The idea for this road trip sprang from our desire to attend two far away events that were one week apart. The first event, the wedding of my second cousin once removed (the bride’s mother’s father and my father were first cousins), Dr. Kathrine Lee, to Dr. Brian Gilmore, in Chapel Hill, NC took place this past Saturday.
We arrived in Chapel Hill on Thursday, checked into the Aloft (no upgrade this time) and met my sister Linda, who was also in for the wedding, from Chicago.
The three of us ventured out to “U Dirty Dog” self wash spa in Durham to get Wilma ready for her overnight stay with a local pet sitter (no dogs allowed at the wedding).
Linda than treated Robin and I to dinner for our 60th birthdays (boohoo), at the City Kitchen, a nice local restaurant with (our obligatory) outdoor seating.
Wilma decided to spend her evening with the ladies at the table next to ours, who were only too happy to entertain Wilma.
Friday we all took a self guided tour of the very beautiful UNC campus. While taking in the sights, Wilma met several co-eds, and thoroughly enjoyed the grassy quad areas filled with birds and squirrels.
Sadly, our next stop was to take our loyal travel companion to her dog sitter for the weekend. It felt like we were dropping off one of the kids for their first day of school. Wilma even gave us one of those “wait…..where are you going without me!” looks, as we left her behind. Needless to say Wilma did fine with her two doggy companions and an enormous backyard in which to play fetch and chase. A nice reprieve from the long days in an SUV, and long nights in hotel rooms, I’m sure!
The rehearsal dinner Friday night, and wedding Saturday, were really wonderful. We always truly enjoy spending time with these cousins and their rapidly expanding extended families. It’s always good to attend as many of these happy occasions as possible. This one was certainly worth the drive!!
Saturday morning we had the pleasure of having breakfast with Ali Rittenberg and her fiancée Alex Carroll at Merritt’s Store and Grill (known for their BLT’s with fried eggs for breakfast) . The Rittenbergs are friends who moved from San Ramon to Atlanta many, many years ago. Ali, and her twin sister Lexie, played on the same youth soccer team as Emily. Ali and Alex will be getting married in Durham this coming October……so it looks like we may have to plan yet another drive trip………..
After a nice post wedding brunch with the family Sunday morning, we picked up Wilma and headed to Roanoke. She was happy to see us.
After a long rainy drive, we arrived at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel (stayed here on the 2014 trip), where we were given a nice big room on the 6th floor in a tower as far away from any grassy areas as possible. Fortunately we have a dog that is now a veteran of hotels, so a long walk down the maze of hallways, down the elevator, through the restaurants, pool area, workout room and lobby to the covered driveway and parking lot, to the grass……is no problem. Our only glitch came when a man with a fully loaded room-service cart got in the elevator with Wilma and I. Wilma, who has been trained to sit in elevators, was completely overwhelmed by the smell of freshly prepared dinners. It took all I had to restrain her from sampling the food.
We planned two days in Roanoke in order to give Wilma a full day with us without the restraints of the car. We planned to hike up Mill Mountain this morning, but unfortunately we are in the middle of a HUGE storm. Good thing we have a lot of long hallways and covered driveways available to give her some exercise!