly!

dog friendly miami

Beaches, Parks + Watersports

Bark Beach at North Shore Open Space Park is a fenced off-leash dog park across the beach. You also have the option of going on the beach with your dog on-leash for a $25 entry fee. 20 minutes from South Beach. 8328 Collins Ave.

Haulover Beach Park is located between Lifeguard Towers #2 and #3 where you’ll find a 3.3-acre dog park. Dogs and their owners can enjoy the beach from 8am – 3pm. 30 minutes from South Beach. 10800 Collins Ave.

Beaches in general seem to be dog-friendly. We’ve never been kicked out!

One of my favorite activities to do with Fira is paddleboarding and kayaking. Even though Fira hates baths and being in water, she loooves being on top of the water. I go to South Beach Kayak for the rentals which is in Biscayne Bay. The area is really chill + relaxed, with views of beautiful homes. Right down the block is a great italian restaurant called Sardinia (with outdoor seating).

 

cuban sandwich dog

Matador Room: this Latin/Spanish restaurant is located at the Edition and gooood. Beautiful outdoor seating above the pool but can I mention the Cuban sandwich was probably one of the best I’ve ever had?

french bulldog tacos

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila: Authentic “taco truck” feel and taste, guys. Get the ceviche! Only $9 and comes with plenty of chips. At night, this spot turns into a bar open til 5am with a secret entrance through the porta potty door–speakeasy style. 1220 16th St.

nikki star

Byblos: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dishes that are creative, jeweled and bright–just like its Art Deco decor. 🙂 It can be a little overpriced and touristy, but it is just beautiful inside. 

Mandolin: gorgeous Greek food with a spectacular outdoor patio—converted from a 1930s bungalow. It really takes you away like you are actually in Greece.

La Mar: high-end Peruvian restaurant by Chef Gaston Acurio serves amazing ceviches, tiraditos + pisco sours at the Mandarin Oriental. Large outdoor patio overlooking the Biscayne Bay.

Habitat: located at the 1 Hotel, this spot offers fresh farm-to-table fare (and some seriously vocal tropical birds chirping from the trees above the tables).

design district dog

Politan Row: upscale, elegant dining hall in the Design District, right next to Louis Vuitton, Dior, etc. But not to worry, the food is not designer-priced! One of our favorite places to eat, there’s a variety of options from authentic italian, israeli, japanese and even vegan cupcakes.

outdoor restaurants miami[ Vista ]

Vista: gorgeous ambiance + italian food.

Jaya: just for the scenery alone—have lunch at the gorgeous Setai hotel and feel whisked away. Upscale asian cuisine. 

Bird & Bone: craving southern comfort food like fried chicken + biscuits? Located in the Confidante Hotel, enjoy Nashville hot chicken at this chic eatery.

Amara at Paraiso: upscale Latin cuisine on an outdoor deck overlooking Biscayne Bay.

pupsicle

Cielito Artisan Pops: handcrafted daily, including vegan options and pupsicles!

Lulu in the Grove: trendy neighborhood spot with solid food with plenty that favors the bacon (bacon-wrapped dates, bacon in the Bloody Mary’s, bacon in the burgers, etc).

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill: from the owners of SushiSamba, come here for varied small plates, a stylish outdoor patio and tasty cocktails.

[ Quilted Leather Bag by Maje ]

12 Miami Beach Dog Friendly Hotels

Photographer: Andrea Loreno/FujifilmGirl

Drawing by Valeria Krasavina

12 Miami Beach Dog Friendly Hotels

dog at hotel blog

Thinking of taking a trip to South Beach? (insert palm tree emoji here)

Miami Beach is one of our favorite tropical getaways where we can easily bring the pups. The best months to go are February/March as it has the least humidity of the year. FYI, September has the highest. FYI #2: the last week/weekend of February is very busy with conventions and SOBEFF (food festival) so the hotel prices will be triple the normal rate. Early March the prices go back down. Surprisingly, a lot of Miami hotels accept pets so I’ve put together a list of dog-friendly hotels in South Beach–including those we’ve stayed at and love!

[ img credit: hotels.com ]

1 Hotel: Airy + spacious rooms with driftwood walls, the largest rooftop pool in town (four pools total!) and this gorgeous hotel even uses recycled and repurposed woods, preserved moss–what’s not to love? Oh, the pet fee is FREE! 40 lbs or less.

edition south beach hotel dog friendly

Edition: This collaboration with Marriot and hotelier Ian Schrager is just exquisite. Exotic flora, slick white marble floors + tabletops and splashes of disco-gold, it’s a fabulously designed space. Pet fee: $150. 25 lbs or less. Read our full review here.

[ img credit: dezeen.com ]

Faena: Vaulted ceilings with gold cathedral-style columns and floor-to-ceiling tropical murals just make the entrance dazzling. A decadent, once(or more)-in-a-lifetime experience. Pet fee: $250. My top choice for true indulgence. Read our full review here.

W: Stylish and swanky, 346-room hotel showcases a multi-million dollar art collection on its dark, gleaming walls, including a few Andy Warhols. Pet fee: $125. 40 lbs or less. Read our full review here.

Dream: Close to all the nightclubs, this trendy hotel features chrome + glass decor, spa and rooftop bar. Pet fee: $50. 30 lbs or less. Read our full review here.

