Posts Tagged ‘family vacation’

A Pet Friendly Stay at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana

4V1C6603 (1)

Scarlet goes glamping at the Resort at Paws Up

If you have a dog that you think of as a furry family member and have ever tried to take it on your family vacation, you’ve probably learned that the term “pet friendly” does not necessarily mean “pets welcome.” Sometimes the the reality of traveling with your pet means getting the worst room in the hotel, which smells like a kennel, and the harsh realization that there is a huge difference between hotels that are merely “pet tolerant” and those that truly welcome them.

Thankfully there are also true pet friendly resorts where your dog is not only included, but appreciated. The Resort at Paws Up is the real deal. Pet friendly means just that. The staff is welcoming and enjoys having your dog along on your western adventure. This is one of the reasons I chose Paws Up for my recent family vacation to Montana.

4V1C6634

Garnet Ghost Town is an easy drive from The Resort at Paws Up

After my first visit to The Resort at Paws Up three years ago, I knew I’d be coming back. I spent many childhood summers in Montana and still love it to this day. Paws Up is such a great destination. It’s an easy 45 minute drive from the Missoula airport (and airport transfers are included in the rates). There is so much to do at Paws Up– you can try sleeping under canvas in the luxury glamping tents or checking out the unique and memorable activities the resort offers. Where else can you ride a horse on a cattle drive?

IMG_1032

Glimmerstone

At Paws Up, guest with pets must stay in the Luxury Homes instead of the Glamping Tents. The Big Timber home we rented, Glimmerstone, worked perfectly for our group of four adults, three teenagers, and two dogs. We were visiting during a heat wave and the reliable air conditioning was a real bonus. Our house also had a tent on the property, which we used during our stay.

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset

The tent in the yard at Glimmerstone

I was surprised that my nephews, all experienced scouting types, preferred to sleep in the posh comfort of the loft beds instead of the tent. They had two weeks of tents in their future at summer camp and had no problems with sleeping in a luxury cabin. My brother and sister-in-law spent a night in the on-site tent.

PawsUplivingroom (1 of 1)

A living room in one of the Luxury Homes at Paws Up

My dogs, Scarlet and Zeppelin, enjoyed being ranch dogs during our stay at Paws Up. They joined us on the patio for breakfast and lunch everyday at Trough and the staff was always quick to greet them and make sure they had a bowl of water. I felt the staff was warm and welcoming to them. A few even offered up belly rubs.

Photo Jun 30, 9 15 04 AM

Montana style French toast

Traveling with three teenage boys was definitely different for me. I was blown away by how much they can eat. My nephews, beanpoles all of them, can easily put away French Toast for breakfast and be ready for a buffalo burger a few hours later for lunch. Dinner, including dessert, was enjoyed by all. Paws Up’s rates include full breakfast, lunch and dinner for all guests. We only paid extra for alcoholic beverages and guided activities.

Photo Jun 28, 10 56 52 AM

The adults enjoyed the great margaritas at Tank

Some of my must have travel gear for pets
I have two 60 pound  labs and when they travel with me I always bring the following supplies:
This soft cover canvas crate is easy to break down and assemble. It stores flat and easily slips behind the drivers seat in my car for road trips. They come in a range of sizes for dogs weighing 10 – 70 pounds. My labs each have a 36 inch version.
Made of waxed canvas, this collapsable water bowl is a must for travel as well as hikes with my dogs. I always keep one in my car.
My touchless poop scoop of choice.

DSCF4985

My view from the cattle drive at Paws Up

The Cattle Drive was one of the highlights of our family vacation. It was fun to enjoy the gorgeous Montana scenery while learning how to round up and sort cows instead of taking a nose-to-tail horseback ride. We lucked out and were the only people on our cattle drive… and we kind of sucked.

DSCF5027DSCF5061

Left: sorting cattle Right: moving the heads of cattle

We lost six cows along the ways, which was funny, memorable, and made the activity seem all the more real.

Cows and Montana Scenery on the Cattle Drive

The Chuck Wagon dinner was another crowd pleaser.

DSCF5090-2

Scarlet and Zeppelin were big fans of the Chuck Wagon dinner

Draft horses Pete and Re-Pete driving us to the Chuck Wagon Dinner

While meat grilled in the open air is an eternal summer favorite, Dutch oven master Cee Dub was in residence during our stay and made a killer brisket at the Chuck Wagon.

DSCF5097Photo Jun 29, 4 58 18 PM

Left: Cee Dub’s amazing brisket Right: Tomahawk steaks on the grill.

We felt the need to taste it all, including the tomahawk steak. No one went hungry on this trip. We made sure to check out Cee Dub’s Dutch oven frittata at breakfast the next day.

DSCF5100

Cee Dub and the cowboy poets at the Chuck Wagon Dinner

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

Scarlet and Zeppelin enjoyed sniffing around the banks of the Blackfoot River 

DSCF5196

Gorgeous Montana skies on the Clark Fork river

Paws Up offers tons of options for activities. We opted for whitewater adventure through the Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork river during this trip, which was a perfect choice since our visit coincided with a heatwave. You can read more about our rafting trip in this post.

Photo Jun 30, 6 00 42 AM

Misty Montana morning at Glimmerstone

We also explored nearby Garnet Ghost Town. My nephews had no problem heading to the brand Wilderness Outpost activities center to check out the archery set up.

