Ridlon Family Vacay 2011 Asheville, NC Yerku

This post is a continuation of our family vacation to Barkwells (see previous post).  The forecast for the week was thunderstorms/rain all week.  This was not going to stop us from having fun on our vacay!  On days when we had rain showers, which were only a couple of days, we hung around the cabin until things cleared up, then we ventured out.  We found the weather predictions to be inaccurate on most days.  If the local weather person said we had a 60% or better chance for rain, we learned that meant we would not get rain at all but a 30% or less chance meant we would get rain between the hours of 12-4 p.m.  Strange to say, but this is how it worked out all week for us and by the middle of the week, we had the system down.   🙂  There are quiet a few things to do at the cabin.  Relax in the hot tub or soak in the deep two person jetted tub, fish/swim in the pond, watch the storms from the comfort of your huge country porch, play board/trivia games with the family, bird watch etc.  We did lots of bird watching while we were there.  There are feeders on the cabin porch and throughout the property.

Birds were plentiful.  I was able to get a few shots of birds flying, which I think are pretty cool, that I will share below.

While I was taking pictures of Mitch and Mike tossing a styrofoam airplane (pics in later post), this bird kept turning its head towards me when my camera would make a noise while taking a picture.  I figured he/she wanted its photo taken, so I obliged.

Enough birds.  🙂  The whole Ridlon clan and an overnight guest, Sharon, Ramona’s BFF, went to play mini golf one day.  It happened to be the hottest day of the week, of course.  So we treated ourselves to ice cream at the Sugar Shack when we were done with our game. 😉  8 players took two hours to play an 18 hole mini-golf course, but we had fun while doing it.  I stink at mini-golf.  I mean STINK!  Stink, Stank, Stunk at mini-golf.  Always have, and probably always will!  Think of something you are not good at and multiply that by 10,000 and it still won’t be as bad as I am at this game.  Partly because these are the kind of shots I make (below).  Luck is not on my side.  I can “bring it” in a Bball game for sure but mini-golf I lack all talent. 🙂

I don’t have the patience for it and usually give up if I can’t make the putt in three shots.  I did not let my frustration ruin every one else’s fun and stuck it out through all 18 holes.  🙂  My final score was 59.  Mitch’s was 56.  Below are a few pics of us playing.

We played mini-golf in Chimney Rock, NC.  I did not realize that the Last of the Mohicans and Dirty Dancing were partially filmed in this area.  The town sure knows it though.  They have a Dirty Dancing boat tour which will take you to the spots where they filmed the movie, including the lake scene where Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) practice their lift.  We were going to try to do this on our last day in Asheville, but it rained.  Next time for sure.  I am a Dirty Dancing nut!  I first saw this movie when I was around 8 years old and have loved it ever since.  Anytime it is on the tube, I am glued to it.   Mitch just rolls his eyes, Lol!!  Anywho, at the mini-golf course there was a Johnny loves Baby tree.  Had to take a photo of this.

The kiddos had a great time at mini-golf.  It was great to see smiles on their faces.  🙂  Well worth all the frustration during the game.  We traveled through Batcave, NC to get to Chimney Rock and we thought for sure Carl, our nephew, would be thrilled about this as he is a HUGE Batman fan, but he informed us that the Batcave is a scary place, so he wasn’t too excited about it, but we thought it was pretty neat.

Back at the cabin, Mitch takes a nap with the pups.  We did this frequently throughout the week.  I think we need to institue a mandatory Siesta time at work.

After a bit of a rest, Carl has energy to expend so it became bubble time.

The grownups needed to have some adult time, so Auntie Carol volunteered to watch the kiddos while we went downtown for some lunch and some local brews.  Unfortunately, the two breweries we opted to try were both closed.  Jack of the Wood was closed because they were filming.  Filming what I don’t know, but we were all willing to be active extras drinking at the bar.  😉  And Thirsty Monk did not open till 4 p.m. and it was only 2 p.m. so we headed to a local eatery and enjoyed some Highland and French Broad Brew.

The Highland Gaelic was excellent and is sold here in VA, YAY!!  French Broad’s Wee-Heavy-Er was also fabulous.  Maybe next time we will do the Brews Cruise!  Afterall, Asheville has been voted Beer City, USA.  Sounds like fun to me.  🙂

We returned to the cabin after our adult time and had some more brews on our porch.  The pups were quite content upon our return.

