I have a sister and a brother. My husband and I, and they and their spice (mouse --> mice, ergo spouse --> spice) try to get together two or three times a year. The first time we did this, we established a tradition of a good hike and then lunch at a small, near-by restaurant. We felt good about indulging in a milkshake or piece of cake because we’d expended calories out in the fresh air.
Then my friend gave us off-season run of his beach condo. We met there, lolled on the beach, ate at the near-by Cottage Cafe, a dinner that involved artery-clogging cheesie fries. The next day we took a nice walk before departing for points home. This year, my friend sold his condo. Where to, where to?
Friday Steve rented a van, and all six of us headed out to Washington, VA where we were met by Debbie the Driver. I’m pretty sure Debbie was incredulous at our level of our immaturity and silliness, but she soon grew accustomed and, fortunately, took charge. Debbie drove us to the Rappahanak Winery and and Gray Ghost WInery where we duly tasted. (Sherman and Teddi like sweet wines and ports; who knew?) As we entered the third winery, Desert Rose, we were greeted by a little wiener dog.
In my experience, dachshunds are nervous, yippy little things. This one, however – I don’t know his name – was as calm and cute as can be. He was white with black spots, and his tale waved as I leaned over and petted him. He exited as we entered, but when we left, a few glasses of wine happier, he was awaiting us, absorbing pats and admiring words. He paraded before us with a white stuffed hen (redcomb and waddle) carefully cradled in his mouth. He was so proud and happy.
On we went on to one final winery (sorry, I forget its name -- hey, it was the fourth one!) and then back to the Gay Street Inn (a wonderful, WONDERFUL place) to rest and recuperate before being driven to a nice dinner. You will notice that: no exercise of any kind was involved. My, how the sybaritic have fallen.
We had a lovely weekend, and the symbol for it will ever remain in my mind, not the wineries (decent enough) nor the wines we bought nor a wine glass, but a happy, spotted wiener dog with his squshy, white hen.