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There’s nothing like cruising the open road with my boo, in a larger than life, classic, 1978 Ford Econoline 150.  It makes one travel back to the days when they still made real vans and from this vantage point, #tbt never looked so good. Our Ford is big, she is baby blue, and she drives like a boat on still water.  Inside, however, she is a bit less calm and some waves are rolling in. We are traveling with two giant babies,Tank, a 200 lb Saint Bernard, who loves to ride, and LIonel, a Tibetan Mastiff, about half his size, who throws up at just the thought of getting into any vehicle.

We’ve been driving for what seems like an eternity, from the swamps of Louisiana, to travel to the frozen tundra that we all call home for now, Wisconsin.  Our plan is to stop halfway and stay the night in the majestic Shawnee National Forest, in Illinois. It’s not looking well; it’s pouring rain, and as the copilot, I have yet to stumble across anything “pet-friendly”, in my unsuccessful Google search.  And, let’s be honest, even the most “pet-friendly” of vacation rentals do not typically include a bear and a tiger in their fine print.  

That being said, I cannot contain my excitement, when a unicorn appears! Prancing off the search engine, at first as a mirage, and then embarking into reality, on a phone call with Steven, the owner of Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins tucked away in Southern Illinois.  Rim Rock’s is a magical retreat, that not only welcomes animals, but has its own; including four pups, two goats, a team of chickens, a guinea, two llamas (Tina and Dali), and two miniature donkeys (Frances and Daisy). Our quest now almost seems complete. What will soon quickly become an additional “home away from home”,  is tucked away in the Shawnee Forest, only a few miles away from one of its main attractions, The Garden of the Gods; a place that certainly lives up to its name.

So, with much research of the website, rimrocksdogwoodcabins.com, and my intell from Steven, I book Coyote Hollow, one of six cabins on the property.  Being that it is miles from any groceries or supplies, we embark on a mission to first stop at the last market before the journey up to our respite.  This, however, is less of a market and more of a gas station. We make do, as always, and throw together the ingredients for a poor man’s Italian Bistro, picking up pasta, Prego, bacon, and olives.  Luckily, our lovely attendant informs us that we can grab wine at the local tavern down the road. Most seriously, we have to have wine.

To journey off…This is the moment.  It’s in this moment, where Tailored Stay, would be the icing on the cake, or the sauce to our pasta.  As, after twelve hours in the van, with two restless pups, and two hangry humans, arriving to the Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins, to a stocked kitchen of groceries of our choice, and a case of wine, would be a few less stops and steps, especially for our motion-sick Mastiff, Lionel. They stock pet food and treats too!

And yes, I realize we are only staying one night, but we love wine.

Travel Thoughtfully. Think less. Tailored Stay.


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