Another Dirty Little Secret

We’ve been sneaky. No, not living-a-double-life sneaky… secret-vacation sneaky. That’s right. John and I quietly slipped away to a tiny series of islands off the west coast of Florida and have spent the past seven days swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, eating boatloads of seafood, blogging from the beach, and working on our tans (or in my case, sunburning my left ear).

We’ve had mucho fun celebrating what we affectionately refer to as “Honeymoon Part Two” (since our actual honeymoon nine months ago was spent in the far northwest: Alaska, we thought it was fitting to continue our celebration of newlywedism in the far southeast this time). And just like “Honeymoon Part One,” our little Hamburguesa came along for the ride. He had his fair share of beach adventures as well as some pretty hysterical lizard run-ins at the pool.

Stay tuned for pics of some gorge beach houses we discovered along with a few of our new favorite home decor havens (so you can vacation vicariously through us). In the meantime, you might wanna grab some sunscreen and a nice salt-rimmed margarita and get ready for beach week Young House Love-style.

Psst- Wanna know more about our secret vacay? Here’s the follow-up post full of details.


  1. Roxy says

    Hey guys~

    Happy vacation!! Just a quick question….I’m wondering how you arranged to bring Burger along with you on both vacations. We have a Maltese and we really don’t want to leave her at home if we go away. Any details you could provide…. (accomodations, plane ride, etc) would be most helpful!!


  2. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey Roxy,

    Burger’s our pride and joy. And your Maltese sounds like she’d be the life of the vacay par-tay as well. We actually drove to our latest island getaway, but we flew to Alaska and learned a lot about traveling with the Burgmeister. So here are some hopefully helpful hints:

    Always check the “pet friendly” advanced search option on Expedia or Travelocity when searching for lodging and if you’re flying be sure to call the airline after you purchase the tickets to note that you’ll be bringing a pet aboard since there are a limited number of pets that can be on a flight (usually one per plane) and you’ll want first dibs.

    You can also just call your favorite airline directly to purchase tickets and mention you’ll be bringing your dog and get all their requirements. You’ll probably need to get a health certificate from your vet to ensure that your dog is safe enough to travel and you’ll be asked to pay a pet fee. Be sure to ask about what size/type of travel container they allow. We love a soft padded bag with breathing holes on both ends. Burger just sleeps the whole time. It’s miraculous.

    There is usually a weight limit for dogs that can travel in the cabin but we’re thinking that your pup will be small enough to ride with you (dogs who are over 20 lbs usually have to travel underneath the cabin near the luggage which scares us since it’s not temperature controlled).

    Beyond the “pet friendly” button on Travelocity or Expedia, you can always google “pet friendly hotel” and the location that you’re visiting to hopefully find some dog friendly places to stay. We rented a cottage from a private owner at the beach this trip and loved it since it was pet friendly and it felt so private (we didn’t worry if Burger barked or scampered around). You can also check out this link for help locating some more mainstream pet friendly lodging like hotels and motels:

    It always helps to call a hotel even if it’s listed as “pet friendly” because there can still be some extra fees associated with bringing them along and it’s much better to know about them before you book.

    Oh and taking dogs out of the country is super complicated and often requires leaving your dog in quarantine for several days. We’re way too nervous to attempt that so we’re sticking to trips in the good ol’ USA- which haven’t let us down yet.

    Happy travels!


  3. Mary says

    I am so jealous! I used to live right where you were visiting and would spend hours on the same beaches. Seeing your photos makes me miss the beach and my old dog. That does it…we gettin’ a dog!

  4. says

    Hey! Those are good tips on how to travel with small dogs. But what about in the car? How do you keep Burger entertained so long? Does he sleep most of the way? My husband and I want to go on a road trip soon but we have a 6 lb Morkie we want to bring with us.

    • says

      Hey Lindsey,

      Our biggest tip would be to evaluate your pet’s personality and truly figure out whether they would appreciate being on the road with you for that length of time (some dogs get carsick or even suffer severe anxiety from being on the road that long so it can be damaging to their well-being while others looooove it, like Burger). Part of the reason that he loves it is because ever since Burger was a baby we’ve been taking him on drives (first short ones to get him acclimated and then longer and longer ones as he became more adjusted to them). Happily, we’ve trained him to be an amazing little car traveler so the good news is that with time you can hopefully do that with your Morkie too (he does sleep almost all the time, waking only when we stop for food- the little begger). Hope it helps! Happy travels…


  5. says

    We take our Morkie, Pixie, with us in the car a couple times a week. When we go to my parents’ or cousin’s… or a few other places. Those trips are about half an hour long. She has no problem being in the car that long. I guess we should see if she can stand longer trips. Thanks for your help!

  6. Natalie Dempsey says


    I know this is a super old post, but my husband and I just discovered your blog and we’ve been going through the archives and reading them all! We’re building a new house for next fall, and we’re very inspired by your ideas….we have the exact same taste!

    My question regarding this post is about where you stayed on your trip…and where exactly you went. We were married last spring, took a honeymoon, but, like you, it wasn’t to somewhere warm. We’d love to take another (super affordable) vacation, and Florida seems like a good option. It would be great if you could let us know about what part of Florida you were in, and how your experience was!

    Thanks so much! Natalie

  7. julie says

    If you had to pick between visiting Madeira Beach or Destin, which would you visit again? Both of them look nice and I’m just investigating places to go. Thanks!

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