RVing With Dogs

Living The RVida Loca With Dogs

Traveling in an RV is an exciting and popular way to vacation. So this summer my family and I embarked on a whirlwind tour from Austin bound for Yellowstone National Park. The crazy part wasn’t just that we traveled 4,000 miles in 13 days – it was that we traveled with our 3 dogs!

If you’re considering RVing with dogs I humbly offer the following tips based on my experiences! Enjoy the ride. And the read!

Ridgway State Park Colorado

A Sensational Sunset In Ridgway State Park Colorado

RVing Isn’t For Everyone. If you’re more the room service, chocolate on the pillow, spacious room kinda person, RVing may not be most suitable for your traveler’s DNA. While I had to adjust on a few fronts, I was rewarded in many other ways. Things like ultimate freedom, big skies, and once-in-a-lifetime memorable moments with the family. If you’ve never been RVing you can get a good idea of the experience by watching the movie “RV” before your departure. The movie is hilarious and would only have been more funny with canine costars. Here’s the trailer:

Rent & Reserve Early. RVing is extremely popular! The RV Industry Association reports that the industry has tripled in size since 2009. With 25 million Americans RVing each year, if you plan to stay at state or national parks you’ll want to make your reservation early. 6 months would be a good starting advance timeframe to ensure you have ample time to “presearch” your itinerary and score the RV and campground you most desire. The Reserve America website was super helpful in securing our campsites, like our home away at Colorado’s Mueller State Park.

Mueller State Park Colorado

Me And The Pups In Mueller State Park Colorado

Flex Your Creativity. When we discovered we couldn’t find available state parks within an hour of Santa Fe and Yellowstone we took a left turn (figuratively speaking). We rented through Airbnb which resulted in a welcomed relief from the RV. Our modern cabin rental had a full-size washer and dryer, shower, satellite TV, and a large kitchen which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Bear Lake Utah

Harley, Libby, and Lucca in Bear Lake, Utah

Consider All Costs. RVs can be an affordable way to travel per the RV Industry Association. You’ll want to consider things like the daily rental fee, estimated gas, campground fees, and any extras – our rental levied a mileage fee and an hourly generator cost to run the supplemental AC (luckily we didn’t use the generator once we left Texas).

Right-Size Your Trip. 4,000 miles across 6 states in 13 days isn’t for everyone! In retrospect we should have taken more time to stop and smell the roses. Our friends have been asking “would you take another RV trip again?” I would but I’d opt for a much shorter travel distance like a weekend trip to the Texas Coast, a Round Top rendevoux, an outing into Texas Wine Country, or even colorful Colorado, which is not that far away.

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

You’ll Want To Stop In Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Travel With Tech. We used our grocery store app to make a convenient/portable list of things to take on the trip. You should be able to score forgotten items or restock ice/water, food, or dog supplies along the way. Our iPad, USB chargers, LED camping lights, and iHome portable speaker ensured we had a few comforts of home on the go.

Don’t Forget The Dogs! Remember to take food, medications, special toys, beds/blankets, bowls, collars and leads. We purchased a 7-gallon water container to ensure the pack was never thirsty.

Palo Duro Canyon Texas

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Explore. There’s so much to see and do! Just in Texas alone we were able to enjoy Palo Duro Canyon State Park which is the second largest canyon in the US. Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas” this park treated us to impressive, colorful views of the ruggedness of Texas. Did you know Texas has an official bison herd? Neither did I until we decided to stay at Caprock Canyons State Park. In addition to wild bison, you can enjoy the The Bats Of Clarity Tunnel plus over 90 miles of trails! In Telluride we rode their dog-friendly gondola which treated us to free and unforgettable 365° views of the valley from 10,540 feet above the valley below!

My Dogs Lucca And Libby In Telluride Colorado

The Dog-Friendly Gondola In Telluride, Colorado Is Tops (Literally)

There was so much to see on our six state adventure! Perhaps the best part of RVing with dogs is the bountiful bond you’ll create. This form of travel will gift you with unique views and experiences that a plane or train simply cannot. Truly “home was where we parked it” and having the dogs with us only made the family vacation complete.

Have questions about RVing with dogs? Reach out to me – I’d love to collaborate!

~ Joe Paul ReiderJoe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512-222-3302
Web: JoePaulReider.KW.com

Who Rescued Who?

Harley. A yellow Lab living in Austin, Texas.Meet Harley.

Given the chance, he will play fetch with you long after the setting sun.

He will lick you silly and steal your heart in the blink of a smile.

He loves handing out sucker punches for free and swims just for the heck of it. But don’t let this active boy fool you … he’s pondering his first release, a book on the joys of bedtime snuggling.

For Harley, life is a bountiful one; complete with fabulous food, a well-filled toy box, wrestling matches with his brother “Boomer,” tummy rubs and mastering new ways to continuously impress his 2-legged guardians for tasty treats.

Life for Harley wasn’t always an easy one. He had to fight incredible odds early in life, being under a year old. He lived in a home protected by a 3 foot tall fence which proved no fence at all, for a Lab that enjoys adventure.

Harley had been collected by animal control more times than we know until one day, when his former family decided they couldn’t bail him out of puppy prison anymore. So off he went to the pound. He was there a few days until he was slated to be euthanized.

Harley Sherwin Kiker ReiderAcross town, a family was mourning the loss of their 14 year old doggie “Springs” who died the week of Thanksgiving, leaving his brother “Boomer” – a 6 month old chocolate Lab – the sole dog of the pack.

Boomer’s life was shaken up hard. He showed signs of depression – being uninterested in food or play… and spending much of the day searching the house and yard for his brother. Boomer never found Springs and after 2 solid weeks of sadness his family knew they had to take action to mend the pack’s broken hearts.

Initially, they thought they were searching for a yellow lab puppy, but after kennel cough prevented a litter of puppies from near-term adoption, they stumbled upon this picture (above) of a strapping young lad with a nose of pink who went by the name of “Sherwin.”

On the finest of days, the family of 3 piled into the car and drove to meet the little guy. After being greeted by an immediate sucker punch at the front door and an hour of effortless lab-tag later, the family knew this pup was the one.

Harley’s foster family shed tears when it came time for him to leave.

Harley had only been with them 2 short weeks after being plucked within hours of the end of his days, yet he still touched their hearts with his sweet, sweet soul.

Two Smiling Labs by Home Style AustinSurmounting extreme odds, Harley has brought immeasurable joy and unforgettably funny stories to those who know him. He brightens his family’s days beyond expectation and Boomer and Harley remain the best of brothers. Two peas, they say.

To those who have experienced and propel the joys of animal rescue, a million thanks!

And for those who are considering a rescue pup, please save these souls who are fighting for their lives. Give them a second chance to live and share life.

You may just find, as did we, that the lucky soul saved wasn’t the one at the end of their lifeline … it was the one who created a new lifeline, by picking up where others left off.

Oh, what a great feeling that is!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

 

 

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Email: JoePaul@KW.com
Mobile: 512-222-3302
Web: JoePaul.KWRealty.com

PS ~ “Why did you name him Harley,” you ask? His foster Dad rode one. And we could think of no better way to honor this guy.

Flying Dogs To ItalyWant to read more about Harley? Learn about his amazing adventure to Italy with his brother Boomer!

 

DIY : Succulent Planter

How To Make A Succulent Planter by Home Style Austin
One Excellent Succulent

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to make a lasting impression, make and gift one of these unique succulent plants.

Once you have the supplies, these “succulent hangers” are surprisingly simple to create. The end result is a one-of-a-kind handmade plant that will surely delight both you and the lucky recipient.

Tips:

  • The material quantities below are approximations; what you use will vary based on the size of your plants and the number of succulent planters you’re making. PS ~ While you’re making one you might as well make more!
  • You may find 4 hands are better than 2! Our friend Eileen lent us her 2 hands which were especially useful during the forming and wrapping stages shown below.
  • Most of the supplies are easy to find; we found plants, soil, sphagnum moss and the garden wire at Lowes, green moss and the rainbow-inspired decorative twine came from Michael’s. The clay soil was the hardest for us to locate but we scored a 40 pound bag of it for about $5 at Hill Country Water Gardens (it’s one of our favorite nurseries). PS ~ 40 pounds of clay soil is deceivingly small. 