PawsUp Scenic

Gorgeous scenery at River Camp

Every time I return to Paws Up there is something new. This trip I was impressed by the Paws Up app, which made communicating with the staff easy to do from my smart phone. It was really useful for making requests and communicating with the staff during our stay. I was a little bit sad when I deleted it from my iPhone after my vacation.

DSCF4916

The sunrise view from Glimmerstone

The thank you card I got from my brother, sister-in-law and nephews after the trip further convinced me that Paws Up was a great choice for our family vacation. A good time was had by all, and my nephews were already missing waking up to the fresh pine scent and drinking huckleberry lemonade.

The Resort at Paws Up

40060 Paws Up Road
Greenough, MT 59823
Toll Free: 877-588-7151
Int’l/Local: 406-244-5200
Fax: 800-473-0687
theresort@pawsup.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rafting the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork River in Montana

 

20150701-IMG_7631

Rapids on the Clark Fork River (photo credit:  Mike Malament of Montana River Photography)

I recently went to Montana on a family vacation in honor of my nephew’s graduation. My family has a long history of summer rafting trips, and I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition with my brother and his family, including my three awesome nephews.

DSCF5242

Kevin, my raft trip guide

My nephews are Boy Scouts and outdoors types, so we picked a full day rafting whitewater rafting adventure through the Alberton Gorge on the Clark Fork River near Missoula.

rotated GIF

Kevin in action on the Clark Fork River

The trip was a good combination of gorgeous scenery, peaceful floating, and class III+ rapids.

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

A day on the Clark Fork River

Raft technology has improved greatly since the summers of my youth when you had to manually bail out the rafts. Now they are smaller, more mobile and self-draining. This made the whole experience pleasant.

DSCF5196

Montana’s Big Skies

About halfway through our trip, we stopped at Split Rock Beach for a nice lunch spread set up by our guides, Kevin and Jake.

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Scenic smooth water on Montana’s Clark Fork River

DSCF5190

My brother and I shared a raft, just like old times

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Split Rock Beach: A lovely spot for lunch

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Human mountain goats

Record warm temps made the Clark Fork River perfect for swimming. We spent a bit of time jumping off this this rock into the river.

rotated GIF 2

Rock climbing in the Alberton Gorge GIF.

DSCF5135DSCF5184

Left: Kevin led the way up the rocks Right: My nephew jumping into the Clark Fork River

DSCF5127

My nephew Reese has mad rock building skills

DSCF5134

Rockitecture on the Clark Fork River

Paddling a raft while photographing can be challenging. Fortunately, Mike Malament of Montana River Photo has a set up to photograph some of the best rapids of the day.

20150701-IMG_7638

Awesome rapid splashiness (photo credit: Mike Malament/Montana River Photo)

Our whitewater rafting trip ending mid-afternoon, just as temperatures were getting uncomfortably hot. We were craving a beer. Our trusty river guides Kevin and Jake suggested we stop at Big Sky Brewing Company‘s Tasting Room, which had free samples.

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Missoula’s Big Dipper Ice Cream made for the perfect ending to the day

Jake suggested we stop at Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula before heading back to Paws Up. After a cold adult beverage, ice cream was a good call for the kids.

My Clark Fork Raft Trip was arranged by the concierge staff at Paws Up.

The Resort at Paws Up

40060 Paws Up Road
Greenough, MT 59823
Toll Free: 877-588-7151
Int’l/Local: 406-244-5200
Fax: 800-473-0687
theresort@pawsup.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Post: How To Rent a Family Friendly Apartment in Paris & London

Editor’s note: I often get asked travel questions that I don’t have an answer for, and they are often about traveling abroad with children. On multiple occasions, I’ve been asked “How do I rent a flat in Paris or London?” even though I haven’t done this myself, my friend, Mike August, has.My husband and I even tagged along on the August family vacation to London and Edinburgh, and we had Mike book a flat for us, too. I asked Mike to write this guest post for the blog and I’m honored feature it here. – Jen Pollack Bianco

Veteran world travelers, my husband and I spent the first three years of our daughter’s life traveling exclusively across the United States to visit the grandparents — and nowhere else. With her fourth birthday nearing, we decided to venture back abroad, preschooler and 15-year old cousin in tow and our sights set on Paris. Paris with kids requires a different approach.

Overseas travels always had us in hostels, hotels and resorts. But, experiencing a foreign city with the unpredictable schedule (and finicky palate) of a child, we thought an apartment (or flat, as they are often called in Europe) the best way to accommodate the four of us. We felt an apartment would provide more space than the typical hotel room, with separate bedrooms for kids and grown-ups. It would have the benefit of a kitchen (and refrigerator) for storing and preparing provisions (self-catering is the norm with apartment rentals), plus a common room for entertaining friends who would be traveling with us (but lodged elsewhere).

I explored options presented on various vacation-rental sites, such as VRBO and similar Parisian iterations. However, I was reluctant to use these services, because results can be unpredictable (floor plans are unavailable, locations are vague, amenities are trumped up, pricing is opaque, etc.). While some of those factors would be acceptable for well-seasoned family travelers, we didn’t want to take risks on our daughter’s (and nephew’s) first trip abroad. A fortuitous Budget Travel article I read during the time of my search gave me the one and only resource that ended up mattering: A link to Guest Apartment Paris.

View of the Paris apartment living room -- from Guest Apartment Paris website

View of the Paris apartment living room — from Guest Apartment Paris website

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook YouTubeTwitterSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSS