Recent Walks

A few months back, we were invited to join a local greyhound walking group.  We have been on several greyhound group walks the last two months and have a couple more scheduled before the end of the year.  The boys love to go places and wait patiently for us finish getting ready so they can go on their next adventure.

For our first walk in October, we took a nice stroll around the streets around Monument Avenue in Richmond.  We stop at the Monument for a group picture.  We had a nice turnout….. 23  hounds!

It was a great place to walk.  We had beautiful weather and the architecture of the older homes on Monument and the surrounding streets are fabulous!

The following weekend after our Around The Town Hounds monthly group walk, we joined some greyhound friends for Fetch A Cure’s first annual Mutt Strutt in Bryan Park.  Monies raised from this walk go to help in the fight against cancer.  Such a worthy cause!!

The walk was a day before Halloween, so we saw some interesting doggie costumes.  😛

Some were extreme like above (I felt bad for this dog) and some were cute like below.

This is House.  He is one of the largest greyhounds I have ever met at 95lbs.  His name is well suited for him.

 And Phantom is the smallest greyhound I have ever met at 45lbs.

She sure was cute in her Elephant costume.

We had a Wizard in our Team Greyhound group too.

 This dog was too cute sitting on this log waiting for the walk to begin.

Fetch A Cure had a photographer take group pictures.  Below is team greyhound.

 Our most recent walk was this morning.  We met up the ATH group at Point of Rocks Park in Chester, VA for a lovely walk.  This park is huge!!  A few pictures from today’s walk are below.

I know there is something good down there mom!

And lastly the group photo from today.  22 hounds on today’s walk……fantastic!!

I have not been around to your blogs lately.  😦  I will be stopping by next week to get caught up on what is going on with you, promise!  We are heading to a warm, sunny place for Thanksgiving!  Hope everyone has a fabulous and safe Turkey day!!!!

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Wine, would you say?

This is a continuation of our B&B wine weekend (see previous post).  On Saturday after we had a wonderful breakfast and a nice mile walk, we headed out to visit more wineries around Orange, Virginia.  Our first stop was Blenheim Vineyards.  This is Rocker Dave Matthews’ winery.  I just got this email from the daily sip by bottlenotes yesterday and find it suiting to this post and where the title of this post came from.  😉

Rocker Dave Matthews promotes
sustainability with Virginia farm and winery

davematthewsWe want to personally thank Dave Matthews for devoting part of
his rock fortune to organic farming. With Blenheim
Vineyards
, a family winery specializing in artisan merlot and
chardonnay, the front man for the Dave Matthews Band is helping to elevate the
status of Virginia wine.

Matthews’
brother, Peter, was the original vineyard manager of the four-acre property
outside Charlottesville, where Dave used to
bartend in his early-20s. Dave acquired the property in 1999 and put long-time
friend, Brad McCarthy, in charge of winemaking. Their mutual friend, Kirsty
Harmon, who trained at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, France, took over in 2008, and has since added multiple
reds to Bleinheim’s portfolio. The current line-up includes a 2010 syrah
and 2009
cabernet sauvignon
.

As Matthews told Food & Wine magazine,
by participating in Farm-Aid, the non-profit concert that raises awareness about
family farms, he experienced a deeper awakening to the importance of food. “What
I learned from Farm-Aid was
the unhealthy way that big farms work; this mass farming; this poisoning of the
land. So I started looking for good foods.”

And good, affordable wines.
The majority of Bleinheim’s
wines
are priced under $21.

This winery has spectacular mountain views and a lovely deck off of it’s a frame shape.  It was our favorite of the 7 we visited this trip.

The lovely view from the deck.

Next up was Trump Winery, (yes owned by the Donald Trump) which is just down the road from Blenheim and was formerly Kluge Estate and Vineyards.  Wine tasting is done by flight.  This was something new to both Mitch and I.  Encyclo wine defines:

Tasting flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Glasses used in tasting flights are usually smaller than normal wine glasses, and they are often presented on top of a sheet of paper which identifies each wine and gives some information about each grape or vineyard. This format allows tasters to compare and contrast different wines.

