For anyone that follows me regularly on Instagram, or knows me in person, knows that I recently added a little 7 month old Chihuahua puppy to my family. I named my new little girl ‘Maui’, and I flew all the way to Chicago to pick her up (without ever having met her before!). Crazy, I know.
Now, here’s where it all started. Many months ago I found an account on Instagram of a Chihuahua breeder (Stardom Chihuahuas), and naturally I followed it. All her dogs were adorable, but there were 2 sister puppies who she would post that I totally fell in love with. Both were cute but one of them just totally caught my eye. I’m a weirdo by nature and a closeted Chihuahua freak (guess the secret is out!) so I had actually saved a few pictures of this puppy to my phone. It was cute, so why not, right?
After becoming friends on Facebook and chatting one night with the breeder, about a totally different dog, with honestly no real intentions on my part at that point, to my surprise, she told me she was thinking about homing one of the sisters instead of keeping her as a show dog (having no idea that I was already in love with the puppy she was offering!!). Without really thinking about it, or how I was going to get to Chicago and bring this puppy, who I had never even met back to Toronto, I said yes. I honestly wasn’t planning on a second dog right now, but I had already fallen in love with her and knew she was ‘the one’.
Cue the adventure.
After deciding that I had to have this little puppy, I now had to get to Chicago. I contemplated driving there, but realizing how much easier it would be to fly, I decided that was the route I needed to go. I teamed up with my friends at Porter Escapes (@Porterescapes) who not only made it possible, but also made it so easy and accommodating to not only travel, but to travel with a pet. I flew out of Billy Bishop airport here in downtown Toronto, which I have to say I LOVE the convenience of. I’ve flown many times so airports don’t scare me, but I love the easiness of a smaller airport where you don’t have to worry so much about terminals and a million different airlines etc.
The flight to Chicago from Toronto is super quick (under 2 hours) and flying with Porter made it that much more enjoyable. No fuss, easy check in, and everyone on board was super friendly and helpful.
After arriving in Chicago, I checked into Kimpton Hotel Allegro (@allegrochicago) which is located in downtown Chicago. From the moment I arrived, to the moment I checked out, they went above and beyond. When I got to my room, they had a bottle of prosecco, a giant (and super delicious) cupcake, chocolates, and a hand written note waiting for me. For little Maui though? Oh, it gets better. They had a bed set up with dishes, dog treats, toys, and a mini chalk board with a welcome greeting on it for her. Floored would be an understatement.
The next morning I got up bright and early and my friend and fellow blogger Thomas of @RustandTrust picked me up and we set off on a roadtrip to finally pick up little Maui from her breeder.
After 2 hours, we finally arrived and I got to meet, and finally pick up my new pup! She was even better than I had hoped. We drove back to the city where we met up with a Thomas’s friend and boyfriend where they showed me a bit of the city, grabbed lunch, and caught up.
I headed back to Hotel Allegro, where the staff (who are all INCREDIBLE) were waiting to greet little Maui and gushing over how they were following along my adventure to get her via my insta stories and eagerly awaiting her arrival. It made us really feel at home, especially knowing that little Maui, along with other 4legged friends, were not only welcome, but celebrated. After settling in, Maui and I enjoyed our last dinner in Chicago on the pet friendly patio at our hotel’s restaurant. (make sure you try the calamari!!)
The next morning was show time. Maui was finally coming home to Toronto with me. I again flew with Porter, but this time had little Maui with me. Anyone who has a pet, or who has travelled with a pet knows it can be stressful. You always want to make sure they’re ok, and that they’ll arrive to your destination with you, and that everything will go as planned. Porter made it beyond easy. Checking in with her was a breeze, and because she’s so tiny (just 3lbs!!) she was able to go in her travel bag right under the seat in front of me. My dogs are my world and making sure they’re happy and safe is always top priority. I felt the very same from Porter. Future trips with my girls (Maui & Thai) will definitely be with Porter Escapes and if you’re ever in Chicago, pet or no pet, I can’t say enough amazing things about the Kimpton Hotel Allegro.
One thanks HUGE thank you to Porter Escapes and Hotel Allegro for being apart of this incredible puppy journey and for helping me expand my little family. It’s been almost a week since I got home with Maui, and I already can’t imagine life without her, and neither can her new sister Thai.
*Video recorder by and edited by @AbsoluteRob
Don’t forget to follow my girls and their crazy adventures on Instagram @MauiandThai