So we have never taken Bowser on a boat before but decided to take him canoeing/camping with us this weekend. His only previous experience with water was disastrous — last summer we took him to the beach. He went buck wild, swimming into the waves like a crazy man, and loving the water, a surprisingly good swimmer for his small size. Unfortunately, Bowser’s mouth opens to like 3 times the size of normal when he swims and he ends up swallowing ALL. THE. WATER. And he got really sick. But he loved it so so much, we wanted to give him another swimming chance. So, we got him a little doggie life vest (omg it’s so cute on him) and thought that it would keep his head above water enough, and that maybe fresh water would be safer for him to swim, in case he swallowed as much as he did before. Also, he was a little less than happy to be wearing a giant flotation device, so we thought it would slow his roll enough to make him more manageable around the water. We were wrong. He was in that thing for about 0.3 seconds before he took off, swimming straight out into the river with all his little might. Mouth wide open. We hadn’t even put our canoes in the water yet when he was halfway out into the water, as you can see clearly in the above photo of his little head sticking up behind Matt. He was making no signs of coming back to shore, rather was heading down river without us, so luckily Matt bravely jumped into the water to bring him back. As soon as Bowser saw his father jump in after him, I think he realized he was in trouble and started turning back. He spent the rest of the day safely inside the canoe, probably wishing he hadn’t blown all his swimming chances in one defiant act first thing in the morning. How do you train your dog to close his mouth? He was floating all right thanks to the vest, but man his jaw just was hanging wide open in excitement. We gotta work on that somehow…
Here is Bowser, post rescue. Me and Zoe looking on like “what the hell just happened??” and Matt does not look happy to be soaking wet before we even started the day. Thank you to Alex for capturing these moments.
We camped under this train trestle. Pretty cool spot. Also loud.
twisted fire starter
our new tent!! we got it up in the dark with almost no arguing. thank you LL Bean!!
best camping friends
Mike’s amazing pants/shorts
eeee!! so cute. Bowser and Lloyd making friends.
The rest of the trip was relaxing and uneventful — sipping beers in the sunshine, floating downriver, campfire fajitas for dinner, napping in the tent, playing with the doggies. And, no bug bites. Great success!!
We went to watch the Gold Cup horse races this weekend in Virginia. But let’s be honest, it was just an excuse to dress up and wear our favorite hats and drink Arnold Palmers in a field in the sunshine.
On Sunday we ran the GW Parkway 10 miler, one of my favorite local races. Today I finally went back and counted, and figured out that this was my 7th year running. Whoa, talk about feeling like time is flying by!! Also happy to report that of the 7 years, this was my fastest time yet! 1:41:45 for a pace of 10:11. Not too shabby. Next year I will aim for something under a 10-minute pace. Thanks to Val, Susan, and Lauren for running with me!
On Saturday and Sunday I was down at the cabin helping with a little bit of the move-in process. Kristy and I were putting kitchen things away when we found Jell-O boxes from 1982! yikes. Other than finding food products older than myself, not much news to report. We went for a snowy hike and scoped out Nora’s future swimming hole.
We went to the Birchmere last night to see Tab Benoit. If you like blues, you will like his music. As an added bonus, he spent a lot of time telling funny stories and interacting with the audience… seriously the guy could probably do stand-up comedy if he wanted instead of making music. Anyways, great show! Check his stuff out:
Yesterday Mom and I took a day trip to Fredericksburg, VA. We visited and toured Kenmore, the former home of Betty Washington, and saw the amazing gingerbread contest display in the Vistor Center there. Afterwards, we had lunch outdoors. In December. With no jackets. It was about 70 degrees outside. Glorious!! We wandered into some of the shops in the main part of town and admired all the intricate storefront window displays. Mom says I was born in the wrong time period, and that all the storefront displays in the past used to be amazing around the holidays.
incredible details in the rooms at Kenmore
plaster ceiling in the bedroom
wallpaper design in the drawing room. kinda reminds me of the dining room at Ivory Road
obligatory architectural photo
This photo does no justice to this incredible family tree that was on display in the Visitor Center. We must have looked at it for 15 minutes. The graphic designer in me went crazy for all the tiny, nicely organized, and well-spaced handwriting. I have no idea how people accomplished this by hand. Give me a layout, guidelines, copy/paste and Command-Z!
We had a pretty relaxing weekend — we spent Friday night having some beers on our friend Jason’s boat down on the SW waterfront. It’s actually pretty tolerable to be outside in DC in the summer when you’re on the water. (note to self: aquire a boat.)
On Saturday, we drove down to the cabin in Virginia. Mom and I unpacked about 1/25th of the total number of boxes there. Small progress, but progress none-the-less. It worked out pretty well anyways that we were inside, because there were pretty heavy rainstorms and lightning most of Saturday afternoon and evening. I was amazed at how quickly the fog rolls in and out of the valley overlook from the front of the house — less than 10 minutes for visibility to go from miles and miles to 5 feet in front of your face… While the women were upstairs working and unpacking, Matt and Dad were apparently relaxing on the front porch, reading the paper and eating my glazed donut. They did move 2 big items though (the tv and glider swing) so maybe it was deserved
On Sunday morning we poked around in the woods with Bowser for a bit, and layed in David’s hammock up by the bear den. No, we did not see any bears, Val. On our way home, we stopped for Mexican food at this amazing little hole-in-the-wall in Front Royal, VA. Two tacos, an enchilada, and a quesadilla for $5.50. Delicious.
