Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cherry Park, Rock Hill SC

Yesterday we were visiting family in Rock Hill, SC so we took our morning walk at Cherry Park.
The park has a mile and a half long paved walking/jogging trail around the perimeter with some ball fields and picnic areas in the center.
For some reason, Sammy wanted to go on the jogging trail--not on the "pet route." Always a greyhound! I should be running!
The trail has mile markers, which is a really nice feature so you can gauge how far you have walked. It also has lots of waste cans along the trail which is a plus for me. While on the trail an old man walked up behind us and said, "No one is going to come after you. You have your own personal body guards!" I didn't quite know how to comment on that statement! Everyone else commented on what beautiful dogs I had.

Since it is winter--the foliage in the park was pretty dull--with the exception of rows and rows of large holly bushes. Why is holly always depicted on Christmas cards as three red berries and three green leaves--it's much prettier than that!
And we also found these huge rocks interesting. PG wonders where they came from? Ice Age glaciers?
Near the parking lot is a 12 foot tall bronze statue of Casey at the Bat. The giant slugger from Mudville should inspire all the Little League teams that play at the park!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Noland Trail, Newport News, VA

This morning we went for a walk on the Noland Trail in Newport News. Take Exit 258A from I64, continue south for 2 1/2 miles on J. Clyde Morris Blvd. Then J. Clyde Morris Blvd. becomes the Avenue of the Arts. Turn left there onto Museum Drive.  We parked by the Peninsula Fine Arts Center and started our walk there.
"Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees." is written on the trail head stone.
This is a 5 mile walk that follows the shoreline of Lake Maury. It is full of twists and turns and many elevation changes.
In addition to the twists and turns, the trail changes from packed gravel, to sand, to oyster shells, and there are lots of exposed roots, so you do have to pay attention to where you're walking. No bikes are allowed, but there are many joggers. We also saw one of the Newport News Police Canines going for a walk.
There are mile markers every 1/2 mile so you know how far you've gone. If you don't want to walk the whole 5 miles, you can turn around at any point. From a dog walker's standpoint--the only thing I didn't like was that there are only a few waste cans located at entrances to the trail so you have to carry your poop bags with you for several miles at a time.
 Along the trail there are some Loblolly pines that are huge; and have such interesting bark. We must have grown taller from walking with these trees!
The Mariner's Museum Park staff have also put Q-reader codes on some of the trees, so you can find out more about them. Did you know that the Flowering Dogwood was the Virginia State Tree?

We entered the trail on the south side and walked about 2 miles to the other entrance by the Lion's Bridge. The Lion's Bridge is part bridge and part dam--keeping Lake Maury from flowing into the James River. There are four stone lions.
The lions had wreaths and ribbons around their necks, all decorated for the holidays!
Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Farmer's Market, Colonial Williamsburg, VA

On Saturday, we went to the last Farmer's Market of the season in Williamsburg with the Around Town Hounds greyhound walking group. I liked the use of the oyster shells on some of the wreaths.
All of Colonial Williamsburg is decorated for the holidays. Of course the market is very crowded on this last day of their season. And the big group of greyhounds draws a lot of attention.
After making our way through the market, we walked down Duke of Gloucester Street to look at all the decorations. It was a foggy, misty day.
The dogs were very interested when the horses walked by. Of course, Sammy barks!
Many of the historical interpreters were interested in meeting the dogs. And they are happy to pose for photos with you and your dogs. Just ask them!
Thanks to Deborah for taking the photos for my blog today.
Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardenfest Fidos After 5, Richmond, VA

On Thursday we went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA for their Gardenfest of Lights, Fidos After 5 event. Each year the Gardens designates two nights where people can bring their dogs along to look at the lights. Next night for dogs is January 3rd from 5 to 10pm. This year's theme is East meets West to commemorate the 2012 centennial of Japan's gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C.

The botanical garden is located at 1800 Lakeside Avenue north of Richmond. Admission is $11 for humans and $2 for canines. The canine admission is donated to the Richmond SPCA. It is quite magical with the whole place lit up. Thursday was a beautifully clear night with an almost full moon!
We thought this was the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland--but upon closer inspection it was a fairy with wings, waving her wand.
PG and Sammy only wore their coats halfway through; and then I had to carry them. Most greyhounds like to wear coats, but not these two.
We did meet up with some other greyhound friends for the walk through the garden. The black hound in the red coat standing next to Sammy is his littermate, Jack!
Dogs are allowed inside the conservatory but not inside the library building. Inside the conservatory was this fabulous sculpture of paper origami cranes. And a full size replica of a Japanese tea house. And a model train set.
Also inside the conservatory is this stunning Christmas tree!
But Sammy was the most stunning of all! He just glows!

Wish you were here!
Sammy & PG

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Hampton, VA

This afternoon we took a pretty fall walk at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton. The park is at the corner of Hampton Roads Center Parkway and Big Bethel Road. If coming from I64, exit 261A will bring you directly to Big Bethel Road. Then follow signs to Sandy Bottom.
We walked around Crystal Lake on the Red Fox trail. There are two lakes at Sandy Bottom--Sandy Bottom Lake and Crystal Lake. They are also doing a wetland reconstruction project there.
It's a very pretty place to walk; and the trails are kept up and easy to walk on.
Sammy and PG like the bridges as well as the paths! Today the paths were a bed of leaves!
Sandy Bottom has lots of family friendly activities. They rent paddle boats, jon boats, canoes and kayaks.
They also have some campsites with firepits for tents. And they also have these yurt type of cabins, right on the lake, for rental.
I've often thought about renting one of these for a night--just to see what it's like! Each yurt costs $42 per night and has two bunk beds. But I haven't done it yet!
So many pretty yellow leaves--had to make a little bouquet for Sammy!
Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Historic Jamestown, VA

 This morning we went with my husband's photography club to visit Historic Jamestown. Historic Jamestown is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America.

It costs $10 to visit and dogs are welcome. They can't go inside the Visitor's Center, though, so you need someone else to go inside and purchase your tickets for you. This weekend was a free weekend.
You cross over a bridge to get to the area where they are still excavating the old Jamestown fort and settlement. Sammy is barking, as usual!

This obelisk was built in 1907 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown.
We broke away from the photography group and went off by ourselves. Lots of paths to walk on for the dogs.
This stick structure was the barracks.

There are also paths along the James River and you can watch the Jamestown Ferry going back and forth to Smithfield. You can get lunch or a snack at the Dale House Cafe; and dogs are welcome on the patio.
Sammy enjoys sightseeing!
Hey, Pocahontas is trying to get away with my dogs!
Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Windsor Castle Park, Smithfield, VA

This afternoon we went to Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield. There are over three miles of walking trails and bridges. This park is pretty new--it's only been a public park since 2010.
We parked near Smithfield Station and walked across this bridge to the park.

Sammy and PG like looking out at the marshes. This bridge crosses Little Creek.
PG sits in the middle of the trail.

Some of the trails are right next to the creek and the marshes. It's very pretty. There is also a dog park, several picnic areas, and a place to put your kayak into the creek.
One part of the trail reminds me of the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz!

At the parking lot there is a Smithfield Station pig. Sammy was not so sure of the pig...
Wish you were here!
Sammy & PG