And, I was content enjoying a cold beer and enjoying this view.

We hope you will stay tuned.  The next two posts for our vacay will mainly be of the pups and their adventures.

Ridlon Family Vacay 2011 Asheville, N.C. Mek

We just got back from a week vacay for the Ridlon family in Asheville, NC.  We stayed at Barkwells Pet Friendly Mountain Resort.  The Park family inspired our stay at Barkwells.  We had a fabulous time!!  And, we highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a mountain retreat.  Owners Ellen and Michael, originally from Tampa, FL, bought the property 7 years ago and over the years turned it into a mountain retreat for humans and dogs.  They have done a wonderful job!  There are a very nice family and were just a phone call away if we needed anything.  🙂  We referred to the Book of Wisdom in the cabin quiet a bit during our stay.  This resource was very help.  There are so many things to do in the area and the resort itself offers a relaxing carefree environment.  Perfect setting for the type of vacation we love!!  We have so much to share!  We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures and that we don’t bore you too much.

🙂  I went through the over thousand photos that I took during the week and narrowed everything down to what I feel are the best.  Since I have over 70 photos to share, we will spread this into 4 posts starting with this one (Mek = One in Armenian).  We were welcomed by this sign:

Below is the Libby Cabin and where we called home for our week.  With 5 adults, 2 children and 5 dogs we needed quiet a bit of space to be comfortable for the week.  This cabin offered us lots of room and was beautiful inside and out.

The grounds at Barkwells is also lovely.  The entire 7 acres is fenced so we did not have to worry about our kids if a door was accidentally left open.  Which is an added benefit when you are vacationing with some many other folks.  =)   Below is the pond.  It is the perfect place to fish.  We saw a couple catch a significant sized Trout and also saw two very large Catfish in the water.  I did not bring my poles, so we just enjoyed watching others fish.  Our cabin was just uphill from the pond so every day we got to enjoy this serene view.

The property also had two very lovely Weeping Willow trees.  My absolute favorite tree. 

We had scattered showers throughout the week, but it did not prevent us from having a great time!  The first day we relaxed at the cabin and enjoyed a nice dinner cooked on the charcoal grill.  It did not take long for the pups to find comfort in the cabin.   They loved the King size bed and so did we.  Sleeping in our Queen bed just isn’t the same.

On Monday we took the pups to Chimney Rock State Park for a nice hike to see some waterfalls.  We passed through Batcave, NC on our way to Chimney Rock.  What a cool name for a town!  The town of Chimney Rock is very quaint and is actually where part of the movie Dirty Dancing and The Last of the Mohicans was filmed.  They even have a Dirty Dancing boat tour, which we did not get a chance to do, but would have loved to.  Maybe next time.  🙂

We were not able to hike to the top of Chimney Rock since it was all open back stairs and about 26 flights total.  They have an elevator that will take you to the top, but it was not functioning on the day we went and no pups are allowed on it so we hiked the Hickory Nut Falls trail to the waterfall instead.  It was a beautiful hike and the pups did great.  So worth the walk to get to this view:

Those rocks are amazing!!

The pictures do not do the falls justice!  Nature is so amazing!!!

The pups did wonderfully on the hike!  We were so proud of them!  Maggie was definitely a trooper.  🙂  She is one strong girl.

Below is a pic of Mitch, his sister Carol, and the pups.  Carol flew in from California.  We were so happy she could join us, but sad that his other two sisters could not.  We missed Kathy and Paul and Darcy and Bre, but enjoyed spending time with Carol, Mike (Mitch’s twin brother) and his wife Ramona and their two adorable kids Katie-Beth and Carl.  🙂  Pictures of them to come in a later post.

Lastly for entry number one is a pic of us with the pups at the falls.

We have lots more to share, so we hope you check back again soon.  🙂

Practice Run

Here is a picture of the print we picked up at the silent auction at the VAGA picnic (see earlier post).  Mitch is quiet proud!  He is not much into silent auctions like I am.  He usually just tags along with me and then gets stuck carrying all the good stuff I end up with.  😉  Maybe he will be participating in bidding this year at the Beach Bound Hound Silent Auction, I always pick up good stuff there.


The print is by Van Loan done in 1988 and is print 154 of 300.  It now proudly hangs above the TV in our living room.

