Monday, June 14

Barkwell's Pet Resort Doggie Vacation

We took a vacation last week with the kids near Asheville, NC. It’s a 7 hour drive, so we decided to break it up and headed down to our friend Susan’s in Winston-Salem, which would put us only two and a half hours from Asheville. The kids were very excited about going on vacation, and Stanley found one of Lily’s (English Cocker Spaniel) bolstered beds to get a good night’s rest.The next morning, we leisurely headed West, and stopped at Lake James Cellars along the way. The kids took a break on the patio, and the wine-tasting was brought out to us.It’s a beautiful drive through the mountains of North Carolina. We arrived at Barkwell’s, and the kids couldn’t wait for mommy to check us in. The greys slept in the back, while Parker rode in mommy’s lap in the passenger seat.A welcome note from Barkwell’s.We got the Snicker’s cabin, which is one of seven on the property.Parker gets the lay of the land from the porch.We hadn’t brought in any of our beds yet, so Jaime took the first one she could find. Doesn’t she look comfortable?In search of food, we went online to look for dog-friendly eateries. Asheville is a very dog-friendly area, and there were plenty of places to choose from. We decided to hit Asheville proper, and plopped down at the Westville Pub. A pitcher of local microbrew and fried jalapeno slices got us started.After we got back to Barkwell’s, we took a walk down to the pond. Looking back, our cabin is in the middle.Followed by a Lab, Stanley checks out the perimeter of the property. The Lab’s sister, Piggy, cannot be enticed away from jumping in the pond after a toy.Since the entire property is fenced in, we let everyone off leash. The girls decide to check things out together.There were lots of new smells, but a squawker means mommy has treats.At dusk, the firefly invasion began. The yellow streaks in this 10 second exposure are all fireflies.I took this 10 second exposure picture a few minutes later of Kris and the kids on the porch.Once it got really dark, we went back inside. The girls immediately claimed the couch.Stanley had to settle for the chair.The next morning, we headed south towards Hendersonville. Kris’ mom had grown up there in this house, that is now converted into a business.Conveniently, there was a pizza joint next door, 2 Guys Pizza. They had a pizza buffet, but with the kids, we decided on the patio.We got a glass of Craggie and Highland ale which are both Asheville microbreweries.After lunch, we headed to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. He was a three-time Pulitzer prize winner for his poetry and biography of Lincoln.We mainly went there because Kris wanted to see the functioning dairy goat farm.Those ‘kids’ sure are cute. The babies weren’t shy about having their picture taken.Not being allowed inside the fenced area, our kids were not impressed.
The kids looked a bit pooped at this point, but we decided to stop off at the North Carolina Arboretum on the way back home. They had nice trails through the woods with signs, so we knew what we were looking at.After making the shortest loop through the trails, the kids were all tongues.One last picture with a ‘fingers’ sculpture. We almost had to carry the kids back to the car after this.We wore their butts out. They had no interest in anything but a nap at this point.They had chickens on the property. Hey, you talkin’ to me?This one was more interested in show off his pot-belly.Baby chicks are so cute.A patron at the Westville Pub recommended 12 Bones BBQ. We also read in the cabin journal that 12 Bones was a favorite among guests. BBQ from an old gas station.Only Jaime had the energy to come join us on the porch for a BBQ dinner.Parker in stalker mode. What could he be staring at?What would possess a bunny to feed in a compound full of doggies?It’s 9:39pm, and the kids barely had enough energy to make it to bed. Hey, where are humans going to sleep?Kris wrote in the cabin journal. The people staying in the cabin next to us actually said they stayed in our cabin the year before. All the way from Jacksonville, Florida. Sounded really far till I mapped it, and found out they were 5 minutes closer according to Mapquest. Check out the Locksley’s blog (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.1, 3.2), who stayed in Snickers immediately before us.A parting shot of the cabin.Kris took a video of the cabin for those who might be interested in staying there.
We had a great time, and plan on going back soon!

Monday, June 7

VAGA Golf Tournament & Trina's Party

We had a very busy Saturday. It started off in the morning with helping out at registration for the 3rd annual VAGA golf tournament.Everyone was very generous, and the raffle tickets sold like hotcakes.By the time the golfers were lining up to leave, we headed off for our monthly Meet ‘n Greet at the local Petco.After a couple of hours of telling the public how great greyhounds are, we headed down for Trina’s party. It was hot outside, and Soozie thought it was a great idea that we had so much ice water for her to slurp.A prospective adopter stopped by the party, and Stella enticed her with kisses.While other greys were chasing toys in the yard, Stanley dutifully brought each one back. A yard is no place for a defenseless stuffie.It looked like a little blip on the radar, but it was quite the dramatic storm that dumped quite a bit of rain on us.It cooled down after the storm rolled through, and the kids all wanted to be outside.There weren’t enough beds, and the alphas had to share beds with their subordinates.

Tuesday, June 1

More Wineries and Jaime's Birthday

A couple of weekends ago, we made a trip to North Carolina to visit some of their wineries, since we’re pretty familiar with what we like and don’t like with Virginia wineries. After visiting a couple of wineries, we stopped off for some barbecue to soak up some of the wine. I forgot my camera, so we took pics with Kris’ iPhone. The local Snook’s BBQ shack had excellent pulled pork sandwiches.Most of the good NC wineries are in the Yadkin valley. John Deere country. This is what I saw while eating by bbq sandwich.Our new favorite NC winery is Stony Knoll Vineyards. Over a century of tobacco fields turned into a vineyard. A small family winery that only does dry wines (except a dessert).Shelton Vineyards is more of a large commercial operation with a wine for everyone. They did have some cute items in their gift shop. Did not see a greyhound model.Our friend Susan came out to join us for wine-tasting.Rag Apple Lassie is a winery named for a Grand Champion calf the owner had as a boy. Another family winery with good wine.Kris’ aunt Shirley and uncle Jerry were nice enough to host us for the weekend while we toured the wineries.Last weekend, we went to Cooper Vineyard’s annual SPCA event. It wasn’t too hot, and there was a slight breeze. Trina’s blog has more pics of our wine-drinking / cheese-eating day.Somehow we ended up with eight for the weekend. Stanley on the couch, Stella and Jaime together, Sunny, Connie, Ashley, and Parker headless under the coffee table. Soozie was being antisocial in the dining room.A closer shot of Stella and Jaime on the couch.For Memorial Day, the kids all got a bath. Jaime doesn’t understand what this has to do with Memorial Day or that it’s her 8th birthday.Parker may have beagle/lab in him, but he is definitely not a water-loving dog.Stanley looks resigned to just letting it happen.Dripping wet, Stella’s look says it all. Daddy, I can’t believe you would let this happen to me!!!Not to worry, the kids were in for a treat for all the torture they put up with. Brisket on the Egg.
Jaime thought it was all worth it when she found chopped liver and brisket sprinkled on her dinner.