Monday, July 4, 2016

Birthday weekend activities

Saturday was the start of a four-day weekend for me, and it also happened to be my birthday weekend.  We were making a one night getaway trip to northern Virginia to see Mary Chapin Carpenter at Wolf Trap, but even a short trip involves a lot of preparation.  Our neighbor friends had come by earlier in the week to go over the routine.  We were only going to be away for 24 hours, so we skipped the feeding, but there were still nine dogs to meet and learn about the shuffling routine.  I wrote out some instructions and hints as well as an identification guide, and in the morning I took Maya out for a short hike and Penelope out for a romp in the pasture. The daylilies are still blooming and are very pretty.

 Max and Sparky were left in their respective outdoor kennels for the duration of our trip, each with a big, smoked, meaty bone and an extra helping of food.  We took Trooper to his boarding kennel on our way out of town and dropped him off for just one night.  (Trooper doesn't like new people and wouldn't have let anyone in the house.  Fortunately, he does like the woman he boards with, otherwise we'd never be able to leave town.)  We headed up to northern Virginia, hit a couple new breweries in the afternoon (Old Busthead, and Quatros Goombas), and another for dinner (Caboose).

Maya and Penelope
Gigi, up close
We saw Mary Chapin's concert at Wolf Trap and really enjoyed it on a blessedly comfortable July evening.  We slept without dogs for the first time in ages, got up in the morning and had breakfast at Anita's restaurant (one of the few things I miss from northern VA) and headed home.

We've all seen those videos of dogs greeting their enlisted owners when they return from overseas.  I get that kind of greeting from Maya when I'm gone for a day, or even less.  I laid down in bed for about an hour and had a lot of company.

Vince and Samantha
Trooper was happy to be back home.

With four days off, I definitely wanted to get in a canoe trip this weekend.  The forecast for Monday and Tuesday didn't sound great, however, so I figured I'd better get it done on Sunday.  Besides, Sunday was my birthday and a float down the Rivanna is a nice way to spend it.  It was cloudy and threatening rain, but no severe weather was in the forecast.  It was about 1:00 p.m. when I put in at the Crofton boat ramp, so I didn't expect to see a lot in the way of wild life.  I paddled steadily and passed three other parties consisting of three or four kayaks and a couple canoes.  I did see one deer who had come down to the river for a good long drink but she was too far away to show up in the pictures.

I paddled most of the way and the river was still high enough that I made the trip in less than three hours.

We had plans to go out to dinner in the evening, but I got in a short walk with Maya and Penelope after I got back from the float.  We just walked down to, and into, the river.  I wanted to see how Penelope would be on a leash (not bad) and what she would think of the water.  I waded in myself and two girls did the same.  Maya's legs are shorter than Penelope's or mine so she wasn't interested in going in very far.  Penelope didn't go into the water at all until I did so.  She was fine with it, but I think she considers water to be for drinking and tongue washing only.  She's not a lab.


Risa said...

Happy birthday! Sounds like you had a great time.

Byron's mom said...

So glad you had a nice birthday weekend! I hope Sparky is ok!