Early Risers

Anyone else have a hound(s) who has never lost their “track time internal alarm”? Over the years, we have spoken to several adopters who say their hounds sleep in late, some have even said that they have had to make their hounds get up and go out as late 10:00 a.m. Not our hounds! They wake us up every morning between 5:45 and 6:00 a.m. and the latest they have ever let us sleep in was 7:30 a.m. Not really sleeping in by my standards. 😉 During the week we take them out between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. for their last potty break and we are okay with getting up at 6 a.m. during the week, since it works out great for both our work schedules. On the weekends, we have taken them out as late as 12:30 a.m. in hopes they would allow us to sleep in, but nope! They still got us up early. They are so reliable that we have not used an alarm clock in our house in 4 1/2 years. We have 4 very trustworthy alarm clocks who wake us up by either coming over to the bed and sticking their cold, wet needle noses on us; whining and whimpering until we acknowledge them; letting out a loud, screeching bark ; or by squeaking a toy. We should not allow toys in the bedroom at night, I know, but Maggie Mae loves to bring a toy to bed with her each night. She lays with it. I guess it is a comfort to her. She looks so happy and proud coming up those stairs each night with a toy in her mouth that I just don’t have it in me to take it away from her.

Anyone have any suggestions on what we can do differently to get them to sleep in a little later or are we just stuck with our four early risers?

VAGA’s annual picnic

We attended VAGA’s annual picnic on Memorial Day weekend.  We had a great time!  Below are a few photos from our day in beautiful Bealeton, VA.  Thanks to the George family for hosting!!!

They call blue ribbon dogs (explained below) for the fun run and since Pippi was just “hosed off” to keep cool, as it was a high of 84 for the day, she is in a spunky mood and wants to play.

My shutter speed here is way too slow, but I love the picture anyway.  Pippi is a girl who loves to run!

Zoom, Zoom!

The kiddie pools are a huge hit and the tents were perfect for providing shade.  The George family and VAGA volunteers worked really hard to make the picnic a huge success!!

Hounds enjoy their turn to run.  Each hound participant was given a specific ribbon color.  When your hound’s ribbon color was called, they could enjoy a fun run while other ribbon color(s) dogs remain on leash during that time.  This way the number of hounds running at one given time is limited.  Every ribbon color was called at least twice.

Mitch does his best to keep our hounds cool during the picnic taking advantage of the sprinkler and kiddie pools. Each hound got a turn several times during the picnic.

Mid way through the event and my hounds were pooped.  The ex-pens once again came in handy.  So glad we made the purchase!  😉  These are a must at events like this.  Hands and worry free for the humans is so nice.

We visited with the Park family for a bit. 🙂  Beth uses Jamie as a head rest.

Picnic cuties.

Like this hound, this is how I felt at the end of the picnic.  It was a lot of fun, but a long day and the temps were a little warmer than we had hoped for, but all in all an awesome day!  The VAGA store did great in sales and so did the silent auction.  We picked up another piece of art work from the silent auction.  Mitch placed the bid and I was pleasantly surprised we won.  Only 300 were produced, so it is quite rare.  We will post a photo of it in a later post.

I must say the ease of posting on wordpress.com is going to make it more feasible for me to blog more often.  I had to give up on blogger, just became too frustrating when trying to post and most times, I would just end up giving up.  So glad you have joined us here!  Stay tuned!  We have a dog haul and meet and greet next weekend and then in two weeks we take our family vacay trip to Barkwell’s.  Yay!!

Hello world!

Welcome to our blog!  Due to lots of technical issues, I have decided to leave my world of blogging on our  blogger site to join a new world of blogging here at wordpress.com.  We hope our current readers will follow us here at our new site. For any new readers, here is a quick introduction to who we are.  My husband Mitch and I live in Virginia, have been married for 10 years, and share our lives with our fur kids, which consits of four greyhounds and a cat, Misty.  We adopted our first greyhound, Maggie, in September  of 2006 and it just snowballed from there.  As they say, “Greyhounds are like potato chips.  You can’t just have one.”  Three years later and two more hounds added to the pack, Booyah and Cueball, and we found ourselves saying “What’s one more?” and so we adopted our fourth, Pippi. They each have their own unique personalities and keep our lives full of laughter and love.  Our blog will mainly be about our life and adventures with our hounds.  Occasionaly, we will have non-greyhound related posts too.   We are excited to be starting fresh and will be working on posting our first “real” entry very soon!


Michelle, Mitch and the Hounds