After lunch, we headed over to see Val and Ty’s new house. They are getting unpacked pretty good and making progress with painting and arranging. We had dinner and birthday presents and played Apples-to-Apples on the porch. My kind of weekend!
marriage is a bunch of underwear on a cactus plant: artomatic 2012
June 11th, 2012
Val and I went to Artomatic yesyerday afternoon in Crystal City and spent some time perusing floors 8 and 9. It took about an hour and a half of wandering before we were exhausted by the visual barage of artwork, so we decided to go see the Peep exhibit and then call it a day. As expected, we saw all sorts of crazy, weird, and wonderful. My favorite exhibits are usually the ones by travel photographers, but I am also generally drawn to things that involve robots, maps, or puppies. On the other hand, displays with babies or aliens (or both), mutated body parts, and trash are the ones I just skip right by. There were plenty of things from all of the aforementioned categories. Something for everyone really.
LOVE! Bowser would like this little guy, too
artwork/nice view of DC
I did find this artist, which I found both humorous and cute, but I didn’t take any pictures of his work while we were there. Somehow, I miraculously remembered his name well enough to look it up online just now, (or maybe Google already knew what I was looking for anyways…) I kind of love the bossy squirrel. I think there are squirrels like that in our backyard, chewing up the string lights… jerks.
Hopefully I can find another time to go back before Artomatic ends and see some of the other floors of work. YAY Artomatic!
Howdy-ho. We spent our long weekend in the mountains of VA with 6 of our good friends, Adam & Anna, Keith & Brigid, Mike & Lindsey, (and Bowser and Obi dog) from DC. My grandparents built a cozy little cabin on Hightop Mountain, just east of Shenandoah National Park (and Skyline Drive) — David and Kristy lived there for several years, and my parents will soon live there as soon as they sell their house, which goes on the market VERY soon. We headed out early on Friday afternoon and got to enjoy some time away from the city. Traffic was relatively light getting there, and we found a great little drive-thru ice-cream place (Moo Thru = genius) that seemed to make the trip go by even faster.
On Saturday morning we drove to Massanutten to go on a 7-mile canoe adventure up the Shenandoah River, which we learned is a tributary of the Potomac and flows northeast. We also learned that the water was unseasonably high right now, which allowed us to cruise along quite nicely for the first half of the journey with minimal paddling. For the second half of our route, the water stilled a bit and required some team paddling work. Matt and I are about as compatible together in a canoe as we are when we drive places together (mostly argueing over who is not navigating correctly), but we managed to get it together enough to get through some wimpy little rapids. It was a scorching hot day, so I jumped out of the canoe for a bit and just floated, cold but refreshing. I even managed to get back into the canoe with little problem. A few 100 yards later, Matt took a dip in the water. Unfortunately when he pulled himself back into the canoe, we tipped ourselves over, filled completely with water, and had to swim to the cow-manure filled shores to dump out the water and right ourselves once again. Thank goodness there weren’t any cows at that particular spot, as there were elsewhere along the river, because those suckers were looking pretty hot and ornery standing around in the sun. It was a great little trip though and probably all the more memorable for the tipping incident. Thankfully, we left our cameras behind and there is no photo evidence of this part of the trip. Had we brought them, they’d have been completely water-logged…
That afternoon, we headed back to the cabin in time to watch the sun go down, play some bocce in the driveway, and grill up a feast of hamburgers and sausages, bacon-wrapped asparagus, sweet potatoes, and grilled corn, all on our tiny little charcoal grill. It was an amazing feast, our friends know how to cook! We stayed up that night playing Skill Roll (with the added challenge of obstacles) and telephone pictionary, where some infamous sketches were drawn, such as Brittany on the RV, which later turned into a runaway baby.
On Sunday morning, a brave few of us (me, Matt, Keith and Brigid) hiked a little ways up the mountain road with Bowser and Obi in tow. The dogs played, wrestled, and ran most of the way up, and quickly tired themselves out on a hot morning. We saw lots of bugs, wildflowers, and trees and I wore David’s redneck orange hunting hat, just one of the many treasures we found at the cabin.
Around lunchtime, we ventured 45 minutes south to Charlottesville for eats at Miller’s Restaurant, which is apparently (cool factoid alert) where Dave Matthews used to work. We ate seafood po-boys and had some beers and then wandered around to the shops. It’s such a cute little town and wish we could have spent some more time perusing, so hopefully we can make it back soon. But we had a timed tour reservation to make at Monticello, so we headed onward.
Monticello was pretty impressive to me. They tour was quick and felt a little rushed, probably since it was crowded for a holiday weekend, but I learned a lot about Jefferson and the most important take-home of the trip was his ingenius dumb-waiter system that allowed wine to be brought up from his cellar to the side of the fireplace. Matt and I need to get on that soon for our house – both the wine cellar and the dumb-waiter system, I love it. I also appreciated learning about the on-going nature of Jefferson’s architectural designs, house-building, book collecting, and education in general. He seems like he was a pretty cool person to have had a glass of wine with by the fire. After the house part of the tour, we wandered around the beautiful flowers, gardens, and his memorial gravesite.
On Sunday night, we stayed up until the wee hours learning and playing Settlers of Catan, which is my new favorite game and, like Lindsey, I want to begin forcing all my other friends to learn it so we can play it all the time. It requires lots of beer, bargaining, luck, and strategy. A great end to the day, and a great end to the trip. Feels nice to get away sometimes.
this is a real cool moth we saw on the wall at the cabin
this is one of the two bears we saw on the trip… the other one was a little brown cub that was running across Rt 33 a good ways behind our car as we were driving… I’m sure it’s momma bear was not far behind, but we didn’t see her
*not pictured: the 3 foot black snake we found chillin’ on the deck at the cabin. i might have tried to take a photo of it if I wasn’t busy running away from it like a big weenie.