about We are Akila and Patrick. Our minds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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chewy and abby do europe

2012 was a banner year in our household.  We traveled across Europe with Chewy and Abby , found out we were having a baby , came back to the United States, bought and remodeled a house (and, yes, I'm going to post pictures at some point soon), and finished out the year by moving in.  Patrick started working full time again and I've been interviewing for new jobs, working, and doing a lot of growing:

Me from 10 to 30 weeks pregnant

In fact, that's the reason that things have been so quiet over here: my real life has overtaken all the time I used to spend on my virtual life.  But, I'm hoping that will change in 2013.  (Though, of course, I'm saying that and we're already halfway in to the month of January.)

So, let's start this new year off right with a photo recap of all that our pups did in Europe.  I give you Europe Chewy-and-Abby-style:

Chewy and Abby in Brooklyn

Chewy and Patrick in Brooklyn

Chewy at Prospect Park

United States : Roadtripping to New York and enjoying the Manhattan skyline from our hotel and the Brooklyn promenade

Chewy looking at the Statue of Liberty from the QM2
Chewy and Abby on the QM2 Chewy and Abby on the QM2
Queen Mary 2: Crossing the Atlantic on our seven day voyage from Brooklyn to Southampton on the Queen Mary 2

Abby at the Cotswolds Wildlife Park

Chewy and Abby in the Cornish coast

Playing in the snow in the Peak District
Chewy with London skyline in the background Abby in London
England : Touring around the super pet-friendly Cotswolds (and seeing rhinos and zebras at the Cotswolds Wildlife Park ), romping through the ocean on the Cornish coast , playing in the snow in the Peak District , and enjoying the Greenbelt in London .

Abby in Bilbao

Chewy and Abby at Parc Guell

Chewy and Abby at Madrid park

Spain: Discovering the Guggenheim in Bilbao and Spain's many beautiful parks, including Madrid's Parque del Oeste , and Barcelona's Parc Guell .

Forte dei Marmi

Chewy in Tuscany Roberto park
Chewy at the Leaning Tower of Pisa Chewy at Pisa

Chewy in Rome

Abby in Tuscany

Chewy and Abby in Venice

Abby in Venice

Italy : Loving the fields and vineyards of Tuscany (and the best dog kennel in all of Europe in Forte dei Marmi), visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa , relaxing in Rome's beautiful Villa Doria Pamphilj , romping in Sorrento, and taking in the canals of Venice .

Abby in Switzerland

Chewy in Switzerland

Chewy in Switzerland
Switzerland: Running through the snow among high peaks and turquoise lakes .

Abby in Pula, Croatia

Chewy at the Pula Amphitheatre

Abby at Pula Amphitheatre
Abby and Chewy in Zagreb
Croatia: Surviving the frigid bura on the Croatian coast, visiting the Pula Roman Amphitheatre, and playing in the deep drifts of snow in Zagreb .

Chewy at Parliament

Hungary : Running through our far too short stay in Budapest by exploring Budapest's great dog parks and the ornate Hungarian Parliament.

Bulgaria: Relaxing and barking at sheep in the rural southern parts of Bulgaria.

Abby in Istanbul Chewy and Abby in Cappadocia
Chewy in Cappadocia Chewy and Abby in Cappadocia

Turkey: Seeing the big city sights of Istanbul, exploring the many walks and wonders of surreal Cappadocia, and relaxing in gorgeous coastal Bodrum.

Abby in Santorini

Abby in black sand beach
Chewy in Greece Chewy and Abby in Greece
Greece: Beaching it up in the picturesque islands of Kos, Rhodes, Santorini, and Naxos (the dogs' favorite), and then hopping over to the big city of Athens for a few days.

Chewy and Abby in sunflowers

Austria: Visiting the ornate grandeur of Vienna and the beautiful sunflower fields outside the city.

Chewy  in Prague
Czech Republic:
Walking the streets of beautiful ornate Prague.

Abby with Cannes in the background

Chewy in Paris

France: Meandering through the parks of Cannes and visiting the sights (including the Eiffel Tower) in Paris.

Queen Mary 2 and Chewy

England and the Queen Mary 2 : And, then, we hopped back over to England for a short stint before heading on to the Queen Mary 2 and made our way back to the United States.

When it all boils down to it, by the numbers, Chewy and Abby:

- traveled for 14 months nonstop
- extensively in 13 countries
- drove through an additional 5 countries in which we only spent a few days each
- and lived in 10 of the great European capitals

They've visited more parks than we can count and stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Hungarian Parliament, and much much more.  They've encountered hedgehogs and rabbits in France, sheep in England and Bulgaria, donkeys in Greece, and deer in Italy.  They've romped through vineyards and castles, all with gigantic grins on their faces.  Yes, there were some challenges --- like the day we had to pick eighty ticks off them in Cappadocia or the day when Abby peed in the house in England (the first time ever in her life, due we think to an excessively long stressful travel day) --- but, for the most part, we had an incredibly successful trip with two of the best travelers we know: our dogs.