We left Savannah on the 26th fairly early in the morning in search of snow in North Carolina. We reserved a cottage in Mars Hill, one of North Carolina’s ski areas located about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. This was a great plan but we were missing one crucial component – SNOW! There was no snow, so we were out of luck with our plans to go skiing and snow tubing. The cottage was really cute and decorated nicely, but it was so far from everything. There was also a neighborhood dog named Russell who lived on our porch the whole time we were there. He would not leave. Orso was not very happy about this. He was incredibly sweet and so cute; he looked like Luna but with long hair. He even had similar eyes as Luna’s! We felt terrible for this poor dog. It was raining and freezing outside and he was always out there on the porch. It broke our heart. We wanted to take him home with us but Orso would be really pissed if he had to share the minivan with a strange dog, so we left Russell in Mars Hill.
The last pitfall was that there was absolutely no cell phone signal or internet, which made planning activities a challenge. It was incredibly inconvenient. On one of the days, we drove all the way to the Biltmore Estate just to be told that their tickets were sold out for the day. We would have known this with phone or internet connection since we always plan our travel days ahead of time using the internet. We also managed to bury our minivan in the front yard because there was no driveway and the ground was very moist – AAA had to help us out of this mess! There was also something living in the basement of the cottage that would make awful noises at night. It was pretty freaky. It felt like these 4 nights were pretty disastrous from a logistics standpoint! I did spend almost 12 hours working on a 1000-piece puzzle to stay busy. I couldn’t believe that we drove all the way to North Carolina and paid to stay at a cottage and the only productive thing I did was put together a puzzle, therefore making it the most expensive puzzle on this planet, LOL!
Regardless, the area is absolutely beautiful and we stayed busy by driving into Asheville every day, but the distances were tough on us. Asheville is a great town – very cool place with a hippie feel to it and very good dining, specifically a restaurant called Fig. It’s also extremely pet-friendly. Had it snowed, our experience in Mars Hill would undoubtedly have been different. Orso did have fun playing in the yard and getting all muddy and we took tons of photos of him outside – there wasn’t much else to do – so this blog entry will have a bunch of action photos! Below are our absolute favorite shots, enjoy!
Russell, the neighborhood dog that was living on our porch:
Orso settled in nicely:
Buried our minivan into the ground on our first night:
AAA to the rescue!
Primetime TV entertainment! Really???!!!
Orso playing dress-up:
Orso thinks he is sleeping in our bed…
The most expensive 1000-piece puzzle on the planet. Actually, 992-piece since 8 pieces were missing:
Orso’s first encounter with livestock!
This was what I would see every time I looked out the screen door into the yard!
Some more lounging:
We got a whole 1/2 inch of snow:
Our road trip with Orso started early on Christmas morning. Just as we have done for past trips, we rented our favorite minivan on the plan – a Chrysler Town & Country Stow-and-Go – and overloaded it with a million suitcases! Orso had his cozy spot right in the middle of the van with his big Costco bed to make the ride more comfortable. Our first stop was Savannah, Georgia for an overnight visit. We made excellent time and got in mid-afternoon. We stayed the night at the Olde Harbour Inn in a two-story room that Orso loved running around in. For Christmas dinner, we went to the Olde Pink House, where they ran out of food and were only serving fish! We would have liked to have seen more of Savannah, but we still had quite a bit of driving to do to make it to North Carolina, so we left pretty early the next morning. Below are our favorite photos from our one-night visit to Savannah, Georgia, enjoy!
The luggage line-up:
We came prepared! Manchego cheese + wine!
Orso is the gatekeeper to the upstairs bedroom:
Our Christmas Dinner restaurant that ran out of food!
Tonight, we went to Noche Buena aka Christmas Eve Dinner at my sister, Yvette’s, house. In our culture, it’s traditional to celebrate Christmas the night before. Early on, she invited Orso to come with us, which we thought was very cool of her. Orso behaved like a complete gentleman. He did sniff her entire house and rummage through all the bedrooms, but managed to not knock anything over. Other than trying to steal ice, stepping on a few bare feet and running around the house with a stocking in his mouth, he didn’t give us much to worry about. After dinner, we did a gift exchange and all 5 dogs got lots of presents from my parents and Yvette! It was so thoughtful of them! Once everyone had exchanged gifts, all 3 of my sister’s boys did us the favor of getting Orso nice and tired for the drive home! Thanks for an awesome Noche Buena, Yve!
We took a ton of photos, most of which turned out great, so picking the ones to post was definitely difficult. Below are our favorites, enjoy!
SPREADING HOLIDAY WISHES TO ALL!