[ img credit: My Boutique Hotel ]

Shore Club: A relaxing place to stay with its calm, all-white design + beautiful gardens inspired by Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. This simple + comfortable hotel also has a lively pool scene. Pet fee: FREE. 20 lbs or less.

mondrian miami dog friendly

Mondrian: Dutch designer Marcel Wanders designed this hotel as an homage to Sleeping Beauty’s own surrealistic castle. Also experience festive pool parties, spa and bonus: every room has its own kitchenette. Pet fee: $100. 20 lbs or less. Read our full review here.

[ img credit: Fountainebleu ]

Fountainebleu: One of the most historically and architecturally symbolic hotels in Miami Beach. Pet fee: $100. 50 lbs or less.

[ img credit: Loews ]

Loews: Art Deco with a little taste of modern with an oceanfront pool. It’s also one of the more kid-friendly hotels in town. Pet fee: $50. No weight limit.

[ img credit: Come See Orlando ]

Plymouth: This rustic Art Deco hotel showcases a great pool and bar. Enjoy a private beach with service for hotel guests. Pet fee: $125. 25 lbs or less.

[ img credit: Curbed ]

SLS: Designed by Philippe Starck (one of our faves) and even a penthouse designed by Lenny Kravitz, this hotel is fit for a rockstar. Sexy vibes, mirrored ceilings and high-energy glam. Pet fee: $150. Under 20 lbs.

[ img credit: Miami Tourist Guide ]

Delano: Upscale hotel features Philippe Starck’s signature white-on-white, plush rooms with marble accents, high-ceiling lobby and buzzy boutique vibes. Pet fee: $100. 25 lbs or under.

miami hotels dog

 

Faena Hotel Miami

faena hotel dog

Design + Culture + Art…

From the moment you walk into Faena, you are hit with its opulence–I think my jaw dropped (and that’s hard to do). I knew this hotel was going to be spectacular and all the days leading up to it, I was tingling with excitement! It’s difficult to describe this kind of beauty.

Vaulted ceilings with gold cathedral-style columns and floor-to-ceiling tropical murals just make the entrance dazzling. It’s worth sitting on the benches for awhile and soaking it all in; it’s akin to the grandeur of say, the Sistine Chapel–South Beach style.

Alan Faena…

It only makes sense that the owner, an Argentinian hotelier, of such a hotel is an equally fascinating character. Case in point: we were waiting for the Theatre to open to watch their weekly show Sensatia, when the doors open and in breezes by a man dressed head-to-toe white with matching white silk turban, cape + cane who nodded with a smirk to the butler (yes, they are called butlers here!) we were chatting to. We didn’t realize til later that he was the owner.

After watching The Great Gatsby at the Cannes Film Festival, he hired the director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, a designer, to decorate the hotel interiors in a larger-than-life theatrical fashion.

And you know what all of it reminded me of? That jetsetting but hippie auntie wrapped in a floor-grazing bohemian skirt made of Indian Silk, of course, with a sage smudge stick in her straw purse and orange leather Hermes slides on her feet (I’m hoping that’s me one day, obvi).

Speaking of floor-grazing, pets can stay for $250 per stay–yes, a high price to pay for such glamour!

[ img credit: Dezeen ]

faena lobby

And what about the room?

The rooms keep the classic Miami Art Deco design with added touches: rich red sofas with fringe, turquoise drapes, intricate rugs and touches of leopard. The room reminded me a bit of Saint James in Paris which also had leopard, red + turquoise decor. Make sure to check out the exquisite spa + gift shop–I discovered an Argentinian fashion designer Carolina K, who I can see myself quickly getting obsessed with.

 

faena hotel room dog friendly

hotel dog on bed

faena hotel room design

art deco hotel decor

art deco bathroom

W Hotel Miami

french bulldog in hotel bed

The W Hotel is definitely stylish and swanky–the moment you walk in, you feel the glitzy vibes and are ready to party (I took my free sangria and promptly passed out). The hotel is big (346 rooms, to be exact) with a multi-million dollar art collection showcased on its dark, gleaming walls, including a few Andy Warhols. And dining: Mr Chows on your left and The Dutch on your right which both have dog-friendly outdoor patios, so you can enjoy the hotel together.

There’s plenty of space here for walks, especially the beach being only steps away. Rooms are quite spacious with most balconies facing the beach and even some rooms with kitchens. The decor feels slick and very cosmopolitan–a mix of glossy black, chrome and slate grey. Fira fit right in!

One thing I learned about Miami is that most of the hotels are also residences, so you get a lot of nice amenities to share–24 hour gyms, better health clubs (W has basketball + tennis courts),  spas and larger lobbies. The W is one of the more popular spots with condos going from $1 – 6 million.

PAW (Pets Are Welcome)

W is proud to offer the PAW program for your pets to enjoy some extra pampering! A pet toy, treats, poo bags are yours to keep and a pet bed +  food bowls w/ mat are provided in room. Pet fee: $125. 40 lbs or less.

 

[ Striped T-Shirt: Charlie & Me ]

french bulldog on sofa

[ Sandals: Balenciaga, Clutch: Club Monaco, Bikini top: Target ]

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