Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jake and Just Harry's Most Excellent Christmas Road Trip: Days Twelve through Fifteen - the Grand Finale

After Christmas, we just kind of hung around for two more days with the folks. The highlight for us dogs, however, was raking leaves with Dogdad. We don't usually have any leaves in our place -- except for those that arrived with tons of other debris after Hurricane Wilma -- so this was a real treat. JH especially had a ball. He thought the rake was like the broom that he tries to bite at home -- so he and Dogdad had a good tussle. Mom was inside, so we have no photos. And we think Dogdad didn't really want her to know what we were up to lest she worry about our getting dirty. Hmmm. Rain, cold -- that's OK. But dirty? Good heavens.

But then, on Day Twelve, we were off: destination Whippet Land.

To get there, we had to go over several beautiful bridges and cross two major rivers. The first was a bridge over the Mississippi River. And suddenly we were in Illinois and crossing another bridge over the Ohio River.
I spotted barges on the river, and knew Mom would get all excited seeing them.

On the way to Whippet Land, we passed through the Historic Downtown of Cairo. Hmm. Egypt? Nope, Illinois. Mom was disappointed not to see any camels, but oh well, she has enough already.
And then we were in Kentucky. Dogdad had made arrangements with a college friend -- another one -- who was returning to St. Louis from a trip to Jacksonville to meet in Paducah around noon. And we actually timed our meeting perfectly.

While Dogdad and Mom schmoozed with their friends, Just Harry and I got to know their dog, Pepper. Their friends foster dogs in St. Louis, and Pepper is one of their fosters -- but they've grown so fond of him, he may have found his forever home.Of course JH had to let everyone know we had arrived. Before heading over to see the whippets, we freshened up in our hotel room -- this time a Drury Inn, which also is pet friendly and was very comfortable.Paducah is a lovely port city on the Ohio. According to the whippets' servants, it is still a very active port. We drove down to see the river, and found a series of beautiful murals depicting the history of the town.And then, drumroll please, we headed over to meet those celebrated "breedists," the whippet waggle. The sun was just setting, and the whippets' servant asked for a few moments to put them up so they would not be too appalled by the sudden arrival of two hairy dogs. (We strongly recommend that you visit the whippets' blog to read their interpretation of events.)

Yes, there was a loud uproar from the hounds. And yes, we were warmly welcomed by the servants. Words cannot describe what a good feeling it was to be in the real presence of such good virtual friends. As in Mayemphis, we felt right at home, with hugs all around. (Thank you DWB!!!)

Although the whippets' servant was concerned about face-to-face encounters, we did get to have a face-to-face (and an attempted more intimate moment) with Very Old Dog and, briefly with Swede William (who received Teka's message from JH). They are such beautiful , elegant creatures -- we had to forgive their breedism.
You see that red gate? Well I thought it would be interesting to explore what was behind it -- and before the humans knew it, I had done a low crawl under the gate into the whippet room. Unfortunately, my exploration was derailed before I could say hello to each whippet, thanks to a LOUD uproar from the inhabitants. Soon another gate was propped up in front of the red gate, and my explorations were over.

That didn't seem to bother the humans, as they enjoyed good conversation, a tour of the male servant's art studio and gallery (spectacular!!!), and a luscious pasta dinner. And oh yes, since it was Mom and Dogdad's eighth wedding anniversary (thus the camel), they brought a bottle of chanpagne to celebrate with the servants. The time flew by, and as in Mayemphis, it was sad to leave. But Mom gave Very Old Dog a few kisses, hugged our kind hosts, and off we went with promises of another visit.

Day Thirteen? Next stop? Who knew? We were in Paris -- Paris, Tennessee -- a surprise Dogdad had planned for Mom, knowing how much she loved the real city.

We had a few moments as "urban dogs" -- thinking of our urbanista pal, Asta, as we strolled through the main square of the city.

While Mom looked for souvenirs in this Paris on the Square shop, we sat on a bench outside with Dogdad. And once again, passersby told us how "pretty" we were. We may have to get signs that say, hey folks, we're boys. We're not pretty!!!

Then Dogdad told Mom to close her eyes as he had a real surprise for her. Imagine how shocked she was to see -- the Eiffel Tower!!! It was apparently built by engineering students as a school project and donated to the logical place -- Paris. It's a bit out of the center city, in a park, so we're not sure how many people visit it. But it was a kick for Mom. Then off we were again to continue our journey homeward. One more night at a hotel -- this time a Hampton Inn -- in Alabama and one more Sonic.