An extended tasting will typically consist of several flights, each with a theme. For example, several wines from the same region and vintage would comprise a flight, or several wines from the same variety but different regions. It is typically the responsibility of the tasting organizer to select flights that offer maximum illumination of similarities and differences, while at the same time making sure the progression of flights is appropriate.

A tasting flight can be compared with wine by the glass, which is intended for drinking.

We sampled only three and the cost was quiet expensive, we thought.  $18 to sample just three!  The wine was okay but not worth the price.

There is a large patio just outside the tasting room (below) with a tasting bar and lots of tables.

Next, we stopped at First Colony.  This winery was super busy.  We managed to squeeze into a spot at the tasting bar.  We liked their whites but did not care much for their reds.

We thought the Groome Transportation van (right side of the pic) was a good idea and one we may use in a future wine trip.  😉

As the day went on taking pictures became……errr……..challenging for me.  Next we visited Jefferson Vineyards.

Info from their home page on their website:

Thomas Jefferson brokered the sale of our land to a Florentine Viticulturilist, Filipo Mazzei, inviting him to become his neighbor and to help in realizing Jefferson’s dream for the native production of wine in Virginia. First plantings of European vinifera varieties were in 1774 – in full view of Monticello. Unfortunately the Revolutionary War interrupted this venture and it was not until 1981 that planting vineyards here again regained favor.

Jefferson Vineyards is one of the first to introduce quality, modern viticulture to Virginia and at long last help realize Thomas Jefferson’s dream. Through thirty years of experience, this modest farm winery offers select wines of superior quality. We produce between 6000 and 8000 cases annually.

Also an interesting tid bit about the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold, which I am currently reading the book about (The Billionaires’ Vinegar).

The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was at a Christies’ auction in London in 1985. The price paid for the 1787 Chateau
Lafitte was $165,000 US Dollars. Etched into the glass were the initials Th.J., which helped to ensure the record price tag — the bottle had once belonged to Thomas Jefferson. When Jefferson was the Ambassador to France, he visited many of the Bordeaux and Burgundy
vineyards, where he bought wines to add to his personal collection. This bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte is well over 200 years old,
well beyond its shelf life, making it undrinkable.
We enjoyed their wines.  The tasting fee we thought was a little high at $ 10 a person.  This was our second favorite winery of this trip.
Next up we did a wine tasting at Keswick Vineyards and got some much needed greyhound love.

After tasting wine at 5 wineries, we were wiped out and very hungry.  We grabbed a quick lunch at a local BB&Q before heading back to the B&B for a much needed nap.  🙂
After resting up a bit, we went out to have dinner at the Skill Mill Grille sat at the bar had a few drinks and watched some football.  I was in luck as they were showing the Ole Miss game.  🙂  It was a relaxing way to end our very busy but fun day.
The tree outside our room at the B&B was very pretty at night.
Sunday was our last day at the B&B.  We started our day with a delicious breakfast and a lovely chat with Marty one of our hosts.  Then we headed out for a mile walk.
Mitch wanted his picture taken with this old tree.
Some pretty and unique things around the B&B.
I like this idea for outdoor decoration.  🙂
We saw lots of huge leaves all over the ground during our walk.  I asked Mitch to pick one up so I could take a picture.  He was so amused, as you can see.
The greatest husband in the world above.  🙂
We had an awesome time!  We missed our pups very much though.  There are still quite a few wineries in the western part of the state that we plan to make it to next spring.  We came home with 14 bottles of wine.  Not bad!
Next post we will share photos from our recent greyhound group walks around Richmond.

B&B Wine Weekend Part 1

We recently took a weekend get-a-way trip to Orange, VA.  It was a perfect way to celebrate Mitch’s birthday and have a romantic weekend.  This was the first time in 4 years we had traveled without our pups.  We knew our pups were in good hands staying with the Park’s. =) We did miss them very much but it was nice to have a weekend to ourselves.  🙂  We stayed at the Inn on Poplar Hill.  We would highly recommend this B&B to anyone!  Marty and Victoria’s hospitality was above and beyond and Victoria’s cooking was wonderful!  We would definitely stay again.

As part of Mitch’s birthday present, I wanted to take him to as many wineries that I could.  🙂  We are not able to get this far west very often, so we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.  We had beautiful weather all three days!

We started our wine tour on Friday afternoon stopping at Horton Vineyards first.

