Sunday, February 21, 2010

Iowa - the hot spot of American Tourism

When Garrison and I have a little bit more time on our hands at one of our friends' houses OR we get to our own home with time OR we're in a hotel with available WiFi, I'll post all of Gman's Tweets. He's had a great time and I'm amazed at his Tweeting capabilities from the road. What a dog.

In the meantime, we left our lovely Rod (my fiance! Holy Crap-a-doodle... I'm engaged!!!) in Ohio and drove over to Iowa. It wasn't a bad drive... just a tad long. It wasn't the distance, really... it was the reality that I was driving in the WRONG DIRECTION. Rod was in Ohio. We were driving west. All the way out I was driving east and the anticipation of seeing Rod and the Scotties made every mile pass faster. Now that we've started the drive back west without Rod and no Scotties... it makes the drives loooong.

Our Motel 6 North was not a bad stay, but it was a boring and bland stay. Parking was a pain because so many people were there for the dog show and snow tends to take up parking spaces and obscure parking space lines, so parking spaces were limited. And this particular Motel 6 didn't have any available wi-fi. It made for a boring time and difficulties in updating wedding websites and blogging. Oh the digital age. I do think I'm a tad addicted.

Due to weather and snow and such hitting Iowa when we were approximately 40 miles from Des Moines, our trip took about half an hour longer than anticipated. And due to my lack of desire to drive away and leave Rod in Ohio while I was schlepping back to California, I forgot Garrison's food bin at Rod's house. SO the beloved ball, lost in a snow drift somewhere in Rod's front yard (or the neighbor's depending on where Gman lost it) and his dry kibble was still in Ohio. We had to get food for the boy dog.

Rod took to the internet and found that Natural Balance is only sold at PetCo in Des Moines... and there were only two stores in the entire town. Egads! We had to get to one of them no matter where it was in relation to our Motel 6! I was watching the miles and the time on Garmina and it was going to be really close to closing time. I decided to call PetCo (where the pets go) and ask what time they closed.

Sure enough... 9pm. It was 8:45. I asked the manager if she could stay a few minutes so that I could buy food for Garrison OR if she could run my card for my purchase and leave the food outside the door since I would be there in approximately 20-25 minutes due to weather.

We made it there at 9:03 and they were waiting outside for us. Cash register still open... our food on the counter... wrong food roll, so the clerk went and got the correct size and WHEW. Garrison had food. He would live. I wouldn't be in his dog house.

Then we schlepped to Motel 6.

Somehow the request for a ground floor room didn't register from the "central reservation center" to the actual motel. We had an upper floor. No parking. It was pretty crummy. Then we found out that there was no wifi at this Motel 6. HARUMPH.

The next morning I decided we should get to the show grounds fairly early in order to find a grooming space. OH geez. There was a cattle show going on at the same time. I loved it. Gman loved it and would have rather gone off to herd cattle than play show dog... but he had to stay clean. Herding had to be for another day.

Inside the 4H Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, there was no grooming space. We befriended a gentleman who had a Bernese Mountain Dog and sidled up next to his set up... outside the lines...along a wall... and close to an electrical outlet. WHEW.

It's a small show, but some nice dogs were there. Garrison and I went into our ring to show to a judge we'd never shown to before - Paul Willhauk from Massachusetts. I was thankful when he pointed to me and said, "You're my best of breed!" Yippee!!! Garrison and I had to stay for the groups (darn), but we didn't make the cut, so no extra ribbons for us. We found out that the woman who won the group with her OES (Old English Sheepdog) is REALLY well known around these parts and is VERY hard to beat. That's life when out of your own back yard... which is a highly competitive back yard... with people like Larry Fenner, Susie and Jorge Olivera, J.R. Alcantar, Valeri Nunes-Atkinson and Gabriel Rangal (he just won Westminster with his Scottie bitch Sadie). Those are the regular players I compete against all the time in SoCal.

So I'm sitting in Panera Bread because they have free wifi... and good food... and yummy coffee... and The Gman and I don't show until 1:55pm today. Hopefully we'll win the breed again today and have a shot in the group... but today is another day... another dog show...

And we drive to Kansas City tonight after we're done to spend 2 nights with my best friend Katina! Yippee!!!! Before we set out on our Road Trip, it was going to be a chance to see Katina my best friend... but it has turned into a chance to see Katina my best friend AND my Maid of Honor!

Holy Crap-a-doodle... I'm engaged!

Time to go show my dog... and celebrate a sport that introduced me to the love of my life - Rod.

I'm done being sappy and sentimental.

Happy Puppy - Check.

Game Face - Check.

Best of Breed? Still open.

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