21 July 2014

Visit California: Because Dogs Can Dream Big Too!

Hello. I am Jimmy Chew and I have a dream. 

I dream of a life of daily steak dinners and rawhide chews. I dream that one day I shall succeed in chasing away every grey squirrel in the north London area. I dream of a world where dogs have the freedom to say "no" to flea treatment and "yes" to receiving the love and affection we deserve from every single person we pass on our walks! 

I have a dream today!

Last week, Mum excitedly announced that she had been short-listed to win an amazing award in the Food & Drink category at the Dream Big Awards organised by Visit California and The Guardian. She had to write a post about her California dream but had little time to do it because she was - yet again - abandoning me to go away for the weekend. Typical! Despite having planned to watch all the episodes of Game of Bones season four back-to-back, I decided instead that this was the perfect opportunity to get my journalistic paws in gear. I would write it for her in return for treats.

I've often overheard Mum speak of how California is her favourite place in the world. My fluffy ears perk up as she describes how she dreams of moving to Los Angeles, living in the year-round sunshine and taking me for long walks down the palm tree lined streets. She says California is a place of romance and adventure; where dreams come true and anything is possible.

So if anything were possible right now - money were no object and the sky was the limit - what would be the dream in the Golden State? Would we aim for luxury or would we ruff it?

Forget I am a dog. Forget I have no thumbs. I have dreams and BIG dreams at that.

Jimmy Chew is California Dreaming

A Home In The Hills

Los Angeles is like a cluster of many towns in one sprawling metropolis. Whilst a home in family orientated Brentwood or by the ocean in Malibu is tempting, it's Beverly Hills that Mum has fallen in love with. It's clean and safe with an abundance of great places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Most people here like dogs too so I'd get lots of attention and love!

Up in the Hollywood Hills is where many celebrities and millionaires choose to call home. You can drive around these peaceful little winding roads for ages, admiring the fascinating architecture, taking in the incredible views over the city and - if you're anything like Mum - celebrity spot.

The dream house has already been chosen.

Do they have squirrels to chase around up there?

Mum says her perfect afternoon would be like an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; a sunny walk along the pretty streets with me then a spot of lunch and a delicious cocktail in The Ivy.

The white picket fenced patio area is a lovely place to just relax. It has that homely feel like you could be sitting in your back garden catching up with friends (just in a slightly more expensive manner!).

After a hard couple of hours lunch, only a spot of retail therapy would do and why not do it on one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world - Rodeo Drive. Three blocks packed full of glittering elegance and style. In real life, Mum would just do a lap or two of high-end window shopping but remember, we are dreaming big here! Prada, Gucci, Bvlgari - I'm sure they would all be paid a visit! Dad would cringe just thinking about the damage that could be done on that road.

One question: do Dior do dog collars?

I, Jimmy Chew, would become a member of The Club Beverly Hills. It's a 'members only' dog country club where I can socialise with other dogs (not sure about that bit), enjoy a jacuzzi soak (or that bit), do doggie yoga, enjoy massages, gourmet meals and aromatherapy. I'm pretty sure Mum would think this is all a bit over-the-top for me but I disagree - if I'm going to fit in in this neighbourhood, I need to get down with the cool pups early doors!

The Drive Of A Lifetime - The Pacific Coast Highway

Don't get us wrong; our California dreams are not just about indulgence, great food and material things. Far from it. One of the most wonderful aspects of California is its natural beauty and living in LA would mean that one of the most exhilarating driving experiences in the world would be on our doorstep - The Pacific Coast Highway.

Bags packed, roof down and fluff blowing majestically in the wind, the three of us would hit the twisting, cliff-hugging route along the central Californian coast. I'd probably whimper a lot and look a bit sad as I don't really like the car very much but it's nothing some pieces of liver and a cuddle wouldn't fix.

Mountains plunge into the Pacific as we'd travel through the Big Sur. Mum and Dad would take in the mind-blowing scenery, wondering what landscape the next bend in the road would bring. Occasionally we'd get out of the car so they could enjoy the fresh, sea air and I could have a sniff and a wee. I'd also bark at the scary looking elephant seals. I don't like elephant seals.

It's the drive of a lifetime.

A Piece Of The Mediterranean - Sausalito

Our drive would take us to a place called Sausalito. It's known as one of the west coast's sleepy delights which is great because along with ripping up boxes and eating cake, sleeping is my favourite thing! Located on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge and twenty minutes from San Francisco, it's a quaint waterfront town with pine forests overlooking the bay and millionaires' houses perched on stilts among them. It's a very pretty village and Mum says it reminds her of the Mediterranean; the perfect place for a cool pup like me to catch some rays.

Sausalito boasts world-class dining, artists and galleries, boutiques and a real bohemian spirit.

We would stay at a hotel called Casa Madrona. It's elegant, grand and most importantly, they love dogs! I would be promised my own dog bowl, bed and lead! The Alexandrite Suite would be ours for the night. With panoramic bay views and huge private outdoor deck, the suite is the height of luxury with tons of room for me to run around and sniff.

Whilst staying in this suite you can relax on your beautiful terrace, put your paws up and sip on champagne which has been delivered to your room by drone. Yes, by drone. Now I'm just a dog so have no idea what any of that means but Mum says it's the most ludicrous yet strangely fantastic VIP service she's heard of! 

But it's one for this California dream!

