Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eukanuba - Days 7 and 8

Yesterday we started the long drive home. Popper's crate was just a little too big to fit where I wanted it to, so we had to rearrange some. Talk about a full car!

Clocked in 12 hours and just over 800 miles, landing us in Thornberg, VA.

The hotel was... interesting. It was one of those where they have a special window for late at night and won't let you into the lobby, which always makes me concerned about the area. Then when we went into the room, first thing we find is the handle for flushing the toilet detached and sitting on the toilet seat. Great. So we had to do all flushes manually (luckily that worked fine). Then the door wouldn't close properly, so we had to fight with that for a while. I'm glad we were only there for one night.

Today we hit some rain and snow, but nothing drastic. In the Arlington/DC area the signs said that the restricted lanes were open to all traffic, so I of course took them. Unfortunately I was so excited that I didn't pay attention to which road exactly they were associated with... so we went through DC instead of around it!

It turned out to be a nice adventure - got to see the Pentagon, Washington Monument and a couple other landmarks. It also took us half the time that that area did last week and we ended up where we needed to be, so all was well.

Handed off Popper in Wilkes Barre, PA and then made the last 2 hours home in good style.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Eukanuba - Days 5 and 6

Yesterday we slept in and then drove out to Flagler Beach, which allows leashed dogs on a large portion of their beach. It was gorgeous! Sunny, not too hot and we basically had the beach to ourselves. Queezle wasn't sure what she thought of the surf at first, but she got used to it and was bebopping cheerfully along with me.

The sand there is almost entirely broken bits of shell, which is really neat. There were some larger shells as well (Queezle tried to eat them...), and sedimentary rocks made up of shells. A couple sandpipers went by, and we could see a pelican off shore. It was a good day.

This morning we picked up Popper the Aussie, Tia's nephew who was competing in some of the junior competitions with his owner. She had to take a plane home, so Popper is going to ride back North with us.

There were 28 Tervs entered under judge Tom Davies. We filled up the entire ring! The Q showed very well the whole time. After a LOT of deliberation, Queezle was awarded second Award of Excellent! The third AOE went to her daughter Demi, which was very exciting.

After showing, Q and I changed into street clothes and went over to the Meet the Breeds booth, where we hung out for a little while and Queezle greeted people who were interested in the Belgians.

All in all, it has been an excellent trip.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Eukanuba - Day 4

Nothing in breed again for the Q, so we finished up our Christmas shopping and checked out the agility area, where we found some friends from home and some people with Tervs.

After that we went outside to get some photos of Queezle around the convention center. Even though it was overcast, I got some good shots with authentic Florida foliage.

After her photo shoot we packed up and headed back to the hotel to relax and enjoy our vacation. It lasted for a little while... and then people started splashing around in the pool beneath our window. Queezle did NOT approve, and watched to make sure that they didn't start any trouble.

Tomorrow we aren't showing at all, so the plan is to find a beach!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eukanuba - Days 2 and 3

Yesterday we set off at 9:30am and an hour or so of travel brought us to South Carolina. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the dead plants in the sign planter made for a perfect photo opp...

This is where the plant life and scenery definitely changed - we started seeing some red dirt and a lot more tropical plants.

The Georgia rest stop was overrun by grackles. Savannah presented no traffic difficulties whatsoever, and we continued on our merry way.
Once in Florida we decided to detour around Jacksonville because it was getting toward rush hour time. Finally we turned west on Route 4, the final stretch toward Orlando.

Orlando in the early evening is quite exciting. Everyone and their mother is out driving, and people change lanes and merge without really looking. We passed several accidents, and it was a miracle we didn't get in one ourselves. Complete insanity, though it quieted down once we left the highway.

Finding the convention center was simple, but finding the correct building was a bit of a challenge. After looping around the block a couple times we finally stumbled across it. The crating area was already packed, so we set up along the back wall. They probably hadn't intended for people to crate there, but a couple other people had already set up camp, we needed a spot and it wasn't blocking anything, so we set up shop. The hotel was on the same road - I of course turned the wrong way first. Swung by Sea World and eventually got to the right place. The hotel is lovely - we have a little one bedroom suite with a pullout couch, fridge, microwave and dishwasher. Perfect place to call home for the next few days.

Today there were nine Tervs entered under Pete Dawkins. Queezle showed well but didn't do anything, so we spent the rest of the day hanging out outside and checking out the vendors (I managed not to buy anything!). Everyone thought Queezle was very cute "shopping" - really she was justchecking all of the tables for food. We then watched Groups and cheered for Lulu, who got a Group 3!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eukanuba - Day 1

Queezle, my brother Tom and I departed Ithaca around 10am this morning, bound for Orlando, FL. Queezle was invited to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship because she finished her Grand Championship last year. What better way to celebrate the end of finals than by taking a road trip to Florida in December?

The trip was pretty straightforward. Gas had gotten cheaper the further south we get ($3.19 in North Carolina!!!), weather stayed clear and still chilly. Harrisburg, PA was a little interesting with traffic and construction, but we got through that fine. Stopped in Maryland, Queezle posed with a sign.

Washington DC and Arlington, VA were insane. Unfortunately we hit it at rush hour and managed to miss the special commuter lanes, so it was bumper-to-bumper traffic moving on average 30mph. Took us two hours to get out of there, including a brief food and gas stop. Didn't kill anyone though, and on we went.

Hit North Carolina a little before 8pm, where we stopped again to get a picture of the Q with the Welcome to North Carolina sign and fill up the tank. I am absolutely loving the 70mph speed limit!

I called it a day at 10, having driven for 12 hours and 620+ miles. We're stopped in Smithfield, NC, which has a dog friendly Super 8 for anyone heading this way in the future. Queezle is thrilled to be on the road - she wagged her tail and smiled when we headed into the hotel, looking for all the world like a kid on Christmas morning. She is such a great dog to travel with.

On to Orlando in the morning!