Saturday, January 30, 2010

Golden Retreat

Last week both Michael and I were suffering from a cold and Michael had just spent six days in the hospital. We were in desperate need of some R&R. Michael had business meetings in Seattle and, of all the weird places, Bainbridge Island. We decided this was a perfect excuse for a retreat to our favorite B&B spot: Ashton Woods. After Michael's meeting in Seattle, we hopped the ferry over to the Island. Since Ashton Woods Retreat is very dog friendly we decided to bring Lily along with us. This was Lily's first ferry ride. She really wanted to get out of the car, but she was also quite pleased with the volume of seagulls flying by...
and the volume of petting she was getting from inside the car.

Ashton Woods is a wonderful place in the middle of the Grand Forest built by a couple of guys from San Francisco who moved up to the rainy Northwest and built themselves a little paradise.

They have great attention to detail. Lily's little note says:
"Hi Lily, get wet get muddy chase ball
but whatever you do, don't chase the deer
they kick!"

Every breakfast is magnificently homemade with eggs, scones, yogurt, fruit & granola, and freshly squeezed orange juice. The room itself is stocked with all kinds of goodies specially picked for each guest plus coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sodas & chocolates, all included. We are not drinkers, but they usually provide wine & beer complimentary as well. This particular morning's eggs included feta and zucchini and the scones were cheddar, scallion and Hefeweizen. Delicious!

Lily was kind of depressed the first night we were there as it was too rainy to go out and play, but her nose told her... for sure there were other dogs around and she wanted to play with them--desperately. She also liked to perch her head very close to the little pine cones on the side table and then just stare at them, but she never touched them. Ashton Woods has two guest spaces, both outside the main house. The cottage, which we stayed in last time and is up a nice windy path away from the house and the Loft, across the breezeway from the house and above the garage. It's so large with a bed area and a living area with fireplace, leather sofa, table, chairs and rain shower in the large bathroom.
Finally, while Michael was at his meeting on Friday, Lily got to go out and meet the four resident Golden Retrievers at Ashton Woods. At first she was very shy. Michael said she must have "fur envy" as the Ashton Goldens are all very fluffy and Lily, strangely enough, has very little fur.

Below Lily is meeting the youngest of their Goldens, Farley. He is a little younger than Lily and he is beautiful! I couldn't stop taking pictures of him. He is also a ham and likes to stop and just pose for pictures.

Lily kept wanting to venture out on the path that led out of the "yard". Ashton Woods is actually on 10 acres, but the path the dogs are on below eventually leads to the neighbor's house.At one point all the dogs just started running up the path to the Cottage. They must do this with their Dads a lot because they were not to be stopped. Oh yeah, Steven one of their Dads, who manages the B&B during the day was waiting inside for his accountant and asked if I wanted the dogs left outside or brought in with him. Of course Lily would have been heartbroken if I had sent her new friends away, so I ended up with five Golden Retrievers.

Obviously I LOVE dogs, so this really wasn't a problem.

The whole property was pretty wet and Lily got so filthy dirty I actually just prolonged the whole play date... procrastinating the inevitable Lily clean up.
and Lily wasn't the only one getting filthy. Goldens are pretty, but they sure like to get dirty.

Above Farley and Etta

Below, Farley the poser

Below: Lily is thinking that must be some stick. Lily was beside herself the whole time. Farley and Etta were great fetchers and totally put Lily to shame. They had a couple of toys out there... like one of those things that holds a tennis ball and you fling it. Lily was so slow, she never even got close to getting the ball. Etta, the three year old was definitely the master retriever. Farley was a close second. Lily kinda just went back and forth trying to catch up. Daryl, the six year old just waited until someone dropped the ball then he picked it up and brought to me all proud like... and old Chase the nine year old just stood by my side waiting to be petted and petted and petted. Obviously I had a blast. We played for a couple hours.
Below: Farley & Etta
Below: Farley is bird watching

Below: beautiful Etta with her scarf reminded me so much of our old Kelsey (she says wiping a tear away)
Daryl is the white faced one:
I guess I didn't get a picture of the old girl Chase. She really stayed right by my side so I guess that is why.

It took a while to clean Lily up before bringing her inside and she was exhausted, but not too exhausted to watch more Goldens on a You Tube video of Animal Planet's Dogs 101: Golden Retrievers.

She did eventually find her favorite sleepy time spot on the bed (where she wasn't actually supposed to be... shhhh, don't tell Steven & Christopher ;).
And our last note from Steven was:
"Please come back soon, Farley definitely has a crush on his new blonde friend"

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