I don't know why there has to be such a big canine policy document though. I'm a good boy, you know.

Breathtaking Yosemite National Park

Back on the open road with me topped up with liver pieces for comfort, our final port of call on our way back to LA would be Yosemite National Park. With it's 'hanging' valleys, incredible waterfalls (some of the highest in the world), cirque lakes and giant sequoia trees, it's one of the most exceptionally stunning places in the world. You can wander for hours just taking in the natural and dramatic beauty.

At Yosemite you can camp, hike, swim, trek, climb, cycle or just daydream to your heart's content.

Jimmy Chew Fact: Did you know Yosemite has sixty seven mammalian species including thirty two types of rodents, two hundred and twenty one birds and eighteen reptiles?

That's a hell of a lot of animals to chase, even for me!

But what a way to end a dream adventure!

It was good fun taking over Mum's blog but I have to go now; I'm being called downstairs for a kibble and cheese dinner.

There are endless magical reasons why California is such a wonderful place to visit and I have touched upon just a few. It's full of adventure, beauty and diversity. It welcomes the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the two-legged and the four-legged! Hopefully not cats though. I hate cats.

Dream big! And don't stop retrievin'!

Until next time, this is Jimmy Chew signing off


I'm entering this California dream into a competition to win the trip of a lifetime to California with the #DreamBigAwards, Visit California & The Guardian - wish me luck! 

Comments welcomed & appreciated!


  1. This post is hilarious! Jimmy Chew is a total darling and I love the places you discribe. If only I could afford to go to California tomorrow!

    Good luck and I hope you win! Your blog is amazing


    1. Thank you lovely! Much appreciated! xx

  2. Haha this is my fave post ever! Jimmy Chew has certainly set his sights high!
    Congrats on the nomination :)

    Christy x
    another weekend without make-up

  3. I loved this post!! Totally hilarious and great photos!! It really reminded me so much of my honeymoon especially the road trip bit and the elephant seals on the beach. We also stayed in Sausalito at a converted army barracks called Cavallo Point, I didn't know the hotel that you mentioned existed. It looks gorgeous!! Beverley Hills was my favourite part of LA too.
    Congratulations on the nomination and lots of luck!
    SilverSpoon London

  4. What a fantasic blog !! Oh I love Jimmy Choo. I think he'll fit in to the Beverly Hills dog country club a treat. He's such a cutie !! I love taking time out Caroline to read your blogs, Oh and Jimmy Choos ;-P. This one make me want to go back to California. I think you should win. You always try differernt places and your blogs make me feel i've been with you ;-) xxx

  5. Has definately made me want to visit !
    Jimmy sure knows his stuff :D

  6. Jimmy Chew, you're a natural! love your dreams and hope they come true for you and your mum :) good luck to both of you!! cheering you on xx

  7. Imaginative and well researched blog who needs TripAdvisor? Visually stunning and love Jimmy Choo's take on Cali-forn-i-a.

  8. I LOVE this :) The places you mention look wonderful, Yosemite and the pacific coast highway have leap frogged up my list! Jimmy you look ace on the lounger with your doggy friends. Xx

  9. Jimmy Choo you are a genius! Great post, being both funny and informative, and now I just want to go and visit. Must push that one nearer to the top of the list! Wish your mum good luck from me xx

  10. This is such an imaginative post, we all love Jimmy Choo and hearing about his wonderful adventures. A Californian dog wife in the making. It makes me want to get on a plane and visit Calofornia. Good luck Lucy x

  11. Oh my goodness your blog gets better and better. I follow your blog religiously from all the way in Australia. Jimmy Chew is the most adorable ball of fluff and his California dreaming trip sounds exactly like the sort of trip I am wanting to book for next year. California has officially shot up to the top of my holiday list.

    Lots of love from Australia. Annabellee x

  12. WOW!!! I never knew California was this awesome and had so much to offer. Sounds like the Dog's in Beverly hills live a better life then most people haha.
    I must book a visit to Casa Madrona and Yosemite National Park. Thank you for making my day yet again Caroline and Jimmy with your wonderful posts. xxx Beth

  13. This is such a fun post. I love California - Good luck with the competition!


  14. Well that has cheered me up on a Wednesday afternoon sat at my desk whilst its 28 degrees outside! Dont tell the boss but Im googling trips out to California as soon as I write this post. Jimmy, who knew you had such a way with words! Also, where do you get your blow's done now-a-days, you are looking FABULOUS DARLING!! xx

  15. Jimmy Chew what a BRILLIANT post.
    You've reminded me how much I love California, I think it's time to book a trip!
    Enjoy California as surely this must be the winning piece.

  16. I WANT TO GO TO CALIFORNIA RIGHT NOW!! I am unsure what I am more in love with - the idea of a holiday in all of these fabulous places or Jimmy Chew!
    He is surely the cleverest canine in the UK for writing such a fun and informative blog post.
    I really hope this post wins the competition. I think Jimmy's dreams should be realised! #getjimmytocalifornia
    Kim x

  17. Thank you for all the lovely comments! ❤ ❤ ❤

  18. So have you won this yet? :)

  19. Awww Jimmy Chew back again! If you did win, I'd only hope he actually could go with you! Can you imagine all the cute Jimmy pictures we could see?!

    Katie <3

    1. I can't tell you how much I'd love that! :D xx

  20. Good luck!!! Jimmy Chew is an absolute babe <3


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