Monday, May 30

Barkwells: The Sequel Part 2

This is part 2 of our Barkwell's trip this year.  Check out Barkwell's part 1 if you missed it.
Beth catching the morning sun. Patiently waiting for breakfast in her makeshift bolstered bed.Mika the Vizsla. She had already been running around for half an hour when we got out there. Does she look tired?
Her mom was very happy that Mika now had running partners. The race is on.
Dangit guys! Wait for me.
Mika: He’s right behind me isn’t he? Yes, Mika. RUN!!!
Caught her. Taking cues from Stella the ‘Fun Police’, Stanley goes for the PIT maneuver.
Beth is lost in her own world. Smelling the flowers and conversing with a butterfly.
A couple of laps around the pond, and stick a fork in ‘em.
With the greys out of the picture, Parker takes his shot at chasing Mika.

We finally managed to wrangle everyone together for a group shot. Basically we went to where the greys had plopped down. This was the best shot I could get.
Most shots looked more like this. Jaime is showing her rump, Beth is starting to sag, and Parker is off to cool down in the pond.
Tortoise and the hare. Parker might be 11 years old, but he can still go all day long.
Stanley, those ears don’t look very aerodynamic.
Like the Energizier Bunny. Hey mister, have you seen the greyhounds?
In a nice shady spot of course.
The sign outside a pizza shop where we had lunch. I concur.
Back to the beer tasting. French Broad Brewery. Before.
And after.
After another full day of tastings, we picked up some local ‘Q at 12 Bones, and headed back to relax on the deck.
The kids are still worn out from their morning jaunt with Mika.
On the way back home, we stopped at our friend Susan’s, so she could meet Beth, and Kris could meet her new puppy, Rocky. Rocky did not know what to make of the Big Dogs.
We had a great time. Though the original weather report called for rain, then heat, we lucked out and got neither. Already looking forward to next year’s trip.

Monday, May 23

Barkwells: The Sequel Part 1

We took our now annual trip to Barkwells. This is a very pic-intensive post, so it will be broken into two parts.
Our luggage and doggie supplies are stuffed in the rear footwells, and four full-size dog beds await the 7 hour drive.
Parker is lucky and gets his own bolstered bed sitting in passenger seat.
When we were passed by this ‘Sweetwater’ Scion, we took this as a good omen for our vacation.
Getting pretty good at the one-handed over shoulder blind shot. Why is it that there are three greyhounds in the front part, and one crabby old lady in the back?
That’s right Beth. Everyone is scared to touch Ol’ Grouchy Pants.
Parker: Is that Asheville? Are we there yet?
FInally, we’re here.
Our cabin, Diva, is on the left. The Snickers cabin, on the right, is where we stayed last year.
Everyone was so tired from the long ride, they immediately plopped down for a nap.
We hit Jack of the Wood brewpub for dinner, and Kris had her very first Scotch Egg. It’s a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, breaded, then fried. Yummy. Washed it down with a Green Man Porter.
We enjoyed the beer while listening to local Bluegrass musicians.
We crossed the street to the Thirsty Monk. I can live by this Mantra: Peace, Love & Beer.
It was free glass night, so we grabbed a few bottles and headed back to the cabin.
It was quite chilly at night in the mountains, so we started the gas fireplace. Since we don’t have one at home, Stella wasn’t sure what to make of it.
A morning view from the deck down to the pond.
Three greys are on rabbit patrol, while Parker begs mommy for breakfast.
Stella is on ‘froggy’ patrol.
We decided to wear the kids out, so we could go to beer tasting with a clean conscience while the kids napped. Pisgah National Forest is very close and has several waterfalls. Hours of practicing synchronized walking finally pay off on this long set of steep steps.
Group shot. I carried Beth down the stairs, so she could be in the picture. Parker is ADHD, and Jaime is resting her head on Stanley, as she is tired of waiting for Parker to get his act together.
We decided to leave Beth in the car, while the younger seniors hit the real trails. Parker and Stella were like mountain goats.  Astro and Zephyr wannabees.
One of the coolest tasting rooms we went to was at Highland Brewing. It appears to be an old converted loading dock. Great beers too.
On the patio at Asheville Brewing Co., people were playing that all-time fun drinking game, Jenga.
The next day, we took the kids on a little nature hike at the NC Arboretum, so they would be in nap mode while mommy and daddy went beer-hopping again. The trail is 0.6 miles total, and that was about all Beth could handle. The speed limit says 8 mph, but we never reached it.
Another downtown brewpub is Lexington Avenue Brewery. They have great food and beer, and a really cool serpentine bar that wraps all the way around.
After relaxing with the kids, we headed back downtown for dinner. Every Friday night, they have a Drum Circle at Pritchard park downtown. There is drumming, and dancing, and everyone is invited.
For dinner we ate at the Lobster Trap, which has its own nanobrewery, Oyster House Brewing, in the basement. We had to try their Oyster Porter (5 lbs of real oysters per 12 gallon batch) with a sampling of raw oysters.
As you may have guessed, Asheville is very dog and beer friendly. Just our style.

Tuesday, May 17

Shiloh & Dante

We watched Shiloh and Dante while Trina and Jason are over in Italy admiring architectural history and eating great food and drinking ‘house’ wine.
As soon as he was dropped off, Dante headed straight for the toy basket. There has to be a nice marrow bone or squeaky egg in there.
His hard work pays off. Bones galore.
Cali enjoys the Big Orange Gorilla ride. Can we get one of these mommy? Please?
After some toy squeaking, Dante relaxes in a bean bag pillow. Fits just right.
Shiloh opts for the comfort of the bolstered bed.
But sooner or later, they all end up on the couch.
Shiloh finds a better use for the orange gorilla.
Last weekend was Grapehounds Virginia. This was the second time it was held in Virginia, and it looked like another hit. Luckily the rain held off. The main winery for Saturday was Lost Creek.
Got glasses. Time for tasting.
The kids relaxing next to the VAGA tent.
Shiloh waiting for mommy by the door.
The landing has a better view of the driveway.
Mommy? Is that you?