Materials: 

1 – 2 Cups  |  Potting Soil
1 – 2 Cups  |  Clay Soil
About 1/4 cup (To Form)  |  Water
1 (or more)  |  Succulent Plants
Two Handfuls  |  Sphagnum Moss, Moistened
Two Handfuls  |  Green Moss, Unmoistened
10 – 15 Feet  |  Decorative Twine
To Hang  |  A Piece Of Driftwood Or A Found Stick (about 6 inches long)
To Hang  |  Some Green Garden Wire (available at most craft stores)

What To Do:

1. Make Dirt.
In a medium-sized bowl mix together equal parts of the potting and clay soil. Add water and combine until the mixture resembles a pliable dough. Set aside.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
2. Form Planter.

Remove your succulent plant from its container and wrap it with enough sphagnum moss to entirely encase the roots. Then wrap the moss-covered succulent with the prepared, wet, soil from Step 1 above, forming a ball. Wrap green moss around the succulent and trim any excess that rises above the edge of the succulent.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
3. Wrap Planter

Using your decorative twine, wrap the planter several times to secure the soil and moss to the plant. A few times I carefully wrapped the twine on top – and between – the succulent branches to help form a well-wrapped “ball.” Along the way test your wrap to ensure the plant hangs level. As we formed the wrapped planter we created 4 extra-long suspensions at each “corner” of the succulent planter and then wrapped the hanging stick (below) to help keep the plant stable in the breezy winds of Central Texas. Make sure and leave enough excess twine at the top of the plant for hanging.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin
4. Prepare To Hang

Wrap the excess twine around your hanging stick (from Step 3) to your desired length and tie them off at the top of the stick or tie and tuck the twine along the bottom of your succulent planter. To suspend from a nail or hanger wrap the stick a few times with the garden wire and secure.

5. To Care & Feed
Hang your succulent in a semi-sunny place, indoors or out. Make sure to keep the plant happy and keep it moist by misting daily or by watering liberally or letting rest in a shallow bowl of water. Succulents don’t need to be over-watered but they do need a little love.

Enjoy and please email me with any questions about this project!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider





~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

How to Make a Succulent Planter Hanger by Home Style Austin

Austin’s Dog Friendly Hangouts

A Lab Sitting In Bluebonnets, Brushy Creek Regional Trail (Austin)You + Them = Best. Time. Ever!

As an avid dog lover, I’m often searching for places where I can hangout with my four-legged friends. I decided to put together this list of homegrown places where we’ve had a tail-waggin’ good time.

I’ll keep this list updated, so you might want to bookmark this page for future fun times!

Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. (ABGB) – One of our most favorite beer gardens. A great place to chill, have some brew and listen to some tunes. Here’s my blog post. And here’s even more info.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden – You know a place freely welcomes dogs when you find events for the 4-legged … plus “people and pooches” search functionality on their site. Sausage, beer, “manmosas,” a Michelada Bar and more. The car is already loaded and in reverse! Visit Banger’s online.

Dog Friendly Blue Corn Harvest Grill In Cedar Park

Blue Corn Harvest Bar & Grill – Located on FM 1431 is this tree-covered patio where you can enjoy Southwestern cuisine under the Texas sky. Visit them online.

Dog Friendly Botticellis In AustinBotticelli’s – This popular South Congress Italian restaurant offers live music and tasty Italian food. You’ll enter the dog-friendly beer garden from the rear of the restaurant (shwon above). More info.

Dog Friendly Brick House Tavern & TapBrick House Tavern + Tap – Tucked along Research Boulevard, Brick House has a fully-covered patio which means when it’s raining cats and dogs, you and your doggie dear will be high and dry. More info.

Brushy Creek Regional TrailBrushy Creek Regional TrailOne of Austin’s hidden gems is this 7-mile long stretch of paved and gravel trails. Waterfalls, historical markers, dinosaurs and more. You can read more about BCRT at my article here on the Home Style Austin Blog.

Dog Friendly Don Mario In LakewayDon Mario
 – Don’t miss our favorite dog-friendly patio on your way to Lakeway. Their carnitas taco plate and five salsas were a pack pleaser. PS ~ Don’t miss the balloon lady – she’s a true artist! Don Mario online.

