I ❤️ a Picnic, Part 2

I wasn't kidding in my last post about loving a picnic...or about picnicking on Mother's Day. We did both yesterday, and I loved every minute!

As you can see by the above photo, we enjoyed "Mother's Day at the Garden*" at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden near Belmont, NC. I have wanted to go to DSBG for years, since I see their brown 'points of interest' sign on I-85S every time I drive to/from Atlanta. So, I got to check off one of my "Places I Want to Visit" and celebrate in style! 

We got up early...not by necessity, but by practice: with five dogs in residence, we almost always see the sun rise around here. Getting on the road (I-85 South toward Charlotte), we decided to take advantage of another freebie we garnered at the Grasshoppers game last Friday: the so-called Strikeout Victim (AKA: the designated hitter) did just what we wanted him to do...he swung and missed three times while we Hopper fans were yelling "biscuit, biscuit, biscuit!" That bit of silliness is sponsored by Biscuitville...naturally...and when it happens, everyone in attendance gets a coupon for a free sausage and biscuit. Yippee! Make that two, please! [Added to the 50% off our Saturday pizza order fom Papa John's...given when the Hoppers struck out five batters in a row...and vouchers for a free basket of Buffalo chicken tenders from Stumblestiltskins (given out to those sitting in our section when the other team made an error...or the "Stumble" of the Night!), we really hit a home run!]

We got to the Garden just before 11:00. All moms got free admission...hooray...and the first 250 got a free plant. I didn't think we would make that second list, but we did...and I got a pot of peppermint for my herb garden. We picked up our preordered picnic basket and drinks and headed to find a nice location on the grounds. We were fortunate to find a cool, shaded area, just beyond one of the walled gardens ...where we could hear the fountain on the other side of the hedge! We had taken our collapsible "shade" chairs, which have attached awnings that can provide shade if needed...but the maple overhead did a fine job of that. Such a pleasant day...the only things missing were Missy M (who started her new job in ATL today) and maybe a nice bottle of wine (which you aren't allowed to bring onto the grounds).

Never fear: we had registered for the Wine Walk! Beginning at 1:00, we strolled the grounds, past wine "stations" which were serving six varieties of NC wines, starting with a Chardonay (white) all the way through a Merlot (red). Our favorite...no surprise here: the Riesling. The stations were set up to draw the Wine Walkers through the gardens and allow us to drink in their beauty...pun intended. Here's the long view of the Fountain Alley, looking from the Riesling station toward the Cabernet station. 

We passed on the carriage ride (too warm by this time) in favor of finishing our day and chilling out with mango gelato. The drive home gave us plenty of time to worry about whether we would still have a home...since we had experienced Doggie Wars between Abbie and Ella Rae on Friday...at 5:45 a.m.  After that, ER had begun staying under the deck...and inaccessible. Sigh. Guess it was inevitable. But I was sad nonetheless.

Thankfully, when we returned to HPNC all was well. Well...sorta. Apparently the Fab Five had banded  together in common pursuit of disturbing the peace in our neighborhood. Our neighbors had just returned from the beach, with their arrival revving up the dulcet tones of the protective beasties...including Dixie, Missy M's beautiful Basset, who carries on when barking 'enthusiastically' as if someone were removing her toenails without anesthesia. Double sigh. At least the pups were getting along again. Reasonably well enough.

Life might not be a picnic yet, but we are on the right track.

* Speaking of gardens...we were, weren't we? Check out the latest post to our gardening blog, Gardening with the Giants here: http://gardenwithgiants.blogspot.com/2014/05/may-has-arrivedfinally.html


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