The beautiful vineyard.

With over 30 + wines to choose from on their wine list, we found 11 to try for our free tasting.  🙂

Below is just the red wine tasting area.  The whites are done at the bar.

Next up was Barboursville.  A winery I have been wanting to try for years.  🙂  It is not a very pretty winery on the outside, but they do have fantastic mountain views.

I just had to know which wines were sent over for the Royal Wedding.  Mitch just rolled his eyes.  LOL!!  I guess men just don’t get it.  Anyway, I did find out.  These two wines were sent over for the Royal Wedding: Barboursville’s Viognier Reserve 2009 and Barboursville’s Octagon 2007 10th edition.  We both were not very impressed with their wines.  We found only a few we enjoyed, but it was still worth the visit.

There are historic ruins and a nice restaurant also at this winery.

Done with wine tasting for the day, we headed back to the B&B to get freshened up for a nice dinner at Elmwood at Sparks in Orange.  Chef Cooper’s menu changes weekly and he uses ingredients fresh from local farms.

Mitch and I both had the Butternut Squash w/Crab Meat soup to start.

Mitch choose the Filet…..

while I went for the lamb……    😉

For dessert Mitch enjoyed this lovely chocolate dish.  I had the creme Brulee.  Both were yummy!

It was the perfect way to top off the evening!

Stay tunned for part 2 of our weekend trip in our next post.

44 Paws in da house and lost info.

My last post on Celebrating Cueball’s gotcha day was cut off.  I had another cute pic and more verbage to share, but it some how did not publish……GRRR!! Just noticed this today at work.  I had problems with Blogger with not being able to post and now this is the second time I have had difficulty with losing info. in wordpress.  If this continues, my blogging days may be over.  I simply don’t have the patience for stuff like this, especially with such a slow internet connection at home. It takes twice as long to do anything.

I have gone back in and added the missing info.  Hope our readers will take another look!

Anywho, a few weeks back we hosted a fairly large, that is for us anyway, adoption day for VAGA.  Four hounds were adopted, including a set of littermates.  1 dog made the journey to Fredericksburg for his adoption day.  At the same time we were also hound sitting Sunday and Finley for the weekend.  We don’t hound sit often and these two are always a lot of fun to watch.

Below are a few pics from adoption day of the new families and some of Sunday and Finley’s recent stay with us.

Above is Dash and his new mom.  Below are littermates Livewire and Goodie with their new mom.

And last, but not least UMR Frenchie and his new mom and dad.

All the hounds have settled in nicely and are doing well!  Don’t you just love happy endings?  We sure do!  And, we love being a part of it, albeit a very small part.  🙂

Finley is a bit of an errr…….lap dog.

He did this most of the weekend.

Sunday tried to get Pippi to play with her all weekend.  Pippi was not having any of it.  Sunday did not give up though.

Of course we had lots of treat times during their stay.

Three sits.  🙂

Sunday and Maggie napping.

Sunday did have a comfortable spot resting her head on Pippi’s rump until Pippi decided to roach.  🙂  Poor Sunday.

We had a bit of a scare at around 11 a.m. on Sunday afternoon with Sunday and for the first time we heard the Greyhound Scream of Death.  We have heard others reference this and have read about it on others’ blogs but had never encountered it for ourselves.

Sunday was laying on a dog bed on the living room floor when out of nowhere she started to scream when she tried to stand up.  Mitch and I both went over to her and started to try to figure out what had just happened.  My heart was racing!  She screamed again when she tried to move.  We were really becoming concerned at this point.  She would not stand up at first so we tried to exam her while she was laying down.  We tried to determine if there were any points of pain.  Finally we got her to stand up…..It felt like eternity but it was only a few minutes.  We examined her again.  We could not re-create the scream.  She layed back down and we continued to monitor her.  She seemed to magically be fine.  Her mom and dad picked her up about two hours later.  We told them what had happened and advised to monitor her.

We are happy to report she is doing fine.  Mom/Dad think it may have been just a cramp.  She has not had any reoccurrence, which is great news.  That is definitely not a sound I care to hear any hound make ever again.  I now understand why it is called the Scream of Death.

Next up is our B&B Wine Trip.  So stay tuned!  We have lots more to share.  🙂