Dog Friendly Flat Creek EstateFlat Creek Wine Estate (Marble Falls) – The closest winery to Avery Ranch … and my favorite! Enjoy a half-hour scenic drive into the Hill Country and when you get there, dogs are welcome on the outside patio. Drink in the wine and the great view! More info.

Hill Country Water Gardens (Cedar Park) – Voted best nursery by water dogs! A large nursery and water garden with great inspiration. More info.

Lowes (Citywide) – Whenever I shop here the employees love on my dog. Harley even scored a dog treat here so he’s always ready to lend a paw with home improvement projects. Lowes knows pets. More info.

Dog Friendly Lupe Tortilla In Cedar ParkLupe Tortilla (Abor Walk and Cedar Park) – Happy Hour specials, giant tortillas and great margaritas. If you’ve never been here before make sure and ask for the free fajita sampler. A new location is opening up at 183 and FM1431 and they will be dog friendly as well. Sniff here for more info.

Dog Friendly Morelia Mexican Grill In Avery RanchMorelia Mexican Grill (Avery Ranch) – Voted best dog-friendly patio in Avery Ranch. Two outdoor televisions will keep you occupied while your pup is at your side. Super-easy entrance from the front parking lot. More Morelia.

Dog Friendly P. Terry's Burger StandP. Terry’s Burger Stand (32nd and N. Lamar) – Their french fries, veggie burger and root beer shake really hit the spot! “Rut Roh” – not every location offers patio dining. More P. Terry’s.

Pet Supplies Plus In Austin, TexasPet Supplies Plus (183) – Shop ’till they drop at PSP. Great hours and a free Preferred Pet Club you’ll both want to join. We smell savings! More info.

Red Bud Isle Park In AustinRed Bud Isle Park – This park should be renamed Happy Dog Island. Perhaps Austin’s best off leash dog park that’s an island flanked by the Colorado River. You can read more about Red Bud here at my blog post.

Round Rock Garden Center – A native plant and organic gardening center since 2002. Also a great place to snap a pumpkin patch pic with your four-legged friend. Located in Old Town Round Rock. More info.

Have a favorite dog place of your own? Drop us an email and let us know – we’ll likely add it to our list!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider

~ Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Red Bud Isle Park

Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas
Whether you arrive to Red Bud Isle Park via canoe, car or your own two feet, everyone’s in for a treat in Austin’s great outdoors.

Red Bud Isle Park is about 13 acres in size and is one of Austin’s 12 great off leash dog parks. As a proud parent of two outdoor-loving Labs, I knew I had to take them for a great day in the sun. I scored major points from my dogs and we are already planning our return adventures.

Dogs Having A Blast In The Water At Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas. Photo by Home Style Austin

The park features:

  • A large off leash play area perfect for fetching toys or the sun’s rays
  • Free park entry. Note: the parking lot can sometimes be a bit tricky to score a parking space
  • Benches perfect for dog watching, people watching or just some “R and R”
  • Wooded trails great for adventuring or picnicking
  • Shorelines sporting great views of the Colorado River
  • Complimentary dog waste bags

The Off Leash Dog Park At Red Bud Isle - Photo By Home Style Austin

The park is located west of downtown Austin and west of Mopac Expressway near the beautiful neighborhoods of West Lake Hills, Tarrytown and Rollingwood. Here’s a handy map:

Red Bud Isle is a great place to adventure in Austin.

Enjoy the great outdoors . . . and more pictures below!

Austin Realtor Joe Paul Reider



Joe Paul Reider

Home Style Austin Founder
Austin Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

A Great Walking Path At Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas

The Great Walking Path At Red Bud Isle Park

The Dogs Of Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas

The Dogs Of Red Bud Isle Park

A Happy Bernese Mountain Dog At Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas

A Happy Bernese Mountain Dog At Red Bud Isle Park

My Dogs, Boomer and Harley, Going Into Water At Red Bud Isle Park In Austin

My Water Bound Dogs, Boomer and Harley, At Red Bud Isle Park

The Beautiful Peninsula At Red Bud Isle Park In Austin, Texas

The Beautiful Peninsula At Red Bud Isle Park