Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Memorial Day Getaway

Last year, the dogs and I rented a house in Pennsylvania for my cousin's wedding. I immediately fell in love with the house and never wanted to leave. So, when two of my cousins had babies within a couple days of each other and my grandparents and aunts planned a road trip to meet the babies, it seemed like the perfect time to go back.

While we waited for all of the family to be in the same place, my mom, my sister, my aunt and uncle, and one cousin and her baby took a trip to Valley Forge (y'all, the southern girl in me has to work really hard not to type Pigeon Forge every time--and I can promise you, Dolly Parton was not there). 

Valley Forge was not at all what I expected. The dogs and I have been to plenty of historical sites and we've never had to spend much time dealing with crowds. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, there were swarms of people. We've done enough training that the dogs are pretty good in crowds as long as we keep moving. But with 6 adults, one little bit, and 2 dogs, moving wasn't really happening.

Valley Forge was also a lot bigger than I expected. The original plan was for my sister, my cousin and her baby, and the pups and I to walk while the rest of the group looked at the historical stuff. The trail to the different sites my mom, my aunt, and my uncle wanted to see was going to be 5 miles one way. The dogs and I could probably do a 10-mile hike, but not when we started in mid-afternoon and hadn't planned for that. After much back and forth, we finally decided to all drive to the various sites and then the dogs, my sister, my cousin and her baby, and I would walk while the others looked at all of the different things.

Once we got moving, things were a better. I couldn't tell you what any of the things in our pictures are, but it was a really pretty place with lots of stone buildings and rolling hills.

The day was perfect temperature, too, which was good because there wasn't a lot of shade in the areas we were exploring. 

I don't think the dogs cared all that much about walking where George Washington had walked, but they were excited to stretch their legs after being in the car the day before.

However, they were excited to get to the rental cottage after our walk. 

Taking in all of those good farm smells.

The cottage was even better than I'd remembered. The inside has so much character and everything outside was in bloom (which was a huge contrast to our rainy early April visit last year).

Since there's a trail on the property, I let Rye have her first long-line walk. Barley prefers to walk right beside me, but Rye's little hound nose lives for adventure and I thought if she had a little more freedom, she might not be inclined to take a solo adventure like last time.

Rye loved being on a long line. 

She got to splash in the stream and follow her nose without being held back by me and Barley. Barley also seemed to enjoy having a little space from Rye, who is usually darting after a scent and clotheslining Barley with her leash when they're both on regular leashes. Rye never once checked back with us without prompting, though, so she won't be getting that much freedom in other places.


The thing Rye didn't love was seeing cows in the pasture across the street from our driveway! The first time we walked down and saw them, she poofed herself up as big as she could get and barked like a maniac. 

After seeing them a couple times, she eventually calmed down, but didn't want to turn her back on them. A few treats helped to convince her that she should pose for a picture with cows in the background.

The dogs and I were so happy to just escape for a couple nights. While we spent most of our time at my aunt and uncle's house with the rest of the extended family and the babies, it was nice to be back in the farm house and enjoy having our own woods to walk in. 

We love our house and neighborhood, but if we won the lottery, I'd happily move into this house any day. We can't wait for another excuse to go back!


  1. What a great little vacation in a cozy place with lots of places to visit and walk, plus seeing the family.

    1. It was a good trip! Quick, but in the perfect spot.

  2. So much fun hanging with you and the pups! And I agree, it is an ADORABLE house! Please win the lottery :)

    1. You know you have a room there when we do ;) (Of course, since I don't buy lottery tickets, this plan probably isn't going to work!)

  3. It looks like a really lovely place! I'm glad you had such a beautiful place to walk.

    I also appreciate you sharing how crowded it was there. I love to visit historical sites, but I'd try to plan it more in off season. :-)

    1. Based on the parking lot and the size of the visitor's center, I have a feeling that this place is pretty crowded most of the time. We were all a lot happier when we got to our little cottage :)

  4. That cabin is so cute! And Rye is funny about the cows. I can see Luke going nuts if he saw any.
    I went to college in PA and remember going to Valley Forge, but not a lot of details about it. I don't think there were any crowds...but it might have been more off-season, plus it was a LONG time ago...less people then! LOL
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Rye and Luke would probably make the most intimidating cow herding team ever ;)

      I don't know if it was crowded because of the time of year or if it's always that way, but we're going to check that off our list of places to visit and find new ones next time we're out that way! I was surprised by how many international tourists were there--we didn't even study it in school, so I had no idea it was such a big destination!