On Day Fourteen, as we passed through Georgia, we found the temps growing warmer and suddenly, the world was green again. And we saw lots of cotton fields. We had hoped to stop by Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter's home -- but we missed the turn and had to settle for cotton instead of peanuts.
When we saw the Welcome to Florida sign, we had mixed feelings. We were on home turf, -- back in Gator Land -- but that meant our most excellent road trip was nearing the end. Still, Mom and Dogdad had one more surprise for us -- a stay at the beautiful bed and breakfast in Gainesville, where I had actually stayed before -- in August 2004. It's called The Magnolia Plantation and is run by a friendly couple who love animals. They have a beautiful rough collie named Lacie, whom I had met on my previous visit.

In addition to the main house, a restored mansion, which was beautifully decorated for the holidays, they have cottages; we stayed in one of them, Beth's cottage, which which was nice and private.

Before we left for dinner, we had some wine and cheese on the main porch.

Gainesville is a college town -- and very friendly to animals. As I did the last time I was there, we were able to eat outside on the patio of an excellent Italian restaurant, Amelia's. Linguine with white clam sauce, lobster ravioli, cannoli, wine...

After such a delicious dinner and a walk back to the inn, we all slept very well -- but then Day Fifteen dawned and, after a yummy breakfast outside, we were heading for home and the end of our great road trip.

This photo of JH in the car on the way home says it all. Except to find an answer to the question we had asked in early December: Are our folks certifiably insane? What do you all think????


Gus said...

I think your mom and dad probably had almost as much fun as you did. By the way..Dad says the best thing about travelling with dogs is that muzzer can't spend as much time in the shops. Muzzer says the best thing about it is meeting all the people who come by to say "hello!"


Patience-please said...

WOW! You boyz are the WORLD's BEST tour guides! And what a trip! Cairo, Paris, and Paducah!

Oh and a note: That was Swede William you met face to face. NOT, no NOT Luciano who is Special in the Hay-edd. He would NOT no NOT have survived a nose to nose with a hairy nose. He would have fainted and stuck all four legs up in the air.Swede William is a gentledog and is not such a breedist.

wags from your virtual best buddies the whippets

The Black and Tans. said...

What a wonderful trip you all had. It has been great fun reading about it. Thank you for sharing.

Molly and Taffy

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Jake and JH,
We agree with Gussie, it's not that hard to travel with a couple of dogs and/or cats; traveling with 12 is a complete different matter. Like we said, mom took two Golden Retrievers from Fredericksburg, VA to Lake Tahoe, NV and back and she said it was a great trip. Dad couldn't get 3 weeks off so he flew out to Reno and drove back with them. The Newfs have driven to FL and each of the rest of us has been on overnight outings; just not all together at the same time (we'd need to rent a U-Haul or a bus). We don't think that your mom and dad are crazy, you are part of their family. When our mom and dad get back from a trip they always tell us how much they missed us while they're away. They've even come back from WDW early a few times because they miss having us around. So it's not that hard to travel as a family if everyone makes a few concessions. Actually, us readers aren't the ones to ask; you need to ask your mom and DogDad if they think they're crazy. We know they don't think so or they wouldn't have done it. Some people don't because they're concerned about what other people might think. We doubt that any DWB readers will think otherwise. We really liked reading about your trip and your adventures. Just like Gussie, you wiryhairyterrorist are all just a bit different.

Molly the Airedale said...

We think you guys are incedibly lucky to be able to have a fabulous adventure like this! What memories you'll have forever!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Noah the Airedale said...

Awww what a great end to the pawfect road trip. Wow you stayed in a B&B...We live in a B&B. We've had some dogs stay at our place too but not many.
Thanks for sharing all your great holiday snaps with us. We loved it.

Noah Willow Tess Lucy

Simba and Jazzi said...

What an incredible journey. You saw so many interesting people and places.

Simba x

Joe Stains said...

omdog I cant believe you infiltrated the whippet room!! sooo cool. I bet it was so fun to meet them all, I am jealous!! Your Dad is so cool to take your Mom to Paris, what a great guy!!!


We wonder if Lacie is a Holmhaven Collie? We mean like inquiring Collies want to know.

It is time to find some ice water and give Dad the cold nose treatment.

Essex & Deacon

Jackson's J1 and J2 said...

Wow, you got to meet the whippets too? I never get any dog visitors (apart from pals Molly & Seamus) cos I'm too grumpy. Thanks for sharing your pawsome travel adventures with us! J x

Stanley said...

Hey, guys!

I think your mama & dad KNEW you pups were up for a great roadtrip, and it's all about WHO you're with even more than WHERE you go. Not a bit surprised you boys had a BLAST!

Can't believe you got to meet up with so many friends along the way. You all have friends just about everywhere! The Whippets house looked like a great place to visit, and it seems that all along the way you found great places to stay where you were loved & pampered. Sounds like a great trip to me.

Thanks for the travelogue and the great photos! Next time, I'd like to go too.

Goober love,