Cleo relaxing at Brick House Tavern & Tap:
Taking a nap after some rigorous playtime at the hotel:
Guarding the bathroom door:
Loving her toys:
ENTIRE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF CANE CORSO BREED JUDGING FOR THE 2011 AKC/EUKANUBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – 12.18.2011
I had the privilege of sitting ringside – in the best seats, in my humble opinion – for the Cane Corso breed judging at the 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. It was so great to watch all the wonderful dogs in the ring, 15 in total were in attendance! Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna (one of my favorite judges) judged the Cane Corso breed class and we feel she did a spectacular job. She was thorough and took her time with each dog. In the end, we were very pleased with her selection for Best of Breed, which went to an Italian dog named Gimmy Dei Martinotti. We would not have wanted to have been in Judge Meredith-Cavanna’s shoes with all the amazing Cane Corsi in the ring!
I arrived nice and early, 7:15am to be precise, with a plan – to record every minute of the Cane Corso breed class! We were filming on our rinky-dinky little Flip Video camera and I attempted to take lots of photos, most of which didn’t turn out very well. We came home and I spent forever making the footage into a movie. It’s not the best quality and it’s not really edited per se, but it’s better than nothing!
To watch the Cane Corso breed judging in its entirety from the 2011 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Sunday, December 18, 2011, click here and YouTube will open in a new window. Enjoy!
Best of Breed – Gimmy Dei Martinotti
Best of Opposite Sex – GCH CH Liberty’s Armed And Dangerous
Best Bred By in Breed/Variety – Gerassi Corso Dorian
1st Award of Excellence – GCH CH Sleeping Giant’s Vittore
2nd Award of Excellence – GCH CH Maximo’s Jack
3rd Award of Excellence – GCH CH Wildwoods Cirino Di Campo
4th Award of Excellence – GCH CH Stonecroft Bellissima Bella
5th Award of Excellence – CH Mar E Sol’s Eliana
Dogs Present in Catalog Order:
GCH CH Wildwoods Cirino Di Campo
Gimmy Dei Martinotti
GCH CH Mar E Sol’s Saggio
GCH CH Red Rock Canyon’s Argento De Campione
Gerassi Corso Dorian
GCH CH Roman’s Beren Of Numenor
GCH CH Sleeping Giant’s Vittore
GCH CH Firehorse Franklin
GCH CH Leonitis Big Show Sargent
GCH CH Maximo’s Jack
GCH CH Liberty’s Armed And Dangerous
GCH CH Red Rock Canyon’s Nina Di Campione
GCH CH Darkstone’s Island Girl
GCH CH Stonecroft Bellissima Bella
CH Mar E Sol’s Eliana
Impero Russo Cleo di Costa Bel aka “Cleo” at 10 months of age, photo below, 1st Place in her age group, Winners Bitch and Best of Winners in Orlando Miami on 12.15.2011 – with handler, Vanessa Lanz-Sanchez. Many thanks to Vanessa, Danny, Judge Mr. Robert Caswell and Cleo!
Lionheart Buona Karma di Costa Bel aka “Karma” at 7 months of age, photo below, 1st Place in her age group, Winners Bitch and Best of Winners in Orlando on 12.16.2011 – with handler, Vanessa Lanz-Sanchez. Many thanks to Vanessa, Danny, Judge Mrs. Theresa Goldman and Karma!
The lighting was challenging to work with at the shows in Orlando, so my photos did not come out very well. These were the only ones I was able to somewhat salvage enough to post. Enjoy!
ORSO’S RALLY-OBEDIENCE TRAINER, MARY MAJCHROWSKI OF BRAVO DOG TRAINING, BLOGS ABOUT ORSO’S NEW RALLY NOVICE TITLE! – 12.14.2011
I can say with certainty that, other than us, there is one person who had a substantial influence on Orso’s training while he was growing up. This person is Mary Majchrowski of Bravo Dog Training. Before moving to Beaverton, Oregon, Mary lived in South Florida and was incredibly involved in Orso’s development as a show dog for both conformation and obedience. I had the privilege of leaving Orso with her on two separate occasions. The first time was December 2010 for two weeks when she helped prepare Orso for the conformation show ring. The second time was June & July 2011 for three weeks when she helped prepare Orso for the Rally-Obedience show ring. I definitely owe a great part of Orso’s Rally Novice title to Mary! Thanks, Mary!
To read Mary’s blog post about Orso, click here or go to http://bravodogtraining.blogspot.com/2011/12/another-client-titles-in-rally.html.
To visit Mary’s main blog page, click here. You can subscribe to the blog on this page and get lots of awesome training tips! We did!
Impero Russo Cleo di Costa Bel aka “Cleo” at 9 months of age, photo below, 1st Place in her age group, Winners Bitch, Best of Winners and Best of Breed Puppy in Miami on 12.10.2011 – with handler, Daniel Sanchez. Many thanks to Judge Mr. Joseph Gregory.
Lionheart Buona Karma di Costa Bel aka “Karma” at 6 months of age, photo below, 1st Place in her age group, Winners Bitch and Best of Winners in Miami on 12.11.2011 – with handler, Daniel Sanchez. Many thanks to Judge Mrs. Jean Fournier.
Thanks, Danny & Vanessa, for this filming Cleo & Karma’s first time out together!