Sunday, December 28, 2014

Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, SC

We went to visit family in South Carolina. While we were there, I took the dogs to a Winter Tree Identification Hike at Anne Springs Close Greenway. Opened in 1995, the eight children of Anne Springs Close dedicated 2100 acres as a tribute to their mother and her lifelong commitment to recreation and the environment.
There were about 30 people on the hike. Sammy and PG liked this little girl who had a blanket wrapped around her and flanked her. The hike was on trails that were sometimes used by horses.
We hiked about a mile into the park along the Blue Star trail. The hike leader had gone ahead of us and marked some trees that we were supposed to identify. Was this a red oak?
Yes! It was a red oak! The hike leader gave everyone on the hike these laminated field guides. It was a nice gesture--but everyone had trouble holding onto the laminated pages. I dropped mine several times and ended up losing the metal ring that held the pages together.
There were lots of other things to see in addition to the trees. Like these mushrooms. This made me think that it would be fun to go on a food foraging hike.
PG blended right into the leaves. If she didn't have the red leash and collar--we would have lost her!
We stopped at a picnic spot called Campbell's Corner. It had a picnic table right next to a small stream. None of us picnicked because it was cold--but it would be fun to go back in the spring or summer.
We finished up our hike by looping back around Lake Haigler. Pretty day in South Carolina!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gardenfest of Lights Richmond, VA

On Thursday night we met up with the Around Town Hounds for their annual walk through the Gardenfest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Gardenfest for Fidos night. This year's theme was A Legacy in Lights: 120 years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Gardens.
This year’s display celebrates the 1984 opening of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and kicks off the celebration of the Lakeside Wheel Club founded by Lewis Ginter in 1895. Richmond artist John Meola crafted this pyramid-shaped sculpture out of recycled bikes and bike parts in the Rose Garden. The airplane on top is a pedal-powered bike too.
The day before the walk it was 55 degrees--but on this particular night it was 42! One of the walkers said--"Well at least it's not raining!" No sooner had she said that than a light freezing rain/sleet began to fall!
We had driven all the way to Richmond, the dogs and people all had winter coats on--so we carried on through the rain!
And we could always go into the Conservatory to get warm. Here the 20 foot tree is decorated with trucks, lions, tigers, trains, bicycles, bears, and even alligators.

There is another Gardenfest for Fidos on Thursday January 8th. Leashed pets allowed on these night only and there is a suggested donation of $2 per dog which goes to the Richmond SPCA.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Walking with the Wolfhounds, Norfolk, VA

This afternoon we went to St. Patrick's Catholic School in Norfolk for their second annual Walking with the Wolfhounds to benefit the Norfolk SPCA. It was a one mile walk around the school's neighborhood. Last year they raised $1000 and this year's goal was double that. At the school courtyard, a lot of vendors and other non-profit groups had booths set up. We were invited to this walk by one of the volunteers at Dogs on Deployment.
One of the vendors was a groomer that was doing spray paint on the dogs. I had to get stars for Sammy and PG!
Starbums! But Sammy's had a little overspray...
The wolfhounds were leading the pack on the walk. The wolfhound is the mascot of the St. Patrick's school.
I think he was a little bit bored waiting for the walk to start. Or maybe he was in awe of PG's star and had to look away!
Our short mile long walk took us by a little part of the Lafayette River.
The two star dogs were tired at the end of the walk!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Grandview Nature Preserve, Hampton, VA

This morning we went on a bonus walk with the Around Town Hounds to Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton, VA. It was a beautiful day for the end of October--mid 70s, not a cloud in the sky and non-stop sunshine!
You can just barely see Sammy's brother, Jack, at the side of this photo. The beach was wide open for us to enjoy.
Sammy found something on the beach and immediately snatched it up into his mouth. Maybe a dead crab? Or some old sponge? I think he regretted it later--because he drooled and slobbered all the rest of the walk.
Nerice took off her shoes and went into the water. A little cold!
Sammy was immediately the fun police!"Get out of the water, Nerice!"
We came across some fishermen and asked them what they caught. "Only some sunshine on our faces," they said.
PG just enjoyed a chillin' kind of day. She didn't go in the water, didn't roll in anything or pick anything up in her mouth! Hampton is surely a great place to live!

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival, Norfolk, VA

This morning we went to the Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival. It is sponsored by the Hope House Foundation. The foundation provides supported living services to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in their own homes or apartments. The foundation also runs Hope House Thrift Shop--where they have everything from Polka Dots to Leopard Spots!
Sammy liked looking at all the art work. I wanted to catch him looking in the mirror--but he wasn't cooperating with me.
PG was looking for anyone who would come by and pet her.
We bought a water pitcher from Neal Reed. Neal enjoys carving into the clay while it is still soft, and also the technique of sgraffito. A few years ago we bought a coffee mug from him showing a lady walking two dogs--pulling her in two different directions. Can't imagine why that mug talked to me and say, "Buy me!" Neal is a potter from Fredericksburg, VA. He shows his work at Sophia Street Studios. They are dog friendly if you're ever in Fredericksburg--stop by and say hi.
There are lots of artists to see! Painting, sculpture, jewelry--something for everyone.

Right next to the arts festival is the Hague--with lots of ducks and geese. So close and yet so far away! It was a beautiful day for the festival. The artists will be there again tomorrow so go out and see them.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Normandy, France

I couldn't take the dogs along with me to Normandy, so I took my little puppets in their stead and thought about them every day.
We were a little bit jet lagged and didn't wake up very early the first day--so we stayed kind of close and went to the Bayeaux Museum to see the Bayeaux Tapestry. It is a 70 meter long embroidery that tells the story of William the Conquerer and the Battle of Hastings. What a cool thing--there are greyhounds in the tapestry! There were no photos allowed of the actual tapestry--but they had these posters all around the museum.
On the next day we went to Caen. We went to the Musee de Beaux Arts.
Caen was the sight of the World Equestrian Games this year. They're held every 4 years like the Olympics. The horses compete in events like dressage, jumping, endurance.
In honor of the World Games, the museum had an exhibit of colorful horses all done by different artists surrounding William the Conquerer's castle.

On Tuesday, we went to Mont Saint Michele. The dogs looked on from the sheep pasture below. They also climbed to the top of the mount--but they were inside my purse so it wasn't too hard for them!

On Wednesday, we went to Honfleur to visit the Eugene Boudin Museum. Honfleur is a wonderful, little city around the harbour. Honfleur looked a little bit different when Boudin was painting it.
We did see some real greyhounds walking around the Honfleur harbour!
On Friday, we walked along the beach at Etretat.
Doesn't it look just like Monet's painting? We couldn't believe we were actually there. We climbed up to the top of that cliff, too!
On Saturday, we finished up our trip with a visit to Monet's Giverny. Here the dogs are on the bridge over the lily pond.
Monet's house and gardens was the favorite part of the trip for me. I felt like he had just stepped out of the house right before we got there.

Wish you were here,
Sammy & PG